Want bigger biceps? Try these 7 training techniques and tactics. They won't disappoint!

Most of us would like to whip out our biceps in public and say welcome to the gun show  – without getting embarrassed. Better yet, it would be nice to walk down the street and hear, nice guns!

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to arm yourself.

Want massive biceps that attract attention? Want arms that hang out of your shirt like thick sides of beef? Look no further. It's time to inflate your arms and push past limits.

I have put together 7 bicep blasting tips that will put you on the road to massive, 17-18” natural arms.

7 Bicep Blasters


This ain’t no card game. 21’s are an age old bicep destroying tactic that have been utilized by some of the biggest biceps in the history of the sport. Go, grab a barbell. It’s time to curl!

Pick a weight that you can perform 10-12 solid reps with. Now, perform seven reps to the halfway point of the movement. Your arms should be parallel to the ground when you finish these half-reps. Next, perform 7 reps from the halfway point of the movement to full contraction. Finally, perform 7 normal, full range repetitions. Perform all 21 reps in this sequence without stopping.

Seated Barbell Curls

Grab a barbell and park your back end on a flat bench. Tighten your lower back, and squeeze your lats together. This will assist you in maintaining proper form. Curl the barbell in normal fashion.

Because of the limited range of this movement, you will be able to curl more weight then normal. More weight, using strict form, places a greater stress on the biceps.

Cluster Sets

We will be working to failure on cluster sets. You have been warned!

Pick your favorite bicep exercise, and use a weight you can perform at least 8 reps with. Cluster sets can be performed with either barbell or dumbbell movements. For dumbbell movements, pick an exercise that allows you to work both arms simultaneously, such as seated dumbbell curls.

Knock out 4 reps, then rest 30 seconds. Immediately perform 4 more reps, and rest 30 seconds. Continue this pattern until you hit failure. Once you hit failure, the cluster set pattern is over. Log your total reps, and try to beat that the next time in the gym.

Volume Work

Volume training is a simple, old school approach to bicep training. Pick a weight you can perform 8-10 reps with, and drop that weight by 30%. So if you can perform barbell curls for 8-10 reps with 100 pounds, use 70 pounds for this bicep training method.

Now, perform 8 sets of 8 reps, resting only 45-60 seconds between sets. At first, the weight will seem too light. But, as you move on to the 4th, 5th, and 6th sets, pain will overcome you, and your will to complete another set will weaken. By the 8th set, you will regret ever trying this technique. Warning…you may be unable to lift the phone to your ear for several days.

Slow 46’s

This is a fairly straight forward bicep blasting tactic, but it may require you to use a 20-40% lighter weight then you would use with a normal set.

Pick your favorite bicep exercise, and perform the concentric portion of the movement with a controlled, and deliberately slow 4 second tempo. Without resting at the point of contraction, slowly lower the weight over a period of 6 seconds. Do not rest after fully lowering the bar. Immediately start another rep.

Because each rep lasts 10 seconds, you should limit your overall rep total for a set of 46’s to 6-8. You’ll want to limit your time under tension (TUT) to a max of 90 seconds.

Drop Sets

Drop sets are another solid plan of attack in the war against small biceps. Before you begin a series of drop sets, make sure that you have at least 3 sets of barbells or dumbbells at your disposal.

Your first set will be a normal, dumbbell or barbell curling session of 8-10 reps. Without resting, grab a lighter weight (anywhere from 10-20 pounds lighter), and rep out. As you approach muscular failure on this second set, jump down again in weight, and perform as many reps as possible.

You can perform drop sets in sequences of more then 3 sets, but generally it isn’t needed. By the end of 3 drop sets, you may not be able to lift another barbell or dumbbell for a while.

Pull-Up Supersets

Perform a normal bicep blasting set of 6-10 reps, and then immediately perform closegrip pull-ups with palms towards your face. Knock out as many reps as possible.

If you can’t perform pull-ups, no problem! Grab a bench or stool, push yourself up to the pull-up bar, and slowly perform 4-6 second negatives. After each negative rep, and without resting, use your legs to thrust yourself back into position. Try to perform at least 6-8 pull-up reps.


It is best not to over-use these gun-building tactics. As a general rule, when you increase workout intensity, you should decrease workout volume.

Some of the methods I’ve listed, such as volume work, cluster sets, and slow 46’s, work best as a stand alone bicep training workout. Other methods work best as finishers – movements performed at the end of a bicep training workout that assure your arms are utterly destroyed before you exit the gym.

Use these growth-inducing bicep training methods wisely, and you’ll be sporting 17-18” natural arms in no time. And don’t forget to purchase your welcome to the gun show t-shirt!

Posted on: Wed, 08/21/2013 - 15:49

how many sets is best

Posted on: Tue, 09/13/2011 - 19:51

These tips are great! I'm female and intend on implementing these into my routine at different times. Thank you.

Mohammad Hussain
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 19:40

Howdy! If you were to perform the 21's at the end of a bicep workout from doing 2 exercises before at 8-12 reps at 2 sets, how many sets would you advise to do the 21's?? And also if you wer to do the cluster set should you ONLY do this on bicep day and say dats enough or shud you do this with other training methods for the biceps?? Cheers

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/23/2011 - 15:08

I wouldn't do more than 2-3 sets of 21s. they are fairly intense.

You could do the cluster with other work. Obviously there's no need to overkill biceps, so you want to keep the volume reasonable.

Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 18:49

Definately going to be thowing a few of these into my plaan but Do these moves work the same with tri's? Like the 21 thing on lying ez extentions?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 19:08

Hi Sam,

You certainly could try 21s for different tricep exercises. It should work fairly well.

Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 17:27

Is there a similar routine fro triceps?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2011 - 19:07

Hi Freddy,

Here are some great choices for triceps:


chulbul pandey
Posted on: Sun, 11/14/2010 - 02:22


could we follow this entire routine as listed above or is it going to be too much. thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/16/2010 - 11:11

Hi Chulbul,

I wouldn't use all of these in a single workout. It would be way too much volume and intensity.