The bicep workout below is based on the two main bicep exercises for strength and growth. Barbell curls and alternate dumbbell curls.
The good thing about being a beginner is that these two exercises will see you through months and months of bicep building. When I lifted heavy weights (I mainly train for general fitness now), I started off with these two exercises for building my biceps and only these two exercises. And I hardly changed for at least the first 6 to 8 months. Sometimes, I only did barbell curls, and had some awesome workouts.
As your body is new to this type of training, any overload you put yourself through will lead to muscle growth. But these two exercises are powerful and recruit one hell of a lot of muscle fibres for growth, which is why they are so damned good.
Having said that, you still have to follow an appropriate muscle building diet. Otherwise, no matter how much effort you put into your workouts, you’ll never grow, you’ll never get the arms you want.
So you need to feed your muscles with the right proteins.
Also, you need plenty of rest! You have to let your muscle repair and grow following your hard workouts, as you’ll be putting your muscles under a lot of strain. So perform this muscle building workout only once each week.
If you don’t rest, you simply won’t grow. And worse, you’ll put yourself at risk of over-training and injury. Don’t do it!
But forget about all that. You’re here for a great beginner’s bicep workout! I’ll assume you’ve got your diet licked, and you can curb your enthusiasm to ensure you muscles can recuperate.
The Bicep Workout
Start off your workout routine with the barbell curls. You will perform 3 working sets of this exercise in total, but start off with 2 warm up sets.
Your warm up sets should be done with very light weight, where you can perform 15 to 20 repetitions easily without busting a gut. The idea is just to get your blood going through your muscles, to warm them up ready for your hard working session.
Then move onto the heavy weights for 3 sets. You should choose a weight so that you can perform 12 to 15 repetitions on your first set, and then 10 to 12 repetitions on your second and third set, but no more. Your sets have to work your muscles to failure. That is, so you physically can’t perform any more repetitions!
Next, move onto the alternate dumbbell curls. You should follow the same procedure above for barbell curls in terms of number or sets and repetitions. However, your arms will be thoroughly warmed up, so you only need to perform 1 warm up set.
Why is it a good idea to perform 1 warm up set even though you are thoroughly warmed up?
Because each type of exercise stresses your muscle in a slightly different way, so you want to ensure the specific fibres for that specific exercise are prepared for the heavy sets to follow.
Bicep Training Progression
If you want to progress with your bicep strength and size building you’ll have to work hard!
Each week, provided your nutrition and recuperation are sufficient, you should be stronger than the previous week. You should be able to add at least 1 additional repetition to a few of your sets before muscle failure. When you start to surpass the repetition range for each set, it’s time to add some more weight to bring your repetitions back in range.
After a few weeks or a month or so, you’ll see a steady increase in your size and strength.
If you don’t see this progression, you are either neglecting the right foods in the right quantities, not allowing your muscles enough rest and recuperation, or just not putting in the effort! Or any combination of these. Get all these right, and you won’t have a problem!
And then, after 6 months or so, you can step up to intermediate bicep workouts.