Biceps Workout

As you know, there’s no single exercise, machine, stretch or free weight which will target every key muscle group and give you a complete workout. In order to work all of your key muscle groups you need to target specific areas as well as your entire body. You already know you’re not going to get 6 pack abs just by doing crunches or sit-ups. You have to target all of your core muscles as well as adjust your diet in order to eventually reveal the ab muscles you’re envying in others. These blog entries will focus on a single area of the body, to help you understand how to link all of these exercises together to create a full body workout schedule.
front double biceps
Biceps are a key muscle group in the upper arms. They work hard all day, even if you’re not aware of it. Even when sitting at a keyboard every day, your biceps stabilize your posture and keep your wrists on the keyboard. They also help you lift everything from your bag, backpack, briefcase, groceries, dishes, children, etc. That, plus it’s one of the first things people look at when you’re wearing a short sleeve shirt or tank top. Having toned biceps keeps you strong and helps you look fit.

Biceps Exercises

There are a number of bicep curl exercises, some are performed while standing, some sitting. Some are done with free weights, some with weighted bars, cable attachments, exercise bands or resistance bands. We’ll start with the standard free weight bicep curl.

For each exercise, you’ll need to determine which weight is appropriate for you. You should choose a weight that will allow you to complete your assigned reps at the following levels of difficulty:
First set 60% max effort
Second set 80% max effort
Third set (and fourth if applicable) 100% max effort

For men, your goal should be 8 to 12 reps for each set. For women, your goal should be 15 – 20 reps. Your muscles should begin to feel fatigued after your first set, but you’ll need to continue for the full three sets. You will usually not perform three sets of 20 reps all in a row, you’ll break the sets up with an alternating exercise for triceps. This is called a superset, which we’ll discuss later.

I know what you are going to ask. “Why do women do more reps than men?” The answer is that most women don’t want to add muscle size, just definition and shape. In addition, the female body has more slow-twitch muscle fiber than males and respond better to more reps and a continual pace. For the female trainee looking to add mass, her rep range is best in the 10-15 range.

Dumbbell Curls


Hold a free weight in each hand. Stand with your feet spread apart and aligned with the width of your hips.  You can also perform it seated.
Your arms should hang down at your sides. Your palms should face forward.
Pull your abdominals in, stick your chest out, rotate your shoulders backwards, keep your head up and your knees slightly bent.
Keep your wrists in line with your arms and curl both arms upward until reach your shoulders.
As you curl the weights, exhale deeply. You can curl both arms at the same time or alternate them.
Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to a fully extended position, inhaling deeply.
Do not rest your arms, but make sure they are fully extended at the end of each rep before starting a new rep.
You may notice that one of your biceps/arms is quite a bit stronger than your other one. This is a natural occurrence. When you think about it, if you’re right-handed, you tend to utilize your right side more frequently than your left and vice versa for left-handed people. There’s no reason not to work to equalize strength on both sides of your body. Always start and finish with your weak arm if you have one.

Barbell Curls

barbell curls
You can also do similar exercises by holding a single, weighted bar with both hands holding the bar. Your posture and form will remain the same for this exercise, but make sure the bar is level, and that both arms are exerting the same level of effort.

Hammer Curls

hammer curls
This is similar to dumbbell curls but holding the dumbbell with the plates on top and below your hand, like wielding a hammer. This variation works the brachialis and upper forearm. It’s also good for thickening the upper arm as viewed from the front. This is usually for men rather than women.

Exercise Band Curls

Isabelle Fuhrman elastic band curls
Additionally, if you have a resistance band, you can also do a bicep curl by placing the band under both feet, keeping your feet aligned with your hips, and holding the band with both hands, palms facing forward. Follow the steps above, paying extra attention to keeping your movements very smooth and even. Don’t allow the band to jerk your arms back down to your sides as you’re completing each rep. This is usually for the ladies, you can’t build muscle bulk with resistance bands (sorry soloflex)

Contact me today to create an individual workout plan that’s right for you.

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