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Big Biceps Training – Best Bicep Exercises


If you’ve been around Diesel for a few years, you know we incorporate a TON of grip training exercises into our programs.  It is not enough to be able to display one facet of grip (crush, pinch, support, wrist postures, hand health, dexterity), you must be able to integrate this strength into full body power.

If I can improve my grip my deadlift, squat and bench will go up and I will play my respective sport(s) better and stronger.  Most lifters / athletes forgot about this important fact.  They do train their arms, but with conventional exercises.

You don’t want to spend endless hours in the gym hitting tons of volume.  You want to optimize your time in the gym and do the most effective exercises while you’re there.  This is called training economy.  Increase the intensity and you can decrease the time of your workout.

So, as you can imagine, even when training arms, grip plays a huge role.  Here is a video that shows some serious arm training with a grip focus.  Nothing says strength and power like a huge set of forearms.


Now, if you are talking about bodybuilding, or building muscle, the forearms respond to more volume.  I like to set a target volume of 3-4 sets and 10-15 reps per set.

If you are a strength coach who is training athletes for sports performance, you must first build the foundation and then target the requirements of the sport.

Here are the exercises in this new video:

  • 2 Hand DB Hammer Curls
  • Crush Curls
  • Towel Barbell Curls
  • Towel Pull-ups
  • Towel Rotational Cable Curls
  • Reverse Curls
  • Pinch Curls

Best Bicep Exercises – Big Bicep Training

Other essential mass building exercises for the biceps:

  • Barbell Curls
  • Alternating DB Curls
  • Hand Over Hand Rope Pulls
  • Rope Climbing

2 Killer Arm Building Workouts

Workout 1

1) Close Grip Barbell Bench, 3×5

2a) Towel Pull-ups, 5×10

2b) Barbell Reverse Curls, 3×12

3) Plate Pinch, 3xALAP (As Long As Possible)

Workout 2

1) Barbell JM Presses, 4×6

2a) Thick Towel DB (or Axle) Curls, 2×15

2b) DB Crushes, 2×20

3a) Band Tricep Pressdowns, 3×15

3b) 2 Hand Plate Pinch, 3xALAP

Have a killer arm workout!

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20 Responses to “Big Biceps Training – Best Bicep Exercises”

  1. Chris Says:

    wow this is an awesome post! great video 🙂

  2. Jerry Shreck Says:

    I love the variations! We use towels with a lot of our lifts. Using them with kettlebells is also killer!

  3. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Chris!

  4. Jim Smith Says:

    Nice Jerry!

  5. dixon Says:

    hi smitty, tryout one handed heavy cheating hammer curls.u can use dumbells or plates hanged in thick rope peice. i am doing 55to rep max. standing position with other hand holding on some rack. i want to know how much others can do.i garrentee excellent power improvement with this exercise

  6. Jim Smith Says:

    Wow, that is a huge weight for a hammer curl!

  7. Paul Says:

    Smitty- I’m assuming that you can use towels of various lengths to change the leverage of the exercises as well as to provide a different stimulus to the working muscle groups. Great stuff as always!

  8. Jeff Says:


    Have you checked out any of Christian Thibaudeau’s latest stuff on T-Nation? If so, what do you think of what he calls “blast isometrics” in terms of risk (biceps development) to reward (stress on the joints)? He has indicated that while he’s only been experimenting with this technique, he sees a lot of potential in it.

  9. Jim Smith Says:

    Hey Smitty,

    I just wanted to say I love the latest post. I think the only exercise on that video I have seen are the reverse curls! I can’t wait to give the other ones a try. I tried to leave a comment at the end of the post but it said the blogger’s spam filter won’t let me post because I’m behind a proxy (whatever that means). Anyway, love the post and keep them coming!

    -Kevin Cave

  10. Jim Smith Says:

    “Have you checked out any of Christian Thibaudeau’s latest stuff on T-Nation? If so, what do you think of what he calls “blast isometrics” in terms of risk (biceps development) to reward (stress on the joints)? He has indicated that while he’s only been experimenting with this technique, he sees a lot of potential in it.”

    Jeff, the cost/benefit ratio has to be accessed dependent upon the joint(s) involved and the advantage of the lever(s).

    For single joint movements (bicep curl), blast isometrics (as I understand them) IMHO would be contraindicated. If you are talking about blast isometrics for a rack pull, that would be a different story.

    If the goal is to potentiate the activation (and number) of higher threshold motor units (something I frequently talk about with vibrational / odd object training) for athletic preparation, more complex movements involving multiple kinetic segments could benefit. But as you know, isometrics, even blast isometrics provide a strengthening at +/- 20 degrees of the engaged angle. So to get a full range of motion will take you a while.

    Thibaudeau is a mentor of mine. I’ve never formally met him, bet we did correspond many years ago. I consider his work progressive as I aspire to be.

  11. Elliott Hulse Says:

    Love The Beatles BLARING in the background Smitty!

    HARD F-in CORE!!!!

  12. Jim Smith Says:

    Hells yeah, that’s how we do it. Down and dirty with Rocky Raccoon.

  13. Jeff Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Smitty. Much Obliged.

  14. Jim Smith Says:

    You got it Jeff. Thanks for listening 🙂

  15. Jim Smith Says:

    I love the picture of the dude pinching the disk. 115 lbs – that is an awesome 1HP.

  16. Adam L Says:

    Well Smitty you owe me a towel and a Band-Aid!!!! I tore my towel and ripped the skin between my index finger and thumb, I love it though! I did a variation of workout 1 with enhanced grip training and box squats, some wrist and forearm stuff too, as I am working hard on my grip strength. Have a goal to get through a deck of card by my Christmas vacation. After a very grueling forearm, wrist and grip workout I tried to tear a deck of cards = FAIL, lol. I got it down to 40-50 cards and made it through them in about a minute. Getting closer, but not good enough.

    Thanks again. I look forward to what may be next.

  17. Jim Smith Says:

    Damn man, sorry about that 🙂

    Thanks for checking out the video and trying the sample workout!

  18. Shane at GripStrengthTweets Says:

    Never thought to do crush curls (probably never would have)…but I will now.


  19. Jim Smith Says:

    Thanks Shane!

  20. Erich Says:

    Bad ass stuff — cant wait to give some new ones a try. Thanks mate.

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