Muscle for life

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps in Just 30 Days

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps in Just 30 Days

 Give me 30 days and I’ll give you bigger and stronger biceps. Guaranteed. Everything you need is right here in this article.

There’s a lot of information out there on how to build bigger biceps.

So much, in fact, that if you were to write it all down on individual pieces of paper, you’d singlehandedly destroy a sizeable portion of the world’s forests.

(And what if I told you that was the plot for the next steaming pile of Bond bugcrap?)

Well, in this article, you’re going to get clarity. On a lot of bicepsy things.

Like why they can be as stubborn as a Viagra erection, completely unwilling to grow, what the best exercises for big biceps are, how to improve your biceps’ “peak,” and more.

I’m also going to send you off with a workout plan designed to maximize biceps gains in just 30 days.

This is going to help regardless of your workout experience, too.

Whether you’re new to lifting and unsure of where to even start, a seasoned gym rat looking to break through a plateau, or maybe you’re somewhere in between, you’re at the right place.

Because by the end of this article, you’re going to know exactly what you need to do for more biceps gains in the next 30 days than you’ve seen in the last 30 weeks.

(Hint: it’s more or less what you would think – train your biceps a lot – but isn’t that simplistic.)

I have to warn you, though: it’s not going to be easy.

You can’t get a set of sleeve-tearing, concealed-carry-permit-requiring guns by popping some pills and powders and doing some chin-ups and TRX curls.

So if you’re looking for “weird tricks” or “workout hacks,” then this isn’t for you.

If, however, you’re ready to learn the simple science of building big biceps, and if you’re ready to put in some work, then keep reading.

What Are the Biceps, Exactly?

The biceps (or, formally, biceps brachii) is a two-headed muscle that looks like this:

bigger biceps muscle anatomy

Another muscle you need to know about is the biceps brachialis, which lies beneath the biceps brachii and assists it in flexing at the elbow:

bigger biceps brachialis exercise

While this muscle isn’t nearly as prominent as the biceps brachii, it plays an important role in the overall appearance of your arms.

When well developed, the brachialis looks like a “knot” in between the biceps brachii and triceps, and it noticeably impacts the overall aesthetics of the arms in two ways:

  1. It cleanly separates the biceps and triceps when flexed, which better showcases each.
  2. It pushes the biceps brachii up, giving you a better “peak” when flexing.

For example, here’s a picture of me that I like to think illustrates my point:

There are exercises you can do to emphasize the biceps brachii and there are variations you can do to emphasize the biceps brachialis.

I’m going to have you do both.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

Biceps Building 101

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Biceps

There are a lot of theories out there about how to best train your biceps.

  • Some people say you have to focus on high-rep training and really feel the burn.
  • Others say you should be training them several times per week.
  • Others still say you don’t have to do biceps exercises at all and should focus on compound pulling movements instead.

Well, I’ve tried all the above and more, and I’ve worked with thousands of people, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Most of us can’t get the biceps we really want through pulling alone.

Hitting your back hard and heavy will help the biceps along, but for most of us, it just isn’t enough to get the size and strength we want.

We have to train the biceps directly to get there.

2. Heavy barbell and dumbbell curls are best for adding strength and size.

Many people think that the biceps won’t grow much with heavy (80%+ of 1RM) weightlifting — that you have to focus on getting a pump.

They’re wrong.

While the biceps are small, they’re also comprised mostly of type II muscle fibers, which they respond very well to heavy loads.

(If you’re not familiar with the different types of muscle fibers, check out this article.)

3. One heavy biceps workout per week is generally enough.

A big part of getting big biceps is getting your weekly volume right, which is the total amount of reps that you do every week.

Here’s a general rule of thumb when talking weightlifting volume:

The heavier you train, the fewer reps you can do each week before symptoms of overtraining set in.

This is especially true of compound exercises like the deadlift and squat. The heavier you pull and squat, the more time your body needs to recover from the workouts.

I’ve tried many different workout splits and frequency schemes, and what I’ve found works best is in line two extensive reviews on the subject.

When your training emphasizes heavy weights (80 to 85%+ of 1RM), optimal volume seems to be about 60 to 70 reps performed every 5 to 7 days.

This doesn’t just apply to the biceps, of course — it applies to every major muscle group that you train.

