Increasing biceps has no secrets. Everyone can achieve it. Of course, you need time and the right exercises. Lucky for you, you have our experience at your disposal. Are you ready to impress everyone with your new arms? Let's go in parts...
What you should know about increasing volume in the arms
We don't like to lie. We prefer to explain the truth so that all our readers are happy. To build biceps , you have to gain muscle volume throughout your entire body. Arms rarely grow on their own if you're not bulking up every other part of your body. Vince del Monte once said that you need to gain 10 pounds of muscle to gain 1 inch of biceps . Let us tell you, he was absolutely right. It seems somewhat contradictory, but it is the truth. If you want bigger biceps , do global total-body exercises: squats, deadlifts, barbell rows, pull-ups, pulldowns, and even bench presses.
I have over 12 years of coaching experience. My currently contracted bicep is 17 inches normal and 18 inches pumped. I must say that, throughout these years, I have gained about 10 cm of biceps. To achieve this, I also had to increase my body weight from 58 kg to 82 kg. Of course, it took me more than 12 years to reach this volume. What I mean is that, to increase biceps, you are going to have to gain muscle volume.
What is considered a big biceps?
The answer to this question depends a lot on personal taste. Nor is a very defined biceps the same as one covered by fat. The definition makes the muscle look spectacular, even if it is not that big.
In general, we will say that a contracted biceps of 15 to 16 inches is already a good arm . Anything that comes up from there will be an excellent gain for a natural athlete who trains in the gym .
What is the best exercise for biceps?
Now yes, after the clarifications, we are going to see what are the best exercises for biceps . In my experience, the best biceps exercise is the Z-bar curl. It's the most basic and allows you to load a lot of weight. There is nothing better to work the biceps to its full extent. It is advisable to accompany the Z-bar curl with some other auxiliary exercises. I propose the 4 exercises that I have always used and give good results.
What materials will you need to make them?
- • A bicep Z bar.
- • Discs of various weights.
- • A preacher curl bench.
- • A straight bench or place to sit.
- • Dumbbells, which can be adjustable, fixed, etc.
The following are exercises to increase arm strength and bulk .
1. Biceps curl with the Z bar to enlarge arms
I recommend doing this exercise with the Z bar because it's better for the wrists. Grab the bar by the "V" areas.
- Stand tall and hold the Z-bar at shoulder width or with a slightly wider grip.
- The palms of the hands should be facing you when you raise the bar.
- Begin the exercise with your arms extended and the bar on your thighs.
- Do not stand with your legs completely straight. Instead, slightly bend your knees. This will protect your back during the biceps curl movement.
- Stick your arms to your torso, take a deep breath and bend your forearms to explosively drive the Z-bar up to your chest. At this point, squeeze your biceps and exhale.
- Lower the bar until it reaches the thighs again (starting position).
This is how you do a repeat. You can be guided by the doll in the image. No matter how many years go by, this will always be the best exercise for biceps . It has been used by every bodybuilder in history. Do you need exercises to increase biceps at home ? You just have to buy a Z bar, some discs and make this one.
2. Double hammer curl with dumbbells, exercises to increase arms
I have always liked this exercise and it is important to increase the biceps . The exercise develops the core musculature of the biceps brachii and forearm. Due to its grip, it involves much more of the forearm than the normal dumbbell curl. The hammer curl gives the arm great volume and size when viewed in profile. If you want to have massive arms , go for it!
It is an exercise to increase biceps with dumbbells . You can raise one dumbbell and then the other, but I recommend moving both dumbbells at the same time. At first it seems harsh, but you will get used to this. You will gain great strength and power in your arms, and you will maximize hypertrophy. How is it done? You will need two dumbbells with a weight that you can control.
- In this exercise, the dumbbells are held with a neutral grip. That is, the hands have to be facing the thighs.
- The arms will be extended.
- Fill your lungs with air and, while maintaining a neutral grip, bend your forearms to bring the dumbbells closer to your shoulders.
- We will squeeze the biceps when it reaches its maximum flexion and we will release the air when we extend our arms again.
The double hammer curl manages to strengthen the entire arm and allows you to lift quite heavy dumbbells! (More weight is often used than in the normal dumbbell biceps curl.)
3. Preacher curl, another exercise to grow arms
I always like to finish off a biceps workout to build muscle mass with the preacher curl or Scott bench curl . The reason is that it enhances muscle isolation because, in this exercise, we have our arms resting on the bench support. No other exercise matches the muscle pump that the Scott bench achieves.
I prefer to do it with the Z bar. In this case, we'll grab the bar by the center "U". Arms will be shoulder width apart or slightly closer together. Of the exercises we've seen, I like to go in the following order: first, standing Z-bar biceps curl; then double hammer curl; Finally, preacher curl (or Scott bench).
How to do it?
- Get on the bench and grab the Z-bar (adjust the bench and armrest to make you comfortable).
- Fully extend the lower part of the arms on the bench support. Stretch your arms, take a breath and begin to bend your forearms.
- Try to bring the bar closer to your shoulders and squeeze the biceps. Exhale when you finish contracting the biceps. Then lower your forearms and extend your arms again.
- It is important that you do not detach the arms from the support during the entire movement.
This is one of the most recommended exercises to gain an arm because it works the peak of the biceps.
4. Concentrated dumbbell curl to enlarge arms at home
Normally, I don't like to do more than three exercises for the biceps. So sometimes I trade the preacher curl for this dumbbell concentration curl. To make a concentrate, you only need a dumbbell. Place it in your exercise routine to enlarge arms at home .
