The Top 5 Best Biceps Exercises

Arnold BicepsBiceps. The ultimate show muscle. From age 10 on, every boy, teenager, and man want to have bulging biceps. This is, apparently, a true sign of manliness and strength.

Biceps are among the most famous muscles in the body. When somebody asks you to “make a muscle” or “flex”, they aren’t asking you to flex your hamstrings. They want to see your biceps!

This whole notion of flexing the biceps as a measure of anything, is completely ludicrous to me, but it is a reality. When someone asks me to flex, I ask them if they’d much rather discuss max effort PRs, perhaps dynamic powerlifting strategies, or better yet how to put together the most effective HIIT complexes. Most folks walk away thus. But I digress…


How to Get Big Ass Arms

Of course, to have big arms one must work the triceps twice as hard as the biceps. For this, you may refer to my post on the top 5 best triceps exercises.

The next thing you should know, is that compound back exercises build biceps mass best. Sure, you can perform isolated curls until the cows come home, but chances are if you are just curling, your biceps aren’t growing. For this, you may refer to my post on the top 5 best back exercises.

Now we must examine how the biceps work so that we can better target them for growth.

Anatomy of the Bicep

The biceps brachii is attached to a forearm bone called the radius and originates at the scapula in two places. In fact the bicep gets its name from this two headed structure; we refer to it as the long head and the short head of the biceps.

The biceps brachii runs down the front, or anterior, side of the humerus and makes up approximately 1/3 of the muscle mass of the upper arm. As I mentioned before, the 3 standards heads of the tricep make up the other 2/3 of your upper arm mass.

Two additional parts of the bicep are called brachialis and brachioradialis. These are a little muscles on the outside of the bicep that contribute to elbow flexion. Typically there is no need to train these specifically, unless you are a bodybuilder.

Biceps Anatomy
Biceps Anatomy

Functions of the Bicep

The primary function of the bicep muscle is to flex the elbow, which moves the forearm towards the shoulder. The explains the standard bicep “curl”.

The secondary function of the bicep is supination of the forearm, which means turning the hand from a palms-down position to a palms-up position. This is why a a rotational type of curl is always good to add to your bicep training arsenal.

The Top 5 Best Biceps Exercises

I thought about avoiding all compound exercises that exist in the top 5 best exercises for any other muscle group. But I can’t. The reality is that the top 5 best biceps exercises include a form of rowing and a form of chin-up/pull-down. Therefore I will present the top 3 best direct biceps exercises and the top 2 compound exercises that you should use if you want big biceps.

Never should your workout program contain an ‘arm day’ where you focus only on biceps. There’s no need to do more than two biceps exercises in any given workout, and those two exercises better be two totally different movements.

  1. Standing barbell curl
    If there was ever a ‘compound biceps exercise’, this would be it. This is the only direct bicep exercise that you can just pile weight on and use all the muscle of the biceps and forearms to get the weight up. Standing barbell curls are the only must-use exercise if you want tank arms.

    To set up: load a standard 45 lb barbell with some weights, and pick it up. Your hands should be supinated (palms up), about shoulder width apart. Arms should hang down beside/in front of your body, the bar in front of your hips. Tuck your elbows into your sides and DON’T move them throughout the exercise.

    To curl: keeping your elbows tucked in place at your sides, curl the bar up to your chin, but not so far that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Always keep tension on the biceps throughout the motion. Do not let the biceps relax at the bottom of the rep, but also don’t bounce the bar off your hips or quads in order to start the next rep. Keep tension on the biceps.

    Variations: wide grip, medium grip, narrow grip; standing ez curls with a 20-25 lb ez curl bar. Do reverse curl to work your forearms.

    WARNING: The following video depicts perfect technique for the barbell curl, except for one small detail – he is curling in the power rack. Please, for your own safety do not curl in the power rack or the squat rack, otherwise you may find your barbell stuffed where the sun don’t never shine.

    YouTube Preview Image
  2. Alternating rotating dumbbell curl
    This is a simple exercise, that feels natural in its plane of motion. By alternating, you can focus maximal intensity on each arm separately.

