So you want bigger biceps, but turning your training goal into a real-life reality can be a slow and frustrating journey. That won’t be the case if you do this six-move biceps-building session. We’re not going to lie: it’s a tough session that’s going to make your biceps burn and get your heart rate high, but shocking your muscles into growth (rather than trying to coax them) can sometimes be the best strategy to burst through a plateau. Focus on form and quality reps throughout for the best very results.
How to do the workout
This is a six-move session divided into two straight-set moves followed by two supersets. Do move 1, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do move 2. Then do moves 3A and 3B as a superset, and the same again for moves 4A and 4B, to work your biceps hard.
Warm up thoroughly with some seated underhand lat pull-downs and standing EZ-bar curls. Start with a very light resistance for a high-rep set, then gradually increase the weight and reduce the reps with each subsequent warm-up set until your muscles feel fully ready for action.
Sets 4 Reps 8 Rest 60sec
Why It’s the classic biceps-building bodyweight move.
How Take an underhand grip on the bar with arms straight. With your chest up and abs braced, pull up until your chin reaches the bar. Pause, then lower back down fully.
2 Spider curl
Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec
Why A twist on preacher curls for a greater range of motion.
How Lean over a preacher bench holding an EZ-bar with a close underhand grip. Start with arms fully straight, then curl the bar up towards your chin. Pause and squeeze at the top, then lower the bar, flexing your triceps at the bottom.
These two moves look very similar, but the slight tweak of adjusting your wrist position significantly changes the emphasis on your muscles. What’s more, the second move is easier, but because you’re already starting to fatigue from the first move, more muscle fibres will be activated and broken down – and that’s what leads to rapid growth.
3A Incline dumbbell biceps curl
Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 30sec
Why The incline allows a greater movement range.
How Lie on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing forward. Raise the weights powerfully without swinging. Pause and squeeze your biceps at the top, then slowly return to the start.
3B Incline hammer curl
Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec
Why It works your biceps from a new angle and recruits the forearms.
How It’s exactly the same as 3A except your palms face each other for the duration of the set. A neutral grip makes the move slightly easier.
Cable exercises are fantastic for faster biceps development because they maintain tension on your working muscles for the duration of the set. The cable also reduces your ability to “swing” a weight up and down, where momentum does most of the work. This means that your muscle fibres must work even harder.
4A Cable bar curl
Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 30sec
Why Using a cable keeps tension on your biceps for both the lifting and lowering part of each rep.
How Stand tall in front of the stack holding a straight bar handle with an underhand grip. Raise it towards your chin, pause and squeeze, then lower it.
4B Kneeling overhead cable curl
Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 60sec
Why A rarely seen yet highly effective curl variation.
How Kneel in front of the weight stack with an underhand grip on a straight bar handle attached to the high pulley. Keeping your chest up, curl the bar back and behind your head. Squeeze your biceps at the top, then reverse the movement back to the start.