Everybody wants bigger arms and biceps. Every-body. But most guys are content to do a few sets of biceps curls and then finish with some preacher curls or 21’s. But few are brave enough to take on the full raw power of the Best Bicep Workout EVER.
But if you’ve got the urge to grow those arms to their full sleeve-busting capabilities, you’re gonna need to up your arm game. Luckily for you, I’ve got the ultimate bicep routine that will turn your guns into missile launchers.
Reverse EZ Bar Curl. 4 sets of 8 reps.
We start with the reverse EZ bar curl to make sure we’re working the brachialis, but also torching the forearm muscles. Grab a EZ bar with an overhand grip, curl the weight up for a second, and lower for 3. Make sure you lower to full extension.
Forearms are one of the only muscle groups that stays visible all year ‘round, and as such, needs its proper attention. But isn’t this an article about biceps? Yea, glad you asked. But it wouldn’t be the best bicep workout without hitting the forearms as well.
With stronger forearms comes the ability to curl more weight, and do more pullups, which will result in bigger arms overall. Most guys leave gains on the table by not training their forearms, or working with a reverse grip. So we put this exercise first in order to stress the brachoradialis and pronator teres, both of which tie into the upper arm.
Seated Incline dumbbell Curl. 3 sets of 15 reps
Set a bench at a 60-degree angle, and sit down with dumbbells about 75% the weight that you would normally curl. Lean back, and curl the weight up to the top position. Lower the weight all the way down and feel the stretch through the biceps and elbow.
This exercise puts a high emphasis on a full stretch, and puts the heaviest part of the movement at a lower angle. Think of it as the opposite of a preacher curl. By working different angles and focusing on a full range of motion, you’ll get gains you’ve never seen before.
Beware though, this one can leave you sore for a few days if you let your ego take over when picking weights.
Barbell Drag curl. 4 sets of 10 reps.
This exercise was a favorite of Vince Gironda and is a much more efficient exercise than a normal barbell curl. Grab the barbell with a supinated (palm up) grip, and lean forward 10-15 degrees.
Now ‘drag’ the barbell up against your body, finishing just above your nipple line, with your elbows moving to be behind your back, rather than a normal curl position with them at your sides. Lower for 2-3 seconds.
Again, we’re changing the angles from basic arm exercises in order to spark new growth. This is an important concept in bodybuilding training if you want to avoid plateauing. With the drag curl, the maximum tension occurs at the very end of the movement, so make sure to hold the contraction for at least 1 second. This will really help build the peak of the biceps.
Chin Up Isometric. 3 sets of 20 seconds.
Inverted Cross Holds. 3 sets of 10 seconds.
This brutal superset emphasizes static holds, a technique that’s very effective for the slow twitch muscles of the back and biceps.
With the chin up isometric, grab the bar with a supinated grip, pull your chest to the bar, and hold for 20 seconds. Easy (ish).
The inverted cross hold is harder, and it helps if you have a pair of antigravity boots, as you will be hanging upside down for this exercise. If not, you can still hang from a chin up bar by your knees.
Have a partner hand you 2 dumbbells, lift them to your hips, straighten your arms, then slowly lower them to shoulder height. Keep your upper body incredibly tight, don’t let your back arch, and make sure you can see the dumbbells out of the corner of your eyes. Arms should be straight with palms facing toward the ceiling.
It’s helpful to have a partner that can make sure that your dumbbells are level and in the correct position, as well as helping you get in and out of the exercise.
Gymnasts have incredible bodies, and use mostly bodyweight training to learn to perform incredible acts of strength like the iron cross. Would you believe that these guys rarely ever do curls though? The massive upper bodies and biceps are actually built through high rep pullups, and mind blowing straight arm strength.
This is one way to prepare your muscles and joints for the stress of performing an iron cross, without having to spend years and years practicing the move. Before you add weight though, make sure you’re reasonably comfortable hanging from the bar, and then start with 10lbs. Believe me, this one will change your perspective on arm training.
Cable Curl Burnout. 1 set of 80 reps.
It wouldn’t be the best bicep workout without a burnout to pump as much blood into the muscles as possible. Grab a comfortable cable bar with the stack set in the low position. Using a less than perfect range of motion here is fine, just make sure you’re lowering the weight with your muscles, and not letting it slam down which is a real bummer on joints and tendons.
By finishing with a burnout set, you’ll jack up your anabolic hormones, raise your heart rate, and shuttle nutrients and blood to the muscles that need it most.
You’ll also walk out of the gym afterwards with a massive pump, and the inability to answer your telephone normally. Speakerphone for the win!
If you haven’t done a direct arm workout since college, split this one up into two days, otherwise you risk doing too much and reducing your ability to recover.
Add this workout in to replace your current arm day, or swap out a few of your normal exercises for these advanced ones.