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High Intensity Biceps Training

High Intensity Biceps Training

So here’s the deal, I’m a lifetime natural drug-free bodybuilder, and I train my arms in a very unconventional way, with something called Naturally Intense High Intensity Training.

And my biceps look like this training only once a week for maybe about four to maybe five, six minutes max.

And very importantly, I didn’t start off with great arms or great genetics overall to begin with.

So when I started training my arms measured about 11 and a half to 12 inches pumped and I weighed 125 pounds. And I was able to bring them up over the course of several decades to about 18 inches fully pumped.

Now that’s significant, because a lot of the information out there about how to train your biceps in particular comes from those who either, number one, are using steroids.

And one of the things about using drugs is that your muscles are going to grow sometimes even if you don’t workout at all.

Or from people who naturally had big arms to begin with.

Or those people whose arms really respond when they start training, which was not the case with me at all.

Natural Bodybuilder Kevin Richardson took 11 years to develop his biceps with high intensity training

You see, the key to a successful training regimen is to always find those who start off not necessarily being the biggest or the most genetically gifted, but those who were able to build impressive muscles over a period of time naturally.

Very importantly, naturally.

Natural Bodybuilder Kevin Richardson flexing his biceps

And as a lifetime natural athlete, I’m going to share with you exactly some of the very unconventional things I did to build my arms. And I’m sure it’s going to pique your interest.

So stay tuned, let’s talk a little more about this.

So in this video we’re talking about biceps training for natural bodybuilders.

What’s the best way to really grow those arms?

Amount of time Kevin Richardson takes to train his biceps

And before I go any further, I’d like to thank everyone for their continued support, especially those who say this should be a one stop place for anyone who’s training naturally without drugs or supplements. Thanks again for the support.

And do be sure to like, subscribe, and hit the bell as well, so you’re first to get the new content as it comes out.

So onto our topic, biceps training.

And these tips are applicable for the average person, not just those who naturally have fantastic looking arms.

But if you do have fantastic looking arms, I’m pretty sure that some of the things I’m going to tell you are going to give you some insight that’s going to help you make them even bigger and even more impressive.

A high level of intensity is key in developing your biceps naturally

The first tip is high intensity and low volume.

Tip #1: High Intensity Biceps Training and Low Volume

Now, the first mistake I made was working with my arms twice a week.

Natural Bodybuilder Kevin Richardson recommends high intensity and low volume training for biceps training

I did see some modest growth, but I never got to a point where I felt like I was making enough progress that I was eventually going to get to my goals.

And everyone kept on saying that you have weak arms, your arms aren’t naturally big.

And they weren’t.

My arms were kind of like noodles to begin with. And it was always this prevailing idea that if you have a weak body part then you should hit it more than once a week and try to hit it even sometimes even three times a week, which I later found out to be a huge mistake.

Weak body parts do not higher volume for optimal growth

When I started training my arms with high intensity training, I was training them so hard I could only do one exercise.

Three sets, one exercise.

That was it. (See my article: How Many Reps and Sets to Build Muscle)

There was no way my biceps were able to do anything else, because the intensity was absolutely scorching.

And the very idea of doing more sets or more exercises was ridiculous, because my arms literally could barely move after I was finished training. (And the degree of muscle soreness was extreme!)

And with that type of intensity, I was training my arms only once a week.

Natural Bodybuilder Kevin Richardson trains his biceps only once a week with high intensity workouts

And you know what? They grew.

For the past 33 years and the period of my most gains, I’ve always trained my arms only once a week, which doesn’t sound like much, but, over the years, I’ve proven it, not just on myself but all the people I have trained, as the most effective way for the average man or woman to increase their arm size and really realize their potential.

But not just the fact that my arms grew, my arms kept on growing, because I kept on also varying the exercises.

Which is tip number two. You have to vary the exercises.

Tip #2: The Importance of Exercise Variety

Exercise variety is important as muscles grow to unaccustomed stimulus

Muscles will respond to overload, yes, but they’re also responding as an adaptation to something that it’s not accustomed to.

Unaccustomed stimulus.

And so by constantly varying your exercises, while keeping the intensity very much on the high side, you make it such that you don’t have plateaus.

And plateaus are what you have to always be wary of.

Muscle growth is an adaptive response to unaccustomed stimuli at high intensity

It’s very easy to get into a groove, to get into a way of training where you feel comfortable, like you have this.

You know how many reps you’re going to do.

You know what weights you’re going to do.

That’s not a good thing, because if your body’s accustomed to a particular exercise, there’s no reason for your muscles to get bigger and stronger in order to be able to adapt.

Plateaus will happen when your body gets used to a certain exercise

And when I talk about changing exercises all the time, I always get the question, well, what about progression?

