Workout Routines

The Ultimate Dumbbell-only Biceps Workout for Bigger Arms

Pump up your pipes and stretch your shirtsleeves with this targeted routine.

Bodybuilder curling dumbbell during arm workout
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
Duration 30 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

There's certainly been no shortage of arm-enhancing workouts over the years.

And for good reason. 

When someone asks you to make a muscle, chances are you don’t flex your traps or rise onto your toes to show off your calves. You're going to roll up your sleeves and flex your biceps, inviting onlookers to your own personal “gun show.”

And while those arm-focused articles can prove helpful, many seem to present the same basic information, which can only take your gains so far. In an effort to help you bust through your biceps-building plateaus, we've got a unique approach to promote new growth for those all-important show muscles. 

Before hitting the weights, know that genetics play a pivotal role in regards to the shape of your biceps. If you're a fan of bodybuilding, you've seen images of Mr. Olympia champions (and the like), and how different their arms look.  

With that said, you can adopt a unique lifting approach that'll help maximize your genetics by targeting every muscle fiber during the all-dumbbell biceps workout below. It's called the ESP(x)2™ Training System Approach:

E = Eccentric (focus on the negative contraction of the exercise to create both mechanical tension and muscle damage)
S = Stretch (focus on the stretch position of the exercise to create both mechanical tension and muscle damage)
P1 = Peak Contraction (focus on the “squeeze” of the exercise in order to recruit the largest motor units and increase “neural drive”)
P2 = Pump (focus on manifesting the greatest possible blood flow to the target muscle to induce metabolic stress)

The following exercises will touch on all of these muscle-building approaches.

The Ultimate Dumbbell-only Biceps Workout for Bigger Arms

Exercise 1.

Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
2 sets
4-6 reps
30 sec rest
Lower DB’s over 5 seconds on each rep.

Exercise 2.

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
2 sets
7-9 reps
30 sec rest
Use hammer curl technique. Hold full stretch at bottom for 4 seconds each rep.

Exercise 3.

Dumbbell Preacher Curl You'll need: Dumbbells, Preacher Bench How to
Dumbbell preacher curl for biceps thumbnail
2 sets
7-9 reps
30 sec rest
Hold contraction at the top for 4 seconds on each rep.

Exercise 4.

One-Arm Concentration Curls You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Concentration Curls thumbnail
2 sets
20+ reps
30 sec rest
Perform seated. Keep constant tension by moving DB up and down quickly, but under full control.
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