3 Step Bigger Badder Biceps Workout

Joey Vaillancourt provides you with 3 badder bicep workout options that focus on 3 primary bicep building exercises.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
Barbell, Dumbbells
Male & Female

Workout Description

Arms and biceps in particular are one of the muscle groups that most people are interested in working on and for good reason. After all, a good set of bulging biceps look great with your shirt off, wearing a tighter fitting t-shirt and you could even pull off the long sleeve look given the right amount of size.

So how exactly should we train biceps to get that same size, peak and definition?

Some people may suggest working your arms every day to “specialize” on them. The problem with that is you will quickly learn that training any body part every day without allowing adequate rest and recovery will lead to overtraining and less than optimal results.

You may have heard of using lighter weights and high repetitions (30+ reps) to ‘tone and define’ the biceps. However, it is important to understand you cannot truly ‘tone and define’ any body part by simply following a set rep range. High reps does not tone a muscle or define a muscle and neither does low reps. The so called ‘defined’ look is determined by muscle mass and lower bodyfat levels.

If you want to really bring out the best in your biceps and get that muscle bulging from your shirts that impresses onlookers, you need to combine proper training to build muscle mass that includes targeted exercise selection, progressive overload, recovery and a low enough body fat percentage to allow the definition to appear fully.

The 3 Step Exercise Plan for Bigger Badder Biceps

This 3 step workout can be included in your current training plan you are already using or you can use this as a standalone workout if you prefer. The key is to only use the volume prescribed and follow the guidelines provided so that you see the best results.

Standing Barbell Bicep Curls:

The first exercise in the workout will consist of a compound movement. Although the biceps are a relatively small muscle group that does not really allow for many compound movements, the barbell bicep curl is a great exercise to recruit the most muscle fiber activation within the least amount of time that qualifies as a compound movement.

After initially warming up, jump into the exercise and perform anywhere from 8-12 reps with good form. This exercise will be responsible for hitting the biceps when they are still fresh and allow you lift your maximal weight early in the workout.

Standing Dumbell Hammer Curls:

The standing dumbbell hammer curl will allow you to work your grip as well as work your bicep muscles from a different angle that will assist in forearm development.

Developing your forearms will compliment your biceps and balance overall arm proportions. This exercise is much more effective at building bigger forearms when compared to wrist curls or other direct forearm exercises because it allows you to use a heavier weight.

1 Arm Dumbell Concentration Curl:

This exercise should be positioned as a finishing movement at the end of your bicep workout. It focuses primarily on the peak contraction of the muscle and involves the least amount of muscle recruitment but allows you to place the majority of the stress on a different part of the biceps.

Really focus on squeezing the contraction at the peak of this movement to get the full benefit of this exercise. Complete one full set on one arm, then follow up with another set on your other arm. A set is only complete once you have performed repetitions on both arms.

Another great advantage to using one arm at a time is that it helps you to identify weaknesses in your arms and it forces both arms to work without any assistance from the partner arm.

The Workout:

This workout should be completed no more than twice per week and preferably only once per week will lead to much improvement in building bigger arms.

Below are the exercise demonstrations of each exercise at their start and stop positions. Should you have any concerns regarding proper form or execution, consult with a personal trainer at your gym or another informed trainee.

Also included below are three variations on this routine that are goal and lifestyle specific. Choose the one that fits with your schedule and aligns with what you would like to accomplish.

Workout A
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Standing Barbell Curl 4 8-12 60 seconds
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl 4 8-12 60 seconds
Concentration Curl 4 8-12 60 seconds
Workout B
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Standing Barbell Curl 4 6-8 90 seconds
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl 4 6-8 90 seconds
Concentration Curl 4 6-8 90 seconds
Workout C
Workout C
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Standing Barbell Curl 4 8-10 No rest
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl 4 8-10 No rest
Concentration Curl 4 8-10 90 seconds
About The Author
I am a former skinny/out of shape guy who turned his entire life around by doing the same thing you are doing today…searching for answers to a better body.

