I never met a fellow gym-rat that does not enjoy training biceps. And, it is quite understandable why.
Few body parts pump up as easily and intensely as the biceps do - and the feeling of all that blood flowing through the arms is nothing less than magical.
The truth is, the biceps are, in a way, the “king of muscles.”
Even the general public, who may know nothing about the sport of bodybuilding, are always impressed when they see a big set of guns, especially when that long, pipe-like, vein is running straight through it (shoulder to wrist).
Additionally, when a random citizen asks a “swole” guy to “make a muscle,” it only means one thing - flex those biceps!
The Biceps Revolution
Since the 70’s we have seen some incredible sets of biceps created, and displayed in gyms, onstage, and within the pages of all the muscle magazines. Men like Larry Scott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Robby Robinson, Albert Beckles, Lee Priest, Ronnie Coleman, Roelly Winklaar and Phil Heath quickly come to mind when I think of some of the best ever built.
And while each of these men have vastly different (biceps) shapes, and are of varying heights, the one thing they all have in common is the dedication, discipline and work ethic it takes to push toward their genetic potential. In addition, each of them was able to discover the precise type of training program, exercises and techniques that were best able to ignite their own hypertrophy to the highest levels.
But herein lies the problem…the men I just mentioned, along with many other of the elite bodybuilders on this planet, are all genetic superiors.
Simply put, they build muscle - biceps and all - far more easily and rapidly than 99% of the rest of us average Joe’s. Thus, it is vital that we not only train just as hard, or even harder, than most of the pros, but perhaps also, just a bit “smarter.” This means paying closer attention to such things as strict/precise form, proper training volume, time under tension, and variation in the stimuli.
However, you are in luck my fellow Muscle & Strength readers, as I have used my 30 years experience as a bodybuilder/prep coach to put together a protocol for helping anyone build bigger biceps. The following is a 4-week blitz program, complete with exercises (some a bit unique), sets, reps, tempos and techniques that will help you quickly push your biceps to new heights. Let’s do this!
Workout 1: Eccentric Explosion Workout
|Rotated Incline Dumbbell Curl||4/1/1||3||6-8|
|Standing Barbell Curl||4/1/1||3||6-8|
|Barbell Preacher Curl||4/1/1||2||6-8|
|Low Cable Reverse Curl||4/1/1||2||6-8|
Workout 2: Concentric Killer Workout
|Wrist Down Barbell Curl||2/1/4||3||8-10|
|Machine Preacher Curl||2/1/4||3||8-10|
|Standing Dumbbell Curl||2/1/4||2||8-10|
|Seated Hammer Grip Concentration Curl||2/1/4||2||8-10|
Workout 3: Contraction Crusher Workout
|Lat Pull Down Curl||2/0/1/4||3||10-12|
|High Pulley Bicep Curl||2/0/1/4||3||10-12|
|90 Degree Side Barbell Preacher Curl||2/0/1/4||2||10-12|
|Low Cable Rope Hammer Curl||2/0/1/4||2||10-12|
Week 4: Combined Combustion Workout
|Standing Barbell Curl||4/1/1||3||12-15|
|Lying Low Cable Curl||2/0/1/4||3||12-15|
|Single Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl||2/1/4||2||12-15|
|Seated Reverse Barbell Curl||2/0/1||2||21-25|
Rotated Incline DB Curl
What is Unique: You will perform this exercise with hands/wrist rotated outward (as far as shoulders will allow comfortably).
How To: Sit on an incline bench set to between 60 and 70 degrees. Grab a pair of moderately weighted DB’s and lie back on the bench. Rotate your hands/wrists outward and allow your arms to fully straighten. Curl the DB’s until the biceps are fully contracted. Hold the squeeze for one second before slowly lowering back to the bottom. Make sure the arms are again fully straightened before beginning the next rep.
Wrists Down Standing BB Curl
What is Unique: Perform with wrists cocked downward (like the stretch position of a seated BB wrist curl) throughout the set.
How To: Grab a BB that is approximately 2/3 as heavy as you normally utilize to perform this movement. Take a shoulder width grip, stand straight, and keep your elbows tightly locked into your sides. Without using any body English, swinging, or momentum, curl the bar until your biceps are fully contracted. Keeping the wrists in the same position as on the ascent, slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Lat Pulldown Curl
What is Unique: Performing a curl with the elbows up by the ears, while bringing the bar back behind the head, rather than toward the shoulders.
How To: Begin by attaching a short straight bar to the pulley at a lat pulldown machine. Sit on the bench and secure your legs under the pads. Grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip and make sure the arms are completely straight before commencing each rep. Keep your torso relatively upright (leaning back slightly is ok) as you curl the bar down and back behind the head.
Reverse BB Curl
What is Unique: Rather than standing, perform the movement seated to incorporate constant tension.
How To: Sit on a bench that has an adjustable incline and set it to about 80 degrees. Take a shoulder width, palms down grip (note: you can vary grip widths to stimulate varying groups of motor unit pools) on a straight BB, holding it just above the tops of your thighs. Curl until the tops of the forearms contact the bis, so as to effectively activate the brachioradialis, brachialis and the biceps brachii. Never allow the BB to rest on your thighs until the set is complete.
So there you have it – a 4 week “smart bombing” biceps blitz program that will give you skin splitting pumps, deep muscle soreness, crazy growth, and an impending need to cut the sleeves off most of your shirts!