If you have been weight training and building muscle for very long, you have probably figured out that the most important movements to do in the gym are the heavy, compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. You probably also know that working the big muscle groups such as legs, back, and chest is of primary importance. That being said, most bodybuilders and other weight lifters still love a good biceps workout and are always looking for new ways to get bigger arms. Here is a great 4-exercise biceps workout that you can use to blast your arms into new muscle growth and strength gains.
EZ bar Curl
The first movement in your biceps workout should be the one that allows you to use the most weight. While a straight bar might allow you to go a little heavier than EZ bar, I have always found it to be far too painful for my wrists to use it long-term. Using about a shoulder-width grip on the bar, curl all the way from top to bottom, using a full range of motion on each rep. It is definitely okay to use a little bit of a swinging motion here. Do 4 pyramiding sets of 8-10 reps. Your last set should be an all-out effort.
Rope Hammer Curl
Hammer curls are one of the best exercises for working your forearms and building your grip. Most people use dumbbells for this movement, but I have always preferred to use a cable stack and the rope attachment. It is okay to use a very slight swaying motion to curl the weight to the top, but make sure you stay strict and slow as you lower the weight. The last few reps of a hard set of this movement are usually very slow, painful, and taxing, but push through them to get some huge growth in your arms. This can be one of the most effective movements in your biceps workout. Do 3 progressively harder sets of 12-15 reps.
Incline Dumbbell Curl
This is one of the most challenging biceps movements. Set an incline bench at about 45 degrees, sit back, and curl all the way from the stretched position to full contraction. The laid back position will keep you from putting any body English into the movement and will force a maximum amount of stress onto your biceps. Since your biceps are already warmed up at this point in the workout, go straight into 2 hard working sets of 10-12 reps. Fight the urge to stand up or lean forward when the reps start to get hard.
For the last exercise of your biceps workout, pick your favorite curl machine. Your biceps will probably be too taxed to use free weights at this point, and you just want to force some more blood into the muscles. Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps. You might want to follow this movement with some aggressive stretching, as this can facilitate muscle growth when you do it with a pumped muscle.
Progressively Heavier Weights
You can do endless sets of reps of curls, but your biceps will never grow if you don’t gradually increase the weights you are using for your curling exercises. Keep a log of your exercises, weights, sets, and reps, and aim to beat your previous records every time you train. An extra rep or an extra five pounds every session leads to huge increases in muscle mass over time.
Working Your Whole Body for Big Arms
Though you need to train your biceps hard and directly in their own biceps workout, they will never grow to their full potential if you do not train the rest of your body with the same intensity. Back exercises such as rows and pull-ups will indirectly work your biceps, forearms and grip to give you somewhat of an extra day of stimulation. You also need to be doing heavy lower body movements like squats and deadlifts, for they cause a huge increase of anabolic hormone levels in your body. There is a reason you don’t often see a guy with huge biceps that doesn’t also have a monstrous back and thick legs. To add muscle optimally, your body must add it everywhere.