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
Beginner
1
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
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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, 07/09/2013 - 16:41
Vikram Jeet Sin...

Is the above Exercise for Size or definition ....??

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Posted Tue, 10/09/2012 - 22:46
Red

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 Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:41
Kyle

Hi steve I'm 16 years old and I've been working out for quite a while my upper body is okay but I'm really getting slow results especially on my arms my biceps are small and take time to grow I work them once a week I don't know if my techniques wrong or am I doing something wrong. I just don't know. Plz help..

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Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 11:59
motarski

A: Since it's 8-12 it means, you should be struggling or feel the first burn at rep number 8 but you should be able to do 4 more. That means this workout should be done with lightest weight.
B: It's 6-8 reps, you should be struggling at rep 6, 8 should be "to failure" this means, B has bigger resistance, bigger weights.
C: Should be something in between (with the weight choice). So if your choice for Workout A was 8Kg, B should be done with 12kg, C with 10kg... imo

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Posted Thu, 04/26/2012 - 07:25
joy sen

thanks ...........................................................................................................................

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Posted Sun, 04/22/2012 - 05:15
Fabian

How often do i rest in a week??

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Posted Tue, 03/06/2012 - 12:41
Sun

Steve,

Thanks for the post and I'm going to try one of the 3 work outs you've suggested and update the results. I'm 41 years old and lacked workouts all my life due to my white collar profession; one fine day realized that I'm making a big mistake by ignoring my health and determined to change. I've joined the gym last year (PF) and am currently following this DAILY routine - 3 to 4 days a week:

1. 15 minutes on an Elliptical or treadmill - using this as 'warm-up'
2. Shoulder pull - 10 reps x 3 sets
3. Shoulder push - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
4. Seated Row pull - 8- 10 reps x 3 sets
5. Seated row push or Bench press - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
6. seated leg press - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
7. seated waist twist - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
8. ab crunch - 8-10 reps x sets
9. biceps with dumbbells (standing-alternate hand) - 8-10 reps x sets
10. Triceps push down with rope - 8-10 reps x 3 sets

I thought it's a good idea to do an all body workout - and am spending about 1.5 - 2 hours to complete the above routine. I think I'm over working out as I see no dramatic improvements to my structure. I'm a vegetarian too.

I don't want to be a bulky; big figure; but just want to stay healthy and fit with a decent shape. Can you please recommend a routine/weekly schedule that I can stick to?

Thank you

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Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 05:52
kashif

how many weeks i should do these exercise if i opted for plan A

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Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 05:51
kashif

my question is how many weeks should i do these exceises if i opt plan A

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Posted Mon, 02/20/2012 - 11:30
Jen

So I haven't read any of the above comments so I'm wondering if I should do all 3 workouts all in one day every week for 3 days? LOL, kidding ;)
This sounds good, looking forward to trying the concentration curls. Already doing hammer curls on my bicep day, but to add want more :)

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Posted Thu, 01/26/2012 - 17:37
small one

hi ill tell u guys what happens when i do all the workouts in 1 day and do it everyday.

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Posted Mon, 01/16/2012 - 17:09
cisco

how do i know how much weight to use?

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Posted Wed, 11/30/2011 - 18:07
Brayden Molina

I workout 5 days a week, right now I do:

Monday: chest and tris
Tuesday:back and bis
Wednesday: legs
Thursday: break day
Friday: back and shoulders
Saturday:bis and tris
Sunday: break day

Should I break down my workout and use the workouts on this site
And do
Monday: bis and tris
Tuesday: chest
Wednesday: back
Thursday: legs
Friday: break day
Saturday: shoulders
Sunday: cardio

Is that a good plan and once i do bis and tris once a week for 8 weeks then I could so twice a week?

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 13:19
Steven

That looks like a reasonable split.

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Posted Thu, 11/10/2011 - 21:30
bob

Im not sure...Is 12 sets too much for the biceps? Should i do some back work too with this workout or train back on a separate day?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 11/23/2011 - 13:41
Steven

You can do back work prior to biceps if you prefer. 12 sets may be too advanced for some. Never dramatically increase the volume.

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Posted Sun, 11/06/2011 - 19:49
brandan

Which of these workouts, work primarily on mass? I am already low on body fat percentage so I am looking to gain mass.

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 11/23/2011 - 13:40
Steven

All of these are muscle building workouts.

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Posted Tue, 10/18/2011 - 22:21
John C

Should I be lifting the same weight through out the exercise? Or should I be decreasing or increasing the weight??

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 10/21/2011 - 15:50
Steven

You want each set to be challenging. As a muscle fatigues, you may need to drop the weight to stay within the given rep range.

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 10/25/2011 - 09:53
Steven

As a muscle fatigues, you may need to drop the weight to stay within the given rep range.

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Posted Sun, 10/23/2011 - 11:23
John C

So I should be lifting the same weight throughout?

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Posted Fri, 10/14/2011 - 10:19
brent

why don't you list preacher curls?

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Posted Sat, 09/17/2011 - 09:08
syed

Hey Hi! this Syed, I am working out on my biceps from past few months but i have no muscularity. I have size but nt shape. can just please advise

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:16
Steven

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/building-muscle-eating-like-a...

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Posted Wed, 09/07/2011 - 23:59
John

I want to do this same day as triceps, which should I do first, biceps or triceps? Or should I alternate?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:38
Steven

Hi John,

Triceps are a slightly larger muscle group so I would do them first.

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Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 14:33
kevin

hey so all there 3 steps show be done in one day or set it one work out for day?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:35
Steven

Hi Kevin,

One workout per day.

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Posted Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:14
Santiago

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
Steven

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 Sat, 07/30/2011 - 15:20
priyank

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
Steven

Perform only one bicep workout per week.

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Posted Mon, 07/11/2011 - 18:58
Kurtis

Is it ok if i take one set off or does it ruin the workout

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Posted Fri, 06/24/2011 - 21:53
Robbie

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 Wed, 06/22/2011 - 06:13
Simon

hi am 18 an starting at the gym what sort of weights should i begin on thanks

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Posted Wed, 06/15/2011 - 08:46
Mohsin

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, 05/25/2011 - 18:39
Jerzeechris

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 Fri, 05/06/2011 - 14:55
George

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 Thu, 05/05/2011 - 14:30
TK

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 Tue, 04/26/2011 - 10:56
nick

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, 04/21/2011 - 16:33
Khan

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 Wed, 04/13/2011 - 00:58
kamran

i wanna get to need massive arms routine for biceps & triceps.

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Posted Tue, 04/12/2011 - 19:18
Jonathan

is it unhealthy to workout at 14 years old?

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 16:01
stan

How many exercises for one muscle group

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2011 - 15:46
BILL

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 Thu, 03/31/2011 - 16:59
gj

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 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 Sat, 03/26/2011 - 18:58
basir

do i have to do thses 3 workouts at the Same day?

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Posted Sat, 03/26/2011 - 00:50
Shawn

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