5 Effective Biceps Workout Routines: Beginner To Advanced

Max Riley
Written By: Max Riley
February 8th, 2013
Updated: November 15th, 2017
Categories: Workouts Bicep Workouts
621.9K Reads
5 Intense & Effective Biceps Workout Routines
These 5 workouts take you from inexperienced beginner to intermediate levels, and focus on the addition of volume, intensity and advanced training techniques.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

The following 5 biceps workout routines are provided as examples of how to build volume and intensity over time. Beginners start basic, with low volume and a focus on progression. More advanced lifters who have already built quite a bit of strength will utilize more sets, and techniques such as rest pause training and slow negatives to assist with advancing the muscle building process.

Beginner Bicep Workout Routine

  • Frequency - 2 workouts per week, with at least 2 rest days between workouts.
  • Duration - 3 to 4+ months.
  • Focus - Improve exercise form, build stabilizer strength and progress in weight when possible.
  • Approach - Low volume and strength building in the muscle building rep ranges of 10-12 reps per set.
  • Remember - Beginners do not need volume or advanced training techniques to build muscle. They have muscles that are ready and willing to grow as long as they are challenged. ┬áResist the urge to add volume just yet.
  • Back Training - Make sure to include rows and pullups (or lat pull downs) as back work. These lifts will also help you build bigger biceps.

Notes: Do not train to failure on any set. Stop each set when your exercise form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set.

Beginner Bicep Workout Routine
Workout One
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
EZ Bar Curls 3 10-12 2 min
Workout Two
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Standing Dumbbell Curls 3 10-12 2 min

Experienced Beginner Bicep Workout Routine

  • Frequency - 2 workouts per week, with at least 2 rest days between workouts.
  • Duration - 3 to 4+ months.
  • Focus - Build strength and learn more about how body handles additional training volume.
  • Approach - Moderately low volume and strength building in the muscle building rep ranges of 8-12 reps per set.
  • Remember - You are still building muscle at a rapid rate. ┬áResist the urge to add volume just yet, remembering that the biceps are a relatively small muscle group and might be growing faster than you realize.
  • Back Training - Make sure to include rows and pullups (or lat pull downs) as back work. These lifts will also help you build bigger biceps.

Notes: Do not train to failure on any set. Stop each set when your exercise form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set.

Experienced Beginner Bicep Workout Routine
Workout One
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell Curls 2-3 8-12 2 min
Hammer Curls 2-3 8-12 2 min
Workout Two
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Preacher Curls 2-3 8-12 2 min
Cable Curls 2-3 8-12 2 min

Early Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine

  • Frequency - 1 workout per week, with at least 5 rest days before your next bicep workouts.
  • Duration - 6+ months.
  • Focus - Add more volume and intensity and continue to learn more about how the body handles additional training volume and greater demands.
  • Approach - Moderate volume and strength building in a variety of rep ranges.
  • Back Training - Make sure to include rows and pullups (or lat pull downs) as back work. These lifts will also help you build bigger biceps.

Notes: Do not train to failure on any set. Stop each set when your exercise form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set.

Early Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine
Workout One
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell Curls 3-4 6-8 2 min
Seated Dumbbell Curls 3-4 8-12 2 min
Workout Two
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
EZ Bar Curls 3-4 10-12 2 min
Concentration Curls 2 20 2 min

Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine

  • Frequency - 1 workout per week, with at least 5 rest days before your next bicep workouts.
  • Duration - 6+ months.
  • Focus - Add slightly more volume and intensity and continue to learn more about how the body handles additional training volume and greater demands.
  • Approach - Moderately high volume in a variety of rep ranges beginning experimentation using advanced training techniques.
  • Back Training - Make sure to include rows and pullups (or lat pull downs) as back work. These lifts will also help you build bigger biceps.
  • Rest Pause Sets - Use the same weight for all sets. Find a weight that allows you to perform 8-10 reps for the first set. Rest only 20 seconds between sets.
  • Drop Sets - Perform a set, then immediately perform 3 drop sets using progressively lighter dumbbells. After 2 minutes, repeat this process a second time.