Now, before you rush off to do 60 to 70 reps of heaving curling this week,  don’t forget that the biceps are heavily involved in your pulling.

If you’re doing, let’s say, about 60 reps of pulling per week for your back, then an additional 60 reps of biceps training is probably too much.

Something closer to 30 to 40 reps of direct biceps work per week (in addition to the pulling) is a better baseline to work from.

Now, I’m going to have you do more than this for the next 30 days, but that’s only because we’re looking to temporarily push your bis to their limits (and then back off).

The Best Way to Get Bigger Biceps

The Diet

You probably know that exercise alone isn’t enough to gain muscle and lose fat.

Ultimately, your success or failure is going to be decided by your diet.

Think of it like this:

If your body were a car, exercise is the gas pedal and diet is the fuel in the tank.

You have to step on the gas (exercise) to get moving (improve your body composition)…















…but how far will you get without enough of the right fuel?

My point is this:

If you know how to manage your fuel (diet) properly, building muscle and burning fat will be easy and straightforward.

If you don’t, it will be ridiculously difficult …if not impossible.

That’s why it’s not enough to just give you a 30-day workout routine. We need to set your diet up properly as well.

I break it all down in this in-depth guide to meal planning, which I highly recommend you read and implement in conjunction with the workouts.

If you don’t, you simply won’t get as much out of them as you should.

The Best Way to Get Bigger Biceps

The Exercises

Ignore the muscle mags.

You don’t need to do fifty types of curls to build great biceps.

In fact, out of the scores and scores of biceps exercises you could do, only a small handful are really necessary.

And they are as follows…

1. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is the bench press of the biceps — it’s one of the best all-around biceps exercises you can do.

2. E-Z Bar Biceps Curl

The E-Z Bar variant of the barbell curl gives your wrists and elbows a break from the strain of the conventional curl.

3. Alternating Dumbbell Curl

Like the barbell curl, the dumbbell curl has been used to train the biceps since the advent of bodybuilding.

It works.

4. Hammer Dumbbell Curl

You’ve probably heard that this exercise can improve your biceps peak.

Well, it can because it’s particularly effective for training the biceps brachialis (which, we recall, gives the biceps brachii a little visual boost).

5. Chin-Up

The chin-up is a fundamental bodyweight exercise that hits the biceps more than the pull-up.

As you get stronger, you can increase the difficulty with a dip belt or weighted vest.

Remember: Progression Is the Key to Muscle Growth

That’s it for the exercises you’ll be doing.

The key, however, isn’t just doing the exercises, it’s progressing on them. That is, increasing the amount of weight you can move over time.

Remember: If you don’t get stronger, you won’t get bigger.

But if you do gain strength on these exercises and eat enough food to grow, your biceps will respond.















The Best Way to Get Bigger Biceps

The Workouts

We’ve covered a lot so far:

And now it’s time to hit the gym and make some biceps gains!

Step one is outlining our goal for the next 30 days, and that’s focusing the majority of our time and energy on maximizing biceps growth.

As you’ll see, we’re not going to neglect the rest of the body, but we’re going to dial everything else back (reducing both intensity and volume) so we can really hammer our arms for a month.

That’s why this is a 30-day program, by the way.

It’s not a balanced whole-body routine that you should do for an extended period of time. It’s a tool you can use periodically to “shock” your bis into growing and, once that has been accomplished, that should be returned to the toolbox.

So, here’s the workout plan:

Day 1


Barbell Deadlift

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Barbell Row

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps


3 sets to failure (bodyweight)

(Not sure how to do these back exercises? Check out this article.)

Day 2


Incline Barbell Bench Press

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Close-Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Seated or Standing Military Press

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

(Not sure how to do these exercises? Check out this and this.)

Day 3

Biceps A

Barbell Curl

Warm-up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Hammer Curl

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Day 4


Barbell Back Squat

Warm-up sets and then 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Barbell Front Squat

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

(Not sure how to do these exercises? Check out this article.)

Day 5

Biceps B

Barbell Curl

Warm-up and 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Hammer Curl

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps


3 sets to failure (bodyweight)

Day 6


Day 7


Take measurements, do four weeks of those workouts (sticking to your meal plan!), and measure again. I promise you that your biceps will be bigger.

(By the way, if you want to add in work for your abs and calves, you can.)

I also recommend that you take a week to deload before resuming your normal training as your body will probably need a break.

