There is just something special about a nice pair of biceps. Visually, a thick set of biceps that bulge into a nicely peaked ball when flexed looks good. Muscular arms are often a sign of strength and perceived virility for men. Plus they help with all sorts of things from lifting weights to carrying heavy stuff.
Really who doesn’t want great biceps?
But there is a difference between having good biceps and great ones. Think of the biceps of an Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his prime they were long, thick, and had that great shape and wicked peak when flexed. Those arms weren’t just built from genetics; he had a specific plan that worked all aspects of the biceps.
Even though it is a small muscle, you can work the biceps with a few key exercises to accentuate the shape you want.
Bulging Biceps Workout
This routine should not be done more than twice a week. For people who work biceps on back day you might even consider doing this routine only once a week so the muscle isn’t overtrained. For each exercise the last 2 (or only 2) sets are the work sets. You should go to failure on the first work set and aim for beyond failure on the second work set.
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls or EZ Curl Reverse Curls – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Olympic Barbell Curls – 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
- Incline Alternating Dumbbell Curls – 2 sets of 6 to 10 reps
- Concentration Curls – 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps
This routine is fairly basic, but it is the exercise combination as well as execution that are critical to the overall success.
You start with a forearm and brachialis exercise, either hammer curls or reverse curls. Ideally you will alternate exercises each workout. This helps work the underlying muscles of the biceps and down the forearm.
Barbell curls should be done with an Olympic Bar and not the more popular short barbells. Usually a bigger bar requires a bit more balance and has a thicker grip which works the forearms more. A full range of motion should be used and momentum only added after failure is reached. Control the weight on the way down for maximum negatives and really work the bulk of the muscle.
The incline dumbbell curls work the length of the muscle by focusing on maximum stretch. A 30 to 45 degree angle is best so the arms are hanging down and starting at maximum stretch. Curl the arms one-at-a-time for maximum focus. Start with palms in and slowly twist the wrist on the way up to also work the roundness of the biceps. Your palms will face the shoulder at completion. Squeeze tight and then slowly lower.
Concentration curls are the finishing move to really focus on the peak. Start with a seated position and your elbow resting against your knee for support. Curl straight up without a twist in the wrist and really squeeze the peak, pushing as much blood into the bicep as possible. A slower speed will help provide additional tension.
Now you have a complete blueprint for building a great set of biceps.