78 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 03/01/2011 - 21:07
Hey, 1. Is there any advantages over doing workout A vs. C and etc? 2. I don't have a barbell and would like to stick with dumbbells, so can you place help me replace the standing barbell curl with free weights? 3. When should I jump up on the weights? When it becomes too easy? Thanks! -Karim
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Posted Wed, 03/09/2011 - 03:39
Karim, I use this work out as part of my 6 day building and there is no advantage to over doing the workouts infact over doing a muscle cant lead to fatigue and will just over work the muscle, if you want to increase the burn the best thing to do is do a drop set for A and B but keep c the same. To replace the Barbell i would go for either Standing Dumbbell curls 3 sets of 8 then followed by Hammer Curl 3 sets of 8 immediatly after, or you could do 3 sets of seated Preacher Curl with a drop set included in that, that would give you a overall burn and will improve the size of the muscle as well as the power. To jump up weights you can either do it two ways, one when you can complete all the sets with easy on that weight or by doing drop sets, for example find the heaviest weight you can do one rep on and work down, there is no point using to light weights and more reps it is better if you find one you get about half way through the exercise and start to feel the burn that is the best weight to start at. Any other problems i am happy to help, i hope this helps, Thanks Allan
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Posted Sun, 03/13/2011 - 22:57
When you feel that uncomfortable burn of lactic acid your actually giving your muscles microscopic tears until you hit "failure" which your body says "I am done" and your muscle group you worked feels like jello. Once you give the group 24 hours of rest they are rapidly repairing themselves, and making them larger. So in every workout you want the one that is going give you that burning sensation at your 6th to 8th rep while maintaining perfect form. With workout A and C it is personal comfort and skill; C is going to be harder than A, but A gives you a chance to pace yourself. Yes you can replace the barbell with "Dumbbell Curls" (http://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/standing-dumbbell-curl.html)which is the exact form and motion as using a barbell but obviously your holding each weight individually. Increasing the weight has a ton of variables. I personally do 10, 8, 6 reps for 3 sets and I increase the weight after I complete a set. If it is too easy or your not getting the burn you desire it would be safe to say it is time to bump it up. My routine changes once every 3 weeks to a month, by then my muscle memory is use to the heaviness and I have to crank it up. No way is a wrong way to determine time to increase weight unless it is causing you pain or you are getting sloppy by your 3rd rep.
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Posted Tue, 03/01/2011 - 21:33
Gustavo Garcia
Just got done with workout A. It gave me a nice pump. Looking at workout C, there's no rest between the sets of the first two exercises? So I would do 32-40 reps no rest?
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Posted Sat, 03/05/2011 - 12:16
You're not going to just do 32-40 reps in a row. You do a set of 8-10, put the weight down for maybe 5-10 seconds and then pick it up and do your next set.
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Posted Wed, 03/02/2011 - 23:05
I'm guessing you only do one of the three. But I'm not sure. Do I do a,b, and c? Or only one of em?
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Posted Sat, 03/05/2011 - 12:18
Yes you only do one. It would probably be best to alternate between A,B, and C each time you work biceps though. Meaning this week you do workout A. Then next week when you work biceps again you do B, the next time C, and then you come back to A.
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Posted Thu, 03/03/2011 - 03:58
use the same weight for each set?
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Posted Fri, 09/07/2012 - 12:36
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Posted Thu, 03/03/2011 - 14:08
i presume u would super set those two exercises in workout C as you are working both arms a the same time so it creates more muscle fatigue sorry for crap spelling but i think thats what it means
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Posted Sat, 03/05/2011 - 14:36
I have been doing work out A for a while now and have had awesome results! I try to go up at least 5 total pounds every set. But thats just what I do.
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Posted Sun, 03/06/2011 - 23:57
i need the routine to make muscles big&peak for arms,chest,back,tighs,calves
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Posted Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:25
is this all in one week or one workout a week
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Posted Tue, 03/08/2011 - 22:55
Yeah im 15 and in good shape I just need to know if this will work for me? I dont think once a week will be enough but what do I know?
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Posted Sun, 07/24/2011 - 20:09
Tyler H.
Well you're right and wrong on this one. At 15 your metabolism is skyrocketing and you feel like once a week isn't going to make improvements. Truth is your muscles may be healing at a fast rate and you could handle twice a week. If you do though make sure you taking in enough calories in order to supplement this extra amount of work you are doing. At 18 I made the mistake of working everyday and working certain muscle groups 2-3 times a week. This over time proved to be ineffictive. You're motivated but you also need to pace yourself or you'll do more harm than good.
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Posted Tue, 07/26/2011 - 04:25
being 15 is basically like being on steroids. You could get away with doing arms a couple of times a week
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Posted Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:54
This may be true to some people, but I'm fifteen, and a few months ago I tried working out everyday on the same muscle group and ended up getting a little weaker. In this case I was benching, and I ended up losing about five lbs. On my max for a while. I assume this is because I over worked the muscle group too much, causing it to get weaker.
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Posted Fri, 06/20/2014 - 13:23
I've been working out religiously for just about 4 years now. My arms are about 18 inches and the further along I've gone, the harder it is for me to "shock" my muscles. I have been following a routine recently where I hit arms everyday. Keep in mind that I focus on moderate weight and high volume versus a heavier weight. I've noticed that I am starting to make gains again. CT Fletcher worked out his arms everyday for 1.5 years and he boasts 22" arms. At the end of the day, we're all different and what works for some might not work for others.
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Posted Tue, 03/08/2011 - 23:41