    To set up: grab two dumbbells and hold them down at your sides, arms straight, palms facing your body. Again, keep your elbows tucked into your sides as soon as you start curling.

    To curl: start the movement with a hammer curl, then as the dumbbell clears your body, begin to rotate it so that at the end of the movement, your palms are facing your head. Once you lower the dumbbell back to the starting position, start curling with the next arm.

    Cheat Principles

    Here is an example, but this guy is definitely swaying and cheating. I couldn’t really find a good video for standing alternating bicep curls. Basically take this principle and instead of swaying, keep your elbows locked at your sides and just stand still while you curl.

    When you get to the last rep, you may feel free to apply a cheat principle by either swaying a bit or by raising the elbows away from the body, but this should only be on the last rep of the set.

    YouTube Preview Image

  3. Hammer curl
    The hammer curl is great for developing the forearms, brachialis, and brachioradialis. I’m not sure about you, but I can hammer curl more than I can traditional curl, and lifting more with good form is always better than lifting less.

    To set up: grab two dumbbells and hold them down at your sides, arms straight, palms facing your body. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides as soon as you start curling.

    To hammer curl:
    you are basically curling the dumbbell up as high as it can go without moving the elbows. Ideally, the flat side of the dumbbell, at the top of the rep, should come close to touching the shoulder of the lifting arm. We call this a hammer curl because it looks like you are swinging a hammer. This means the palms face towards your body throughout the whole exercise.

    This guy here is doing his hammer curls close to his body. This is one way you can alter the plane of motion in order to lift a bit more weight. Notice how he still keeps his elbows stationary though? That is the point you should away from this vid.

    YouTube Preview Image

  4. Supinated bent over rows
    OK, now we get into the real biceps mass gainers. When you curl you can use maybe 50-70 lbs dumbbells, or 120-150 lbs on a straight bar, but when you are rowing, you can load the bar up to well over 200 lbs. I personally remember bent over straight bar rows with 265+ lbs back in college.

    To set up: you will be grabbing the bar with a supinated grip (palms up/away) with your hands about shoulder width apart. You will need to either unrack the bar from a rack or stand, or deadlift the weight into a standing position.

    It is important to bent over so that your upper body is close to parallel to the floor, but not so much that your lower back rounds over. By pushing your butt back, you will be able to maintain a stronger core while getting lower to the floor.

    To row: the row itself is simply bringing the bar up to touch your abdomen, and lowering it down so that your arms are just short of fully extended. As always, keep your elbows in, as opposed to flared out to the side.

    YouTube Preview Image

  5. Close grip chin ups
    YES! Biceps mass will be well on its way once you master this exercise. By keeping your hands close together and focusing on your biceps to lift your body, you will be essentially doing bodyweight curls. How much do you weigh? 150? 180? 220? Can you straight bar curl that much? I didn’t think so.

    There is a big difference between pull ups and chin ups though. While pull ups are good for your arms and back, close grip chin ups bring that whole movement to a whole new bicep-mass-building-level.

    To set up: find a straight bar that you can comfortably reach from a standing position. Grip the bar with an underhand/supinated grip (your palms should be facing you). Keep the hands about 4-6 inches apart; they should be right outside your chin on either side.

    If you are strong enough to do weighted pull ups or chin ups, add some weight either by crossing your feet and placing a dumbbell between your ankles, or hanging a couple plates from a weighted belt. A weighted belt should have a chain on one end and a loop on the other end, to which you should hook the chain. Put the chain through the hole in the middle of the plates and clasp the chain to the loop. Good stuff.

    To chin up: an important aspect of chin ups, is getting your chin up over the bar. While this isn’t a dire necessity, if you don’t at least get your chin up to touch the bar, you can’t call the rep complete.

    The girl in the following video has better form than most of the male pull up videos I found on YouTube.

