How to Get Bigger Biceps Step by Step Guide

It is true that the triceps are 2/3rd of the arms size. But when it comes to visuals. Biceps are the most feared bullet in your guns!

I used to suffer from lagging biceps. It annoyed me. Because that’s the first thing people would notice about my arms. But after a lot of trials and errors, I was able to get them to grow.

In this post, I’ll sum up my experience in 12 tips to help you build bigger and fuller bicep muscles.

Exercises for Biceps
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19 Tips To Build Bigger Biceps Quick and Easy

The following tips cover a combination of critical training techniques that will help your bicep grow. Follow these tips for the next 3-4 months and you should have significantly improved bicep muscle.

1. Have A Separate Arm Day 

Separate Arm Day

 

If you are following the push pull legs split, the upper/lower split, or the full body workout, you should consider adjusting your program to include a separate arm day. When you have a lagging bicep it is an indicator that your training program is hindering your bicep growth.

Have a day devoted to arms only, and start with your biceps. This way you have enough energy and mental focus to properly train them.  

2. Lighten The Goddamn Weight

Lighten The Goddamn Weight

 

Let the biceps move the weights.

Progressive overload is great. But overdoing it in a way involving lots of momentum and cheating is impeding your bicep muscle growth.

In addition, using heavy weights for a small muscle group like the bicep is conducive to tendentious and other elbow problems.

Light to moderate weight is the key to bicep growth. I got the best gains ever when I did that.

3. Go To Failure Or Go Home

Go To Failure Or Go Home

 

Intensity matters a lot for the biceps. Go to failure on all sets (failure is reached when you cannot do more reps with the correct form).

Exhaust the fibers. Don’t leave some reps in the tank.

This is particularly recommended if you’re natural and want to create muscle adaptation to light to moderate- weight.

Here is an example:

In your arm day, pick 4 exercises, 3 sets each.

The first set is lightweight to failure.

The second set, increase the weight and go to failure.

The third one, increase the weight and go beyond failure. That is, do additional reps where “some” cheating is involved or even partial reps (like focusing on the lower half portion of the movement).

You could also do cluster sets, drop sets, iso-hold, and slow negative/eccentric stretching.

While that might sound like a lot, remember you are using lighter weights here.
 

4. For Dumbbell Curls - Supinate Early In The Movement

For Dumbbell Curls

Supinate your hands in the lowest 1/3rd of the movement when contracting.

This is critical if you want to maximize bicep activation and minimize forearms engagement.

In addition, try not to drop the way when lowering the weight when stretching the biceps.

Control the weight during the entire movement, especially on the eccentric movement.


5. Do Barbell Curls On The Squat Rack

Do Barbell Curls

 

Honestly, this is the single most effective tip that helped my biceps grow!

There are a few things about the Olympic barbell that make it very effective for bicep development.

The weight, the length, and the flatness command involvement from the two bicep heads (the long and short head) and the forearms too, especially when performed at a shoulder-width grip.

The key to this exercise (and all exercises) is the strict form.

The most important thing when using the barbell curl is to not turn it into a hip thrust exercise!

Don’t push the barbell with your hip when stretching. Let the bicep do the contraction without momentum from your hips.

To help you do so, maintain a slight bend in your elbow when lowering the weight, and don’t extend your arms all the way down.

Remember, only on the last set for the last few reps after failure, some momentum is allowed.

6. Train Your Brachialis

Train Your Brachialis

 

The brachialis is what gives your bicep thickness and fullness. They are essential elbow flexors.

Hammer curl is the best exercise for brachialis development. The reverse barbell curl is the second best!

7. Incorporate Concentration Curls.

Incorporate Concentration Curls

Or as some call it “preacher curls”. This is a great exercise for developing the bicep peak whether it’s done using a dumbbell, barbell (EZ or flat), or machine.

Do not involve momentum contribution from your body. Lighten the weight and let your bicep do the contraction and stretching.

To help you do this, remember to completely sit tightly on the preacher’s seat. Don’t lift your butt off the seat, especially during the lowest 1/3rd of the contraction movement.

Moreover, when stretching, do not lower the dumbbell (or barbell) all the way down. This could add more stress on your connective tissue and cause elbow injuries.

Maintain a bend in your elbows when stretching and go down 4/5th of the way before contracting back up again.

8. Exercise Order Matters!

Exercise Order Matters

Starting out with preacher curls is not a good idea. Because the exercise’s maximum-generated tension is at the lowest 1/4th of the movement. This exercise requires bicep blood flow and warmed-up elbows.

You are better off starting with dumbbell or barbell curls after a couple of very light weights of warming up.

That’s because these two particular exercises exert maximum tension at the exact middle of the movement (away from the elbows) where your biceps are the strongest.

