Bodybuilding is not only about Biceps

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Bodybuilding is not only about biceps

What is the biggest obsession among gym goers? Yes “It is biceps” the majority would answer. Biceps are visible muscles, not hidden like chest, back or hamstring and quads. Biceps are easily revealed, one just have to pull the sleeves up and there they are. They can be flexed for a show off at any given time and they are considered the symbol of strength from past days in the history. Inspite of all these qualities biceps don’t get that kind of respect when it comes to bodybuilding. Muscles like chest, legs, shoulder and back are more dominating in this game.

Bodybuilding is lot more than just well developed biceps. Often times it has been seen that people who have good improved biceps consider themselves as bodybuilders but when it comes to other major demands in bodybuilding, they quit the game and just stick to their obsession of having better biceps alone.

Bodybuilder’s viewpoint

From a bodybuilder’s perspective, biceps are important but overall symmetry is what makes them thrive. From past few years it has been observed and found in the bodybuilder’s journal that they have been putting more emphases on their back, legs and chest more than any other muscles.

Even today one can see people comparing biceps size and shape in the gym but on a bodybuilding stage, biceps are not amongst the first things observed. Majority of people witnessing a bodybuilding event doesn’t compare biceps of two athletes. The comparison is made on the observation of overall frame, muscularity, conditioning, symmetry and the “WOW” factor. Whoever have it, wins.

The most impressed and successful bodybuilders of today are those who have huge and well shaped legs along with sharp and chiseled mid section (abs). Biceps alone are not really considered in the first few rounds of comparison when all the bodybuilders are on the stage.

What does bodybuilding demands?

Bodybuilding is a very complex sport. The show, the evaluation in the posing rounds, the way they exhibit their muscles, the smile on their faces, the style they carry, the personality they excel and everything they carry to the stage (the whole body, the package) makes huge impact on the audience and judges in making decision and selecting a winner.

The 2 poses where biceps are revealed are “Front Biceps” and “Back Biceps”, but even in these two poses the other things are given more reverence, like  - The overall conditioning, muscle size, shape and size of Legs, clarity in the core, the depth of muscles, muscle separation, the hardness, tightness, attitude of a bodybuilder, posing routine, he appears comfortable or in trouble, confident or not, how nicely he holds the pose for the given time period, he shivers or not, where is he looking at, symmetry between the left and the right body parts and his behavior with other bodybuilders standing by his side.

The old school bodybuilding

So as anyone can notice by now that it is lot less about biceps and lot more about everything else. The old school bodybuilding was however different than what one can observe today. There was more emphasis on biceps but that doesn’t means they over-looked other things required to be a great champion. Even the bodybuilders of 70’s had great legs, mid section and awesome back muscles. The greatest difference was they use to hit more biceps poses on stage and the one arm biceps flex was the pose which was most love by the public. Audience then, enjoyed seeing the dramatic manner in which bodybuilders posed their big muscular arms.

Why Biceps Dominates So much

We often observe that people frequently do something manly, daring, difficult thing and scream loudly while holding a biceps pose, even when sometimes they don’t have attractive pair of biceps. As mentioned earlier, biceps are symbol or strength, courage and masculinity, they have always been and they will always be but when we look at the bodybuilding sport, the role of biceps is too low. The level at which bodybuilding has now reached is just because of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been always known for his freaky but stunning biceps. Throughout his bodybuilding career, he influenced people around the globe with his biceps. Even today one can find pictures or posters of Arnold in various gyms around the world, showing his immensely built biceps.

It was because of Arnold that everyone from the whole Hollywood movie industry was training in gym to make the biceps grow. While talking about action movies, how can someone miss the great Sylvester Stallone who brought the concept of extremely lean and ripped body but he too had a great pair of biceps which made it mandatory to have biceps no matter what your fitness goal was. Those days body without well toned biceps was considered incomplete.

Things are a bit different now. It is more about abs and chest rather than bigger arms but inspite of all this anyone can still find people going crazy for biceps. The influence is so high that some people go out of the way to make their biceps huge; they inject very dangerous, life threatening stuff into their biceps to make the muscle grow extremely larger, we can see many such examples these days on the social networking sites.


No matter what, biceps will never lose the respect they have gained over the period of so many decades, among the general population. The value of biceps in bodybuilding is quite average. The most dominating muscles in bodybuilding are legs, chest, and core, biceps falls at the lower bottom of the list. As a bodybuilder the mindset gets different with respect to the overall symmetry, the focus doesn’t revolve around one particular muscle alone but as a common gym going guy one can measure biceps and see who has got bigger guns, it surely boosts the confidence and makes a person looks manly.