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  • The Best Workout for Bigger, Stronger Biceps

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    In our last blog about biceps, we cleared up myths and misconceptions about training for big arms, so now we can talk about what you should do to get bulging biceps. (If you haven’t read the previous blog, go back and read that!)

    Here are a few things to keep in mind before diving into your bicep workout:

    1. Don't swing your arms! Any movement aside from your biceps that your body creates will take away from your biceps. Your elbows and shoulders shouldn’t be moving back and forth. If you can't curl the weight without breaking form, drop the weight.
    1. Don't fully extend your arms. On the eccentric movement (when the muscles is lengthening, or when the weight is being lowered), do not fully extend your arm. This will disengage your bicep, thus giving your arms a tiny bit of rest and will stress your forearms more in order to re-engage your biceps. Instead, when you're dropping your arms or weights, keep a slight bend in the elbows. This will help keep the bicep muscles engaged throughout the exercise.
    1. Squeeze your muscles. As silly as this sounds, when doing bicep curls, make sure you’re squeezing the muscles during every rep. Don't focus on getting the weights up to shoulder height, rather, keep your elbows right by your rib cage and squeeze your biceps as much as you can on every rep. Sliding your elbow forward from your rib cage will decrease the stress on your biceps and reduce potential for results.Best Exercises for Bigger Biceps - Bodybuilder doing a dumbbell bicep curl

     

    Build Bigger Biceps Workout

    Okay, time to dive into your bicep-busting, 5-exercise workout. Our total number for the bicep workout is around 20 sets.

    Warm-Up: Start with doing curls on a cable machine to warm-up your biceps up with light to moderate weight. 1-2 sets of about 15 reps a piece will do.

    Working Sets:

    • Start your workout with a heavy duty bicep This way you'll get the most out of your arms when they are fresh.
    • You'll then transition to a less dense exercise but will still use heavier weights since the rep range will be between 6 and 8 reps.
    • As your rep range increases in the following exercises, ensure your weight is adjusted accordingly. Then finish with a one burnout set using a lighter weight.

     

    Exercise 1 – Superset: Dumbbell (DB) Curls to Dumbbell Hammer Curls (Back-to-back without resting)Alternate arm standing bicep curls exercise

    Alternate arm standing dumbbell hammer curl exercise

    Instructions:

    • Increase weight for DB Curls every set
    • Maintain weight for DB Hammer Curls 
    • Alternate arms each rep rather than curl both arms at the same time
    • 4-5 sets
    • Rest 60-90 sec between sets

    Set 1: DB Curls 16 reps (8 total on each arm); DB Hammer Curls 12 reps

    Set 2: DB Curls 14 reps (7 total on each arm); DB Hammer Curls 12 reps

    Set 3: DB Curls 12 reps (6 total on each arm); DB Hammer Curls 12 reps

    Set 4: DB Curls 10 reps (5 total on each arm); DB Hammer Curls 12 reps for set 4

    Set 5 (optional): DB Curls 8 reps (4 total on each arm); DB Hammer Curls 12 reps for set 5 

     

    Exercise 2: Barbell Curls (EZ Bar)

    Standing bicep curl with EZ Bar exercise

    Instructions:

    • 6-8 reps (Maintain 8 reps throughout all sets if possible. Otherwise, drop to 6 reps per set)
    • 4-5 sets
    • Rest 60-90 sec

     

    Exercise 3: Incline DB Curls

    Incline dumbbell curl exercise

    Instructions:

    • 8-10 reps (Maintain 10 reps throughout all sets if possible. Otherwise, drop to 8 reps per set)
    • 4-5 sets
    • Rest 60 sec

     

    Exercise 4: Overhead Cable Curls

    Standing overhead cable bicep curl exercise

    Instructions:

    • 8-10 reps (Maintain 20 reps throughout all sets if possible. Otherwise, drop to 8 reps per set)
    • 4-5 sets
    • Rest 60 sec

     

    Exercise 5: Standing DB Curls (Burnout)

    Standing dumbbell bicep curl exercise

    Instructions:

    • 1 set
    • As many reps as possible without stopping
    • Curl with both arms simultaneously



    Peter Han

    NASM-CES, NESTA-CPT, is a private personal trainer in Valencia, CA. He has 12 years of experience in personal training and corporate gym management.



    What do you think?