Building mass for the biceps take a lot of hard work – but it doesn’t take all that much thought. Eat a lot of food, employ a whole lot of heavy lifting with barbell and dumbbell curls, and watch the growth occur. It’s not rocket science. Walk into any gym and challenge a group of members to a spelling bee or math contest, and you may notice the bigger they are, the dumber they often are! Obviously this is a silly and unfair example, but it illustrates the point that building size doesn’t take that much thought.
Q: Is there such a thing as training for definition? Is there a way for me to continue adding muscle mass while leaning out to have more definition? (BTW, I've already lost 9 pounds in the last 2 weeks by dropping my carbs and doing zero cardio. I'm 41 if that makes a difference, and I take in 300 grams of protein a day, but under 100 grams of carbs and about 60 grams of fat) Am I making a mistake?
Many bodybuilders are trapped under the assumption that you have to either train for mass, or you have to train for definition. They will split their training year into these two sections. During the “mass at all costs” phase, they will pig out and sleep all the time. They will spend nine months doing nothing but mass movement for their body parts. They’ll keep the weight very heavy and the repetitions very low. This will lead to large, bulky muscles without a lot of shape.
The back is a tricky muscle group. With body parts such as chest, shoulders, or thighs, a wide variety of repetition ranges is essential for stimulating growth throughout all the muscle fibers. While it is true that the back does contain its fair share of slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers which are indeed stimulated through different repetition ranges, much of the actual definition seen in the back, such as the desired “Christmas Tree” effect in the lower back, is attributed to low body fat and water deprivation. When it comes to training the back for mass as well as shape, heavy compound movements are the way to go.
Have you ever watched a training DVD from a professional bodybuilder? You start with waking up with them in the morning, and watching them sluggishly eat a bowl of egg whites in front of the television. They hop into a very nice (and usually leased) sports car or Humvee and travel to the gym, where they attempt personal bests on many lifts to impress the thousands of fans who will be watching the DVD at a later date.