Don’t forget to program your curls for the girls! You’ve got to hit tris to impress the other guys, though. That’s the joke, at least.
Actually, ripped biceps impress everyone. The problem is you only have a month to do it, so is it possible? Not likely, but maybe.
Table of Contents
- What on Earth are “Ripped” Biceps?
- Step 1 – Set a SMART Goal
- Step 2 – Decide on an Exercise Frequency
- Step 3 – Choose the Right Workouts
- Step 4 – Eat Correctly
- Step 5 – Be Consistent
- How to Get Ripped Biceps in a Month Conclusion
What on Earth are “Ripped” Biceps?
Normally, when using the term “ripped,” we would reference body fat percentages. This is one of the rare times when that isn’t the case.
In terms of ripped singular muscle groups, you have a different task altogether. It’s also possible to have ripped biceps while having a higher body fat percentage.
A common concept that gets thrown around, though, is that every human displays and stores fats slightly differently, as stated in this study. So, one person can have ripped biceps but not ripped abs. The inverse is also true, though less common because humans typically store body fat around their midsection first.
All that gets brought up to say:
Ripped biceps are when you can see the muscular definition of your biceps, and they’re visible, even when you’re not flexing.
Keeping this important definition in mind, we must remember that truly ripped muscles present themselves even when you don’t have a muscular pump at the gym … but just walking around with a sleeved shirt on.
You don’t have to be ripped all over your body to have ripped biceps. But it’s quite common to be ripped all over because it typically occurs in pursuit of full-body health.
I would even recommend that you don’t look to have a single ripped body part because of one simple aspect of being a human: You can’t spot train to lose body fat.
There are numerous studies saying as much, but it’s impossible. For example, here’s a good one for you to read that sums up the fact that you can’t spot train for fat loss. Interestingly though, you can spot train to build muscle, as outlined here.
This is exactly why you can’t use the typical definition of body fat percentages when discussing specific muscle groups. You can have more body fat and bigger muscles while looking ripped in that particular body part.
Another recent article points out that you can hit a muscle before doing a full-body exercise or cardio, and it will activate at a higher temperature, literally burning more fat in that area.
So, it’s nearly impossible to get ripped biceps within the month timeline. It’s going to really depend on your starting point. But there are a few steps you can take to try and get there.
Step 1 – Set a SMART Goal
You can’t just decide one day that you will achieve a goal tomorrow. First, you need to plan out how reasonable it is.
Using the SMART goal-setting method is probably the smartest option. That could be a whole article by itself, though. In fact, the SMART method is pretty much the best thing you can do to actually have a start and end time for your goal.
SMART is an acronym to help get the most reliable and consistent goal-setting trick; SMART stands for:
S – Specific
Be very exact with your goal. Instead of it being broad like “get ripped biceps,” it’s better to make the goal something like, “increase my bicep size from 12 inches to 14 inches.”
M – Measurable
When I say measurable, I mean actual data. There’s an old saying that what gets measured gets improved. That’s what this is for.
In the instance above, the measurable aspect would be the physical circumference of the bicep. Being able to track it will help note the improvement.
A – Achievable
This is the important aspect of making your goal logically possible. The goal can’t be something impossible, like doubling the size of your biceps. It needs to be much more reasonable.
R – Relevant
When looking at relevancy, we’re really looking broadly at the goal. Why? That’s the big question — why are you going for that specific goal?
For the bicep goal, it could be because you want to improve your overall physique and want to focus on your biceps first.
The reason we do this is that you don’t want to have the goal of being able to eat a lot of food if you want to have a good physique. It’s about making sure all of your goals line up.
T – Timely
As your goal is being constructed, you need to have a set timeframe to really achieve it. This makes you more dedicated to actually performing the necessary tasks.
You won’t want to do work for a goal that’s too far off. This is why we have SMART micro-goals to track progress over time toward the larger, long-term goal.
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Step 2 – Decide on an Exercise Frequency
There’s a ton of research available on the benefits of higher frequency training in your workouts. This study here is peer-reviewed and shows that higher frequency is a huge factor in hypertrophy — muscle-building signals — for all muscle groups.
High frequency is common for those trying to really hit it hard in a short amount of time or are already at a high level of fitness. Humans are creatures of habits, so my personal recommendation is to create a habit of training.
Keeping habits in mind when you’re programming or trying to hit a goal means that you should try to create a program that has you training frequently but not destroying the muscle so much that you can’t even use it.
I’ve always liked the idea of doing the least amount of work to make the most progress. This is something I try to do in life totally, so studying for school, lifting weights, eating, working, etc.
When you’re getting a high-frequency workout plan, you don’t want to hit that muscle insanely hard because then it won’t get the highest volume possible.
Let’s say you have a bicep-only workout, but then it takes a whole week before you can train them again. This won’t be as effective as doing 1 exercise every day without fully exhausting your muscles.
One of the biggest reasons this is so valuable is because if you do 5 different bicep lifts (dumbbell curls, barbell curls, reverse curls, concentrated curls, and hammer curls, for example), then for each lift, you will do a little less of the 1RM (1-rep-max weight) for that lift than you could if you were to do it each consecutive day.
A chart might be more helpful for understanding this.
Traditional Bicep Day Workout
- Dumbbell Curls – 3×10@30lbs
- Barbell Curls – 3×10@50lbs
- Reverse Curls – 3×10@25lbs
- Concentrated Curls – 3×10@10lbs
- Hammer Curls – 3×10@20lbs
Now those are the weights you do for a single workout.
If you spread those out throughout the course of a week, you will be able to do higher weights for each lift. Your biceps won’t be blasted from the previous lifts, and you won’t have to plan to do a lighter weight to have energy for the next lift.
