Review of Lee Hayward's Blast Your Biceps By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
When it comes to looking good—especially when you're talking 'beach body' good—big biceps are a huge plus. I recently saw a discussion on a bodybuilding website where a high school kid wanted to know why some guys are so focused on building big biceps. Everyone agreed that this was the best answer: 1. Girls like them; 2. They make you look stronger; and 3. Girls like them. For most guys, those are reasons enough. Unfortunately, a lot of muscle building programs don't focus much on building bigger biceps. Instead, biceps movements are almost treated as an afterthought, thrown in just to fill up blank pages.
But there is good news for those of us who are really want to focus on building big, powerful biceps. Lee Hayward—a long-time competitive bodybuilder, muscle building coach and highly sought after online fitness professional—has released his 141-page Blast Your Biceps book. This is a follow-up volume to Lee's other specialized books, Blast Your Chest and Blast Your Squats. Lee has come up with a winning strategy to provide specialized guides that focus on particular areas of the body. I especially like this concept because not everyone is going to be successful in building muscle everywhere with a generalist approach. Sometimes, to get where we want to be, certain body parts need specialized attention. Let's take a look at BYB.
In the first chapter Lee provides an overview of his background and talks about some of the problems facing those of us who weren't born with perfect genetics. His discussion of the 'spaghetti noodle arm syndrome' is highly relatable. Next, Lee launches right into the BYB program beginning in chapter two. It's interesting that the very first step of BYB is to take an entire week off from training. Lee says this is important because by giving the central nervous system a pre-program break, you're setting the stage for massive success--and bigger biceps--a few short weeks later.
The next step is to set goals and get them down on paper or on the computer--someplace you can see them every day. Writing down your goals is an important step in the process because without a specific goal in mind, you'll find yourself wandering aimlessly. Goal setting provides clarity, drive and focus. It also gives you way to measure your progress and makes you accountable.
In the third chapter, Lee discusses how to stop wasting your time at the gym and avoid 'artificial' workouts. In this section we learn that Lee is not a fan of the machines that have become so pervasive in so many gyms today. Of course I have to say I agree with him. Unless you're a genetically-perfect anomaly, you'll never get big biceps--or any other muscle--using machines. Machines rob you of strength- and muscle-building potential. To achieve the kind of results Lee promises, you need to focus on compound exercises or what he refers to as 3-dimensional training. Lee refers to this as 'blasting the biceps from all angles.'
Lee's 'secret' to building huge biceps stems from his combination of compound movements combined with regularly switching up exercises, which forces into a state of continuous adaptation. Getting trapped in routines leads to growth-killing plateaus. You don't have to worry about getting into a rut with the BYB program though because you'll never run out of routines and variations with everything he's included here.
With the foundation firmly established, Lee now gets into the actual training routines. The movements are organized into three categories: 1) mid-range power exercises; 2) fully stretched exercises; and 3) peaked contraction exercises. Squats, chins and dips are the first exercises he suggests for building big biceps. None of these are traditional bicep exercises but Lee says they're among the best movements you can do for the biceps.. These movements stress and stimulate the entire body, which means bigger gains everywhere.
In the remaining 100-plus pages Lee gets into the movements that make up the BYB program. I really like his detailed exercise descriptions and the fact that he also includes information about common mistakes to avoid throughout the book. The exercise descriptions are accompanied by photos showing the proper way to perform the movements. He also includes plenty of suggested routines for you to follow.
Overall, Lee lays out a winning program. BYB is not only thorough but realistic. It's not built on theory but his own personal experience as a bodybuilder and a strength coach. BYB is an easy read and the program is not difficult to follow. In my opinion, for building bigger biceps, Lee's BYB program can't be beat.