A few points to keep in mind while you’re doing these workouts…

Rest 3 minutes in between your 4-to-6-rep sets and 2 minutes in between your 8-to-10-rep sets.

This will give your muscles enough time to fully recoup their strength so you can give maximum effort each set.













You don’t have to push to absolute muscle failure every set, but you need to come close.

The subject of whether to train to failure (the point at which you can no longer keep the weight moving and have to end the set) or not is a contentious one.

Experts disagree left and right, legit-sounding scientific arguments can be made for a variety of positions, and many people report success with many different approaches.

Well, I break it all down in this article, but here’s the long story short:

We should be training to failure, but not so much that we risk injury or overtrain.

What that comes out to will vary from person to person.

Personally, I never train to failure for more than 2 to 3 sets per workout, and never on the squat, deadlift, bench press, or military press, as it can be dangerous.

Furthermore, I don’t recommend you train to failure when you’re using very heavy loads (1 to 4 rep range).

Instead, the majority of your sets should be taken to the rep preceding failure (the last rep you can perform without assistance).

If you’re new to weightlifting, finding this point will be tricky, but as you get used to your body and your lifts, you’ll get a feel for it.

Once you hit the top of your rep range for one set, you move up in weight.

This is the easiest way to ensure you’re progressively overloading your muscles.

For instance, if you get 6 reps on your first set of your barbell curls, you add 5 pounds to each side of the bar for your next set and work with that weight until you can curl it for 6 reps, and so forth.

What About Supplements?

get bigger chest workout
I saved this for last because, quite frankly, it’s far less important than proper diet and training.

You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.

So, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

The truth of the matter is there are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more.

As a part of my work, it’s been my job to know what these substances are, and find products with them that I can use myself and recommend to others.

Finding high-quality, effective, and fairly priced products has always been a struggle, though.

That’s why I took matters into my own hands and decided to create my own supplements. And not just another line of “me too” supplements–the exact formulations I myself have always wanted and wished others would create.

I won’t go into a whole spiel here though. If you want to learn more about my supplement line, check this out.

For the purpose of this article, let’s just quickly review the supplements that are going to help you get the most out of your biceps (and other) workouts.


Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in foods like red meat. It’s perhaps the most researched molecule in the world of sport supplements–the subject of hundreds of studies–and the consensus is very clear:

Supplementation with creatine helps…

You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys, but these claims have been categorically and repeatedly disproven. In healthy subjects, creatine has been shown to have no harmful side effects, in both short- or long-term usage. People with kidney disease are not advised to supplement with creatine, however.

If you have healthy kidneys, I highly recommend that you supplement with creatine. It’s safe, cheap, and effective.

In terms of specific products, I use my own, of course, which is called RECHARGE.

RECHARGE is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and each serving contains:

  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate
  • 2100 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate
  • 10.8 milligrams of corosolic acid

This gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.


Protein Powder

You don’t need protein supplements to gain muscle, but, considering how much protein you need to eat every day to maximize muscle growth, getting all your protein from whole food can be impractical.

That’s the main reason I created (and use) a whey protein supplement. (There’s also evidence that whey protein is particularly good for your post-workout nutrition.)
WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored whey isolate that is made from milk sourced from small dairy farms in Ireland, which are known for their exceptionally high-quality dairy.

I can confidently say that this is the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest all-natural whey protein powder you can find.


Pre-Workout Drink

There’s no question that a pre-workout supplement can get you fired up to get to work in the gym. There are downsides and potential risks, however.

Many pre-workout drinks are stuffed full of ineffective ingredients and/or minuscule dosages of otherwise good ingredients, making them little more than a few cheap stimulants with some “pixie dust” sprinkled in to make for a pretty label and convincing ad copy.

Many others don’t even have stimulants going for them and are just complete duds.

Others still are downright dangerous, like USPLabs’ popular pre-workout “Jack3d,”which contained a powerful (and now banned) stimulant known as DMAA.

Even worse was the popular pre-workout supplement “Craze,” which contained a chemical similar to methamphetamine.

The reality is it’s very hard to find a pre-workout supplement that’s light on stimulants but heavy on natural, safe, performance-enhancing ingredients like beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline.

And that’s why I made my own pre-workout supplement. It’s called PULSE and it contains 6 of the most effective performance-enhancing ingredients available:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.


