This is a blanket statement, but I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that every guy wants bigger guns. Even though they’re a relatively small muscle group, big biceps are important to most men. Heck, they’re practically a billboard proclaiming that their owner works out, takes care of himself, and has a solid measure of strength.


The exercise of choice to build your biceps is called the curl, but there are many variations that hit the three major components of the biceps muscle group: the long head, the short head, and the brachialis. It’s not just the actual movements that make these five biceps routines unique. By manipulating volume and rep targets, and adding post-failure techniques, you can take a beginner’s workout and make it a major-mass builder, or even increase the speed of your workout for a leaning-out phase.

What’s worth remembering: When your elbows are in front of the plane of your body (as when doing preacher curls), the biceps long head isn’t able to fully stretch, so these kinds of exercises better target the short head. Also, when your arms are behind the plane of your body (as when doing incline-bench curls), the long head is fully stretched so it picks up the greater load. Even moving your hands in and out when doing barbell curls changes the emphasis, so it’s worth exploring the many variations here.