Building big biceps is something everyone wants, let’s face it. Unless you are an Olympic weightlifter who can’t get huge arms because they get in the way.
For many of us including me, the quest for big biceps started long ago specifically when we got our first set of weights for Christmas at 13. Who would have known that today we would still be striving to get bigger arms…
This may sound familiar and I know I am not the only one. Back then my workouts consisted of merely endless bicep curls until my arm nearly fell off.
Eventually I matured out of this stage but I still catch some of my friends making the same mistakes. I began to expand my training to my other body parts as I became more knowledgeable about training.
Some may turn their nose up at the bicep as merely a “beach muscle” with no other value. The reality is the bicep is still an essential muscle of the human body. It is still needed to pull and curl oneself out of whatever situation they may need to do so.
I have’t outgrown wanting huge biceps and I don’t think I should, neither should you. Without further ado let us continue with our quest towards building big biceps.
Hammer curls are an exercise I have recently re-added to my routine. The reason being is that I forgot just how effective they are.
I always see a lot of people doing this exercise wrong so here are a few technique pointers.
For the hammer curl the dumbbell should be held with a neutral grip (the palm of your hands should be facing your body at the side). The movement is performed just like a regular curl thereafter.
The aim should be to squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement. Make sure to keep your arms close to the sides of your body. A great tip is to bring your pinky finger as close as possible to your front deltoid.
I learned this tip from Chris Jones at Pump Chasers:
Bicep exercises should be done strictly. This is not an ego game. If you start slinging around heavy weight with bad form your bicep will not be getting targeted effectively.
The hammer curl will also target your forearm and the bicep brachialis which is a muscle underneath the bicep. This will make your arms look immense from the front view.
This is an exercise a lot of people forget when it comes to building big biceps. Just because an exercise is not a curl does not mean it won’t grow the biceps.
The chin ups are a great exercise for putting meat on your arms.
Find me someone who can do a 3 plate chin up for reps and has small arms… I’ll wait.
Mere bodyweight chin ups will not be enough after a while. If you are serious about growing your arms so they are busting out of your sleeves then extra weight is needed.
The chin-up belt I recommend for building big biceps is Kinobody – Best In Class Dip Belt and Pullup Belt – Any Size – Any Experience Level
Bret Contreras tested 45 different exercises with an EMG study and he found that weighted chin ups stimulated the biceps more than most types of curls. Not to mention you will be getting tons of back growth on top of that.
The fact that weighted chin ups have a much greater eccentric (lowering) activation portion than curls contributes to this immensely.
To target the biceps more a great tip is to use a close grip.
Here is a great example of what is possible:
Standing barbell curl
Building big biceps will require some work. The word big is subjective. The size of your arms currently may be considered big to someone else but not to you.
We all know what we are talking about when we say we want huge biceps.
We are talking about the kind of biceps which when flexed look incredible.
To do this the standing barbell curl can be of great help. On top of the two exercises mentioned already your biceps will have no choice but to grow.
The good thing about the barbell curl is that more weight can be lifted compared to a dumbbell curl. If you have a noticeably weaker arm, ensure that it is getting worked properly with this exercise.
Scott Herman does a great job at displaying the proper technique here:
There is a place and a time for cheat curls. Generally for isolation movements such as curls you want to be working in the 8-12 rep range.
This is to ensure that there is sufficient volume and workload to produce muscle growth. There is nothing wrong with cheat curls but they should be performed once you have hit 8 reps approximately.
Cheat curls can then be used to burnout the muscle to provide that extra stimulus. If you need to cheat already at the 4th rep then the weight is simply too heavy.
By using a weight that is too heavy for you, the chances of you building big biceps is reduced. Nobody wants that do we?
There you go. 3 Exercises that will give you massive bulging biceps when done consistently for a long time. Big arms just don’t happen overnight. Keep getting stronger at these movements and watch as your biceps grow.
Thanks for reading,
P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think. How has your quest towards building big biceps been?