Overtraining your biceps is a very easy to achieve, and a high percentage of bodybuilders are doing this every week. The biggest culprits of the misinformation that causes overtraining are body building magazines, and poor advice given out in gyms. You're about to learn how easy it is to overtrain, and what you can do about it to get the gains you're after, and avoid reversing your progress.
Bodybuilding magazines are purchased by millions of fitness fanatics every week who are looking for the next workout that is going to cause their muscles to grow more than the last workout routine they tried from the same magazine. Ninety nine percent of the time the readers of these magazines will experience the same results. The problem is the workout will just be the same, but the exercises will be in a different order. These workouts usually consist of about 20 sets for biceps training.
Your biceps are small muscles compared to your back or your thighs, and even they don't need 20 sets between them. Also, to perform 20 sets using proper form, and having a proper rest period between each set would take over an hour. By the time you would have finished your bicep workout you're efforts will be causing your progress to go backwards.
As you train over a period of time a stress hormone is produced in your body called Cortisol. This hormone will begin to breakdown your muscles, and as you train for longer periods this hormone increases so it can cause your muscles to get smaller instead of bigger. Shorter workouts are much more beneficial for your success in stimulating growth, and an hour is what you need to do at the most.
This hour of training will include training more than just your biceps so it's still too much training to try and crank out 20 sets in the shortest time possible.
When you train other parts of your body, for example, your back, you will be stimulating your biceps with the pulling exercises that you use such as chin ups and lateral pull-downs. This will already have given your biceps a small workout so if you follow a back routine that you are using from a magazine this will probably be around 20 to 25 sets of back exercises. Doing this with your bicep workout will give your biceps more than 40 sets of training.
If you are training your back on the same day as your biceps you'll be in the gym for about two hours. Two hours will almost definitely cause your muscles to get smaller, and you'll be lucky if you can get your biceps to fully recover after a week of rest.
After a back workout your biceps will only need about 4 sets of exercises to stimulate the kind of growth you're after. When it comes to building quality muscle sometimes less is more.
Remember though, your muscles won't grow if you don't allow proper rest between workouts, and you eat the right diet that will provide your muscle with the correct balance of protein, carbs and fat they need.