35 Best Biceps In History

Welcome to the gun show! Want to know how the best biceps in the history of lifting were developed? Look no further! This feature contains 35 amazing biceps along with workouts.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“When I was 15-years-old, I took off my clothes and looked in the mirror. When I stared at myself naked, I realized that to be perfectly proportioned I would need twenty-inch arms to match the rest of me.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 6 6-10
Seated Dumbbell Curls 6 6-10
Concentration Curls 6 6-10

Joel Stubbs

Joel Stubbs

"if you wanted to pick one biceps exercise no bodybuilder can do without, I’d say it’s the standing barbell curl. It’s all about increasing weight with proper form and technique, and the barbell curl is the best way to do that. It allows you to move more weight, so do your best to master this move with strict form. Of course, if you have wrist issues, the EZ-bar curl is a perfectly acceptable substitute." - Joel Stubbs

Joel Stubbs Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 8 12
Dumbbell Curls 4 12
Machine Preacher Curl 5 12
Concentration Curl 3 12

Albert Beckles

Albert Beckles

"I like to place special emphasis on the peak contraction of curls. I often resist supinating until I get very close to contraction. Then I twist my wrists outward as far as they can go just as I reach the top of the curl. This creates a tremendous contraction, and I hold it for a second or two." - Albert Beckles

Albert Beckles Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Curls 4 8-10
Cable Curls 4 8-10
Concentration Curls 3 8-12
Single Arm Cable Curls 3 8-12

Robbie Robinson

Robbie Robinson

"To up the intensity, I'll do my concentration curls with a barbell, taking a close grip and leaning over so my torso is parallel to the floor. I will slowly curl the barbell upward, feeling resistance along each millimeter of the range of motion. At the top of the movement, I'll hold the weight for several seconds, flexing and cramping my biceps. It's hard and painful work, but it builds density." - Robby Robinson

Robbie Robinson Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4 6-10
Barbell Preacher Curls 4 8-10
Concentration Curls 4 8-10

Larry Scott

Larry Scott

"I would probably use about 4 different exercises for the biceps and 5 to 6 sets for each exercise of 8 to 10 repetitions. This would make a total of 24 sets for the biceps. If I were working the Biceps, Triceps, and Deltoids today. I would have 4 exercises for each and say 5 sets of each exercise or a total of 60 sets for my workout today. This type of workout takes me about 2 hours. I do not rest too much between exercises or between sets but try to keep moving along pretty well." - Larry Scott

Larry Scott Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Two Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl 3 6-10
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 6-10
Reverse Grip EZ Bar Curl 3 6-10
Spider Curl 3 6-10

Mike Matarazzo

Mike Matarazzo

"I idolized all of the bodybuilders who came from that old-school hardcore era. Those guys didn't need any fancy equipment; they trained with intensity and focus, regardless of the gym or other limitations. These guys could do presses with pails full of cement and still get a great workout." - Mike Matarazzo

Mike Matarazzo Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 4 10-12
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 10-12
Concentration Curls 4 10-12
Sideways One Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls 4 10-12
Reverse Grip EZ Bar Preacher Curls 4 10-12

Phil Heath

Phil Heath

"Personally, I like one hand preacher curls with dumbbells. You don’t have to do 100 pound dumbbells to get a burn. Heck I can do 35- 45 dumbbells and get something out of it. It’s also great for guys that travel. It’s the one piece of equipment that most hotels always have." - Phil Heath

Phil Heath Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell or Dumbbell Curls 4 10
Preacher Curls 4 10
Incline Curls 4 10
Hammer Curls 4 10

Freddy Ortiz

Freddy Ortiz

"I don't count the repetitions. I just keep going until the body part gets tired." - Freddy Ortiz

Freddy Ortiz Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 5 10
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls 5 10
Close Grip Barbell Curls 4 8
Pulley Concentration Curls 5 10

