Who doesn’t want strong and shapely biceps? If I was a gambling man, I would bet you probably see a lot of people working arms (biceps) probably for an hour maybe more doing all types of isolation exercises. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to expend that much time in the gym to have a great looking set of bicep muscles. There’s a few key points that you need to know when it comes to building biceps. First you need to work the biceps from all angles using a variety of key exercise. Next you want to focus on compound movements. Another key point is to keep your workout short and focused. Finally there are four big bang biceps exercises that you can do though ensure maximum bicep growth. There will always be debate about the best bicep workout routine, but there’s not as much debate about the best bicep exercises you should incorporate for maximum growth.
Bicep Development Begins with the All Angles Approach
The biceps muscle is made of two heads. You might refer to this as an inner and an outer bicep. Anatomy books will refer to these two as the biceps brachii the long and short head. You’ll want to choose exercises that work both bicep heads thru a complete range of motion. If you spend too much time working one area of the bicep you can temporarily change the look of it or develop a weakness when using a different range of motion. By selecting a few key exercises, you can ensure you are getting the best bicep development possible.
Compound Movements or Isolation Exercises?
Why is that even a question? Focusing on compound movements ideal for most situations involving optimal muscle growth. If possible use free weights like barbells and dumbbells as machines will not provide the same overall stimulus and growth potential. One thing to keep in mind is keep your arm workouts short and focused. Many people will tell you there’s a specific number of reps or a specific number of sets and a time to complete a workout. As a guideline for most generic programs, this is true, but for the purposes of this article I want you to focus on doing the exercises as intensely as possible without interruption and paying attention to the time. If that takes 15 minutes or if it takes 45 minutes it doesn’t matter as long as you are giving it your all. Once you feel yourself starting to slip and not give his much effort that’s when you stop. Maybe people could get in much better workouts if they had a stopwatch beep at them when the specified rest interval was over.
The Four Big Bang Bicep Exercises
- Barbell curl
- Hammer curl
- Reverse barbell curl
- Close grip pull ups
I am well aware there are many other awesome bicep exercises to pick such as spider curls (Tom Venuto introduced this one to me in one of his many insane bicep blasting routines). Even if you don’t have access to a gym or any type of equipment, you probably can find a place to do close grip pull ups which are an excellent solution for a biceps workout without weights! However, building biceps are not as difficult as people may believe. It’s simply a matter of working the biceps from all angles, focusing on compound movements with limited use of isolation exercises, and using some or all of the exercises described here for maximum growth. Feel free to add or subtract exercises depending on your situation but try to use as many as possible from the list for complete and great bicep development. You can even split up the exercises on different days based on your routine (barbell curls and reverse barbell curls one workout session and hammer curls and close grip pull ups on another).
Too many people spend too much time in the gym focusing on exercises that don’t get them the results they want. Understanding that the bicep is just a muscle like anything else in focusing on it with short intense workouts, you can develop the arm size or the arm strength about that you desire. There are routines, such as the Unvarnished Arm Routine by Boyer Coe or Larry Scott’s bicep workout coined the best bicep workout, that employee some of these techniques along with advanced concepts (very slow close grip pull-ups with heavy barbell bicep curls). You’ll find your arms will grow to the size you never thought possible. However even in those professional bodybuilding routines they still focus on using certain exercises, working the bicep from all angles, focusing on compound movements that use as much of the bicep muscle as possible with limited isolation exercises in the shortest amount of time possible. With this knowledge you should have no problem going to the gym and spending 15 minutes dedicated to biceps that will ensure ultimate bicep growth.
Here’s to you building bigger, stronger, biceps!
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS – Check these biceps tendonitis tips if you start to feel any pain or discomfort beyond normal muscular soreness.