4 Bicep Superset Workout (Build Bigger Arms in Less Time)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: March 11, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
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Growing the biceps is not challenging. You need a routine and a few exercises that hit the bicep muscles hard to get them out of their comfort zone.

In my 10+ years as a professional fitness trainer, I always advocate for my clients and readers to use bicep superset workouts that expose their muscles to an ever-increasing workload, which is crucial for developing muscle mass.

In this article, I will provide my findings and expertise on the best bicep superset workouts you can perform to gain muscle in your biceps and the benefits of superset training.

Quick Summary

  • The four bicep superset workouts include barbell curls and hammer curls, suspension trainer push-ups and suspension trainer curls, dynamic push-ups and chin-ups, and incline biceps curls and spider curls.
  • Bicep superset workouts allow for continuous exercise without rest, effectively engaging and challenging the biceps.
  • Supersets, per the NIH, involve back-to-back exercises for the same muscle, with 10–12 reps per set, offering efficient, diverse workouts for those with limited time.
  • In my opinion, bicep supersets are a highly efficient way to achieve impressive muscle growth, especially for those with limited workout time.

The Best Bicep Superset Workouts

A person working out his biceps by lifting weights

Superset A: Barbell Curl and Hammer Curl

1. Barbell Curls

As a trainer, I recommend focusing on biceps exercises like barbell curls with an overhand grip in this superset workout for efficient targeting of the biceps muscle group.

I find the barbell curl to be an excellent exercise for bulking up your biceps, making it a top choice in your biceps routine.

Whether you're using a straight barbell or an EZ bar, maintaining proper form is key. However, it's okay to use a bit of momentum on the final rep to keep the bar moving.

"If you wish to feel like a badass when curling, you should build up to the barbell curls and attempt it. It is an excellent way to begin any biceps exercise."
- Ebenezer Samuel, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

How to perform:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasping the bar with a shoulder-width grip.
  2. Squeeze your glutes, abdominals, and shoulder blades. Maintain a tight torso. Curl the weight up, keeping your upper arms stable, barely moving at the elbows.
  3. Squeeze your biceps briefly at the peak, then drop the load back down.
  4. Repeat for reps.

2. Hammer Curl

Incline bench hammer curls are more effective at stretching your biceps than regular ones.

It strengthens your grip and trains several muscles in your upper arm.

How to perform:

  1. Using a lighter set of weights, lie on the incline bench with both palms facing one another.
  2. Curl them up, hold them at the top, and descend under control.
  3. To engage your muscles harder, squeeze the biceps at the peak of the lift.
  4. Repeat for reps.

Learn More: Hammer Curls vs Bicep Curls: Which Strengthens Arms Better

Superset B: Suspension Trainer Push-ups and Suspension Trainer Curls

A buff male doing a suspension pushup workout

3. Suspension Trainer Push-ups

From my experience as a trainer, the instability created by the trainer challenges you to engage more muscles, especially the biceps.

Pairing this with suspension trainer curls is a great way to keep the momentum going in your workout.

How to perform:

  1. Extend your feet straight behind your torso. Your feet' heels should be slightly lifted. Once you've gotten into position, your body ought to be inclined.
  2. Tighten your abs and clench your glutes to keep your hips from drooping.
  3. Bend your elbows and drop your body into your hands. Bending your elbows causes the suspension trainer to move slightly to the side.
  4. When you lower your body to a push-up position, your chest should parallel the suspension trainer handles.
  5. Return to your starting position by pushing into the handles.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

4. Suspension Trainer Curls

The suspension trainer biceps curl hits the biceps hard by using your body weight as the resistance.

How to perform:

  1. With both hands, grasp the suspension trainer handles. To completely stretch your arms, lean back.
  2. With both legs shoulder-width apart and the back straight, curve your arms to draw yourself up (toward the trainer).
  3. Bend your elbows and curl the grips as near your shoulders as possible; utilize your biceps rather than your upper arms.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for reps.

Superset C: Dynamic Push-ups and Chin-ups

A person doing a diamond push up in the gym

5. Dynamic Push-ups

By exploding on the upward action, you hit the biceps harder.

How to perform:

  1. Put your elbows on a box in a diamond press-up posture.
  2. Lower your torso and explode off the box, landing with your hands on the ground and the box between them. Keep an eye on that chin.
  3. Lower your body immediately and push explosively up so both hands land upon the box as the starting position.
  4. Repeat for reps.

