Arm Training – Working Biceps
Ronnie Coleman Routine
Possibility one of the largest and most successful bodybuilders is Ronnie Coleman. The former Mr. O gives us a glimpse of one of his old arm workout programs for building big biceps. To fill out the arm make sure you take a look at the triceps exercises article.
This bicep training routine was helped the former Mr. O get the 22 inch arms he had at the time of this program. I should mention that was in competition.
Coleman does high reps in this biceps routine. He says the reason for this is because of the size of his arms. The high reps he says, boost density and hardness in the biceps. Not sure how accurate that is but how can I saw otherwise when he out weights me by 100lbs.
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Ronnie’s All Purpose Biceps Routine
- One arm cable curls – 4 x 15
- Bar cable curls – 4 x 15
- Cable crossover curls – 4 x 15
For the beginner bodybuilder Coleman recommends a different rep scheme.
Beginner Bodybuilder’s Biceps Routine
- One arm cable curls – 2 x 15, 2 x 10
- Bar cable curls – 2 x 15, 2 x 10
- Cable crossover curls – 2 x 15, 2 x 10
As you can see there is not much difference, but by the end of the workout you are looking at 30 less reps.
Ronnie’ s Biceps Bodybuilding Laws
1. Every routine starts with one arm cable curls.
Coleman does these two different ways. He either alternates arms, or he has a straight set with one arm and moved to the next.
The goal of this movement is to place large amounts of stress on the peaks of your biceps.
Here’s how he does it:
- start of each rep with arm fully extended, while still loaded with all the weight
- keeping your body still slowly squeeze your bicep curling the weight up
- at the top hole to wait for a second squeezing the bicep as hard as you can
- slowly return to the starting position
Coleman likes to train to failure. He selects a weight that allows 15 reps but if he has more in the tank he’ll squeeze more out.
2. bar cable curls follow
My second exercise is bar cable curls. For Ronnie this movement adds bulk within the entire biceps muscle. He prefers this over a barbell curl.
Completing cable curls is very similar to the previous exercise.
- in sure constant tension is maintained throughout the entire set
- with every rep squeeze at the top for a second
- on occasion finished with forced reps
- for variety substitute the rope for the bar
3. Biceps finisher
To end the biceps routine Ronnie does cable crossover curls. These have a dual function of adding bulk and peak.
Doing this exercise is like hitting a double biceps pose with weight. Seems like the perfect exercise for a bodybuilder.
How to do it
- start with a cable in each hand
- have your arms straight, fully extended, and parallel to the ground
- from there hit a double bicep pose
Ronnie’s final thoughts
This biceps training routine can be followed by anyone. There is a slight modification for beginners. As noted above they will decrease the reps and add some weight.
Without letting you ego carry you away, go as heavy as your strength allows for the strict execution of each movement. ‘Strict’ means no cheating of the exercises by calling secondary muscle groups into play. Your goal is to build the best biceps your genetics will allow, so isolate the biceps and don;t let other muscle groups assist in moving the workload.
The most common biceps training mistake is overtraining. Most guys and bodybuilders train this beach muscle too using too many sets and reps. Working the biceps twice a week with 12 sets per session is enough for anybody. You can’t rush progress.