It's not about what you do, but how you do it! In terms of training, that means you don't just go to the gym and go through the motions. What matters most when you want better results is increasing intensity and activation in every single rep.

This biceps workout takes a short 15 minutes, but using the balloon method will maximize the three muscle-building triggers: metabolic stress, mechanical overload, and muscle damage. I recommend that you fit this workout into your training schedule twice per week.

Activation Phase

Barbell curl: 2 sets of 20 reps

Use the barbell only; don't add plates.

Start with a pre-fatigue biceps technique for 2 sets. The goal is to get a nice pump and increase your blood flow so that you have a better mind-muscle connection during your heavy working sets. Keep the eccentric part of the movement slow.

The first set is full biceps curls, and the second set is half reps. If you have an arm blaster, definitely use it. If not, try to keep your elbows slightly in front of your body.

Alpha Lion Jet Gains
Alpha Lion Jet Gains
Increase muscle protein synthesis, featuring Creapure®, L-Leucine, & Betaine

Overload Phase

Barbell swoop curl: 3 sets of 8-10 reps, 1 set of 45 sec.

Rest 60 sec. between sets.

This first working exercise is the biceps mass builder of the workout. I call this the "swoop curl" because it is pretty much a standard barbell curl but with a major emphasis on the upward motion—you'll be going full range of motion by lifting your elbows and bringing the bar all the way to your forehead.

Barbell Swoop Curl

With 8-10 reps, you want to go fairly heavy on this exercise. You should definitely hit failure by the 10th rep. If you can get 11-12 reps, you need to up the weight.

On the fourth set, go full throttle! Remove the weight from your barbell and perform swoop curl reps for 45 seconds.

Dumbbell lean forward curl: 2 sets of 8-10 full reps and 8-10 half reps

Rest 60 sec. between sets.

The second exercise uses a curl technique with a forward lean. Bring your elbows in front of your body just a bit to maximize the short-head activation.

Anyone who has tried this exercise has given it rave reviews! You'll be surprised how light you'll go and still hit failure by that last rep—especially as there is a 2-second eccentric.

After your 8-10 reps, pump out 8-10 half reps. Then rest 60 seconds, lower the weight, and repeat for the second set.

Complete curl: 2 sets of 25-30 reps, 8-10 reps on each of the 3 curls

Rest 60 sec. between sets.

The final exercise is an intense metabolic stress finisher that will maximize your time under tension. In each set, you do three different curls to hit the long head, the short head, and the brachialis, performing each for 8-10 reps.

On the first 8-10 reps, keep your elbows behind your body and curl with your palms facing up. This will pump up the long head. For the second 8-10 reps, position your elbows just in front of your body with a forward lean, and curl full reps up to your forehead to hit the short head. Finally, to target the brachialis, rotate into a hammer curl and perform another 8-10 reps.

For more sessions that bring out the superhuman in your physique, check out Troy's Balloon Method shoulder workout.

About the Author

Troy Adashun

Troy Adashun

Troy Adashun is the co-founder of the fitness lifestyle company Alpha Lion. He is from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and has been a lifelong athlete and bodybuilding enthusiast. In 2013, ...

View all articles by this author