Building Better Biceps – Gain Muscle and Tone Up Your Arms


Building big muscular biceps is achieved when you combine several key exercises to overload the muscle and ignite growth. The biceps are made up of 2 heads and you want to ensure even symmetry and growth of both the inner and outer heads of this muscle group in order to get a nice full peak of the biceps.

Variations of training techniques like “super-setting”, “tri-setting”, alternating with high and low sets along with using different repetition schemes with heavy and light loads will help confuse the muscle and spur growth in your arms. By using dumbbells you will be able to allow each arm to work independently whereas barbell exercises have a tendency to allow your stronger arm to assist the weaker arm which can lead to symmetry issues. Combining both of these styles of training is highly suggested. Add a clean diet and  solid cardio program on top of your arm training and you will be able to drop your body fat levels low enough to get those tree branch veins to pop out in your biceps and really show off your ripped arms!

I recommend starting week #1 with 3 straight sets of 12 reps, hitting the biceps twice per week with 3-4 exercises per session. For week #2 you will change to 4 sets of 12 reps, and for week #3 you will increase the weight and do pyramid sets of with reps of 15, 12, 10, 8, and 6. For week #4 you will use super-sets and tri-sets (2 and 3 exercises back-to-back).

Workout Week #1

Workout Week #2

Workout Week #3

Workout Week #4

This type of training will fatigue your forearms and you may need to rest up to 3 minutes between some of the workouts in week #4 since they contain super-sets and tri-sets. When doing alternating and incline dumbbell curls you will want to turn the pinkie inwards on the way up and release it on the way down. This will help focus the contraction on the 2nd head of the biceps for a fuller shape to your arms.

Allowing the negative portion of the exercise (down phase) to go slower than the contraction (up phase) will also enhance muscle growth. Although chinups do target the back muscles as well as the biceps, they mainly target the biceps as the primary muscle group involved. Chinups are more of a compound movement because of the help that comes with your back assisting in the exercise which makes it an outstanding exercise for building strength and size in your upper body. Most of the other exercise choices are isolated movements used by the biceps with no help from stabilizer muscles. I include forearm exercises simply because you cannot train a muscle without conditioning other muscles that help along the way. Forearms take a huge brunt of the work when you train biceps and in many cases it may hinder your ability to increase the weight lifted due to a “super pump” effect where you feel you can no longer move. This is not due to the biceps fatiguing but mainly due to the forearms being pumped up so much with blood which makes the muscle super tight along with being fatigued and weak from training. Keeping your forearms well-trained and strong will help when doing bicep workouts.

A few weeks on this program and you should start seeing solid growth in your biceps. Make sure to focus on your diet which is critical to any muscle building program. It’s critical to eat an adequate number of calories per day consisting of nutrient dense foods that contain high protein, clean carbs and healthy fats which will help support your hard training and allow your biceps to fully recover and grow!

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About Author

Linda Cusmano

Linda is a national level fitness and figure pro who dabbles in bodybuilding competitions, obstacle and strength challenges along with fitness model competitions. She is a triple certified elite personal trainer and the owner of Body Rush Personal Training. See my profile page for more information!

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