    YouTube Preview Image

Honorable mentions: preacher curls, concentration curls, seated incline curls

Just real quick I’d like to show a preacher curl video. Bodybuilders love these, so they must work pretty well. When you do these, you don’t want to bring your forearms perpendicular to the floor, as this take tension off the biceps. Here you go:

YouTube Preview Image

To integrate these exercises into a full body workout program, you should choose either #4 or #5 as your main back exercise, and follow it up with any one of the first 3 exercises. This will allow you to lift maximal weight on the compound movement, and burn the biceps out with a direct biceps movement. Even consider breaking up the back and biceps exercise with something else entirely (legs or chest perhaps) in order to give the biceps some additional recovery time.

To integrate these exercises into a training program that splits the body amongst different days, you can do exercise #4 and #5 on back day, and follow it up with any one of the first 3 exercises. I still recommend not using a dedicated bicep day, or an arms day that focuses on the bis.

If you focus too much directly on biceps, you will just be spinning your wheels. They are more of a secondary muscle group, and for them to really grow and get stronger, all the large muscle around them (shoulders, triceps, back, and chest) need to get stronger first.

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177 Responses to “The Top 5 Best Biceps Exercises”

  1. I really like you start by describing the anatomy first and then the exercises. Makes it easier to understand to follow.

  2. FitMarker says:

    The Top 5 Best Biceps Exercises…

    The top 5 best biceps exercise to give your favorite show muscle a rippling peak….

  3. Bernie says:

    I don’t have a full day devoted to arms, I always work biceps during my chest day…here’s what I do for biceps on that workout day…

    BB Curls 4×10
    Incline Curls 3×10
    Hammer Curls 3×10

    My question is this – On my back days I do medium grip chin ups and supinated BB rows. Do you think I would gain more mass if I switched out either incline or hammer curls with close grip chin ups? And if I did that, I suppose on my back day I would switch my BB rows to pronated. What do you think?

  4. pantera says:

    do body drag curls look them up

  5. ross says:

    this guy is a joke, you dont do back exercises to build biceps and expect results… the back will do majority of the work with little bicep stimulation. to get big BI’s you lift big,hard and exclude as many muscles from helping the biceps doing the work. get a clue bud

    • Steve says:

      2-3 sets of 2-3 exercises for biceps curls each week plus heavy back training is all you really need to grow your biceps. A serious bodybuilder might want to dedicate a couple more sets each week if biceps are a lagging body part. Otherwise overtraining the biceps is a waste of time.

    • Nick says:

      When I started doing deadlifts, bent over rows, and squats, my bicep max increased 30 pounds and that was with no extra training of my biceps.

  6. dan says:

    This guy is a joke? Do you not use your arms when you work your back? You must be magical. Most experts agree that compound movements put far more mass on your body than isolation movements.Work your back as hard as you can, and there is no reason why your biceps should not be toast with it. Shoot, some say that you can get bigger arms not even working them,… by doing compount movements.Dead lifts and squats are said to put mass on the whole body,…..

  7. Shelvin says:

    Is there an age limit for this workout?

  8. Ellis says:

    I agree with a lot of your practices…..I wanted to shed light on another bicep exercise that has helped me a lot. I don’t know if this has a proper name or not because I kind of made it up, but I call it inverted cable curls. First you need a preacher curl seat (so yull have somewhere to rest your elbows and to keep from swinging your body) and set it in front of a cable machine with the cable setting all the way to the floor….and you will need a rope attachment. Place the seat in front of the cable machine and set down. The best way to explain the grip is to hold your hands palm facing outward…kind of like if you were getting change from a cashier. You want the end of the rope to be coming out the bottom of your fist, the ball on the end of the rope is going to be against your pinkey fingers. Remember to keep tension on the bicep all the way thru this motion top to bottom….I usually extend as far down as I can without locking my elbows. Since I’ve started doing this exercise I’ve gained a lot of width and strength on my bicep. Give it a try and lemme know what you think.

  9. mark says:

    I’ve talked with several competitive body builder, and they all have told me that i should do all of my “pull” exercises together and all of my “push” exzercise together. Then do legs seperate and shoulders seperate (each on a seperate day). Im tryin to gain mass and strength, and Im always open for a suggestion. I also like to switch the routine up and so I keep the muscles guessing. What do you think?