Notes: Do not train to failure on any set. Stop each set when your exercise form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set.

Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine
Workout
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell Curls 4 6-8 2 min
Seated Dumbbell Curls 4 8-12 2 min
EZ Bar Curls 5 8-10 20 sec rest pause
Hammer Curls 2 + drop sets 6-10 2 min
Concentration Curls 2 20 1 min

Experienced Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine

  • Frequency - 1 workout per week, with at least 5 rest days before your next bicep workouts.
  • Duration - 12+ months.
  • Focus - Mixing volume, intensity and advanced training techniques. Progression will be difficult, but a lifter should strive to gain strength when possible.
  • Back Training - Make sure to include rows and pullups (or lat pull downs) as back work. These lifts will also help you build bigger biceps.
  • Rest Pause Sets - Use the same weight for all sets. Find a weight that allows you to perform 8-10 reps for the first set. Rest only 20 seconds between sets.
  • Slow Negatives - Perform reps normally, but take 5 seconds after each rep to lower the weight back to its starting position.

Notes: Do not train to failure on any set. Stop each set when your exercise form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set.

Experienced Intermediate Bicep Workout Routine
Workout One
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell Curls 4 6-8 2 min
Seated Dumbbell Curls 4 8-12 2 min
Straight Bar Cable Curls 7 8-10 20 sec rest pause
Preacher Dumbbell Curls 2 10 - slow negatives 2 min
Concentration Curls 3 20 1 min
18 Comments
Marcel
Posted on: Mon, 09/10/2018 - 02:33

How do you do rest pause on intermediate workout?(ez bar curls) You do 8 reps then 20 sec rest then again or ?

V4i
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2018 - 03:07

Beginner, intermediate, how to know which group do i fall in?

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2018 - 09:04

Hi V4i,

General rule of thumb for experience level on this site:

<1 year of training - Beginner
1-3 years of training - Intermediate
>3 years of training - Advanced

Hope this helps!

Aaron
Posted on: Mon, 06/13/2016 - 12:58

"Do not train to failure on any set...Always do as many reps as possible per set. Never waste a set."

This makes no sense.

Sylvia
Posted on: Sun, 08/28/2016 - 14:11

I was wondering the same thing...

Alex Sean
Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2016 - 12:21

Thanks :) Max Riley for this helpful exercises, this may can help me to start building my bicep.
http://bicepdumbbellexercises.blogspot.com

Pe Langen
Posted on: Sun, 09/27/2015 - 13:28

Can I just leave here a message?

Tony Kenyon
Posted on: Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:13

Can I have a BCAA drink during this workout?

george adams
Posted on: Wed, 10/08/2014 - 18:01

Can I increase muscle mass?

workoutseek.com
Posted on: Wed, 10/08/2014 - 18:00

Can I increse muscle mass by this workouts?

Sheikh Mudasir
Posted on: Tue, 07/16/2013 - 14:28

How and what diet should be taken after workout

pranay
Posted on: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 10:24

hey!!! i think i am stuck with a plateau...pls guide me some breaking exercise for specially triceps and biceps..

r kalra
Posted on: Sun, 03/03/2013 - 11:01

workout one n workout two -it mean first week we have to do workout one n next week workout two , am i right ? please clear it

les lawson
Posted on: Fri, 08/23/2013 - 11:16

I have the same question?

Moar
Posted on: Fri, 02/22/2013 - 15:23

very good routine for bicep ,

Lovatic
Posted on: Thu, 02/14/2013 - 02:25

I just wanna ask what should I eat after a workout to help growing muscles ?

narjes
Posted on: Wed, 02/13/2013 - 02:45

hi, your exercises are so good but we do it everyday , through different tv programs . if you have new exercises movement specially for abs, it will be more effective and we would be more thankful . be successful

gajendra
Posted on: Tue, 02/12/2013 - 07:22

Good exercise for biceps for everyone at whatever stage of body it is.