#08 – Build those biceps

Now that the clock’s have moved forward and we enter Spring, you will be hearing a lot more of the saying ‘suns out, guns out’. This week, I want to show you some workouts on how to build bigger biceps. Whilst the ladies may not want to have massive wrestler sized arms, working out your biceps will help create that lean slender and toned look that you desire. And for the guys, your arms are going to look way much better in a t-shirt.

In the previous weeks, I’ve spoken about the benefits that working out different muscle groups, has on our bodies/strength/everyday activities. It’s going to be slightly different this week, as the main benefit of working the bicep is a vanity one. Every exercise you do on your biceps is going to be for show. You do also have the bonus of arm strength. I try to end my back workout with the below bicep workouts to really maximise the strength and size.

BICEP CURL (4 sets x 12 reps)
Everyone should be familiar with this exercise. Even if you haven’t had a go at doing this, you’ve probably heard of it.

Bicep curl. Image courtesy of iStock

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Use a weight that isn’t too heavy, that you can do the full reps for. If you’re at home and don’t have dumbbells, then hold a water bottle in each hand. Palms facing forward. Keeping your elbows at your side, you want to alternatively curl the weights up to touch the top of your shoulders. As you bring the weight up, squeeze your biceps to really contract and work the muscle. Hold for 2 seconds and slowly bring the weight back down to starting position.

CABLE CURL (4 sets x 10 reps)
This is exactly the same movement as the bicep curl, however we going to slightly mix it up and add some more weight, along with some resistance. You’ll need to have access to the gym or a cable machine to perform this exercise.

Cable curl. Image courteous of iStock

Use a higher weight when performing this exercise. Grab a cable curl bar and keeping your elbows at your side, curl the bar up towards your chest and squeeze at the top of the movement. Bring back the bar back to it’s starting position. It’s important to have control when bringing the bar back down. Don’t let the weight force your arms down.

DUMBBELL HAMMER CURL (4 sets x 12 reps)
This movement is another variation on the the bicep curl, however we are going to be targeting more of the bicep head. This is the peak at the top of your bicep which gives you the appearance of strong arms.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls. Courtesy of iStock

The principle remains the same as the bicep curl, except rather than holding the weights with palms facing forward, we are going to hold the weight with palms facing inwards. Keeping your elbows together, curl the weights towards the top of your shoulders. Squeeze your bicep at the top of the movement and hold for 2 seconds. Lower the weight back down in a controlled motion.

EZ-BAR CURL (3 sets x failure)
I like to finish off my workouts with the EZ-bar and really blasting those arms. I normally try to do 3 sets for as many reps I can. After doing the above 3 exercises, you are really going to feel it on this one. It’s exactly the same motion as the previous but using an EZ-bar (you could also use a dumbbell if an EZ-bar isn’t available).

EZ-bar curl. Courteous of iStock