    • Steve says:

      A workout routine like that should work just fine, but I’d put shoulders on the “push” day simply because shoulders are a small muscle group and do not need a dedicated day. If you want to train 4 times a week do this:

      Day 1: Push – chest, tris, shoulders
      Day 2: Legs – hamstring dominant, abs, dynamic effort squats
      Day 3: off
      Day 4: Pull – horizontal back, vertical back, biceps and grip training
      Day 5: Legs – quad dominant, abs, dynamic effort bench press
      Day 6 & 7: off

      Just a suggestion.

      • zak says:

        Can you elaborate on dynamic effort squats/bench, horizontal back and vertical back?

        Also what is the best way to work the legs to gain mass while at home? Ive gotten so tired at waiting around in the gym. So all I really have to work with is a straight bar, bench and dumb bells.

        During tricep days should I do reg bench, decline and incline bench consecutively since they tend to hit different areas of the chest or is it best to transition them bi-weekly?

        I want to keep things simple, at the gym there is just too much going on at any given time and with so many options its easy to get confused. Is it likely that I can get a good muscle building workout by doing split routines with 3 main compound exercises each session paired up with three isolating moves? In order to get the most out of muscle confusion I was thinking about changing up the isolated moves each time depending on the workout.

        • Steve says:

          Dynamic effort is when you use 50% of your 1 rep max, for 8 sets of 3 reps, moving the weight as fast as you can for those 3 reps. You literally pull it down, reverse it, and push it back up as quickly as possible. It should only take you about 1-2 seconds to complete each set. You are training for speed/power/force development, not to get a pump or to lift heavy weight.

          Horizontal back mean rows. Vertical means pullups/chinups.

          At home, use jump squats, speed squats, tabata bodyweight squats.

          Your thoughts on workout simplicity seem accurate, although I don’t see the need for 3 isolating movements after you complete the 3 compounds lifts. Don’t overtrain.

  10. drew says:

    hey steve im 16 and have been working out for about a year now my routine is this
    1)chest tri
    2)day off
    3)shoulder and bis
    4) abbs/cardio
    5)day off
    6) legs/back
    my biceps seem to be laking peak so ive been trying to get them up to par but havent been seeing much any advice?

  11. mac says:

    can i do triceps on the same day i work my biceps.if yes then can somebody pls tell me what can be the most effective or top exercises for triceps to get it bigger . i’m 19 yrs old .so i want exercises according to my age .i workout in my local gym.want to be a bodybuilder

  12. Tony says:

    Hi steve, I’m a 15 year old and am just starting out on weight traing. My main goals are to get massive biceps and chest. Can you suggest some good workouts and the frequencies needed to build these muscles with just a barbell and dumbells?

    • Steve says:

      The biggest mistake you will make when starting to train, is to focus on ‘massive biceps and chest’. If you do that, you will look back in 5 years and wish you hadn’t wasted your first couple years training only biceps and chest. Use a full body routine or a 2 day split. Be sure to train your back and legs just as much as chest and arms. Remember triceps are 2/3 of your arm mass, so train them harder than biceps. I’ve gotta write a noobie tips post.

  13. Marlon says:

    Hi steve,
    I’ve been training for about 6 months now.
    Whenever I workout my back+biceps, I feel like my biceps is already quite tired after my back workout, so I’m not able to do alot of excercises/reps. I thought that was okay because I worked it out with my back aswell. The problem is that my biceps isnt really growing good, so are there any changes possible to seperate back and biceps because I feel like this just isnt working out for me.
    thanks

  14. sky says:

    is it ok to work-out daily?

    • Steve says:

      Yes and no. Yes if you are using different kinds of exercise. For example, weight training every other day and endurance cardio on off-days. Or upper body day 1, lower body day 2, a full body HIRT workout day 3 (you never train to failure with HIRT workouts), then repeat. I highly suggest you take at least 1 day off every week for recovery though. Remember, your body only adapts (heals/recovers) when you are NOT training, and without proper recovery you will eventually plateau, over-train, and your progress will probably start to go backwards.