workout a is for somewhat for definition, b is more for bulk, and c will keep the heart rate up. There will be rest for c but only to change weight or change stations. Do an amount of weight that will challenge you for each set
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Posted Wed, 03/09/2011 - 13:35
Hi, say I'm doing Shaun's 3 Day Muscle Building Split Workout. On what day should I add this? TIA, Dave
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Posted Wed, 03/09/2011 - 23:46
Aaron M
These workouts look great, but how exactly can I incorporate them with my back workout? Do them on seperate days? and how many days apart? thanks for the feedback :)
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Posted Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:02
Dustin Pegalee
1. For the standing barbell curls, how much weight do you use(on a 20 lbs. small bar)? 2. Do you have to use the same weight on each arm for the hammer curls?
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Posted Sat, 04/30/2011 - 21:59
Unless you just really want your dominant arm to remain dominant, it is best to choose the weight that you can do the max reps (for example 8) with your left arm, and use that same weight for your right.
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Posted Wed, 03/16/2011 - 02:31
"Also included below are three variations on this routine that are goal and lifestyle specific. Choose the one that fits with your schedule and aligns with what you would like to accomplish." Choose the routine that works best with your whole workout.
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Posted Fri, 03/18/2011 - 15:56
you do a,b,c once per week?
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Posted Sat, 03/19/2011 - 10:50
Sorry im kinda confused how the workout plan works. I am meant to pick one of the workout, in this case A OR B OR C, that suit me? Or I meant to perform each these workout throughout 3 weeks and repeat it again?
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Posted Mon, 03/21/2011 - 18:25
Do you do the same weight for each set or do you add more weight whilst doing the excercises?
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Posted Thu, 03/24/2011 - 15:00
so i would do work out A on monday and then do work out b next monday ? is it one workout a week??
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Posted Sat, 03/26/2011 - 00:50
is it better to do heavy weight, cuz on workout B it has 6-8 reps and i was thinking would you lift a heavier weight. or is it better to have moderate weight and high reps like on workout A or C
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Posted Sat, 03/26/2011 - 18:58
do i have to do thses 3 workouts at the Same day?
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Posted Sun, 03/27/2011 - 18:17
Ahmad Khalil
workout B is easier than the rest....do i add more wieght on workout b?
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Posted Thu, 03/31/2011 - 16:59
are you supposed to do 4 sets of Standing Barbell Curl THEN 4 sets of Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls THEN 4 sets of Concentration Curls or is meant to alternate between the three?
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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 15:46
is this workout supposed to be done by doing all 4 reps of the Standing Barbell Curl THEN 4 reps of the Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl THEN 4 reps of the Concentration Curls, OR do you alternate 123, 123, etc?
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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 16:01
How many exercises for one muscle group
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Posted Tue, 04/12/2011 - 19:18
is it unhealthy to workout at 14 years old?
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Posted Wed, 04/13/2011 - 00:58
i wanna get to need massive arms routine for biceps & triceps.
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Posted Thu, 04/21/2011 - 16:33
Hi can any one suggest me to increase the biceps height & Outer Pick only i have 20inch arm Triceps is fine but biceps is not good , i am doing 3 day workout 1day chest and biceps 2day back and triceps 3day shoulder and thigh
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Posted Tue, 04/26/2011 - 10:56
for week one do work out A week 2 work out B week 3 work out C then start over
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Posted Thu, 05/05/2011 - 14:30
are the workouts A,B and C to be done in one day or should they be split like do workout A one day and B the other. how does this work
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Posted Fri, 05/06/2011 - 14:55
Are you supposed to do 4 sets of the 1st workout then 4 of the second one then 4 of the third OR is it meant to alternate 1,2,3 (barbell, hammer, concentration) for 4 sets. Thanks
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Posted Wed, 05/25/2011 - 18:39
Holy crap, does anyone read the info or previous posts before posting? Do one of the 3 workouts on one day per week. Thats it. Anything more would be counter-productive unless you're using gear. Seems like a good routine. Thanks
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Posted Wed, 06/15/2011 - 08:46
i need to know , do we use the same waits e.g in first rep i use total 10KG. So kindly let me know that should i use the same till 4 set of each exercise.
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Posted Wed, 06/22/2011 - 06:13
hi am 18 an starting at the gym what sort of weights should i begin on thanks
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Posted Fri, 06/24/2011 - 21:53
Hi Karim, I read some of the previous comments and found you were on a 6 day workout plan. Is it possible you could expand further? Thanks
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Posted Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:58
Is it ok if i take one set off or does it ruin the workout
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Posted Sat, 07/30/2011 - 15:20
hi you are saying to do it 1 or 2 day a week but can i do it on alternate day basis means 3 days a week...? Is there any disadvantage or risk?
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 08/04/2011 - 16:08
Perform only one bicep workout per week.
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Posted Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:14
Hey steve, i been working out for a year in half and i used to be overweight i lost 68 lbs. My question is could i pick out different workouts in every muscle group and used it for 5 days. For example do High intesity chest blaster on monday the tuesday the big arm routine then wednesday leg growth workout thursday 8 week intense back workout friday the coconut shoulders workout then sat, sun cardio?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/08/2011 - 15:10
You could. In general, as long as you understand that progression of weight and a good eating plan will maximize results.
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Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 14:33
hey so all there 3 steps show be done in one day or set it one work out for day?