The biceps is the number one muscle part that all young cats, gym bros and athletes will always love training regardless of their sport or goals.


The biceps brachii (commonly know as the biceps) locates in the anterior compartment of the arm. It works across three joints, and is able to generate movements in glenohumeral, elbow and radio-ulnar joints.

The biceps consists of two heads, the long and the short head, which they arise proximally and joint to attach to the radius as biceps tendon.

Both bicep heads originate from the scapula. More specifically:

Short Head: Originates from the apex of the coracoid process of the scapula.

Long Head: Originates from the supra-glenoid tubercle of the scapula.

The biceps insertion is the radial tuberosity and fascia of forearm via bicipital aponeurosis.

Primary functions of the biceps brachii is flexion of the elbow and supination of the forearm. In fact, it is the prime mover of forearm supination. Since it crosses the gleno-humeral joint, it also serves to assist shoulder elevation.

In various angles of the elbow, the biceps brachii actions differently to movements to the upper limb.

Extended elbow: Biceps is a pure elbow flexor until it reaches 90 degree flexion

At 90 degrees flexion and forearm supinated: Most efficient to produce elbow flexion

At 90 degrees flexion and forearm pronated: Biceps becomes the primary forearm supinator


As far as compound movements go, obviously any chinup and row variation is going to make use of your biceps. The key to prevent injuries on compound movements is to modify the exercises that create unnecessary strain on the bicep tendon and make them safer.

For example I know that the Yates row is very often a favorite exercise of trainees, however I’d much rather have you perform them with a pronated grip. Sure just because you’re careful everytime you perform the movement doesn’t mean that you’ll absolutely get injured, but that one time where you’re not paying attention or just simply going through the movement is when you’ll tear your bicep. After you do that it’s game over for your bicep peaks and you’ll require surgery to attach it back.

The same thing applies to mixed grip deadlifts. Do not deadlift like that. I’d rather have you use an overhand grip at all times and add straps when you’re close to your max or close to grip failure.

Even if I were to completely disregard the muscle imbalances that are created by using a mixed grip, aiming for lifting longevity is always a smart idea. Better to be safe than sorry.

As mentioned in the anatomy part of this thread, since the biceps cross the shoulder joint, it makes sense to train them when you have shoulder/rotator cuff injuries.

As far as isolation movements for the biceps go, there are a ton of different curl variations out there for you to try. My favorites include dumbbell and rope hammer curls, preacher curls, barbell curls, incline hammer/bicep curls, spider curls, pinwheel curls, body drag curls, bayesian curls etc.

NHs and Eric’s channels are some of the few I regularly watch by the way, we share a fairly similar training philosophy:




If you’re just starting out lifting, aim to perform strict bicep curls to nail down the technique and as you become more experienced, start incorporating cheat curls.

Cheat curls are amazing to increase your strict curl strength when used at a 4-6 rep range, as well as with higher rep ranges to further induce hypertrophy, when used as way to extend your set after you’re done with your strict form curls.

Dont believe me? Try it out for yourself. During your next upper body workout perform 3-4 sets of hammer cheat curls for 4-6 reps, with a weight that’s 10-15lbs heavier than what you’re usually doing with a strict form.

After 2-4 days, perform another upper body workout but this time aim for higher rep ranges. What you’ll come to realize is that you’re now able to perform strict hammer curls with more weight than you were originally able to.

Instead of simply focusing on dumbbell cheat curls or only ez bar cheat curls, incorporate both. Both offer different advantages so it makes sense to utilize every possible variation that we can cheat on. Those movements are going to be EZ bar cheat curls, dumbbell hammer cheat curls, dumbbell pinwheel curls and regular dumbbell cheat curls.

Keep in mind that cheat curls won’t only make you stronger, but they’ll also provide a different stimulus that will further induce muscle hypertrophy, because you’ll finally push yourself and lift some heavier weights instead of settling for the 30s for your bitch ass curls.

Volume/tonnage aka the amount of total repetitions you perform for a muscle group is one of the most important factors when it comes to building bigger biceps. Having a day where you go heavier for a moderate amount of reps and a day where you go a bit lighter, but perform higher reps is key, as with every other muscle group.

One of my favorite ways to add volume is to perform rope hammer curls for 1-3 sets of 50 reps. Yes 50 reps per set. Start light and aim to progressively increase the weight in a biweekly or so, basis. Using autoregulation here is key, so don’t freak out if you need to lower the weight after your first or second set, or for next week. You don’t have to go slow or be super strict, feel free to cheat. It’s all about the amount of volume/tonnage with this movement, plus you strengthen your bicep tendon. I shouldn’t forget to mention that the pump is unreal as well.

Similarly, if you perform one day of going extremely heavy for 4-6 reps on the rope hammer curls, then go with the 3×50 during the second day, you’ll again experience that you’re getting a lot stronger on that movement, extremely fast.

Adding an arm day is another way to increase the size of your arms, but I’ll expand further into that topic with a thread that focuses on total arm development in the near future.

There you have it, no need to ever perform those retarded bodybuilder workouts with 7 different curl variations per workout. Simply pick a movement or two and train with a purpose. That’s how you get results.

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