      • Brad says:

        Yes i agree, it is great to workout daily and work individual muscle groups through out the week or if you divide your workouts by upper body or lower body. But the most important thing to keep in mind is not to over train. Its important to have atleast one or two days off in your routine. And if you work out your muscle groups individually then make sure to take a good amount of rest between days, meaning dont work out the same muscle group for atleast 3-5 days. Some pros might recommend 5-7, but I found better results with 3-5 days rest.

        • Steve says:

          I have great results training 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, weekends off, repeat. Sometimes I do extra workouts on the off days, but I never train to failure with extra workouts. I’ve also had great results with a M/W/F full body routine. Rest is definitely the key to making progress.

  15. Joel says:

    Maybe you can help me with this…I am in the military and doing special forces prep workouts mon-fri. Each day is some type of running followed by field exercises and calisthenics, except for day 3 which is always pool day. Prior to this training I lifted quite often and had good size biceps but now I dont know how to fit them in to the routine seeing as no calisthenics we do work them at all.

  16. Chris says:

    so what is a good rotation of a work our i usual do triceps and chest one day, biceps shoulders and upperback the next, lowerback and legs one day and a lot of abs everyday such as leg lifts 200+ situps and russian twists everyday, is this a good process?

    • Steve says:

      Abs should be trained every other day just like any other muscle group. Day 1 chest & tris; day 2 back, shoulders & bis; day 3 legs? So is that like a M/W/F routine? If so, training abs each workout would be fine. I don’t think your routine is very specialized at all, but then I don’t know the details of it. Depending on your goal, you may want to consider using one of the Werewolf or Fat Loss routines here on Swole.

  17. Dee says:

    Hi,
    I am 29 Yrs old, my workout schedule is as below,
    1)chest triceps
    2)cardio, abs
    3)shoulders
    4)cardio, Legs
    5)Biceps
    6)Off
    7)Off
    I have confusion that for biceps workout, should i start with dumbbell curls or Barbell curls? and about the weights range selection as higher to lower OR lower to higher?

    many thanks

    –Dee
    INDIA

    • Steve says:

      You dedicate one full day to biceps training? I can’t support that. You should be training back & biceps together. Start the workout with either deadlifts, rows, or pull ups. Afterwards use 2 sets of barbell curls and 2 sets of dumbbell curls.

      • Dee says:

        Hi Steve,

        Thank you so much for reply. I will use your suggestion.

        For biceps training i use to do 5-5 sets, I don feel tired even after that. I feel i have stamina to do more. i have been working out from last 4,5 months now, i don take any supplement.
        Do u recommend on Whey protein?

        many thanks for your response.

        -Dee

  18. jake says:

    hi steve i am just starting to train, but started by getting diet and sleep and things like that right first, well i have bin training but want to do it properly now, but i have no idea how to put a routine together, i am into calisthenic exercises but want to include weights aswell, any help work be great, and found your information very useful thanks.

  19. MIKE says:

    i see that youve mentioned doing back and bis together. i seem to have better results when i work back and tris on day 1 and chest and bis on day 2. it has been working, that way there is now muscle getting a break and day 1 is primary and day 2 would be secondary based on the muscle group being worked. allowing myself a day off on wednesdays and the weekend. i find the two day work out to be great also i mix up core excercise so day one would be abs and day 2 would be legs, and cardio everyday. how does this sound?? oh reps consist of 8-10×3 sets, and each muscle group has three workouts per.

  20. Johnny Howard says:

    On backs/biceps days, i do hammer curl, barbell curls, and 21s. Should i include “normal” curls and get rid of hammer curls?

  21. Staph says:

    Hi Steve.
    I’m 19 years old and I kickbox but wanted to start gaining sum muscle and
    Strength. I do not go to the gym but I have plenty of dumbbells at home. Any suggestions on what routine I should do each week?

