What is the Best Bicep Workout for Mass?

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If you want to look ripped, you have to work on your biceps. Muscular biceps are the epitome of strength – after all, if you ask someone to flex, they will almost certainly show you their biceps.


The key to building strong biceps is training hard and often. You need to develop a workout schedule and stick to it, gradually increasing your weights over time as you begin to see results.


When you’re composing the perfect bicep workout for mass, it’s essential not to stick to just one exercise. In fact, we will introduce you to four bicep exercises that are proven to build mass and help you get the results you desire.


But the exercises are only part of the equation. Building mass is also about training often and hard and incorporating sufficient rest days into your workout regime. For your muscles to gain mass, they need first to recover.


Let’s begin by examining what we mean by muscle mass and how to achieve it before introducing the ideal workout for strengthening your biceps.


Muscle mass explained

To understand muscle mass, we first need to ascertain how our muscles grow. This paper from UNM reminds us that skeletal muscle is the most adaptable tissue in the human body. Muscles achieve mass and growth after they undergo intense exercise.

This is because the fibres within are damaged, and satellite cells on the exterior of your muscles become activated. In repairing the damage caused by strenuous exercise, these satellites join together and increase muscle fiber. The result is an increase in your overall muscle mass.


Therefore, if you want to build muscle mass, you need to undertake strenuous weight training exercises to increase your muscle fibres over a prolonged period of time. While some people see results in a matter of weeks, it more commonly takes months of dedicated resistance training before you’re able to note significant improvements in your muscle mass.

Building muscle mass? Here are five things you need to do.

While it’s relatively easy to understand the premise of building muscle mass, it’s not always straightforward to see results in practice. This is because there’s more to building muscle mass than just heading to the gym and randomly picking up some dumbbells.


You need to be deliberate with your training program and adapt your lifestyle to give your body the best possible chance of becoming more muscular. Here are five things you need to do if you want to build muscle mass:

#1 - Train often and hard

If you’re serious about building muscle mass, you need to commit to a long-term program. You should aim to carry out resistance training a minimum of 2-3 times every week if you want to build mass. In addition, you should focus on high-intensity workouts and train hard for 30-60 minutes. Wondering around the gym for four hours isn’t going to help you build muscle. It’s the intensity of your workouts that will.

#2 - Get your resistance, reps, and sets right

When devising your program, you need to get your resistance, reps and sets right.

To recap:


Resistance = The weight you lift.

Reps = The number of times you complete a single exercise [short for repetitions].

Sets = The number of reps you complete in a row before stopping makes one set. Sets tend to be comprised of between 8-15 reps.


You need to lift weights that test you and push you out of your comfort zone. There’s little to no point in lifting something that you can manage without breaking a sweat.


As for reps, aim for somewhere between 8-15 per set. Arrange these in sets of 2 or 3, and you have yourself a decent program.

#3 - Rest

As we’ve already explained, your muscles gain mass after you’ve completed your resistance training. If you don’t dedicate rest days, your muscles won’t be able to recover. Equally, you increase the risk of injury if you don’t rest, as you’re putting your muscles under enormous strain. At an absolute minimum, you should rest for two days a week.

#4 - Change your diet

It’s not a mere coincidence that bodybuilders consume a lot of protein. When you undertake resistance training, you need to make sure you’re taking in enough protein, as it’s a vital component in repairing and maintaining muscle tissue post-workout. So ensure your diet has a high protein content, and consider taking a protein supplement on the days of your high-intensity workouts.

#5 - Vary your exercises

To successfully build muscle mass throughout your body, you need to vary your exercises. Ensure all of your muscle groups are represented in your workout regime, particularly if you want to improve your overall shape. However, given that we’re concerned with biceps-only in this post, we’ve put together a bicep-specific workout below that will help you grow mass quickly.

The best bicep workout for mass

When it comes to building muscle mass in your biceps, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow four exercise workout that you can adapt to your fitness regime. Be sure to consider the five tips we introduced in the previous section, as they will help you build muscle mass effectively. We’ve compiled this workout thanks to this 2014 study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, highlighting the best bicep workouts for activating the biceps brachii.

#1 - Concentration curl

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the concentration curl is regarded as the best exercise for activating your biceps. It actually emphasizes the short head of your biceps and works each bicep individually, given that you alternate resistance between lifts. For building mass in your biceps, the concentration curl is essential.

#2 - Chin-ups

You might be a little surprised to see chin-ups listed here. But in the 2014 study introduced above, chin-ups ranked as the joint-second-best exercise for activating your biceps. What’s more, chin-ups stimulate type II muscle fibers and will assist with the rest of your mass-building efforts.

#3 - Cable curl

Joint second with chin-ups in the aforementioned study is cable curls. As well as working the biceps brachii, performing cable curls will also work out your anterior deltoid, trapezius, and scapulae. Cable curls are great for beginners, too, as it’s much easier to develop form with the assistance of the cable on the gym floor.

#4 - Barbell curl

Because the barbell curl can add significant strain to your wrists and elbows, it’s super important that you focus on your form and discipline when doing your reps. The barbell curl is an excellent exercise for ensuring your biceps are worked through the fullest possible range of motion, and it will also benefit and stretch your triceps simultaneously.

The best bicep workout for mass – FAQs.

How quickly can I build muscle mass in my biceps?

Providing you devise an appropriate workout schedule and stick to it, you should see results in your muscle mass within 4-6 weeks of starting your training. However, if you don’t see results after a month, give it time before chucking in the towel and trying something else. Everyone’s body reacts differently to resistance training, so you need to be patient.

How many reps and sets should I do to build my biceps?

This is a good question, but it does not have a direct answer. Some people swear by increasing their resistance and doing short, powerful bursts of eight reps in three sets. Others reduce the weight slightly and opt for more reps, potentially over 4 or 5 sets. You need develop a program that works for you and make sure you’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Aim for somewhere between 8-15 reps and begin with three sets. If you feel like it’s too easy, increase the resistance.

How much protein should I consume to build muscle mass?

The amino acids within protein are vital for repairing your muscle tissues and subsequently supporting mass muscle growth. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends taking somewhere between 1.4 and 2.0 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight each day. When you’re training, you need to make sure your diet fuels your training. You can consider adding protein powders to your diet, particularly on and after weight resistance training days, if you’re serious about building muscle mass.

Final thoughts

Building muscle mass in your biceps is definitely worthwhile. After all, who doesn’t want Popeye-style arms that they can flex in front of their friends?! But as we’ve explored throughout, building muscle mass requires discipline and coordinated resistance training.


You also need to make sure your diet is appropriate and give your muscles enough time to recover.


If you adapt your lifestyle and incorporate the four bicep exercises that we’ve introduced above, you should begin to see excellent results when it comes to your overall muscle mass in four to six weeks.


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