Muscle Building

How To Build Big Biceps

arnold schwarzenegger biceps
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Looking for bigger biceps? Who isn’t. The quest for big arms can seem never ending for some, and for others – big arms come easy. So what are the secrets to building muscular, eye-catching biceps?

Bicep Training Routines. Believe it or not, the best way for natural bodybuilders to build massive biceps is NOT with split training routines. Train like the old school lifters – Reg Park, Steve Reeves, and John Grimek. These naturals carved out dense, muscular physiques using primarily 3 day per week fullbody routines.

  • Bicep Training Volume. Instead of hitting the biceps once a week with 6 to 9 sets, switch to a Monday, Wednesday and Friday routine structure and perform 2 to 3 sets on each of these days.
  • Exercise Selection. Vary your exercises. Use a different exercise each day, such as Barbell Curls on Monday, Concentration Curls on Wednesday and Hammer Curls on Friday.
  • Reps Ranges. One of the keys to building bigger biceps is to hit them in a variety of rep ranges. Try to perform sets each week in the following 3 rep ranges: 4 to 8, 8 to 12 and 12 to 15.

Bicep Training Principles. Now that you have a routine, exercises and rep ranges figured out, it’s time to look at some other principles that will assist you in building bigger biceps.

  • Progression. Progression is a simple, but often misunderstood principle. You must try to add reps and/or weight on each set of every workout. By pushing your body harder each time in the gym, you are forcing your biceps to respond and grow.
  • Compound Movements. Compound movements are the secret key to building big biceps. Compound movements are lifts such as deadlifts, squats, the military press, barbell rows, pullups, etc. While lifts like these don’t directly stress the biceps in the same manner in which curls do, they do heavily tax multiple muscle groups, forcing the body as a unit to adapt and grow. Point blank – if you can deadlift 500 pounds your arms will be larger then when you were deadlifting 200 pounds.

Hidden Bicep Building Keys. These two bicep building “keys” might seem obvious to some, but most lifters don’t follow them.

  • Eat! You have to eat more calories then it requires for you to maintain your weight. If you don’t do this, you will find it nearly impossible to build muscle. How do you do this? You must become a scientist with your body. Count calories! And learn how many calories your body needs to maintain weight. Then add approximately 500 extra calories per day.
  • 52 Weeks a Year! To build big biceps, you must hit the gym 52 weeks a year. So many bodybuilders don’t do this. Persistence and patience will lead to much faster bicep growth.

Questions? Please join our bodybuilding and powerlifting forum.

Steve Shaw
Steve Shaw is the primary content manager for Muscle and Brawn. Questions? Please visit the forum.
  • Brad Aug 24,2013 at 7:11 am

    Funny how you mentioned old school guys like reg park, they did way more volume than 3 sets per session lol

  • bicep exercises Sep 8,2010 at 7:00 pm

    Hey, great weight training info here, gonna get ripped real quick with all this good information!

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