Biceps and Shoulders

I’ve been training for about 7 years solid. Recently, I noticed that I can’t really get my biceps to respond to my workouts. I change my routine–got a copy of Get Buffed, etc… When I do any bicep movements, my shoulders come into play and feel like they do the work. I cut down on the amount of weight I use, too. But I do want my strenght to improve and want to add a lot of mass. I can’t keep the poundages too low forever. I really contract my bi’s when doing any movements, but with most of the exercises, my shoulders seem to take over–espcially with Preacher Bench Curls which I stopped doing (feels like there’s too much stress on my shoulder joints). Any suggestions? Thanks!

This may be old news but try cutting back on the direct bi work and really concentrating on supinated (underhand) grip back work. I NEVER do curls of any sort yet my bis are in proportion to everything else, plus my front delts don’t get overstressed. Also, really concentrating on keeping your shoulders pulled back, ala deadlifting, when you do curl.

I agree with Jeff

I disagree with Jeff completely. I’ve added 2 inches to my arms doing six isolation exercises: barbell curl, dumbell curl, and cable curl for biceps, and weighted dip, overhead one-arm triceps extension, and cable pushdown (with the rope attachment) for triceps. I do 2-3 sets, maxing out at 10, and often times on the last set I do a dropset or a pyramid set. But honestly, your problem is probably with your diet – if you haven’t been gaining any weight (muscle or fat), then you’re at maintenance calories, and CANNOT POSSIBLY put on any mass. You need to boost your calories 500-1000 above where they are now and make sure you’re getting a good 2g./lb. of protein. A 3/4 week cycle of Androsol couldn’t hurt either.

I use the preacher curl bench, but I keep my body straight from shoulder to knee. I put my knees on a flat bench and left my feet up.

How much do you weighted dip mike?

Last training session I did 15 reps with an extra 35 lbs, at a BW of 180 lbs. That sucks in absolute terms but I’m pleased with my progress – less than a year ago I couldn’t do 5 dips with any extra weight, and that was at a BW of 160.