The Truth About Bicep Curls – Do They Really Build Biceps?

When it comes to building big, impressive biceps, the exercise that often comes to mind is the bicep curl. This popular exercise involves lifting a weight with a palm-facing-up grip, bringing it towards the shoulder by bending the elbow, and then lowering it back down to the starting position. But the question remains: do curls really build biceps?

Understanding Muscle Growth

Before we dive into whether or not bicep curls are effective for building biceps, let’s first understand how muscle growth works. When we lift weights, we create tiny tears in our muscle fibers. These tears then repair themselves, which causes the muscle to grow and become stronger. In order to continue building muscle, we need to continually increase the amount of weight we lift or the number of repetitions we perform.

The Role of Bicep Curls

So, back to bicep curls: do they actually build biceps? The answer is yes and no. Bicep curls are certainly effective at targeting the biceps, which can help to build strength and size in this muscle group. However, they should not be the only exercise that you rely on to build big biceps.

Variety is Key

In order to see significant muscle growth, it’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises into your workout routine. This will help to target the biceps from different angles and challenge them in new ways. Some effective exercises to pair with bicep curls include chin-ups, hammer curls, and preacher curls.

High-Rep Training

Another factor to consider when building biceps is the number of repetitions you perform. While heavy lifting is certainly effective for muscle growth, it’s important not to overlook the benefits of high-rep training. This involves performing a higher number of repetitions with a lighter weight. This type of training can help to increase blood flow to the muscles, which can promote growth and recovery.

Frequency of Training

Finally, the frequency of your bicep training can also play a role in building bigger biceps. While it’s important not to overtrain, you should aim to target your biceps at least twice per week. This will allow for optimal recovery time while still providing enough stimulus to promote muscle growth.


In conclusion, bicep curls can certainly help to build biceps, but they should not be the only exercise you rely on. Incorporating a variety of exercises, including those that target the biceps from different angles and those that involve high-rep training, can help to promote muscle growth and prevent plateaus. Additionally, it’s important to train your biceps with enough frequency to provide stimulus for growth while still allowing for proper recovery time. Keep these tips in mind as you work towards building big, impressive biceps.

Exercise Reps Sets Weight
Bicep Curl 10-12 3-4 50 lbs
Chin-Up 8-10 3-4 Bodyweight
Hammer Curl 8-10 3-4 35 lbs
Preacher Curl 10-12 3-4 40 lbs