When it comes to biceps, bigger is almost always better.
But, if we’re being honest, developing a pair of big biceps, especially ones with a prominent peaked biceps, isn’t the easiest feat to accomplish, especially if you weren't genetically blessed with great muscle insertions.
Fortunately, we’ve got just the thing to help you develop bigger, better arms!
Today, IFBB Pro and Primeval Labs Athlete Regan Grimes will teach you how to get bicep peaks with his top 3 exercises to add to bicep peak workouts.
Here’s the workout:
Regan Grimes 3 Exercises for Biceps
Single-Arm Machine Preacher Curl*
Lying Incline Bench Biceps Curl*
Standing Cable Curl*
*Note: Regan performs one warm-up set of 15 reps on each exercise before performing 3 working sets for 12 reps.
Best Bicep Peak Exercises
Single-Arm Preacher Curl
Regan likes to start his arm workouts with a machine-based exercise. This allows him to really dial in the mind-muscle connection and focus on using one arm at a time, creating powerful, strong muscle contractions.
Regan prefers performing higher reps on this exercise (12-15 reps per set). Higher reps entail you using a lighter weight, which helps warm the muscles up avoiding excessive strain on the wrists and elbows.
To set up for the exercise, Regan places his triceps on the pad and “rolls” it out so that his chest is completely open, which places the bicep on a maximal stretch. A muscle is only capable of achieving a max contraction only after it has been maximally stretched.
During each repetition, focus on driving your elbow down into the pad, so that you have a stable base from which to work and transfer that power into the biceps, creating a powerful, strong contraction.
And, as with all bicep peak exercises, ensure that you hold each peak contraction for a solid count of one before slowly lowering the weight back down to the starting position.
Single-Arm Lying Incline Bench Dumbbell Curl
The single-arm lying incline bench bicep curl is a riff on the more traditional spider curl. Here, you still lying prone on an incline bench, but you’ll only be using one arm at a time and the curling motion is just a bit different than a regular spider curl.
Regan loves this biceps exercise because he feels that he gets a really great squeeze in the muscle and has full complete control through the entire range of motion.
To set up for the lying incline bench bicep curl, lie chest down on an incline bench with your left arm hanging down holding a dumbbell. Now, internally rotate your left arm so that your elbow is facing out away from your body at roughly a 90-degree angle.
Make sure to let your shoulder hang, there’s no need to worry about retracting the scapula on this exercise as we’re focused on working the biceps, not the upper back. Focusing on keeping the shoulder down also helps you to not cheat the reps as you fatigue and call upon the deltoids, traps, and upper back to help you raise and lower the weight.
Remember, this is a biceps exercise. Select a reasonable weight that allows you to perform the right number of reps with perfect, precise form.
Every time you lower the weight, make sure to keep the shoulder down. Do not let it rise up to your ears as you raise and lower the weight. Doing so means that you’re letting the traps and upper back muscles move the weight up and down as opposed to isolating the biceps.
Lastly, at the top of each rep, experiment with externally rotating the wrist which provides a complete biceps contraction and helps develop bigger, stronger peaked biceps.
Standing Cable Curl
As you noticed, Regan likes a good bit of variation to his workouts, which is why he includes a machine, free weight, and cable curl variation in his biceps workout.
Each type of exercise has its own unique advantages to help you grow the biggest biceps peak possible.
In regards to cable machines, the advantage they have is two-fold:
- They allow you to start in a pre-stretched position such that the muscles begin with tension
Cables also provide constant tension on the muscle throughout the entire range of motion from beginning to end. When using free weights, tension changes. It is at a maximum when the lower and upper arm form a 90-degree angle but gets less and less the further your arm gets from this angle to where there is little tension on the biceps at the very top or bottom of the movement.
Cables keep constant tension on the biceps throughout the entire exercise, which means the muscles do more work and give you a better workout.
Similar to the lying incline bench bicep curl above, Regan likes to perform these using one arm at a time.
To perform the single-arm cable curl, attach a D-handle to the low pulley of a cable machine.
Grab the handle with your right hand and take a step forward, so that you’re facing away from the cable column until there is tension on the cable and your arm is pulled slightly behind your body.
Also, make sure your right heel is directly in front of the low pulley. This helps ensure that the force is being directed the way you want it to when lifting and lowering the weight.
Contract the biceps and curl the handle up towards your shoulder, while keeping the elbow tight to the body. Do not allow the elbow to drift away from the torso as this reduces tension on the biceps and increases the involvement of the deltoids.
Performing cable curls facing away from the cable station allows you to place a greater stretch on the biceps, ultimately forcing them to do more work each repetition. This setup also helps remove the shoulders from the exercise.
Regan Grimes Bonus Exercise!
We’ve touched on the Regan’s personal favorite biceps exercise (the Grimey curl), previously in his Triple Arm Superset Workout.
The Grimey curl is basically a hammer curl, put performed using weight plates as opposed to dumbbells.
While this exercise isn’t specifically geared towards building a bigger biceps peak, it does help increase biceps thickness, which improves the overall shape, size, and appearance of your arms.
Plus, the Grimey curl is a riff on the traditional hammer curl. Hammer curls provide an excellent stimulus for the brachialis, which is that little muscle that looks like a “knot” in the middle of your upper arm, separating the biceps and triceps.
Building a bigger brachialis helps give the illusion of greater definition between your biceps and triceps and also helps push the biceps up, giving you a better peak!
Regan Grimes Pre Workout
It’s no secret that Regan loves chasing the pump with his bicep peak workouts. To help him get the best pump possible, he takes a serving of Mega Pre before every training session.
Mega Pre is a stimulant-free pre-workout supplement specifically formulated to maximize blood flow, performance, and pumps.
The reason Mega Pre contains no stimulants is that they can cause vasoconstriction, which limits blood flow to working muscles. Plus, high doses of stimulants can also disrupt sleep or leave you feeling jittery. Since Mega Pre is stim-free, it can be used for daytime or nighttime workouts without having to worry about tossing and turning all night.