So it would look more like this.
- Monday: Dumbbell Curls – 3×10@35lbs
- Tuesday: Barbell Curls – 3×10@60lbs
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Reverse Curls – 3×10@35lbs
- Friday: Concentrated Curls – 3×10@20lbs
- Saturday: Hammer Curls – 3×10@35lbs
- Sunday: Rest
Now with a simple math equation of multiplying the weight by the reps and sets, you will have a higher total volume by spreading your workouts over the course of a week as opposed to doing them all in a single day.
Luckily, this holds up for every muscle group. This means your biceps will get ripped, but so will the rest of your body.
Step 3 – Choose the Right Workouts
There’s a popular social media trend that’s all over TikTok (at least the section of TikTok I’m on because nobody fully understands that algorithm), Instagram, and YouTube, where people talk about how common workouts aren’t the best workout for the muscle they are focusing on.
Some of these are really good because they point out some exercises that are a bit more dangerous than others. The perfect example would be dumbbell chest flies.
Sure, it’s an excellent workout; however, a more effective lift to do would be to just do a bench press instead, as dumbbell chest flies put a lot of strain on your shoulders.
There’s a study, on biceps no less, that describes which variation of a curl works best by tracking the muscular activation of the biceps brachii and brachioradialis.
The results don’t really matter for the sake of this point, but it does prove that some variations of a lift are scientifically better than others.
The Difference a Goal Makes
I like to say that some workouts are more effective depending on your goal. If your goal is to chest fly a lot of weight, then doing bench press will help some, but it won’t help as much as getting better at chest flies.
This is where a mind-muscle connection might be the most critical aspect. If you know which muscle the variation you are trying to do is primarily trying to target, then you can focus on contracting that specific muscle to activate it the most.
When your goal is to target your biceps, a bicep-focused curl is going to be a lot more effective than doing an underhand grip barbell row. Even though both exercises will work the biceps.
Now, to apply this to the specific goal of getting ripped biceps in a month (which I need to reiterate is pretty much impossible but will vary based on the individual), you should make sure you do specific exercises that are designed to primarily target your biceps.
If we couple this concept with the previous concept of higher frequency, then an insanely powerful workout program can be created.
What’s frustrating for you, dear reader is that I can’t give a specific workout routine that will be just as effective for everyone as for everyone else.
Instead, I will tell you the best option is to do a lift test.
How to Do a Test Lift
The first option for this is to find a lab (or a college) and offer your body as a test subject to find out which lift activates the most muscle. But that is a bit unrealistic and can be extremely intimidating, so here’s a more realistic option.
Do a lift test at a gym by yourself; here’s how:
- Go to a gym.
- Test popular bicep-focused lifts to ensure you have the form down.
- See which lifts you physically feel the most activation with.
- Write those down.
- Put those into your high-frequency workout routine.
Lift test done to find the best exercise.
Another option is to use the lifts I described earlier, as they are all great at focusing on the biceps. Or, if you’re more of a nerd like me, research studies to find which exercises activate the most muscles, generally speaking, and do those.
Step 4 – Eat Correctly
This pretty much always comes up when it comes to any sort of health or fitness aspect, and people always hate it. Your nutrition is extremely important for any sort of health or muscle growth, especially if you want to be ripped.
I’ve written a few articles on Noob Gains about the importance of food choices for health, but it can also be found in actual studies and common sense.
Now, the best option is to always have a medical professional help you with all things related to health. Go to a personal trainer for exercise help and a dietician or nutritionist for food help.
If you get a dietician or nutritionist that is also a chef that can give you delicious recipes, then more power to you.
The broadest fitness advice is: If you are not as ripped as you want to be, then eat less and move more. If you want to be larger, then eat more.
To make it a bit more specific, you should have a high-protein diet to make sure your muscles are properly fueled to increase in size. Protein is possibly the easiest nutrient to add to your diet. All you need to do is eat more meat or nuts or supplement with protein shakes or protein bars.
Shoot, many people will mix protein powder with their coffee like a powdered creamer to get some flavoring and protein. Two birds with one stone.
A more detailed option for food would be to calculate your TDEE with a TDEE calculator and use the rough estimates for general humans you can find online. Then plan your meals to hit the appropriate macros.
Step 5 – Be Consistent
This is not really a step, but more just general advice. When it comes to anything in life, the only way to really see improvement is to be consistent.
If you have a workout plan, stick to it. If you have a meal plan, stick to it.
Consistency is absolutely key to being successful in life. I don’t want to get crazy philosophical here, but I do love the conceptual crossover — when it comes to health and fitness — to life, in general.
There are some people that are naturally just strong or just naturally have a good muscular definition, but the most important thing is to maintain consistency in the gym. Even someone with insane genetics will look bad or perform poorly if they never practice.
Practice is what makes you better at a thing. Consistent practice is what breeds the highest level of success.
Stephen King isn’t the highest-grossing author because he wrote one good book. Stephen King is the highest-grossing author because he writes every day and is able to write a bunch of books because of it.
Muscle is hard to build but easy to lose. In the same way, a bridge can’t be built in a day but can be knocked down in a matter of seconds; your body is the same.
The discipline required to be healthy and fit is something to be admired and requires consistency.
How to Get Ripped Biceps in a Month Conclusion
When it comes down to it, it’s nearly impossible to truly get ripped biceps in a month. Setting such strict and short time frames isn’t very beneficial to long-term health.
However, the specific steps to getting ripped biceps are to:
- Set a smart goal
- Decide on an exercise frequency
- Choose the right workouts
- Eat correctly
- Be consistent
If you follow these steps, then you will for sure get ripped. It will most likely take longer than a month, depending on where you start, but it will definitely start you on the right path to get there.
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