- Sit on a bench and rest your right arm on your right leg. Extend your arm so that it is dangling.
- Inhale, do the biceps curl, contract the muscle, pause, and then lower the dumbbell.
- Do several repetitions with the right arm. Then, move on to doing the exercise with your left arm (resting on your left leg).
How to do an exercise routine to increase arm strength?
It is not only necessary to do the exercises to increase biceps ; You also have to progress in the loads. With the exercises that have been explained, I suggest you follow the following routine:
- • First exercise: Z-bar standing curl
- • Second exercise: Double Hammer Curl
- • Third exercise: Preacher curl (or concentration curl)
How to progress in strength? For each exercise, select a weight that will allow you to do about 30 explosive reps . For example, suppose you can do 30 reps with 15kg in the Z-bar curl. Remember to factor in the weight of the Z-bar (a regular Z-bar typically weighs 5kg and an Olympic Z-bar weighs 10kg).
In the first exercise, do a few sets of 12 reps with the single bar without weights, and then do a few more approach sets (for example, 10 kg x 8 reps). After this warm-up, place the 15 kg, which will be for your effective series .
You will use the 15 kg in the effective series of several trainings until you reach 30 repetitions. Then, you will have to gain 2.5 kg in the exercise and you will try to lose as few repetitions as possible.
After your effective set with the weight you lift, do two more working sets . In these two series, the record you get will not matter. You will only use them to stimulate the biceps more. Here, you can choose the weights and rep ranges that you feel comfortable with (it can be 20 reps, 10 or 8, interchangeably).
Training to increase your biceps would look like the following:
- • Effective set with 15 kg x explosive rep max (don't try to break the record in a single day. Save yourself some reps and give the weight several workouts).
- • Work series 1 with 12 repetitions.
- • Work series 2 with 12 repetitions.
When you've broken a rep record for the effective set, remember to go up 2.5kg in your next workout. Gaining strength will take several months. Here is an example table of what a multi-month progression would look like :
This is just a training example and does not have to be the same as you. You must write your repetition records yourself. As you can see, the idea is to increase biceps with a light weight and continue to increase the load with 2.5 kg jumps.
Where would the progress be? When you get to a weight that you can only do about 8 reps with, you'll need to go back to the 15kg you started with the next workout. Now, you will try to reach more than 30 repetitions (for example, 33, 35...). In the next training cycle, you will try to beat your previous records. As you can see, a biceps strength progression is long. If we take into account that 3 or 4 workouts are usually given at each weight, the total progression would last about 8 or 9 months. It is slow, but really effective. I have followed this method for a long time and it is the best system I have found to gain strength and progress in arm exercises .
Follow a similar progression for the other two exercises. Begin the double hammer curl with a weight that allows you to complete about 30 repetitions. After doing the effective set, do two more working sets.
For the preacher curl or the concentration curl, we're going to do the effective set and just one more set of work.
A training session would look like this:
- • Standing Z-bar curl: 1 effective series + 2 working series
- • Double hammer curl with dumbbells: 1 effective series + 2 working series
- • Preacher curl or concentrated curl: 1 effective series + 1 working series.
In total, there are 8 series in a workout, which is an adequate volume of work for a small muscle like the biceps.
How often should I do the exercises to increase biceps?
Doing the proposed training once a week will be enough.
Put the exercises to grow arms in a fullbody routine?
Although it sounds strange, one of the things that has given me the best results is training biceps and legs on the same day . I always do it this way: I like to do a leg exercise and then a biceps exercise. For example, the following order:
2. Z-bar curl
3. Leg press
4. Double Hammer Curl
5. Sumo Deadlift
6. Preacher Curl
7. Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift
Why this distribution? Because while we are doing a leg exercise, the arms are resting. In this way, we will be fully recovered for the next biceps exercise. We will have strength and we will be able to give the maximum intensity to our routine to increase arms .
What are the exercises to increase arms at home without weight?
To do the indicated training, it is best that you go to a gym or buy the material that we list. However, if you want to try to strengthen your biceps without weights , you have a few options.
- • Use the colored fitness bands that are sold online. Each color is a different intensity.
- • Do chin-ups. You will need a sturdy bar to hang from. Do pull-ups with your palms facing you to develop your biceps.
- • Build your own "dumbbells" by filling bottles with water or sand. They will serve you to do biceps curls.
There are several alternatives to work the biceps without weights:
How much can I increase biceps in 2 weeks?
You must always keep one thing in mind: this is not a fast road . Do not expect to increase biceps in 2 weeks . It is very little time. If you've never done an arm exercise before, you may be able to gain 1 cm in that time. To increase biceps fast , follow the method that we have proposed. Be consistent and expect at least a year of training to see a few more inches in your biceps.
Nutrition and rest to develop biceps
The last piece of advice we can give you is to eat properly and rest. Training is the stimulus, but food is the brick with which you will build your body. Eat protein foods such as red and white meat, fish, eggs and milk . Take carbohydrates such as cereals, legumes, bread, potatoes, pasta and lots of fruit . Give your body good fats like avocado, olive oil, and fish oil . Eat a handful of nuts daily . Try to sleep 8 hours a day and don't overtrain.
Do you remember that we told you that you have to eat so that your arm grows? Well, it's totally true. Eat well and see increasing body weight little by little. Eating and following proper training are the only ways to increase biceps . Give yourself time and you will have an impressive volume in your arms. How big are your biceps right now?