  22. Dylan says:

    I am starting college rugby in the fall and am wondering what some good lifts are for rugby. Ive been doing bench squat and deadlift for 2 years. I weigh 145 pounds. I bench 190, squat 275 and dead 350. I want some workouts that will help with explosive speed and power.- thanks

    • Steve says:

      If you want explosion train the Olympic lifts, and use lighter weights from time to time on squat, dead, bench, and overhead press. Using the lighter weights should allow you to use far greater speed and acceleration. You have a decent level of strength, so by using speed lifts you can translate that strength into power. In addition to learning the Olympic lifts, try using speed squats, jump squats, speed deadlifts, dynamic bench press, medicine ball toss (for shoulders), and read my post on Neural Activation Training (NAT).

  23. Dylan says:

    Also I forgot to add I am alergic to milk so i take soy protein. Is there any thing you recommend me taking that will help add more muscle mass. I want to be at 160-165 by the fall.

    • Steve says:

      Do you have access to Lactaid or Lactose-free milk, or Lactase pills? Those will allow you drink regular milk. Soy protein is not a good choice for men. Use foods like 2% (or whole) lactose-free milk, natural peanut butter, and flax oil to get more calories. Eat plenty of meat and fish for extra protein. Choose whole grains instead of white processed breads and pastas.

      • Dylan says:

        I am alergic to milk eggs and peanuts. I have soynut butter. I am not alergic to lactose. I am alergic to the protein in milk. when you mean speed dead and squats light weight constant reps. I do squat jumps with no weight.

  24. Vinamra kumar says:

    i do biceps and triceps together.. should i do this to gain muscle in biceps or should i change the routine.

  25. Jarhead says:

    Alright, listen up kiddies…this guy Steve is speaking the truth. If you want big arms, you need to work your back and your legs. If you are an ectomorphic body type (thin-framed) like I am, you’ll have a tougher time gaining by using isolation exercises…you need compound movements. Blast your back and your legs and you’ll be swimming in testoterone which will aid in gaining overall size. I see too many young fellas in the gym training chest and biceps every single day…it doesn’t work. I’m a 40 year old man and I can outlift most 25 year old guys because they are overtraining some body parts and UNDERtraining others. If you want those 19 inch arms, you need to train your WHOLE body.

    You also need to FEED YOUR MUSCLES and REST. Stop eating a bunch of crap and expecting to grow. Protein, protein, protein. You need to eat 5-6 times per day…and McDonalds doesn’t qualify as “good food”.

  26. Jared says:

    Steve,

    I’ve never been a person that comments before I had to here as your site has helped me gain the missing weight I’ve been seeking for the past year. Keep up the great work and I’ll keep coming back.

    JC

  27. Nate says:

    I use towel pull-ups as one of my main biceps and forearm exercises along with chin-ups and they feel great.

  28. Kyle says:

    I don’t see any of the important info, just the title, adds, and the comments :(

  29. Jeff says:

    I do 5×8 barbell curls,5×8 wide grip barbell curls then 5×8 close grip barbell curls and after it i cant lift anymore but i find if i do them in the morning then in the evening i can lift them again. is it ok if i workout out the biceps twice or three times a day then without over training as long as i get at least a week’s rest before another bicep day?

  30. Rahul Singh says:

    hi steve.
    my exercise shedule is
    monday-chest
    tuesday-back
    wednesday-biceps
    thursday-triceps
    friday-shoulders
    saturday-abs

    i have spended nearly six months in gym..but i m not satisfied with the result..can u seggest me some good exercise that work..

  31. I will definitly use those workouts in the gym.

  32. jeremy says:

    Steve, I’m trying to develop my own program that suits my goals and gives me some results. Do you see any problems with the following split?

    Monday-(Leg/shoulders) Hang Cleans, Front Squats, Military Press, Deadlift

    Wednesday-(Chest/Back/Arms/Abs) Weighted Chinups, Weighted Dips, Abs, Barbell Row, Diamond Pushups, Abs, Bicep Iso, Tricep Iso, Abs

    Friday-Repeat last Monday muscle groups with either same or different movements or higher rep schemes (endurance) for example Military Pressing, followed by a circuit lunges, sprints, jump squats,

    Next Monday-Repeat Last wednesday muscle groups with either same or different movements or higher rep schemes. Bodyweight Dips, Bodyweight Pullups, Dumbell Row, Bench Press, etc.

