Typical Results From Biceps Workouts

Typical Results From Biceps Workouts

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Including biceps during a workout promotes increases in strength and muscle size.

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Exercises that target the biceps are an important component of any workout program. However, knowing what to expect from bicep exercise can sometimes be a challenge. When you include bicep exercises in your workout routine, you should see increases in bicep strength and larger muscle size. Delayed onset muscle soreness and generalized weight loss are also typical results for those who exercise their biceps on a regular basis.

Strength Gains

Increases in strength in the biceps muscle is one of the most typical results expected from biceps workouts, says the American College of Sports Medicine. A number of factors contribute to this strength gain -- including increases in muscle fiber recruitment, improved coordination and faster coding rates, according to Strength and Conditioning Research. Lengthening of the fascicles may also lead to substantial strength gains, states a 2003 study published in "Medicine and Science in Sport Science." Remember that increases in biceps strength are also affected by the range of motion and speed at which the resistance training occurs.

Larger Muscle Size

Targeting biceps during a workout results in larger muscle size. Traditionally, enlarging of the muscles happens as a result of increases in muscle mass and cross-sectional area, reports researchers from the University of New Mexico. When muscle cells are injured -- which occurs during resistance training -- the body reacts by stimulating the production and deposition of a unique type of muscle cell called satellite cells. As these cells attach to existing muscle fiber, they promote increases in the number and size of existing contractile proteins, leading to significant gains in muscle size. While this physical process is true of all workouts, targeting the biceps is often more quickly apparent due to their location at the front of the arm.

Growing Pains

When targeting your biceps during exercise sessions -- especially resistance training sessions -- you will likely experience delayed onset muscle soreness in the biceps region. DOMS occurs as a result of damage to the muscle fibers targeted during a workout. In most cases, you will begin to experience DOMS within 12 to 24 hours of engaging in resistance training exercises that target the biceps. Most of the pain associated with DOMS will alleviate within 72 hours post-exercise. To manage DOMS in the biceps region, perform stretches that target this muscle group, such as the seated bent-knee biceps stretch or holding a doorway with your arm down by your hip and pressing forward. DOMS may relieve more quickly in the biceps because of the activity they experience in your everyday activity.

Weight Loss

With time, biceps workouts can also contribute to weight loss, notes ACSM, especially when the workouts are part of an overall exercise and healthy eating plan. This weight loss occurs as a result of increases in muscle mass -- which burn calories even when at rest. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that if you increase your muscle mass, you also stimulate an increase in metabolism. The result will become a noticeable decrease in body weight over time if your calorie intake remains the same. As it's not possible to specifically target weight loss, with regular biceps workouts, the lean muscle will reveal as your body loses fat overall.