How to increase bicep strength

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bicep strength

Posted by cpods

I think my biceps strength is lagging behind the rest of my body (I never gave them the attention they deserved). I want to be able to barbell curl 135 for 8 reps (can currently do 2). I have some questions about training them: frequency- how many times per week and how much?

volume? I know Leo reccomends 5x6 with different grips (narrow, wide, med.- 90 reps in all), but this seems like too much work. Are these sets with constant weight? I find that my arms tire too fast to use heavy weights with this volume. If you are training back hard (rows, chins etc.) can you train biceps once per week?

Also, my left arm is significantly weaker than my right. Should I concentrate on dumbells for a while? Feel free to respond to any or all of these points. Thanks.

Re: bicep strength

Posted by Leo


Developing your biceps to their maximum potential can be a huge challenge when you consider all the effort that goes into gaining an inch or two. In order to gain size, you are going to have to focus on increasing your power. My article discusses changing the grip in order to develp your bicep from each angle. In your case though your primary focus should be increasing your power. Drop your reps from 8 to 6.

Ideally I would like to check your technique in the gym before giving you advice. Assuming though that your technique is good, I would begin by using 125 lbs (or a similar weight that you can handle) - 5 sets of 6 reps for at least two weeks or until you reach a point when you are able to master all five sets using strict technique. Then increase your weight and go through the same process until you reach your goal of 135 lbs. You may find that you can't do a full set each time but you have to keep working at it until you can utlimately do all five sets.

You have to put in the work to gain the benefit. There are no shortcuts. You need to specialize on your arms which means spending an hour on them three times a week. If you stick with it, you are going to see a real change in yourself over the next six months.

In response to your question whether chins and rows count as an arm workout - not if you are serious about reaching your goal.

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