Lee Priest

Lee Priest

"I had a guy come up to me once in the gym when I'm training arms and tell me that I should do curls this way. I looked at his arms and they were about fifteen inches. That would be like me walking up to Tom Platz and telling him how to squat!" - Lee Priest

Lee Priest Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 5 6-8
Dumbbell Curls 5 6-8
Preacher Curls 5 6-8
Cable Curls 5 6-8

Paul Demayo

Paul Demayo

Paul Demayo Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets/Reps
Barbell Curls Unknown
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls Unknown
Machine Preacher Curls Unknown

Leroy Colbert

Leroy Colbert

"I Leroy Colbert was the first man to build 21 inch muscular arms, drug free and I am proud of it."- Leroy Colbert

Leroy Colbert Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Leroy would perform 2 exercises from a pool
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4-5 6-10
Concentration Curls 4-5 6-10
Seated Barbell Curls 4-5 6-10
Reverse Barbell Curls 4-5 6-10
21s 4-5 6-10

Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler

“I’ve always been a volume trainer." - Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 5 15
Single Arm Dumbbell Curl 3 12
Single Arm Preacher Curl 3 10
Hammer Curl 2 12-15

Kevin Levrone

Kevin Levrone

"For the preacher curls, this exercise is done with an EZ Curl bar, you can either do a close grip or wide.  If you don’t have an EZ Curl bar, use a small straight bar." - Kevin Levrone

Kevin Levrone Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4 8
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 8
Preacher Curls 4 8
One Arm Dumbbell Curls 4 8

Dexter Jackson

Dexter Jackson

"I find that posing improves the shape and hardness of my arms. Before a contest, all the posing practice I do improves my arms day by day. Try flexing your arms after each set to push more blood into your muscles." - Dexter Jackson

Dexter Jackson Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Barbell Curl 4 6-10
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 4 8-10
Seated Dumbbell Curl 4 8-10

Manfred Hoerbel

Manfred Hoerbel

"You cannot plan on having something incredibly big because you never know how your genetics will work. So, when I started first I had no idea how far I could go in the sport at all. And that I had such big arms in our sport was actually a disadvantage. So, I never planned to have them that big, however I sooner or later realized that having the biggest arms in the world is a great marketing tool." - Manfred Hoerbel

Manfred Hoerbel Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls 2 5-10
Thumbs Up Rope Curls 2 8-12
EZ Bar Curls 2 5-8

Sergio Oliva

Sergio Oliva

"You see in the magazines this guy has got a 21 (inch arm), this guy has got a 22 and this one has a 19-and-a-half. When they went to Florida, and everyone went to Florida, the only one who came close to me was Arnold and his was only 19. My arms were so big that they were bigger than my head. I was the only one, cold." - Sergio Oliva

Sergio Oliva Bicep & Tricep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Superset: Barbell Curls and Standing French Press 2 6, 8
Superset: Cambered Bar Preacher Curl and Cable Push Downs 2 6, 8
Superset: Dumbbell Preacher Curls and Cable Kickbacks 2 6, 8

Vince Taylor

Vince Taylor

"Most people try to say I use high repetitions. That is not true. I need a weight that will allow me to feel the contraction of the muscle. As corny as it may sound, I need to feel the muscle working." - Vince Taylor

Vince Taylor Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 5 6-12
Seated Dumbbell Curls 5 10-12
Hammer Curls 5 10-12

Kal Szkalak

Kal Szkalak

"The mind-to-muscle connection is the key to great arms. More than any other bodypart, you can easily watch your biceps moving with each rep, and with a simple hinge joint, you can focus on getting a maximum stretch and contraction. Make the reps harder, not easier." - Kal Szkalak

Kal Szkalak Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls 5 8-10
Barbell Preacher Curls 5 8
Machine Curls 5 12
Cable Concentration Curls 5 12
Reverse Curls 5 12

