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The best way to build biceps: a quick guide

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Although bicep curls can aid muscle development, simply doing a few curls without a clear plan won't be enough to achieve significant results. Sorry - it's just not that easy! At CreGAAtine, we prefer a more strategic and methodical approach to training, so we'll want to take the details of your training and go into them a little deeper. In order to promote muscle growth, it's necessary to consistently challenge your muscles with resistance over an extended period. Additionally, paying close attention to both the small details during training and other factors outside of the gym can greatly enhance your workout sessions. In this article, we help you uncover the best way to build biceps and put you on a path to success.

Top of the list: bigger biceps

Topping many people's gym wish lists is the idea of having big biceps. Large biceps have always been a sign of strength - it's the first muscle you flex when you show your friends how hard you've been working in the gym. The bicep has become the symbol of strength and power! So naturally many people like to work on theirs.

However, simply sticking to a simple dumbbell bicep curl isn't going to get the job done. Guilty of the above? It could be time to learn a little more about your muscles and switch things up. Your body is great at responding to what you've telling it to do, so all you'll need to do is tell it exactly what you want and in the right way, and you'll be well on your way to building bigger biceps.

Looking for the best way to build bigger biceps? Already started a frantic routine of biceps curls in order to make it happen? Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. In this article, we share the best way to build biceps using top advice from trainers and from science, giving you the best possible chance.

The anatomy of the bicep

Your work to sculpt your body and achieve your health and fitness goals mostly happens in the gym. Makes sense. However, for the best chance in smashing these goals, it is also a good idea to learn a little about your body. Arm yourself with scientific knowledge and you'll be putting yourself a step above the rest and giving your body the best chance. For that reason, we'd like to tell you a little about the anatomy of biceps.

In order to effectively train the biceps brachii (that's their real name), it's crucial to understand its complex makeup. The biceps brachii is one of the two primary muscles located in the arm, with the triceps being the other. Biceps are composed of two major parts known as the short head and long head. Both originate on the scapula bone and then insert on the radius bone.

The primary function of the biceps is flexion (a movement that decreases the angle between two body parts) at the elbow joint, as well as supination (rotational movement) of the forearm performed by contraction of the short and long head of the biceps, which helps in bending the arm.

When it comes to the short head of the bicep, this aids arm adduction (the movement of a body part towards the midline of the body or towards the midline of a limb), while the long head is mainly responsible for this abduction.

Building bigger muscles

One final step before we talk about the best way to build biceps: understanding the science behind building bigger muscles. There are a number of misconceptions about building muscle, including the belief that the longer the workout, the better for building muscle and the notion that higher reps are always necessary for muscle growth.

The truth is, to build stronger and bigger muscles you must consistently challenge and overload them with resistance over a long period of time. This creates muscle breakdown and forces biological change and adaptation. As these tears get "patched up," the muscle grows.

But what is also important to know is that muscle growth occurs when muscles that are damaged through forceful contraction are repaired. This repair takes place when the muscle is resting. So, if a person continues to work a muscle that has recently been challenged, it won’t have time to repair and grow - therefore defeating the whole point of working out in the first place!

Finally, it's also important to know that in order for damaged muscles to repair, they require energy and the proper nutrients. By offering your muscles the right 'food', they will build tissue. As a result, if you're looking to build your muscle, you must consume a certain amount of calories and particular nutrients in a day.

Certain supplements can also assist with muscle growth. Learn about CreGAAtine here and how it can help with muscle growth.

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The best way to build biceps - 5 top tips

1. Switch it up with bands

It might seem a little strange to start our list of tips with this one. But stick with us. Although bands don't look impressive, they actually provide you with a very unique type of resistance. Essentially, as your range of motion increases, the resistance they offer also increases. So what does this mean? By increasing resistance throughout the curl, you can recruit a higher number of your bicep's muscle fibres, leading to an increase in muscle power and strength. This provides an advantage over standard free weights like barbells and dumbbells. Essentially, using bands will allow you to start off with a lighter weight that gradually gets heavier the higher you curl it. This allows for maximal tension on the biceps when it counts and for maximal growth.

2. Sit down and stretch out

By taking a seat when you do your bicep curls, you can sit comfortably in a position where stretching out the long head of your biceps becomes possible. This is because when you're seated on a slight incline, your arms will move behind your torso as you relax (of course this doesn't work when you're standing up!). The good thing about this is, when you stretch your biceps, you allow them (and particularly the long head) to contract with more force.

3. Think about your grip

Grip is highly important when considering the best way to build biceps. Quite simply, using a standard grip at shoulder-width allows you to use both heads of your biceps evenly. When you grip wider, you're using the shorter head more, when you move inwards, you use the longer head more. So when you're training, try to do some middle, wide and narrow grips to really target all parts of the muscle. In doing so, you'll increase the size of each bicep head!

4. Don’t get too carried away with weight

Yes, you do need to use heavy weights in order to build your biceps. However, your arms will take a real beating when you go heavy on back and chest days. So all we are saying is, you don’t need to lift super heavy weights when training the biceps or triceps directly. In between heavier lifts, you can also consider using a small weight for a long round of reps, offering your muscles a big pump. This can really wake them up, and is especially good idea at the end of a workout.

6. Hold the position

When it comes to the best way to build biceps, it's not all about the number of reps; it's much more about the quality of each rep. It's also about switching things up. By dropping your arms slowly and taking three to four seconds to reach the start, you can increase the tension in your biceps very effectively. At other points in your workout, you should also try an isometric hold. All you have to do is hold your stance for up to ten seconds at the peak contraction before lowering. This will really force your muscles to work overtime and adds another great layer to your workout.

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7. Boost your workout

If you're trying to build muscle, you've probably already experimented with some protein and various supplements on the market. Creatine is one of these. Creatine is an organic acid found in humans which delays muscle fatigue, therefore helping with high-intensity physical activities like weightlifting and sprints, leading to strength gains and endurance improvement over time. But there's one form of creatine that is highly recommended for those looking to build muscle.

Consider adding CreGAAtine to your supplement routine. This scientifically advanced form of creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength at a significantly higher rate than traditional creatine monohydrate.

8. Rest your arms

As we have already mentioned, resting doesn't put you behind, it actually helps you build your biceps. During a workout you break down the muscle fibres, but only during rest do these build back stronger. If you need to visit the gym everyday, make sure you give your arms some downtime, because all your hard work could be going to waste if you're not giving them a break!

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