And the answer is, what about progression?

I don’t care about progression.

You will get stronger naturally, organically, if you’re training at optimal intensity and changing your exercises.

Varying your exercises is key for optimal biceps and muscle growth

And I’m not a powerlifter. I couldn’t care less how much I can curl. I couldn’t care less what the numbers are.

All I care about as a natural bodybuilder is increasing the size of my biceps.

And I think the obsession with numbers doesn’t really make that much sense in that, if you think about a powerlifter for example, they can look some really heavy weights, but their muscles don’t look the same and have the same development as a bodybuilder.

Progression doesn't have to be based on what you're lifting but based on how you look

As a bodybuilder, the numbers are, yes, important, you want to get stronger, but it’s not the be all and end all.

The be all and end all is the intensity and making sure you’re always doing what’s uncomfortable.

It’s almost completely counterintuitive.

Which leads to my next tip for getting bigger biceps, which is you cannot do perfect full range of motion repetitions all the way through your sets.

Tip #3: High Intensity Training Final Reps Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Final reps of an biceps exercise don't have to be perfect to stimulate muscle growth

It is impossible, completely impossible, to do some nice beautiful bicep curls all the way up, all the way down, nicely controlled, and think that you will ever hit your potential in terms of your arm size as a natural athlete.

It’s not going to happen.

I’m really tired of watching all the guys who are on drugs doing their nice controlled contractions and talking about full range of motion and not telling the public that, number one, they can’t train with all out intensity, because they’re probably going to rip their tendons.

Using steroids makes your tendons such that you’re more likely to get a rip and a tear and have to be very careful.

Steroid users have an increased risk of tendon ruptures compared to natural bodybuilders

And, number two, as well, they don’t have to. They don’t have to push it.

If you’re a natural athlete and you’re not training at or near your limits, you are not going to be lifting the kind of weights you need to make your arms really grow.

Yes, you will get some results from doing full range of motion repetitions and perfect reps at the

beginning and the end, but it’s going to stop.

At some point in time, you’re going to plateau.

I know there are a lot of people out there who take umbrage at the idea of it, but there’s one small problem with that.

It’s called biology and science.

This is how our bodies work.

The main science in lifting is that our bodies respond to unaccustomed stimuli

Our bodies and our muscles, like I said, again, like a broken record, respond to stimulation it’s not accustomed to.

If your first rep is exactly the same and exactly as perfect as your last rep, it means your body’s already adapted.

You’re not going to get much in the way of growth and you are not going to realize your potential.

A look at all of the upper body muscles a natural bodybuilder has to work to develop

The other important tip for a natural bodybuilder is to understand that, because we can’t magically grow our arms to 21 inches, we have to do everything possible to develop our bicep muscles as much as possible.

Tip #4: Don’t Neglect Biceps Brachialis Muscles
Do not neglect training the biceps brachialis muscles for bigger looking biceps!

That being said, the brachialis, the muscle going along the side of the arm, is an important muscle that you have to develop if you ever want to have maximum impressive arm development.

Hammer curls in every shape and form have always been the cornerstone of my arm training, because not only do they develop that particular muscle, help increase the overall size of your bicep, it also creates an extra line that gives the illusion of your arms being a lot bigger than they actually are.

Natural bodybuilder Kevin Richardson depicting bicep brachialis muscles

And the great thing about hammer curl type exercises is that you can use a lot of weight.

And don’t be afraid to go heavy on it.

And you have to really go all out.

So you have to always push it.

And as far as injury is concerned, don’t be worried too much about that.

If you’re constantly changing your exercises, you should be okay, because you’re only doing this sporadically and you’re always varying your exercises.

Natural Bodybuilder Kevin Richardson has trained hundreds of people

I’ve been training this way now for the past 33 years without any injuries whatsoever.

And I’ve also trained hundreds of people.

So trust me, high intensity does not increase your potential for injury if you’re constantly varying your exercises.

High intensity training hammer curl biceps exercises

Don’t just do hammer curls, but make sure you have hammer curls as an ongoing presence in your arm training routines.

And while this is a biceps video, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the importance of also training your triceps, as it makes up two-thirds of your upper arm mass.

Triceps make up 2/3 of your upper arm and should be trained hard as well!

So this is a lot of information to take in and I hope these tips help you with your biceps training as much as it helped me and the people I’ve worked with over the years.

Thanks again so much for tuning in. And as always, Excelsior!

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Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, Kevin Richardson’s Naturally Intense High Intensity Training have helped hundreds lose weight and transform their bodies with his 10 Minute Workouts. One of the top natural bodybuilders of his time, Kevin is also the international fitness consultant for UNICEF and one of the top personal trainers in New York City.

Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardsonhttps://www.naturallyintense.net
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net

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