In regards to anatomy, the biceps, also biceps brachii, is a two-headed muscle that lies on the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow. Both heads arise on the scapula and join to form a single muscle belly which is attached to the upper forearm. While the biceps cross both the shoulder and elbow joints, its main function is at the elbow where it flexes and supinates the forearm. Both these movements are used when opening a bottle with a corkscrew: first biceps unscrews the cork (supination), then it pulls the cork out (flexion) (Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biceps).
As such the biceps are one of the most popular muscle groups to develop. They fill your shirts, add depth to your side profile and look impressive when your arms are bent. They are also a functional muscle for any pull movement requiring the arms, and function in partnership with the back muscles and the triceps to power a multitude of important day to day movements. If you want to add size, definition and tone to the biceps then it’s important to challenge them in a varied and productive manner (differing between weight, repetitions and sets as well as different exercise varieties).
Try adding this workout to your weekly training routine if you’re looking to see real gains in the biceps.
Building Biceps – Perform each exercise for 3 repetitions at 75% of your 1 repetition maximum weight without any rest.
- Standing Hammer Curls – Grab yourself a set of dumbbells and set yourself up to hammer curl 3 reps at 75% of your 1RM
- Standing Bicep Curls – Using the same dumbbells, turn your hands round and curl straight into 3 reps at 75% of your 1RM.
- Bent Over Bicep Curls – Now bend forward, flex your knees and let your arms hang perpendicular to the floor with your palms facing forwards (turned as if you were performing a bicep curl standing) then perform 3 reps at 75% of your 1RM.
- Standing Burn Curls – Starting in your basic Bicep Curl position, raise your entire arm until it is horizontal in front of your eyes and then curl the dumbbells back until your arms are completely bent, then reverse to return to original position at 75% of your 1RM for 3 reps.
- Wide Grip Bicep Curl – Grab and EZ Curl Bar and set yourself with a wide grip to perform 3 SLOW reps at 75% of your 1RM.
Building Biceps – Perform each exercise for 1 Repetition at your 1 repetition maximum, then grab a set of dumbbells 25% of that weight and reduce 75% of the weight on the EZ curl bar and perform 10 repetitions.
Therefore your bicep session will look like this…
- 1 x 3 Standing Hammer Curls @ 75% of your 1RM
- 1 x 3 Standing Bicep Curls @ 75% of your 1RM
- 1 x 3 Bent Over Bicep Curls @ 75% of your 1RM
- 1 x 3 Standing Burn Curls @ 75% of your 1RM
- 1 x 3 Wide Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curls @ 75% of your 1RM
Take approximately 2-4 Minutes of rest in which your best option is to rehydrate, stretch the biceps and take deep breaths.
- 1 x 1 Standing Hammer Curls @ 100% of your 1RM
- 1 x 1 Standing Bicep Curls @ 100% of your 1RM
- 1 x 1 Bent Over Bicep Curls @ 100% of your 1RM
- 1 x 1 Standing Burn Curls @ 100% of your 1RM
- 1 x 1 Wide Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curls @ 100% of your 1RM
After completing your exercises at your 1 repetition maximum, it’s important to take no rest, change your weights down and move straight into the next set of exercises.
- 1 x 10 Standing Hammer Curls @ 25% of your 1RM
- 1 x 10 Standing Bicep Curls @ 25% of your 1RM
- 1 x 10 Bent Over Bicep Curls @ 25% of your 1RM
- 1 x 10 Standing Burn Curls @ 25% of your 1RM
- 1 x 10 Wide Grip EZ Bar Bicep Curls @ 25% of your 1RM
Building Biceps – If you are really serious about building the biceps, why not try adding more bicep relevant exercises to your workouts in general. Alternatives include:
- Reverse Grip Pull Ups
- Incline Dumbbell Curls (seated)
- Reverse Grip Bent Over Rows
- Concentration (Isolation) Curls
Remember, when trying to build muscle anywhere on your body it’s essential that you balance your calorific intake correctly, select the right macronutrients and work hard on a regular basis. Following an effective workout structure on a 4-6 week cycle and then changing and adapting to continue challenging the muscle will result in massive growth.
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