8 LONG HEAD BICEP POWER EXERCISES

I have heard that 90% of men would like bigger hands. Along the same lines, I have heard that the remaining 10% are liars. In all seriousness, just about any way you do it, men want bigger arms.

It’s probably the only reason you joined the gym in the first place. You just didn’t like the baggy sleeves on that little t-shirt. Arm workouts can be very simple for some of the genetically blessed you see walking around your local gym. If you’re not one of them (which I’m not), then arm training can be a bit more complicated and difficult.

In this article, I’ll outline the eight best tips and tricks for long head bicep exercises that I’ve used on myself and with countless clients to add that size we’re all desperate for. By applying what you’ll learn below, along with some ball-busting tension, you better prepare to start turning the heads of these hot ladies.

So let’s get straight to the point.

1. Stick to the basics

close-grip-bench-press
close grip – long head bicep exercises

Before you rush to put me in the “I don’t think you need work with a single joint on your hands” category, give me a minute. I love my curls and extensions as much as the next guy, but there are two multi-joint exercises that I find essential for those seeking bigger arms.

  • Closed grip bench press
  • Chin-ups
long head bicep exercises chin-ups
Chin-ups – long head bicep exercises

These should be the bread and butter of your arm workouts. All the rest should be secondary (but necessary!).

Who do you think has bigger arms? Someone who can bench press 315 for 1 rep, and do 8 sets of chin-ups with 50 pounds around their waist. Οr someone who can do the 30s on tricep kickbacks for 8 reps and do 8 sets in cable curls with 50kg This shouldn’t be difficult.

Why these two exercises

In my experience, I’ve found that most people can handle the heaviest weight with the closed-grip bench press and chin-ups. When you perform these with enough weight, you activate most of the motor units. This in turn (over time) will make your central nervous system more efficient at maximizing the number of motor units it recruits and will cause an increase in strength. Therefore, your newly acquired strength will lead to new muscles with sufficient volume.

2. Be strong

long head bicep be strong

Ronnie Coleman once said:

” Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but no one wants to lift heavy weights .”

One of the simplest ways to make your arms bigger is to make your arms stronger. If you go from curling 35s to 45s for 10 repetitions, then your arms will have grown. There is a correlation between getting stronger and getting bigger. It may seem elementary, but if you’re still curling with the same weights you did six months ago, then I don’t want to hear any whining about your small arms… I want you to get strong!

Choose the exercises where you can handle the heaviest weight with good form (hint: no kicks).

Here is what I recommend:

For triceps: Closed grip presses (bench, incline), floor presses, skull crushers, dips, overhead tricep extensions, rack locks.

For biceps: Chin-ups, barbell curls, crooked curls, barbell curls, hammer curls, machine curls.

Now I want you to apply a very basic but often-forgotten principle: progressive overload! This means that you are gradually placing greater than normal demands on the muscular system you are working out.

Simply put, if you don’t give your body increased demands, then it has no reason to get bigger or stronger.

Here is my favorite way to progress. It doesn’t include any fancy supersets, drop sets, etc. But it includes big profits.

For the first week of an exercise, start with a slightly lower intensity than usual. Focus on hitting the lower end of your rep range with about 1 rep “in the tank”. Then the following week, try to beat the previous week’s rep count, even if it’s just by one rep per set. Continue to slowly add reps until you reach your upper rep range. Now you can add a small amount of weight to the bar and start over at the lower end of the rep range.

Let’s use barbell curls as an example for a six-week period of 3×6-8 reps.

The correct progression should look like the following format. Keep in mind that many factors dictate progress, so this is just a sample.

Week 1: 6/95 – 6/95 – 6/95

Week 2: 7/95 – 7/95 – 6/95

Week 3: 7/95 – 7/95 – 7/95

Week 4: 8/95 – 7/95 – 7/95

Week 5: 8/95 – 8/95 – 8/95 – 8/95

Week 6: 100/6 – 100/6 – 100/6

At this point, you can change the exercises. Then when you go back to barbells in six weeks, you’ll start with 100 pounds and start hitting your best effort again. Keep adding reps to your sets, weight on the bar, and watch your arms grow.

