When someone mentions arm muscles, it’s natural for most people to think of the biceps. That’s because the biceps are front and center when wearing a short sleeve (Or long sleeve) shirt. As a small muscle, they do not require as much work as major muscle groups, especially since they get hit pretty hard during a back workout.
A biceps pump is probably the most satisfying feeling to any serious lifter, especially because it is usually the one muscle that you can really appreciate when you look in the mirror (depending on your workout clothing) after an intense set of bicep curls.
If there’s one training method that will give you skin splitting pumps, it would be Occlusion training.
How To Wrap The Biceps For Occlusion Training
- You should wrap them (Bands, cuffs, wraps) around your upper arm below the shoulder and above the bicep (It’s ok if the band touches the bicep)
- If using a wrap, make sure to overlap
- Make sure the pressure is about a 7/10 in perceived tightness (not to be confused with numbers on the band itself)
Your upper arms should not feel numb or tingly. If they are, loosen up a bit so that your device is still tight enough to restrict blood flow.
Now For The Biceps Workout
You’ve applied enough pressure around your upper arms so now you’re ready to get that blood into the muscle and keep it there (a little longer than you normally would during a workout)
- Since light weight is key, perform the exercises with 20% of your 1-rep max
- Use about 2-3 exercises for your workout with a rep range between 8-30 (you can do something like 30-25-15-8). The goal is to train to volitional fatigue, so sometimes will you have to do more or less reps than this.
- Good exercises for the biceps are dumbbell curls, standing barbell curls and cable curls
- Focus on the concentric contractions (BFR benefits more from the concentric focus, whereas traditional training benefits more from an eccentric focus)
You’ll get a great pump by training the biceps in this manner (or similar). Perform your biceps training routine for a few weeks with the Occlusion technique (Blood Flow Restriction) and then switch to your standard high-intensity non-BFR (Blood Flow Restriction training). You can also do BFR as a "finisher" at the end of your normal workout routine.
How Often To Train The Biceps?
Performing around 2 sessions per week is sufficient as the biceps are a small muscle group (as previously mentioned). They receive plenty of stimulation during heavy and intense back workouts.
During Occlusion training, the muscle will exhaust quicker than your normal routine so keep this in mind as well.
(Finally) Get Into A Routine
Once you get things flowing you’ll be able to get better Blood Flow Restriction workouts and you’ll be that much closer to seeing some great results. It will take some time but evidence has supported its effectiveness.
Many different people with different goals and needs can benefit from using Occlusion training for the biceps. Athletes and bodybuilders will find it to be useful and even physical therapy patients can benefit from it too.
Remember to switch things up after a few weeks because although Occlusion training will provide results, properly progressed and periodized programs will yield the best results in the long run.
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