There is something liberating about hitting the gym to focus on one muscle group. Most of the time you should be doing balanced workouts that hit your whole body, but sometimes going into a gym knowing you’re going to blast your biceps, is almost relaxing compared with having to think about how to structure your session to work different muscles.
Curls are the key when bulking up your biceps. You need to get the pacing of your workout right to truly test your biceps, and also do a variety of curls so you’re working the muscles from all angles, and the routine below does exactly that.
It consists of six exercises done in three supersets. That means you do the first set of exercise A, followed immediately by the first set of exercise B. Rest for the allotted period, then start on the second consecutive sets of A and B. Once all the sets of superset 1 are completed, move on to superset 2.
You’ll also find the exact tempo you need to work at alongside the sets and reps information for each exercise. The first number is the time in seconds you should spend lowering the weight, the second number how long you should pause at the bottom of the move, the third number is how long to take to lift the weight, and the final number is how long you should wait at the top of the lift.
Superset Biceps Workout
The plan is simple: it’s a six-move workout made up of three supersets. Do the moves in order, sticking to the sets, reps, tempo and rest periods.
Do it twice a week for four weeks, aiming to increase the weights you’re lifting every second session. This will consistently keep your biceps muscles out of their comfort zone and expose them to an ever-increasing workload, which is the key to impressive muscle mass gains.
To avoid overtaxing the muscles, drop any biceps moves you’re already doing and replace them with pressing moves that work the chest, triceps and shoulders to help keep your body balanced.
Move through a full range: Moving your muscles through the full range of motion will engage the maximum number of muscle fibres, which is the key to faster growth. And avoid swinging the weights up using momentum – cheat reps will hinder, not help, your gains.
Squeeze at the top of the move: At the top of every rep (when your hands are closest to your chin), squeeze your biceps as hard as possible for one second. This will fire up extra muscle fibres to hold the weight steady and increase blood flow for a muscle-building pump.
Stretch at the bottom: At the bottom of every rep (when you arms are fully straight), stretch your triceps as hard as possible for one second. This will help ensure you go through a full range of motion, as well as removing any momentum from your reps.
1A Dumbbell curl
Sets 3 Reps 12 Tempo 2111 Rest 0 sec
- Lie on an incline bench with a weight in each hand with palms facing forward.
- Curl the weights up, pause at the top, then lower back down under complete control.
1B Hammer curl
Sets 3 Reps 15 Tempo 2111 Rest 60 sec
- Using a lighter set of dumbbells than in exercise 1A, lie on the incline bench with palms facing each other.
- Curl them up, pause at the top, then lower under control.
- Squeeze your biceps at the top of the lift to work your muscles harder.
2A Preacher curl
Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2111 Rest 0 sec
- Sit at a preacher bench holding an EZ-bar with an underhand grip.
- Curl the bar up to the top, pause and squeeze, then lower the bar slowly until your arms are fully straight.
2B Preacher reverse curl
Sets 3 Reps 10 Tempo 2111 Rest 60 sec
- With the same weight on the EZ-bar as in 2A, change your grip to a double-overhand hold.
- Curl the bar up, pause, then lower until your arms are fully straight.
3A Cable bar curl
Sets 3 Reps 15 Tempo 2111 Rest 0 sec
- Hold a straight bar that’s attached to the lower pulley.
- Keeping your elbows by your sides, curl the bar up, pause, then lower under control.
3B Cable hammer curl
Sets 3 Reps 15 Tempo 2111 Rest 60 sec
- Reduce the weight by a plate or two and switch cable attachments to a double-handed rope.
- Hold it with palms facing.
- Curl it up, pause, then lower under control.