Everyone wants bigger biceps.
It’s easy to understand why.
As a society, we have a fascination with them.
Top-level bodybuilders (like Regan Grimes), big-screen action heroes, and magazine models all have impressive biceps.
If you’re tired of puny arms, we’ve got just the thing you need with this bigger biceps workout routine.
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5 Tips for Bigger Biceps
Use different angles
Using different exercises not only helps break up the monotony of a workout, it also can lead to greater muscle growth.
But, simply doing a bunch of different exercises for the same muscle group isn’t the only thing you need to think about.
Those different exercises should be attacking the muscle from different force angles.
For instance, an EZ-bar curl is different from a dumbbell curl, but the force angle is more or less the same.
The lift is relatively easy at the top and bottom and very hard at the midpoint. In other words, the max loading point occurs when your forearms form a 90° angle with the “load vector”, which in the case of free weights is gravity.
To change the load vector, you need to alter the angle at which you’re performing the exercise.
This is where exercises such as incline dumbbell curls, cable curls, preacher curls, and spider curls, come into play.
These bicep exercises change the direction of loading, which forces your biceps to work harder in ranges of motion not targeted as much by the traditional bicep curl.
The end result is greater stress on all regions of the muscle leading to better workouts as well as greater overall muscle development.
“21s” are one of the oldest bicep muscle-building techniques around.
To perform a set of 21s:
- Perform 7 partial reps of an exercise from the bottom to the midway point of the lift,
- Then perform another 7 reps from the midpoint to the top,
- Finally, perform 7 full range of motion repetitions.
While 21s are good for increasing time under tension on the muscle, they also force you to use a lower weight than you would typically use for a working set.
“28s” utilize the same concept as 21s, but dial up the intensity by altering the order of the reps and adding another “set” of 7 into the mix.
That additional “7 set” is an isometric hold where you hold the weight at the midpoint of the lift.
FYI, the midpoint is typically the point of highest tension on the muscle for a curl, so expect to really feel the burn on this one!
For example, if you are performing a standing EZ-bar curl, you would lift the bar to the midpoint (where your upper arm and forearm for a 90-degree angle) and hold it there, all the while squeezing your biceps as hard as you possibly can for 7 seconds.
And, don’t forget that we’re also going to change the arrangement of your sets of 7.
Instead of 7 lower partials, 7 upper partials, and then 7 full reps, the rep scheme for your 28s will be:
- 7 partial reps in the lower half of the lift (from the bottom to the midpoint)
- 7 full range of motion reps
- Isometric hold at the midpoint for 7 seconds
- 7 partial reps in the upper half of lift (from midpoint to top)
Use Moderate Weight
Some guys think having a great workout is by swinging around the heaviest weights in the gym, grunting and groaning the whole way.
In reality, these wannabes just look like a fish out of water, flopping on the deck.
On top of that, these convulsions reduce the amount of work the biceps are doing, making for a less effective workout (not to mention less pumps and less gains).
The solution here is to use a moderate weight that you can lift with good form.
This yields a more effective workout by placing more tension on the biceps as well as creating higher amounts of metabolic stress, leading to better muscle growth.
Furthermore, execute each rep using a slow, deliberate tempo moving the weight through a complete range of motion.
At the top of each rep, squeeze the muscle as hard as you can for a count of 1-2 seconds, and slowly lower to the bottom.
At the bottom, flex your triceps, which creates a full stretch on the biceps, allowing for maximum contraction on the ensuing rep.
Keeping these pointers in mind ensures that you get the most from each and every rep, for better bicep growth.
Lastly, if for no other reason to use good technique and keep your ego in check, you’ll also decrease your risk of pain or injury.
10/20 Drop Sets
We’re all familiar with the concept of a drop set whereby you perform a set of an exercise and when you come close to failure, you set the weight down, reduce the load by 10-30% and then rep out to failure, which may or may not equal the same number of reps you completed on the main set.
10/20 drop sets are a more intense version of the traditional drop set.
Here’s how to perform them:
Select a weight that is roughly your 10-12RM.
Perform 10 reps, then set down the weight, and immediately pick up a weight that is 50% of your 10-rep weight and perform 20 reps (double the number of reps).
So, let’s say you can perform a standing dumbbell curl with 50-pound dumbbells.
You would perform 10 strict reps with the 50-pound dumbbells, and then immediately set the 50s down and grab the 25-pound dumbbells and try to complete 20 clean repetitions.
Now, chances are very high that you’re not going to get all 20 reps in one go.
That’s ok...but you’re still going to do 20 reps.
Take as many “mini-breaks” (10-15 seconds max) as needed to bang out all 20 reps.
Similar to traditional drop sets and 28s, this is yet another way to increase time under tension for the muscles, creating more metabolic stress in the muscle, which results in greater growth.
Eat a Calorie Surplus
If you’re focused on building bigger biceps, or any muscle for that matter, you MUST be in an energy surplus, meaning you need to eat more calories than you burn each day.
No amount of intense training will increase the size of your biceps if you aren’t consuming enough calories each day.
Remember, training is catabolic, meaning it breaks down muscle tissue.
The food you eat (as well as the rest you take following your workout) is when the muscle building happens.
If you only eat at maintenance, you’ll simply repair the damage done during the workout, but not much growth will occur.
To grow bigger, you must eat more than you need.
Bigger Biceps Workout Routine
Perform this workout every 5 to 7 days as your current training schedule allows.
Bigger Biceps Workout
Incline Dumbbell Curl
Cable Rope Hammer Curl*
8-10 / side
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 28s**
*Perform a “”10/20” drop set on each set
**Perform “28s” for 2 sets with 90 sec rest in between each set.
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