Flex Wheeler

Flex Wheeler

"The biceps are relatively small muscles, and it shouldn't take much work to exhaust them if you're training them hard. I do no more than 10 sets once per week, but if I push every set to failure, that's the perfect amount to keep my arms consistently growing without overtraining." - Flex Wheeler

Flex Wheeler Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Curls 3 10
Single Arm Preacher Curls 3 10
Concentration Curls 3 10

Bill Pearl

Bill Pearl

"If I wanted to get my arms as big as I could possibly get them, I would probably do around 20 sets of 4 exercises and 5 sets each for the triceps and 20 sets for the biceps per workout 3 times a week. That would be around 60 sets of triceps and 60 sets of biceps work per week. I would keep the reps between 6 and 8 and I would do all basic movements where I'd handle as heavy a weight as possible. I'd consume nutritious food that had calories in and just flat out eat!" - Bill Pearl

Bill Pearl Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Curl 4 8-10
Barbell Curls 4 8-10

Bertil Fox

Bertil Fox

"Anyone who neglects brachialis development automatically limits the height and ultimate mass of his biceps, because a well-developed brachialis will push the biceps upward and away from the humerus and give the biceps more apparent height and mass." - Bertil Fox

Bertil Fox Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Curls 6 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Curls 6 6-8
Dumbbell Concentration Curls 6 6-8
Barbell Preacher Curls 6 6-8
One Arm Cable Curls 6 6-8

Mike Christian

Mike Christian

"Remember, 4 sets, 8-10 reps, heavy and hard." - Mike Christian

Mike Christian Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4 8-10
Dumbbell Incline Curls 4 8-10
Machine Curl 4 8-10
High Cable Curls 4 8-10

Boyer Coe

Boyer Coe

"I remember reading a copy of Joe Weider's Muscle Builder magazine and seeing an article by Steve Reeves on biceps training. He wrote about doing dumbbell curls while sitting on an incline bench. That advice was good enough for me, so the first exercise I ever did for biceps was that incline dumbbell curl. As a matter of fact, it was the only biceps exercise I did for almost five years. All I did was eight to 10 sets of the good old incline curl, then I'd move on to triceps." - Boyer Coe

Boyer Coe Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 3 8
Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 8
Machine Curl 3 8
Cable Curl 3 8
Reverse Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 8

Brian Buchanon

Brian Buchanon

"Let's be blunt and define the two qualities that a bodybuilder needs if he's to have any chance of reaching the very top. First, he must be born with outstanding physique genetics--a natural ability to respond to training and build muscle. Second, he must have the mental tenacity, the will, to harness and develop that physical potential." - Brian Buchanan

Brian Buchanon Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 5 6-8
Seated Dumbbell Curl 5 6-8
Cambered Bar Preacher Curl 5 6-8
Concentration Curl 5 8-10

Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates

"I also think you have less separation if you are fuller. If you go to the gym and pump your arms up they are bigger because of the blood volume, the fullness. But the separation is not so defined." - Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Curls 1 6-8
EZ Bar Curls 1 6-8
Nautilus Curls 1 6-8

Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman

"Well it was a long hard road, but I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed the challenge. The road to becoming Mr. Olympia is all in the mind. Everyone puts such emphasis on the physical aspect of bodybuilding but really those who are mentally strong will succeed." - Ronnie Coleman

Ronnie Coleman Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4 12
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 12
Preacher Curls 4 12
Cable Curls 4 12

Paul Dillett

Paul Dillett

"I like using a rope instead of a handle for triceps movements. The rope pushdown is more of an isolation movement than a mass builder, because you can twist your arms out away from your body at the bottom. You're
not able to go as heavy with a rope as with a handle, but you get the full muscle-shaping and separating benefits." - Paul Dillett

Paul Dillett Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4-5 10-12
Preacher Curls 4-5 10-12
Concentration Curls 4-5 10-12

Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno

"I certainly don't agree with the bodybuilders who say you can get big forearms just by squeezing the dumbbell handles when doing curls. In a few cases this may be true, but those guys would build big forearms by merely eating eggs in the morning. Most bodybuilders, myself included, have to work very hard for any kind of meaningful forearm development." - Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 2 15-20
Incline Dumbbell Curls 3-4 8-10
Preacher Curl 4 8-10

Frank McGrath

Frank McGrath

"First, the only person you have anything to prove to is yourself. Second, you can watch life with your nose pressed up against the glass. Or you can swing the doors open and step inside." - Frank McGrath

Frank McGrath Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 3 12-16
EZ Bar Curls 3 8-12
Dumbbell Curls 3 10-12

Serge Nubret

Serge Nubret

"Genetics help to some degree, but the most important thing is the mind and the spirit. These two are even more powerful than physical characteristics that are passed on." - Serge Nubret

Serge Nubret Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 8 12
Dumbbell Curl 8 12

Reg Park

Reg Park

"As your bodybuilding aims become higher, obviously you have to work harder, until, believe it or not, you are performing from 20-30 sets of both biceps and triceps three workouts per week." - Reg Park

Reg Park Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 5 5-8
Incline Dumbbell Curls 5 5-8

Shawn Ray

Shawn Ray

"Be sure to use different exercises with every workout. Always confuse the muscles in to new growth." - Shawn Ray

Shawn Ray Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curls 4 8-10
Dumbbell Preacher Curls 4 8
Concentration Curls 4 10-12

Dave Draper

Dave Draper

"The bis and tris and thighs didn’t go home this hungry Saturday without drawing blood, either. The whole greedy lot got in on the act." - Dave Draper

Dave Draper Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Curls 5 6
Sitting Dumbbell Curls 5 6
Incline Dumbbell Curls 5 6

Marcus Ruhl

Marcus Ruhl

"From reading bodybuilding magazines, I realized the folly of my initial workouts. That’s when I decided to devise my own program. Everything intensified. Weight and sets increased, and I went on a six-day program, training one bodypart a day, with Sundays off. This time, my goal in every workout was to get a great pump with heavy weight." - Marcus Ruhl

Marcus Ruhl Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Machine Preacher Curls 4 8-10
Dumbbell Curls 4 6-10
Standing Two Arm Cable Curls 4 8-10

Nasser El Sonbaty

Nasser El Sonbaty

"I don't have a favorite body part nor do I have a favorite exercise. Everyone who is honest prefers machines over free-weights, because machines are more convenient and cause less muscle pain and require less concentration and are generally less dangerous. BUT, if you like to have real gains you have to train hard and heavy, and you have to chose always the LEAST favorite exercises which actually give you the best possible results. So go for the least favorite exercises, the free weights... and go for the muscle pain!" - Nasser El Sonbaty

Nasser El Sonbaty Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
No information available.

Marko Savolainen

Marko Savolainen

"What I would like to bring from the ‘90s bodybuilding to this day is the hardness of the muscles that guys back then had. The best example of this is Dorian Yates. These days guys are bigger but a little bit smoother or puffy looking, especially on some body parts like arms and shoulders. But I think there’s a reason for that." - Marko Savolainen

Marko Savolainen Bicep Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
No information available.

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About The Author
Steve Shaw is an experienced raw masters powerlifter with over 31 years of iron game experience. His best competition lifts are a 602.5 pound squat, a 672.5 pound deadlift, and a 382.5 pound deadlift. Steve is also known as a powerbuilder. His goal is to help others build as much muscle and strength as humanly possible.

10 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sat, 08/27/2016 - 23:20
Cmr

Hey let's face it the physiques have gotten better and so have the drugs, I guess it all boils down to what you want to represent , none of the so called greats would have earned thier pro card with out the drugs. I'm gonna tell you right now I was one of those kids that got into the gym worked hard and accomplished a lot , always reading the magazines with the latest Roid giant on it selling some new supplement that didn't work and watching guys doing cycles achieving way more than I did, but fast forward 20 years and look at em now they are all dead or look like shit from the drugs. Hey it's all personal choice tho look great die younger or put in the real work build some character and realize that the modern support of bodybuilding can be a farse or a true character building sport, just depends on how you look at it.

