Alright guys, it’s time to tackle another topic that I know is at the top on your list of bodybuilding priorities: how to build biceps.

In this article I’m going to be sharing the no nonsense facts about maximizing your biceps development for thicker, more muscular upper arms.

If there’s one thing this article is going to teach you, though, it’s that optimal bicep training is fundamentally very simple and straightforward.

You don’t need any fancy techniques, revolutionary breakthroughs or special shortcuts for building an impressive set of biceps…

It’s really just a matter of performing a few sets of a few basic exercises using correct form and focusing on progressive overload over time.

It may not sound very exciting, but that’s really all that it comes down to.

Let’s get started…

How To Build Biceps: Laying The Foundation

The first thing to take into account here is that your biceps already receive quite a bit of stimulation during all of your pulling exercises for back.

Any type of chin up, pulldown, free weight row or machine row will involve the biceps to a reasonable degree.

You can use certain techniques to shift the stress off of the biceps and direct more of it onto the back muscles, but these are still compound exercises and the biceps will always provide assistance no matter how good your form is.

On top of this, the biceps are a relatively small muscle group and don’t require a large amount of volume for complete stimulation.

Although direct biceps training is certainly important, it doesn’t need to involve an endless number of sets or exhaustive hours at the gym.

How To Build Biceps: Basic Anatomy And Function

The biceps consists of two individual heads: the long head and the short head.

Any time you perform any basic curling exercise, both heads will be heavily involved in the movement.

Certain exercises and specific angles can somewhat shift the tension from one head to the other, but unless you’re an advanced lifter or a competitive bodybuilder there is no real reason to concern yourself with this.

The biceps performs two basic functions:

1) Flexion of the elbow.
2) Supination of the forearm.

For complete biceps development, you really only need two different exercises with one to target each of these specific movements.

How To Build Biceps: Exercise Selection

The bread and butter of your biceps training should be a basic palms up curling exercise.

There are an endless number of different curl variations you could choose from, but you really can’t go wrong with a basic straight-bar barbell curl or cable curl.

Use either one of these as your core biceps exercise.

Secondly, you’ll want to make use of a supinating dumbbell curl.

A supinated curl is where the hand begins in a neutral position and then twists upward until the palms are facing up.

A standing alternating dumbbell curl is a great choice here. This exercise can also be performed seated or against a bench with a slight incline.

In terms of exercise selection, there honestly isn’t much more to it than that.

If you’re looking to experiment or just have some fun with your training, there are certainly a ton of other exercises you could try out such as various types of cable curls, machine curls, preacher curls, overhead curls or concentration curls…

However, from a pure foundational mass gaining perspective you really can’t go wrong with a basic straight bar curl followed by a supinating dumbbell curl, in combination with all of the back training you’re already doing.

How To Build Biceps: Frequency, Sets And Reps

How often should you train your biceps, and with how many sets and reps?

Frequency: As with all major muscle groups, I recommend hitting your biceps once every 4-7 days. The specific frequency you use will depend on your recovery ability and the specific training split you’re using.

Sets: If you’re taking all sets to concentric muscular failure then 2-4 sets total per workout will be sufficient (1-2 sets for each exercise). If you’re training 1-2 reps short of failure then aim for around 6-8 total sets (3-4 sets for each exercise).

Reps: Although a rep range anywhere between 4 and 12 is going to induce hypertrophy as long as you’re progressing in weight/reps over time, I usually recommend a rep range of 5-7 for all bicep movements.

How To Build Biceps: Proper Form

I’d highly recommend checking out the following post in order to learn how to execute the most effective bicep curls possible:

5 Tips For the PERFECT Bicep Curl

Implementing these 5 tips will make a big difference in your ability to maximize bicep stimulation and growth.

How To Build Biceps: Quick Review

When it comes to packing maximum size onto your biceps, that’s really all there is to it.

Just to recap…

1) Select two exercises: a palms up straight bar curl (barbell curl or cable curl recommended) and a supinating dumbbell curl (seated or standing).

Your biceps are a small muscle group and receive a lot of stimulation during back training, making extensive direct bicep work unnecessary.

2)  Hit the biceps once every 4-7 days using 5-7 reps for each exercise. If you’re training to failure then do 2-4 total sets per workout, and if you’re training 1-2 reps short of failure do 6-8 total sets.

3) Review 5 Tips For the PERFECT Bicep Curl to make sure your form and technique is down pat.

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