Arnold proves that big arms never fail to impress women.

3. Improve your grip

improve-grip
Improve grip – long head bicep exercises

I found that once I started strongman training, my arms seemed to get bigger overnight. I did more bends No, I didn’t. I pressed more No, it was about the same. The thing that was different was the addition of heavy walks with farmers once a week. I’m talking 220 pounds in each hand… heavy! At first, I couldn’t go very far without my grip giving out, but each week I increased the distance covered before I couldn’t hold on anymore. 

My grip was getting stronger and my arms were growing. Once the competition I was training for was over, I added back my normal amount of bicep work. Once I added back work, I was able to handle more weight in my biceps exercises due to the increased strength in my forearms. My forearm strength was the weak link in my biceps training. End result: stronger arms = bigger biceps.

Here are some great methods to increase your grip strength:

Farmer’s Walks: To do these, simply grab the heaviest pair of dumbbells you can lift and walk for distance or time. Stand tall with your head up, shoulders back, and abs tight. Incorporate them into your lower body day at the end of your workout.

Farmer’s Holds: These are similar to farmer’s walks, but you stay stationary. Hold the weight at your side for as long as possible. Stand tall with your head up, shoulders back, and abs tight. Incorporate these exercises into an upper body day that is not consecutive to a lower body day.

Rope or towel for chin-ups: Simply take a rope or towel and hang it over a pull-up/sit-up bar. Then perform your chin-ups while grabbing the rope or towel. Add these exercises to an upper body day instead of farmer’s handles for a change of pace.

Throw away the lifting straps: This one seems like a no-brainer, but every time I walk into a commercial gym I see it…guys use straps. Straps may have their time and place, but when your grip is weak you don’t need them. Do not use them in heavy-pulling exercises. You may need to reduce the weight or reps a bit at first. That’s okay, your grip will get stronger and you’ll be right back up. If you just can’t give them up, at least compromise. Use them only on the last sets and/or heavier sets.

Read also: Plate curls (When it comes to biceps training, curls are the way to go, and there are plenty of variations to choose from.)

4. Don’t Change

It kills me to see how many men join the gym blindly. Today is arms day, so they’re doing push-ups, push-ups, blah, blah, blah. Then next week they go and do something completely different. They try to confuse the muscle. 

My suspicions were proven correct in exercise physiology class – muscle doesn’t have a mind of its own. But it’s great marketing. Stop trying to confuse him, trick him, or whatever the hell you’re trying to do to him! Pick a basic exercise where you can handle the heaviest weight for the biceps and triceps.

5. Eat! & Gain Weight

How many pounds do you need to gain to add an inch to your arm, It is 6 kg, 7 kg, or 8 kg.

Does it really matter? No.

Unless you’re an athlete with weight class requirements, just put on weight all over the place and your arms will grow. If you weigh a dollar seventy, then your frame probably isn’t built to carry 18-inch arms. Eat for growth, make arm training your specialty, and watch them grow.

6. Volume

Most of the time, I prefer intensity over volume when it comes to training, but as with everything else, there is an exception. Arm training can be difficult. Some people may need more volume to grow, while others need less. Your muscle fiber type may simply dictate the total volume you need. The best range is usually between 80 and 120 total reps per week.

This can be broken down in many ways. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use biceps to show how this amount might be split for a person who trains biceps once a week and another who trains them three times a week.

E.g. 1 B biceps (1 day per week)

  • Exercise 1: 5×5
  • Exercise 2: 4×10
  • Exercise 3: 3×12

E.g. 2 B-muscle (3 days per week)

  • Day 1: 5×5
  • Day 2: 4×10
  • Day 3: 3×12

As you can see, the total weekly volume is the same. The first example fits best with a body part split routine, while the second example would fit best with a full body or upper/lower split routine.

