It is normal for men to spend a lot of time in the gym working on their chest, shoulders, back and legs, but ultimately I think it is fair to say that many men primarily want big bulging biceps more than anything else.
This was certainly the case for me when I first joined a gym, and I know that many younger bodybuilders focus on this as well because I always see a lot of these guys working their arms hard in my local gym.
Of course I would always recommend that you do a range of exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, for example, in order to develop your whole body.
However if you are interested in building bigger biceps, you may be interested in a recent study from the American Council on Exercise that revealed which biceps exercises are the most effective. Here are the results:
I would have automatically assumed that the preacher curl would be near the top of the list because this really isolates your biceps and avoids any other body movement, but surprisingly this was one of the least effective moves.
The most effective biceps exercise was actually the concentration curl, with a maximum voluntary contraction of 97%, which is an exercise that anyone can do at home or in the gym using a set of dumbbells.
This video shows you how to do these concentration curls with correct form, and has a very useful tip that will help you optimize your results:
The next most effective exercise was the cable curl, which is an exercise that you will have to do in the gym if you don’t have your own multi-gym at home.
The chin-up is another exercise that really engages your biceps, and the benefit of this one is that you don’t necessarily need to join a gym to do this exercise. Many parks will have bars that you can use to do chin-ups (and pull-ups) to help you develop your arms (and upper body).
Otherwise the barbell curl and the EZ bar curls (with both a wide grip and a close grip) are both fairly effective at working your biceps, as is the incline curl, and you can easily do any of these exercises at home if you so wish because dumbbells, barbells an EZ bars are not very expensive to buy.
However, as I say, it is the concentration curl that will offer the best results, according to this scientific research, followed by the cable curl and the chin-up.