You may think that sculpting great biceps is the result of a simple formula: Do curls + more curls.
But, you can’t focus solely on isolated biceps exercises and expect to see results, says Nick Clayton, MBA, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, USAW. Instead, emphasizing pull-dominant, compound exercises like heavy deadlifts, rows, and pullups will keep those arms growing, he explains.
“Research suggests that getting jacked is best accomplished by addressing three primary factors: mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress,” says Clayton. (You can read more about each of these things on the next page—they’re all incorporated in this routine.)
“This workout provides a fairly high amount of volume (total weight lifted = weight x sets x reps) in a short amount of time,” explains Clayton. In addition, it has a variety of exercises and incorporates drop-sets—a research-backed way to create metabolic stress. “If you push yourself, you will see a noticeable increase in the size of your biceps,” assures Clayton.
As you move through the exercises below, be sure to use a full range of motion and don’t “skip the negatives.” (AKA, be mindful of the eccentric phase of the movement.) Also, Clayton suggests varying the speed of movement and rest periods throughout in order to keep your muscles guessing.
“Apply these same concepts to your triceps program and you’ll be needing to cut the sleeves off your shirts in no time,” assures Clayton.