Biceps are easily one of the most common muscle groups that beginners just adore to train, maybe because biceps is one of those muscle groups that everyone outside of the gym associates the most with or maybe it is just because a lot of people enjoy the classic bicep pump.
However, there are some key things that you can add to your bicep workout in order for you to have proportioned and fully developed biceps, it is also very intense, so be well prepared and hydrated.
- Standing Barbell Curls
After you have done a few warm up sets and got some blood into your biceps, it is time for the first exercise. The “mass builder” as most people like to think of it as; standing barbell curls. This is referred to as the “mass builder” amongst bodybuilders because it allows you to put a heavy load onto your muscles, Arnold Schwarzenegger found this to be one of the most effective exercises for attaining some mass on your biceps.
Pick a weight where you can get around 6-8 reps with good form, so there is no swinging with the back or hips and you are keeping your elbows locked as you lift the weight whilst squeezing your biceps.
Once you begin to fail with good form, do around 4 more reps where you can swing just a little but to get the weight up whilst keeping the majority of the load on the biceps.
Complete 3 sets with a 1 minute break in between.
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Hammer curls are a great exercise to get you some developed biceps because it works on the brachialis part, which is the side of bicep and it goes down to attach to your forearm, this is a crucial part that most people miss out when training biceps but it is extremely important as it makes your arm look fuller from a side view.
Grab a pair of dumbbells where you can perform around 8 reps where you are very close to hitting failure whilst curling the weights in each hand at the same time.
Bring your elbows slightly in front of your hips and curl the dumbbells up simultaneously for maximum time under tension.
Imagine trying to “crunch” your biceps as you lift the weight and it is vital to keep your elbows completely stationary throughout the movement. Once you reach failure whilst curling the weight up at the same time, it is time to start alternating to bang out a few more reps until you hit failure again.
3 sets with a one minute rest time.
- Preacher Curls
Whether it be a preacher curl machine or a preacher curl where it is just a pad and an E-Z bar, the principles remain the same. Preacher curls allow you to focus and completely isolate the biceps as long as you keep your elbows dug into the pads and you keep your shoulders down.
Choose a weight where you can perform a challenging 12-15 reps.
Make sure you squeeze the weight up and control the negative and feel the stretch on the way down to simulate as much growth as you can.
3 sets with a 45 second rest time.
- Rope Curls
This is another exercise to target the brachialis, also known as the long head of the bicep and you will be attaching a rope to a cable machine as it allows you to have constant tension throughout the whole range of movement.
You are going to do 4 sets in total, going up in weight and down in reps for each set.
For the first set, pick a weight where you can get a tough 15 reps, then 12, 10, 8, and 6 for the last set.
Take 45 seconds to rest in between sets.
Squeeze your bicep all the way to the top of the range of motion and control it on the way down, have your palms facing each other by holding the outside of the ropes.
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls
This exercise is really good for developing the inside part of your bicep, the part that people refer to as a “tennis ball”.
A weight suitable for you to get 8-10 reps without having to cheat is suitable.
Start with one arm and once you have completed a curl, go on to the next arm.
You count 1 rep once you’ve done both arms alternatively.
3 sets with a 1 minute rest.
- Dumbbell Concentration Curls
With dumbbells, the most important part of a concentration curl is the squeeze because some of the tension is lost on the way down, however you should still control the weight on the negative portion. This is one of those exercises that is really going to emphasise the peak of your biceps, so be sure to contract them hard.
Decide on a weight where you can get around 10-12 reps that are controlled all the way throughout the motion.
You can do these the classic way where you rest your elbow on the inside of your leg and lean over, or you can set a bench on a suitable incline level, either one will give you a great peak contraction.
Remember, don’t move those elbows and keep your shoulders from rounding forward too much.
- Standing Cable Curls
This exercise is a great one to put at the end of your bicep workout to really burn them out with lighter weight and a lot of reps.
Stand between two cable and adjust the height of them so that they are around shoulder height or slightly above, not below.
Pick a weight where you can get a moderate strain set of 15.
Bring the handle towards the top of shoulder so it looks like you’re performing a front double bicep pose.
4 sets with a 20 second rest to really blast those biceps.
Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of a the fundamentals of bicep training, give this best bicep workout a go and you will results as well and gain a crazy pump!