The biceps are a part of the upper extremity, which many athletes bombard me with questions about while training because they want clarity regarding the athletic benefits they will get from training their biceps.

If you’re like most guys…and, I’ll admit, like me…you got into weightlifting to build big arms and a big chest. And if you’re a girl, toned, defined arms were probably high on your list as well (behind a bubble butt and killer legs, of course).

Nothing inspires flattering looks and comments from strangers faster than muscular arms and well-developed pecs. A physique just isn’t complete without full, round, “3-dimensional” arms. Well, in this article we’re going to talk all about what it takes to build biceps, triceps, and forearms that make eyeballs pop.

Let’s start with the anatomy of arm and learn what needs to happen to get the look we want and then move on to the arm exercises and workouts that will get us there.

1A Seated dumbbell biceps curl

Sets 4 Reps 5-6 Rest 90sec

How to:

  • Sit on an upright bench holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides with your palms facing away.
  • Keeping your back flat against the bench and your elbows close to your sides, curl the weights up to shoulder height.
  • Squeeze your biceps at the top of the move, then slowly returning the start.

1B E-Z bar triceps extension

Sets 4 Reps 5-6 Rest 90sec

How to:

  • Lie flat on a bench, holding an E-Z bar with a narrow grip directly above you with straight arms.
  • Slowly lower the bar towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your sides.
  • Press the bar back to the start position by straightening your arms.

2A E-Z bar Scott curl

Sets 3 Reps 6-8 Rest 10sec

How to:

  • Hold the E-Z bar with your hands around 15cm apart and rest the backs of your upper arms against the bench.
  • Lift the bar towards your chin, maintaining the tension at the top of the lift.
  • Lower the weight slowly till your elbows are fully extended.

2B Incline bench Zottman curl

Sets 3 Reps 4-6 Rest 10sec

How to:

  • Lay face down on a bench set at around 50°, holding dumbbells with your palms up.
  • Curl them towards your chin.
  • At the top of the lift rotate the dumbbells till your palms are facing down and lower the weight slowly.
  • Rotate the dumbbells back to the starting position.

2C Incline dumbbell hammer curl

Sets 3 Reps 8-10 Rest 2min

How to:

  • Sit on a bench set at around 40° holding dumbbells in each hand with a hammer grip.
  • Curl the weights towards your shoulders, keeping your arms close to your body.
  • Lower the weights till your elbows are fully extended.

3A Decline lying triceps extension

Sets 3 Reps 6-8 Rest 10sec

How to:

  • Lie on a decline bench, holding dumbbells above you with straight arms.
  • Slowly lower the weights towards the top of your head by bending your elbows, which should stay pointing directly to the ceiling.
  • Without arching your back, slowly return the weights to the start position by straightening your arms.
  • This can also be done with an E-Z bar.

3B Dip

Sets 3 Reps 4-6 Rest 10sec

How to:

  • Grip parallel bars, keeping your body upright.
  • With your elbows pointing straight back, lower your body as far as you can comfortably go without stressing your shoulders.
  • Keep your core braced and don’t swing your legs for momentum.
  • Press back up powerfully but don’t lock out your elbows at the top.

3C Reverse triceps cable pull-down

Sets 3 Reps 10-12 Rest 2min

How to:

  • Hold a straight bar cable attachment so your palms are facing upward.
  • Keep your elbows directly below your shoulders, close to your sides.
  • Pull the weight down, locking your elbows at the bottom.
  • Allow the weight to rise back to the start, keeping it under control and ensuring your elbows stay directly below your shoulders.