How to Build Big Biceps

How to Build Big Biceps

How to Build Big Biceps

To build big biceps (and muscle mass), I have always believed in doing basic movements. That means barbell curls, alternate dumbbell curls, preacher curls as well as a few other common basic bicep exercises.

I don’t believe that there is one best bicep workout for everybody, or that the best bicep exercise even exists. To get big arms, including triceps, you must execute a range of basic movements over a long period of time, and add in a shock treatment once in every three or four workouts.

Concentrating on Getting Big Biceps is a Huge Mistake
If you focus on getting big arms, the rest of your physique will look out of proportion, unless you have particularly small arms and you need to build them. On the basis that one of the main allures of bodybuilding is perfect all over body symmetry, then I would recommend re-thinking your strategy.

And don’t forget that your biceps account for only a third of your total upper arms measurement. The bigger two thirds is your triceps, so if your intention is to build big arms, then you will need to include a triceps workout, again using basic movements.

As always, this article is based on a routine that works for me. Use it as a guide or a base to work from and then adjust it to what suites your own body.

Whilst there are many bicep workouts, and exercises within those workouts, these are the top ones which I have benefited from over the last twenty years.

Bicep Exercises

  1.  Standing barbell curls with a straight bar
  2.  E-z barbell preacher curls
  3.  Cable preacher curls
  4.  Seated alternate dumbbell curls
  5.  Single arm concentration curls
  6.  Seated alternate dumbbell hammer curls
NB: With all variations I aim for 12 complete reps, stripping the weight once on first two sets, then may be twice on third set depending on strength on energy levels for a given day.

Bicep Workout  1

3/4 drop sets standing barbell curls x 12 reps
3/4 drop sets seated alternate hammer curls x 12 reps
3 drop sets single arm concentration curls x 12 reps
**all three sets for only one drop of weight and no rest between swapping arms.

Bicep Workout  2


3/4 drop sets preacher curls with e-z barbell x 12 reps
3/4 drop sets seated alternate dumbbell curls x 12 reps
3 drop sets single arm concentration curls x 12 reps
** all three sets for only one drop of weight and no rest between swapping arms.

Bicep Workout  3 

(Only difference to workout #2 is preacher curl with cable instead of e-z bar)

3/4 drop sets preacher curls with cable x 12 reps
3/4 drop sets seated alternate dumbbell curls x 12 reps
3 drop sets single arm concentration curls x 12 reps
**all three sets for only one drop of weight and no rest between swapping arms.

I would complete a round of these three workouts, then shake things up a little! Whilst your body thrives on consistency, I believe that you must fit in an element of ‘shock training’ to your workouts occasionally.

I never wait around for a plateau to hit my body.

For example, in workout #1 I would complete the standing barbell sets, then do three sets of alternate incline dumbbell curls. This stretches the long head (and the brachialis) all the way out, and at the top of the movement if you lift your elbow up slightly and squeeze at the top – it’s going to REALLY HURT. Great stuff!

The third exercise I would fit in for three sets is then either cable concentration curls, either single arm or double overhead curls (like a double biceps pose).

For workout #2 and #3, I would complete the first preacher exercise then either standing e-z barbell curls for three sets and then three sets of single arm preacher curls, superset with reverse grip curls.

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