    Next Wednesday-Repeat First monday’s workout (Legs/Shoulders)

    Next Friday-Repeat first wednesday’s workout (chest/back/arms/abs)

  33. I don’t think it will hurt you, but I don’t see much sense in it. I’d use that time to train something else, like back in the morning and biceps at night.

    Read more: http://www.projectswole.com/weight-training/the-top-5-best-biceps-exercises/#ixzz04LIhps00.

  34. tony cordina says:

    Hi Steve,

    I am 47 years old. I started with training ten months ago. I attend a local gym. My workouts are:
    Mon: Chest
    Tues: Back
    Wed: Arms
    Thurs: Shoulders
    Fri: Legs
    Sat: Cardio
    Sun: Off

    I want to enlarge my arms because they are small.
    What can I do?
    I am a middle-aged man now and so I think that it was a little bit late for me to gain some more muscles :)

    What is your opinion, please?

    There’s any idea to gain some big triceps and biceps?

    Thanking you in advance.

    Kind regards,
    tony.

    • Steve says:

      You can still gain plenty of muscle at your age. Train your triceps hardest because they make up 2/3 of your total arm mass. Use free weights and compound movements instead of machines and isolation movements.

  35. Chandler Hersom says:

    this stuff is great.

  36. Christian Yu says:

    nice…Now I have my new program…

  37. Rajat says:

    I normally do biceps with chest and triceps with shoulders….Could you please tell me how many sets of exercises should I for each of the above body parts?

    • Rajat says:

      Currently I follow the following plan:
      Chest: Flat Press- 3*10; Inclined Press- 3*10; Declined Press- 3*10; Push ups- 3 sets
      Biceps: Alternating rotating dumbbell curl- 3*10; Barbell Curl- 3*10; Concentration- 3*10; Hammer Curl- 3*10
      Shoulders: Front Shoulder Lifts- 3*10; Back Shoulder Lifts- 3*10; Dumbell Flies- 3*10; Dumbell Press- 3*10
      Triceps: Dips- 3 sets; Close grip push ups- 3 sets; Lying French Press- 3*10; One Hand Dumbell Curl- 3*10….
      Please suggest me how can I make my routine better…and what should be the ideal number of workout sets for each of these muscles.

      • Steve says:

        No need to do push ups on chest day after all that other stuff. Too many sets for biceps. They are small. Pick two of those exercises and perform only 2 intense sets of each. I don’t know what front and back shoulder lifts are, and dumbbell flies are not for shoulders. Stick with overhead press movements – military press, dumbbell press, push press. You only need 2 shoulder exercises each workout, not 4. Triceps are overkill as well. Back off on the total volume, but keep dips and close grip push ups, but alternate in lying French press from time-to-time.

        Also, where is your leg and back training? Abs?

    • Steve says:

      Chest, back, and legs, being large muscles, should be 2-3 exercises for a total of 7-9 working sets. Shoulders and triceps, being medium sized muscles, should each be 2 exercises for a total of 5-6 working sets. Biceps are very small and really only need 1-2 exercises and 4-5 total sets, especially if you are training back properly.

  38. Alex Perez says:

    good shit mang..very much appreciated.

    • Marty Davis says:

      I am SO JEALOUS. I recently had surgery for a full rupture of my right distal biceps tendon and am rehabilitating it. I'm curling little-bitty weights like a girl. It'll take a few months to build back the "bithons."

  39. Robert Taylor says:

    I will definitly use those workouts in the gym.