If you go over or under on your total reps, it’s not a big deal. These are just guidelines and do not need to be exact. Just experiment with different volumes and find what works best for you.

7. Wrist Control / Hand Position

Wrist Control
wrist control – long head bicep exercises

When you do a traditional bicep curl, the biceps and brachii share the workload. A little trick I like to use is to keep my wrist as straight as possible (or even slightly back, away from the bicep itself) while curling. This way, you put the majority of the pressure on the biceps (versus the forearm). 

However, I do not recommend doing this if you have previous injuries or wrist problems. When curling this way, focus on bringing the weight up until you reach maximum biceps contraction, then control the movement back down to full extension.

As everyone knows, the biceps are primarily responsible for bending the elbow. You may also know that biceps has two heads: the long head and the short head. By doing push-ups with the same grip each time, you’re consistently hitting the same head of the biceps (you’re not isolating it, it’s just doing the majority of the work). 

By doing this, you are neglecting the other head of the biceps. A simple way to fix this is to change your grip from time to time. This ensures that you get full development of both the short and long heads of the biceps and will also help prevent overuse injuries. Mix up the work between a narrow grip, medium grip, and wide grip when using dumbbells.

Another way you can vary your grip is by using a neutral or “hammer” grip with dumbbells (palms facing each other, as if using the end of a dumbbell to hammer a nail), as well as a reverse grip (palms facing the floor) with either dumbbells or dumbbells. The biceps aren’t the only elbow flexors. The humerus and brachii are also elbow flexors. 

Neglecting these will limit how much your arms can grow, as an underdeveloped upper arm will definitely show in the form of a lack of “thickness” in the upper arm. Include hammer curls and reverse curls regularly to fully develop your upper arm.

8. Specialization

If you’re serious about building bigger arms, then you need to specialize. You need to put in the time and effort to achieve this goal. I recommend putting all other training goals on the back burner and focusing only on developing your arms. For an arm specialization phase, there are a few guidelines:

  • Keep training to four days a week if possible and no more than five.
  • Train in multiple reps ranges during this period (strength, hypertrophy, endurance).
  • Train all other muscle groups for maintenance.
  • Train all other major muscle groups heavy (>90% 1RM) for at least one set.
  • Boost your protein and simple carbs pre-workout, and post-workout.

After four to six weeks, you should end a hand specialization phase. Your training should return to “normal” and you should slightly reduce the volume of your arm training. Remember that your hands probably won’t change much during the phase. It will be in the weeks following the specialization program that your hands will really start to grow!

Closing thoughts and a bonus arm workout

So there you have it… my top eight tips for building bigger triceps and biceps. By applying the tips above, a little hard work, and time, you’ll be on your way to building the arms you want.

Also, you better save up some money to buy all the new tops or you might be accused of wearing extra-mediums!

The “Unleash the potential of your arms” workout

  • A1. Closed Grip Bench Press: 5×4-6
  • A2. Chin-ups (medium grip, with weights if needed): 5×4-6
  • B1. Dips (with weights if needed): 4×8-11
  • B2. Barbell Curls (Wide Grip): 4×8-11
  • C1. Overhead Triceps Extensions: 3×9-15
  • C2. Hammer sickles: 3×9-15

Rest periods:

  • A1 and A2: 90sec – 120sec
  • B1 and B2 rest: 90sec
  • C1 and C2 rest: 45sec-60sec

Notes:

  • With a rest day before and after.
  • Exercise pairs such as “A1, A2” are alternating sets. Perform one set of A1, rest for the recommended time, perform A2, rest and repeat.
  • Always warm up.
  • Choose a weight that you can use to complete the recommended number of repetitions with one or two repetitions “in the tank”.
  • Aim for the bottom of your rep range initially. Each week, try to go up in reps until you reach the top. Then increase the weight and start at the bottom again.
  • Use small weight increments, such as 2½.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay in Touch

To follow the best weight loss journeys, success stories and inspirational interviews with the industry's top coaches and specialists. Start changing your life today!

Related Articles