Everybody wants to build big biceps. Rock hard, shirt-ripping guns!

When we think of a bodybuilder, the muscle that usually comes to mind first is the bicep. It is the muscle that primarily singles you out as a person who lifts weights.
Hey, when someone knows you lift weights and asks you to flex a muscle, 9 times out of 10 they’re talking about your biceps.

biceps brachiiBicep Anatomy

The biceps are comprised of 2 heads; the short head or outer biceps, and the long head, or inner biceps. Our workouts should be focused on placing maximum overload on these 2 heads.

The brachialis and brachioradialis also get worked during bicep training. These are the muscles at the side of the arm between the biceps and triceps and get hit indirectly. You therefore don’t worry about isolating them for growth.

So How Do We Exercise Our Biceps Correctly For Optimal Growth?

Building Big Biceps Is Easy!

I said in an article last week that building powerful pecs was easy; it is. Building bulging biceps isn’t rocket science either. Again, it’s all about using proper form and sticking to the principles of progressive overload and the anabolic rep range of 8-12 reps.

All bicep exercises were not created equally however. Some are far-superior than others. The best bicep exercises are the mass-builders; they place stress primarily on the 2 heads of the biceps.

An Awesome Biceps Workout

(Mark performing EZ bar curls – and looking uncharacteristically mean ‘cuz he’s actually a thoroughly nice bloke 😉 )

Build Big Biceps

If you really want to focus on your biceps and prioritize them over other body parts, it’s best to work them on a day of their own and complete 9 sets.

The following is a great bicep building workout. I believe this is the best biceps workout around for the natural bodybuilder.

(This shouldn’t take you any longer than 35 minutes maximum)

Set 1 – Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Set 2 – Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Set 3 – Alternate Dumbbell Curls

Set 4 – EZ Bar Curls (or straight bar curls)

Set 5 – EZ bar curls

Set 6 – EZ bar curls

Set 7 – Incline Dumbbell Curls

Set 8 – Incline Dumbbell Curls

Set 9 – Incline Dumbbell Curls

How To Perform This Workout

Alternate dumbbell curls’ means you perform 1 rep on 1 arm while the other hangs stationary by your side. Once you’ve completed that rep, raise the other arm and alternate each rep this way.

You can use either an EZ bar or a barbell, either is fine. I find an EZ bar more comfortable on my wrists and so I avoid using barbells (I was once out of action for about 3 weeks with sore wrists due to using a barbell for curls).

For Incline Dumbbell Curls lie back on an incline bench holding a dumbbell in each hand. You can alternate these reps if you prefer. Allow your arms to fall to their natural position at the end of each rep. Don’t try to keep your arms parallel with your body at the bottom of the movement. Your arms should hang straight while your body lies in an inclined position; this gives the bicep curl a greater range of motion and really stimulates the muscle for growth.

For the Entire Workout:

* Raise the dumbbell/barbell in an explosive motion (1-2 seconds)

* Lower the weight taking 2 seconds to do so

* Take 2 minutes rest between sets

* Perform this workout once a week as recommended in ‘Total Anabolism

When done, go grab your post-workout shake to provide your body with what it needs repair and grow those aching biceps.

(If you have no desire to build any other muscle on your body, just biceps alone, you could perform this routine 2 – 3 times a week)

Attention Girls!

female bicepsI loathe to hear women say how they don’t want lift weights because they’ll get bulky. Here’s the truth:

Women don’t build big muscles unless they take steroids, and even then they’re not that big.

The fact is that building muscle is as beneficial for women as it is for men. Those hard, chiselled biceps also look damn sexy on a woman so please girls, start lifting!

I look forward to hearing your results,

Your Buddy,

Mark McManus

female bicep image credit: amproshoot@ flickr

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