  40. your arms not growing with isolation excercises? that must be the most retarded thing i've ever heard

  41. Rob Ferguson says:

    ok your top five are def different than the issa nsca would say… one, barbell rows of 226, how do you even get 226 on a bar? two, preacher curl and spider curl are more effective than standing barbell curls, bangbang! third off if you are going to quote the weider principles, use the ones that don't involve cheating, like battle of eccentric contractions isn't 10 times more effective than concentric contraction. fourth, 4&5 are compound lifts, so they involve other groups of muscle and it is remotely impossible to isolate bis from a row or pull up. I think four and five should be, preacher curl or incline dumbell curls, because these grow bis. and the fact that you said up to 226+ on BB rows means I'm probably going to void this entire entry to begin with, I did 315 for 8 reps when my bis were a mere 17 inches. overall point, go to a certified trainer for workout advise, and then make sure they are fit on their part… practice what you preach is a big deal in this field.

  42. devito says:

    hi steve

    i have been working out about 8 months now but i am not getting the results i want. i have a 3 days on 2 off routine at home. i do chest and back day 1, bis and tris day 2 and shoulders and legs day 3. i am taking whey protein and serious mass gainer everyday. do you have any suggestions for a better routine for me thanks

  43. Keith Loren Hanson says:

    Looking for help. I have totally hit a wall, not making any strenght gains anymore. An example of my twice a week chest workout would be.
    Bench press 5 sets between 6-10 reps each.
    Incline bench 5 sets between 6-10 reps each.
    Dumbell Press 4 sets between 6-10 reps each.
    Close grip bench 5 sets between 6-10 reps each.
    Incline Close grip bench 5 sets between 6-10 reps each.
    Flys 5 sets between 6-10 reps.
    What am I doing wrong with this workout? I weigh 180 and seem to have maxed out at my bench at 255! About a year ago I could bench 270 :(

  44. really gud work out Steve (Y) I have something to share too :) , Best thing to build biceps is chin ups. Find a suitable bar, put your hands on it with your palms facing you and just pull yourself up and down. If you do not have a suitable bar, use milk bottles, or any other suitable weight. just keep working them a lot, and you will see results .

  45. Dustin says:

    Hey idk if u still reply to this but , Ive done a couple rounds of p90x and now I want to start getting mass in my arms and chest, I started a biceps and chest routine and do biceps every other day and chest and abs on the in between days and some
    Cardio (jump rope ) on certain days, something like this
    Monday biceps- ezCurl 5×5, hammer curl 3×6, regular curl 3×6, corkscrew curl 3×6 , preacher curl 3×8 and reverse grip chin ups 3 sets until failure
    Tuesday Chest – Cable chest press 3×8, incline dumbell press 3×8, Cable flys 3×8, Standard pushups 30, Decline pushups 20, Pike press 15 , Wide pushups 25 ( I do all pushups until failure I just gave an example ) and then I perform my an routine.
    Wednesday biceps – repeat
    Thursday Chest – repeat
    Friday Biceps – repeat
    Saturday Chest – repeat
    Sunday – rest
    I read that my bicep routine which I changed to my liking would be great every other day for 4 weeks on every other day and then a week off and then repeat this is why I do them every other day, is this bad ?

    • Steve says:

      I think you have the wrong idea about getting a big chest and arms. You need to train your whole body, not just chest and bis. Otherwise if you don’t train back, legs, tris, etc…. then your chest and bis will be limited by the lack of development of the rest of your body. Just follow one of the Project Swole full body routines or Werewolf Training, and let me know how it goes.

  46. Dustin says:

    So besides not working out my whole body , is working bis and chest every other day a bad idea for better/faster results ? I know rest is important but ive read so many diff opions on “oh you should only do it once a week” that just doesnt make sense to me that i need to let them rest that long. And also does my routine as far the exercises I’m doing look ok to you ?

    • Steve says:

      You can definitely work any muscle group every 48 hours as long as you don’t KILL it every since workout. There’s no need to do 20 sets of chest and bis every other day. 6-8 sets is plenty. Make sure you hit the other muscle groups with equal volume and intensity, in fact back and legs can be trained 50% more than chest and 75% more than little muscle like biceps.

  47. Dorothy Vandiver says:

    I’ll get back with some pics once I finally achieve those ass-kickin biceps you’re talking about.

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