9. Frequency Also Matters

Frequency Also Matters

Frequency does matter for such a small muscle group. Train your bicep once or twice more on top of the separate arm day!

But not with less intensity, though.

This is the second-best tip that helped my biceps grow!

Two days after the arm day, I would throw in two exercises of 3 sets of 20-12 reps after the chest, back, or shoulder workout. Machine concentration curls followed by dumbbell hammer curls.

Give this a try for a month or two and watch your biceps swell!

10. Include Exercise Variety.

Include Exercise Variety

Since you will be hitting your bicep twice or three times a week, you have a wide selection of exercises to choose from.

On the main arms day, stick to the basic movements. But on other days you have some liberty to select from a variety of bicep exercises.

Here are a few: drag curls, incline bicep curls with the dumbbell, reverse barbell curls, concentration curls on the leg, etc.

11. Strengthen Your Grip.

Strengthen Your Grip

Many lifters reported that weaker grip represents a limiting factor for bicep development.

Don’t use straps in all your workouts (especially the back). Squeeze your grip hard when holding the dumbbell or barbell, or use grip attachments (Fat grips).

12. Flex Your Biceps.

Flex Your Biceps

Between the sets, or after the workout, flex your biceps and hold for a few seconds.

This is important to establish and develop the mind-muscle connection with your biceps.
 

THE BEST BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES FOR YOUR BICEPS

Here’s how to combine bicep exercises into a great home workout:

Choose three of the exercises and do 8-12 repetitions.
Do three sets of each exercise with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets.
During isometric exercises, try to hold the position as long as possible. Repeat this three times with 90-120 seconds of rest between sets.

13. CHIN-UPS

Starting position:

Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Let yourself hang with your arms nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shoulders

How to perform the exercise:
Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar (end position). Then lower yourself back down to the starting position in a controlled manner.

14. ISOMETRIC CHIN-UPS

Starting position:

Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar. If you are unable to do a chin up, you can still do this exercise by using a chair or step to jump. Alternatively, and a more challenging bicep exercise, you can bend your arms until they are at a 90-degree angle.

How to perform the exercise:
Hold this position for as long as you can.

15. NEGATIVE/ECCENTRIC CHIN-UPS

Starting position:
Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is over the bar

How to perform the exercise:
Lower yourself down into a hanging position in a slow and controlled manner. Your arms should not be completely straight in the end position. Make sure to maintain tension in your arms and shoulders in the end position.

Note:

If you cannot do a chin-up, you can always do the negatives. Feel free to use a chair or step to jump up. Then, perform the bicep exercise.

16. COMMANDO CHIN-UPS

Starting position:
Place your hands close together on the pull up bar. Your thumbs should be facing you and your arms should be nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shoulders.

How to perform the exercise:

Pull yourself up with your head to the left of the bar. Try to touch the pull up bar with your right shoulder. Then lower yourself back down to the starting position in a controlled manner. Then, pull yourself up with your head to the right of the bar. Try to touch the bar with your left shoulder.

17. HEAD BANGERS (ADVANCED EXERCISE)

Starting position:

Grab the pull up bar with your palms facing you and your hands about shoulder width apart. Let yourself hang with your arms nearly straight. Maintain tension in your arms and shoulders.

How to perform the exercise:
Pull yourself up until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. While holding this position, push and pull your body back and forth in an explosive manner, as if you were trying to hit the bar with your forehead.

EXTRA: BICEP EXERCISE YOU CAN DO AT HOME WITHOUT A PULL UP BAR
Would you like to do your bicep exercises at home, but don’t have any dumbbells or a pull up bar? No sweat, all you need is a resistance band.

18. RESISTANCE BAND BICEP CURLS

Starting position:

Sit down with your knees flexed under you, so that you are sitting on your heels. Keep your upper body tall and shoulders relaxed. Tuck the resistance band underneath your right knee and hold it with your right hand.

How to perform the exercise:

Pull your hand up towards your right shoulder against the resistance of the band. Your upper arm should stay stationary as you pull on the band, keeping your elbow underneath your shoulder and close to your body. Release the hold and return to the starting position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch to the other side.

If bigger, stronger arms and a stronger upper body are your goal – don’t forget to check out the best bodyweight exercises for triceps, too.

19. CABLE BICEPS CURLS WITH SHOULDER FLEXED

Preparation

1. Stand while holding a handle to a cable attachment with your shoulder flexed.

Movement

2. Perform a biceps curl by flexing your elbow, keeping your shoulder blade retracted.

3. Curl until your elbow is fully flexed.

4. Slowly return to original position by extending your elbows.

Do 3-5 sets and 6-12 repetitions.