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Posted Tue, 09/16/2014 - 16:22
Rob

All big time roid users. Why not find hard working all natural gym
Rats who put in the time and not the drugs?

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Posted Tue, 02/10/2015 - 07:23
Jordan

You're an idiot mate... You have so much to learn.
You honestly think the reason, ronnie, jay, phill, Kai, Dorian, arnie and soooo many more is because they juiced? No other reason? Or maybe they put more hours in the gym and panting over the effort they put in to have that look? It's more hours then you put in playing with your dick. Just because you're small and never trained hard in your life, doesn't mean you can have a raz at the guys with the biggest and best bodies in the world. There's a reason they won, there's a reason you're posting on bodybuilding website having a cry, it's because you're a soft cunt.
Tell ronnie he's a rat because he juiced, I'm sure you won't, because he worked hard to win that title 8 times.
And also, learn facts abouts roids you loser! I bet you don't actually know what they do? Make you bigger? Or recovering your body so fast you won't even need to rest. You're an idiot with no understanding of bodybuilding. You should maybe not follow the sport because you're a gay cunt

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Posted Mon, 01/02/2017 - 08:10
Jim Brewster

There's some truth in your hard-edged response. Sure genetics are critical and hard work pays off, but everyone of these guys were big time drug users, period. What would they have been like with zero drugs? Still the winners they were? Maybe, maybe not. I personally don't care if they use steroids and whatever else, it's the choice of the individual, but to be honest, they should list their drug stacks along with their preferred exercises - why not, then we'd have some truth in the sport for once. That kind of truth could change the world for a lot of guys just getting into it.

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Posted Sat, 07/30/2016 - 00:07
Ben

Dude, drugs is a part of modern day bodybuilding. I am truly not against using enhancement within the bodybuilding world. That is how the sport is. Besides, the best bodybuilders, they started training as young kids. You see, a growing body knows no genetics as long as it is well nourished. Stimulate a young body to grow and it has infinite possibilities. Natural growth factors are awash in a young, growing body. (Think of a baby that grows in 9 months or so, out of 2 incomplete gametes from the parents, to forms a single cell with complete 23 pairs of chromosomes that continues to divide until it becomes a new organism. Nature normally applies the brakes on an adult's growth curve [or else all of us will keep growing 'til we die and I suspect our life spans will be much shorter if we didn't have a ceiling in our overall growth curve]). Even those young bodybuilders, who later used drugs, are still 90% hard work, 10% chemistry (chemistry is always necessary to get that ultra ripped legit stage-ready look). Give or take, the genetically superior ones can get away with less hard work. Outside of bodybuilding though and in any other competitive sport, I am not in favor of drugs, just because genetic differences will give more advantage to those who are more gifted and drugs can magnify these advantages. I am not even sure why anabolic steroids, which are not mind-altering, are banned and alcohol is rampant. Just for fun: Count the number of crimes, violence, and death related to alcohol in a year and compare to anabolic steroids in the last 50 years. Surprise! Surprise!

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Posted Sat, 09/13/2014 - 21:01
millmuscle

Where is Chuck Sipes?

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Posted Sat, 09/13/2014 - 04:25
Ivan

Wait, wait wait...looks like no one of this guys did chinups or pullups, come on!!!
Read Arnold's books, watch Jason Ferrugia training videos...and a lot of other guys!! Start respect calisthenics!!

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Posted Thu, 09/11/2014 - 20:08
reallyruff

Lee Haney ?

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Posted Thu, 09/11/2014 - 04:40
nikolai Hjelle

Where is Kai Greene????

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Posted Thu, 01/15/2015 - 12:24
Lance Clemons

fukn right where the hell is kai!