Brandon White, from the YouTuber channel the Buff Dudes, has created a lot of videos on how to grow your muscles. He is also aware of the numerous training plans and videos out there offering advice on how to build larger biceps. White decided to create his own guide breaking down the biggest problems he’s found with popular biceps-building tips—mostly that there is one secret way to succeed—and the exercises and techniques you need to really get your biceps growing.
He emphasizes that when you first begin your bicep training, it is essential to focus on the training to learn how you can activate and contract the biceps muscles. To practice this, when you are starting out, use light weight. Don’t go heavy.
As you become a little more advanced, White advises raising training volume, frequency and weight. This includes incorporating a few new techniques like drop sets and super sets.
“Super sets are a technique going from one workout immediately over to another workout with no rest in between, so you are increasing the fatigue and stimulation in the muscles,” says White.
You can also incorporate drops sets into you workout, which also increases more fatigue within the muscles.
“You are performing the workout with a certain amount of weight, burning out at that set weight and you drop the weight so you can continue doing reps with the lighter weight, decreasing the weight again for extra growth and stimulation,” says White.
Next, he shares his two favorite biceps workouts that he credits for helping to build up his arms over time.
Exercise 1: The Barbell Curl
White is a big fan of this staple movement because it makes the palms be in a supinated position, which he cites as the best position to help isolate your biceps and get that elbow flexion. Plus, you could go pretty heavy with it. He does ‘cheat’ curls, using his lower body for a bit of momentum. This normally would be frowned upon—and you should not only use cheat curls to help train your biceps—but the additional weight you could handle by fudging on form increases the overload.
White says he always begins his biceps workouts with the basic curl, slowly raising the weight and lowering the reps.
Exercise 2: The Incline Dumbbell Curl
White likes this variation because of the adjustments you could easily make on a bench. He begins with a low angle and raises the angle as much as he wants. But why?
“Now you are leaning back and your elbows are positioned behind you. That creates more of a stretch in the long head of your biceps, so the muscle needs to produce more contraction to pull your forearm forwards,” says White. “It is going to have to really contract to be able to pull it up.”
He also utilizes a supinating action, twisting his hands and forearms upward, for extra biceps stimulus and activation.