Build bigger biceps with these advanced arm-day training tactics
Hand up who wants to build bigger biceps? We thought so. Which is why we’ve put together this guide to some of our favourite New Body Plan advanced arm-day workout strategies. Use our advice below to pack in serious size and strength on to you biceps and triceps to transform your arms. If you do you’ll soon get admiring glances both when you’re in shorts sleeves and when your T-shirt comes off in the garden, park or on the beach.
How to build bigger biceps
Your first job is to master the perfect biceps curl. Why? Because failing to know how to perform this crucial lift properly will really limit your ability to build bigger biceps and sculpt stronger and more impressive arms. Once you’ve nailed the technique, and you’ve tried out the best biceps exercises for bigger arms, consider these advanced training tactics to add more muscle to your biceps and triceps fast.
Get big arms with supersets and tri-sets
Direct biceps work really well as supersets (two exercises done back-to-back with minimal rest between moves) or tri-sets (three exercises done back-to-back with minimal rest between each move). A great way to superset to build bigger biceps would be to pair a dumbbell biceps curl (move 1A) with a dumbbell hammer curl (move 1B).
In this example a good superset is eight reps of the first move (1A), 30 seconds of rest, eight reps of the second move (1B), then 60 seconds of rest. Then go back to move 1A and repeat the superset a total of three to five times.
You can even pair a biceps exercise and a triceps exercise into a superset, known as an antagonist superset. These work both muscles of your upper arm in double-quick time for even fastest muscle size gains. Here’s an eight-move biceps and triceps superset session to try the next time you train your arms.
Change the angles for arm size and strength
A really smart way to encourage greater arms growth is to do biceps exercises from different positions of flexion. Flexion is just a technical way of describing the position of your upper arm in relation to your torso at the start of each rep.
Why is flexion so influential in building bigger arms? Because when you change the angle of your upper arm to your torso, you work the target muscle through a different range of motion and focus the workload on different parts of the muscle. In short, you hit your muscle from different angles and work it through different movement ranges so it grows back bigger.
Here’s an example of a multi-angle biceps tri-set you could try to build bigger biceps: the first move are incline biceps curls (where your upper arms are behind your torso), the second move are standing hammer curls (where your upper arms are inline with your torso), and the third and final move of the tri-set are preacher curls (where your upper arms are in front of your torso).
Do eight reps of each move, with a very short rest period between the first and second exercise, and second and third exercise (15-30 seconds), with a long recovery rest period after the third lift (60-90 seconds). Do three tri-sets in total.
This advanced tactic is a fantastic way to finish an arms session on a real high to work the maximum number of muscle fibres and pump as much blood as you can into the muscles. Why are these two things so important? Because they are the main physiological drivers of hypertrophy, which is the technical term for building bigger and stronger muscles.
But be warned: this strategy is very challenging! You will need to lift far lighter weights than you are used to when doing each exercise of the tri-set individually. Even if the weight at first seems too light, focus on perfect form and moving your muscles through a full range of motion and you’ll be amazed by how quickly your arms grow!
Do rest-pause reps to build bigger biceps
Working to failure is a sign you are fully challenging your muscles. But you don’t have to end the set just because your muscles are fatigued. A fantastic set-extending strategy – to crank out those few extra reps that can make all the difference to the success of your muscle-building mission – is to use the rest-pause technique.
Once you reach failure on the biceps exercise you’re doing – so you can’t physically perform another rep with good form – don’t put down the weights. Instead take three deep breaths, then start lifting again.
This slight rest and pause will give your muscles a small window of recovery, and it might be enough to allow them to perform another handful of reps. Think of these as “bonus reps” that would have been left in the tank had you not had that rest-pause break. Even one or two extra reps are worth doing if you really want to build bigger biceps – these reps will have an impact!
This strategy should only be done at the end of the session, when you’re on your last one or two exercises, and only do it for one or two “bonus reps” rest-pause attempts. Why? Because the rest-pause method it’s very taxing and causes a lot of muscle damage, so you don’t want to over-do it.
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