Want More Workouts?

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Triceps in Just 30 Days

big triceps

How to Get Bigger and Stronger Shoulders in Just 30 Days

how to get bigger and stronger shoulders

How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Chest in Just 30 Days

how to get bigger chest

How to Get a Bigger and Rounder Butt in Just 30 Days


How to Get Bigger and Stronger Legs in Just 30 Days

how to get bigger legs

How to Get a Bigger and Stronger Back in Just 30 Days

bigger stronger back workout

What’s your take on getting bigger biceps? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.


If you want a "paint-by-numbers," step-by-step blueprint for building a muscular, lean, strong body...faster than you ever thought possible...then you want to check out my bestselling books.

Here's a little sneak peek of what you'll learn inside...

  • The 7 biggest muscle building myths & mistakes that keep guys small, weak, and frustrated. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • How to build meal plans that allow you to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy with ease…eating foods you love (yes, including those deemed “unclean” by certain “gurus”)…and never feeling starved, deprived, or like you’re “on a diet.”
  • The 5 biggest fat loss myths & mistakes that keep women overweight, disappointed, and confused. (These BS lies are pushed by all the big magazines and even by many trainers.)
  • An all-in-one training system that delivers MAXIMUM results for your efforts…spending no more than 3 to 6 hours in the gym every week…doing workouts that energize you, not wipe you out.
  • A no-BS guide to supplements that will save you hundreds if not THOUSANDS of dollars each year that you would’ve wasted on products that are nothing more than bunk science and marketing hype.
  • And a whole lot more!

The bottom line is you CAN achieve that “Hollywood body" without having your life revolve around it. No long hours in the gym, no starving yourself, and no grueling cardio that turns your stomach.

My book will show you how. Get it today and let’s build a body you can be proud of.

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Bigger Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Thinner Leaner Stronger

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:


    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

  • George

    Thanks Mike! if cabs are now lower on the 45/35/20 split you recommend then should I need to re carb at some point for my glycogen levels?

    • You can do that for better workout performance, sure. But, why not just go with the higher carb split?

      • George

        well thats where I am confused re the advice so wanted to clary, Mike says the most aggressive fat loss is on 45/35/20 (P/F/C) but my question if following is re the carb loading above, so I was hoping you would tell me best approach 🙂 ty!

        • Ah gotcha. I figured that’s what you were going for. No need to recarb, but I do find that after a half a week to a week of low carb, my leg days see better performance if I boost carb intake the day before. (I always train fasted, btw)

  • JunkMonkey

    On leg day, I keep seeing Romanian deadlifts on this site. Are these better than stiff legs, or is it just a matter of preference?

    • I prefer them. Feel free to do either one though!

      • JunkMonkey

        Cool. I’ve never tried Romanian, so I’ll have to try them out and see which I like better. Stiff legs with a lot of weight are hard to do and tend to make my lower back really sore. I don’t love ’em, but I do ’em… :-/

  • Brandan Lopez

    i just seem cant to get pass 35 lbs alternating dumbbell curls past 6-8 reps its been months should i move on to 40s? but i also dont want to use momentum with the 40s what should i do?

    • Hey Brandan, check this out:


      LMK how it goes.

      • Brandan Lopez

        i did arms today i picked up the 35lbs agian and only got 8 reps agian, and what i notice today is my left arm can curl the 35 lbs easy but my right arm was kinda weak i struggled a bit curling the 35lbs with my right arm 🙁 and it seems like my arms dont wanna grow i follow the same routine in your. book and i see no changes in my arms

  • ABQ Bill

    You infer that exercise alone will increase the size of your biceps. Is it not true that each one inch increase must be accompanied by 10-15 pound increase in body weight?

    • You will want to combine the proper training with proper dieting as well. You certainly don’t have to gain 10-15 lbs to add an inch to your arms, but if you’re not new to this style of training, it does require being a caloric surplus to build any significant amount of muscle and that will result in weight gain.

  • Maddy

    Do you have any advice for people who want to increase biceps and chest but have shoulder issues and struggle with most pushing movements? There’s discomfort when my husband uses any barbells, and he struggles with bench press, overhead press and barbell curls. What’s the best strategy to train but also go easy on shoulders?

    • Sure! First, double check form and reducing weight (and increasing reps) can help. I also recommend shoulder mobility work and rotator cuff exercises.

