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Can I Gain an Inch of Muscle on My Biceps Every Week?

author image Keith Strange
Keith Strange spent more than a decade as a staff writer for newspapers in the southeastern United States, winning numerous awards for his work. He has a B.S. in wellness/sports medicine from Averett University and completed graduate work in exercise physiology. Strange is a former competitive martial artist and holds a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do.
Can I Gain an Inch of Muscle on My Biceps Every Week?
Choose heavier weights. Photo Credit: Jozsef Istvan Paul/iStock/Getty Images

Muscle growth occurs as a result of microscopic trauma to muscle fibers, which heal themselves back bigger and stronger than they were before the trauma. Through weightlifting exercises you may be able to put an inch of muscle on your biceps in a week, and maybe even another inch in two weeks, but soon your body will plateau and you won't see that kind of growth every week. Develop a plan to maximize your workout to deliver those “guns” you’ve always wanted.

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Biceps Exercises

To gain muscle on your biceps, focus on performing biceps curls -- such as hammer curls, preacher curls and cable curls. These exercises focus on your biceps to help create that microscopic trauma that builds bigger muscles. Pushups and dips also help build your biceps muscles. With each set of exercises, work your biceps to the point of exhaustion.

Maximize the Weight

The amount of weight you lift impacts how fast you gain muscle. If you’re lifting a 35-pound dumbbell when performing biceps curls, and you can do eight to 12 repetitions before failure, try to lift a 45-pound dumbbell for four to six repetitions. The key to building muscle fast is to lift a weight heavy enough that you can perform only a few repetitions before your muscles become exhausted. This level of exercise causes trauma to your biceps muscles, helping them heal bigger and stronger.

Cut Back Aerobics

If your goal is to build muscle rather than lose fat, cut back on your cardiovascular training and focus your efforts on lifting heavy weight. When you’re performing high-intensity aerobic exercise, your body focuses on providing the energy necessary for your workout and might break down muscle for energy.

Eat Right

When you are building muscle, you increase your need for calories. According to Columbia Health, a 180-pound weight lifter burns approximately 500 calories during an hour-long workout. You must eat an additional 500 calories or you will lose weight. Growing muscles also need calories. Columbia Health recommends eating an additional 500 calories per day to gain one pound of muscle mass. Consume high-quality protein and carbohydrates to fuel your body and provide the nutrients necessary to build lean body mass. Broiled chicken, lean meat, peanut butter, eggs and tuna all supply your body with protein without large amounts of fat. Consume whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates to provide energy to your muscles.

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