      If that’s not helping, take a week or two off before having a doc check it out.

  • Imran

    Can you please tell me the workout schedule I should do with these exercises if I wanna do a four day split, while skipping the legs day? I know it is bad to skip leg days, but I have been on a very consistent four day MFL routine without leg days, so wanna keep the momentum going.

    • I strongly recommend you don’t skip legs day. If anything, momentum is stronger if you start implementing them.

      That being said, it’ll be the same workout–just without legs.

  • Defected

    I love this website. So much info!

    • Thanks man! I’m glad you’re enjoying the content and getting a lot out of it 🙂

      • Defected

        Oh dude some trainer told me not to do 4-6 reps lol. Told me its the wrong way to get strong! I told him that it worked for Mike. lol. He said who’s mike?

        I gave the information from this site and tomorrow he will get back to me on this subject. One thing I hate the most is how everyone is the critic — though I guess that is life in a nutshell.

        After using 4-6 my arms feel tighter and swore, but in a good way. like thew soreness you get from a good workout!

        • Haha yeah lots of false data and incomplete data out there. This could help:


          • Defected

            Now deadlifts freak me out after my uncle busted up his back and can no longer workout, or do Jobs with lifting. Is there a workout that can replicate deadlift without the worry of injury?

            It would suck if I messed up my back.

            Anyways, I will be linking him that link you sent me today. My arms are still swore from doing 4-6 reps. In fact I never felt soreness like this, until I started your routine.

            Must be working.

          • I understand how that can make you hesitant. Good form and technique prevents that, though. Same goes for other lifts, including everyone’s favorite bench press.

            Try trap (hex) bar deadlifts, which take some load off your back. It still isn’t a replacement for poor form, though.

            Haha awesome. Sounds like you put some serious effort into the workout.

          • Defected

            Already seeing gains!

          • Nice!

          • Defected

            Though think I need to improve my eating habits,

  • JunkMonkey

    Quick question. I have been on this plan for about two weeks, and I’ve been pushing as hard as I can. I’ve seen in a number of places on this site that I should be getting between 45 and 70 reps per muscle group per workout, but I’m not getting that all the time. For example, on days 3 and 4, there are 3 exercises, which comes out to 9 working sets. At the bottom of the rep range, that’s only 36 working reps. Should I be doing more?

  • NathAdrian

    So i have like really skinny bicep in terms of width if that makes sense. From the side my bicep looks pretty good and proportional because the peak is good but from the front view it looks like monkey arms. The width is abnormally small, in fact if you look at the whole arm, the forearms are even bigger than the width of the bicep by a pretty significant amount. One of my friend has much larger width than me but he has like no peak. How can i get my width larger?

    • Have you been doing hammer curls? They can help with that.

  • Nik

    can you ship in india??

  • Carl Stevenson

    Hi Mike,

    I am transitioning from a cutting to bulking diet. Is it best for me to increase my carbs every week by 25g or can I go directly to my TDEE?


  • Youssef Al Z

    Hey Mike,

    On arms day (original one), you mention we should start by chest press 6-8 reps. I make progress on that first push, but then the bar curl, close grip etc performance sees little to no improvement. Should i drop the chest press to ? Im on Phase IV of your program.

    Also, when you say dial back in the article on the deadlift etc by how much should we dial back?
    If i deadlift 100kg (4-6 reps) for example, how low should i go

  • Elijah Laughinghaus

    In the article “The definitive guide how to build a workout routine” you recommend only two sets each for biceps. Here you recommend three. How do I know which is ideal?

  • Harish Saini


  • Simon

    How would this bizeps focused template look for a 4 day split?

  • Jimmy Shady

    Hi Mike,
    I am currently doing 6 days workout
    Mon. – Chest, Tue. – Back, Wed. – Shoulders,
    Thur. – Abs, Fri. – Triceps, Sat. – Biceps & Legs
    is this good ??
    Or Your 5 days split will be good for muscle building as U showed upon there
    I’m confused with workouts which should I do ?

  • Anthony Renzi

    Mike I’ve been stuck curling 50lb dumbbells x 6 for the past year since december. I’ve been lifting for 2+ years, started with all your bls workouts, and am on phase 5 of bbls.

    • Sure, you can add some extra sets for biceps on Day 6. That’s what the weak-point day is for 🙂

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account