6. Chin-ups

I find the chin-up, similar to the overhead pull-up, to be an excellent exercise for developing a V-shaped torso, targeting the shoulders and back.

By focusing on underhanded chin-ups, we can place more emphasis on the biceps, enhancing their development.

How to perform:

  1. Using an underhand grip, grab the bar.
  2. Pull the shoulder blades down and back while hanging from the bar to push your body up and gain momentum.
  3. Pull up with both arms to finish.
  4. Drop your body slowly to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Superset D: Incline Biceps Curls and Spider Curls

A person doing a preacher curl in the gym

7. Preacher Curls

The preacher curl is an isolation bicep workout in which you perfect the lifting form with a regulated movement facilitated by a preacher bench.

How to perform: 

  1. Sit on a preacher bench and use an underhand grip on an EZ bar.
  2. Curl the bar to the top.
  3. Pause and squeeze your biceps.
  4. Slowly lower the bar until both arms are straight.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

8. Spider Curls

I always recommend spider curls to my clients. This is a dumbbell bicep exercise that isolates the biceps by positioning the body on an incline bench.

Similar to concentration curls, the key to this exercise is to perform the motion slowly and with control throughout.

How to perform: 

  1. Put a bench at an angle of 45° and lie on it, pressing your chest and stomach into the support. Ascertain that your head is slightly over the bench.
  2. Grasp the weight in each hand with a supinated hold, palms facing upwards. Place your arms on each side of the bench, letting them stretch down and in front of you.
  3. Squeeze the biceps as you bend the elbow and lift the weights until they parallel your shoulders, keeping your body against the bench.
  4. Reverse the motion by slowly extending the elbows until both arms are straight.
  5. Repeat for reps.

What Are Supersets?

A gym coach creating a superset

A superset comprises alternating sets of two separate exercises with no break in between.

You will then rest following the two back-to-back sets.

Superset implies performing two workouts for a single muscle simultaneously, then resting and repeating one or more times with enough weight to accomplish 10 to 12 reps per set.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), supersets are ideal for people who are limited on time yet want to perform various activities [1].

Supersets are categorized into two types: antagonist and agonist supersets.

Antagonist Superset

A gym coach writing down an antagonist superset

According to the NIH, an antagonist superset happens when you mix a workout set for one muscle group with an activity for the opposing muscle [2].

Examples are the biceps and triceps exercise or a quadriceps workout mixed with a hamstring exercise.

Agonist Superset

As per a study by the NIH, this implies choosing two exercises targeting the same muscle group and doing a set of each without resting [3].

A classic example is the bench press accompanied by dumbbell flyes.

Leg curls with Romanian deadlifts are another agonist superset that works the hamstrings.

The Benefits of Superset Training

A gym coach talking to a person in the gym

Supersets can help your workouts in a variety of ways.

Here are the primary reasons why you should use them:.

1. Increasing the Intensity of Your Workout

Because there is no break during a superset round, the time under tension – the amount of time your muscles are under pressure throughout a workout — increases.

Greater time under tension makes your muscles work hard for longer periods, improving strength, muscular development, and endurance.

2. Increased Fat Burn

A person measuring his body with a tape

Supersets can aid you in burning more lower and upper body fat and building lean muscle.

Supersets, according to the NIH, boost workout energy expenditure "significantly" during and after exercise [4].

3. Adding Variation to Your Workouts

I always tell my clients that they need to vary their workouts to continue seeing improvements.

Supersets mix things up by allowing you to vary the rate and intensity of your workout.

And because there are fewer breaks, it is easier to push through a workout.

If consistency is challenging, supersets can help you stay on track by providing variety and efficiency.

4. Increased Muscle Growth

A person with good muscles working out

As previously said, supersets put your muscles under strain for a longer period of time.

Using all of the muscle fibers for a longer time promotes hypertrophy, which boosts muscle mass and size.

5. Making the Most of Your Workout Time

Most gym-goers know how simple it is to spend time working out.

In addition to switching to at-home activities, you may save time by including supersets into your routines.

You can increase the volume and burn more in less time by resting less between workouts.

6. Breaking Through Workout Plateaus 

A person taking a rest after a workout

If you're no longer gaining benefits from your exercises (a workout plateau), it's time to spice things up.

Supersets are excellent for increasing the difficulty of your exercises without developing an entirely new program.

Aerobic Advantages

Because super-setting reduces your rest times, your workout intensity rises.

This increased intensity causes the heart to work harder, providing you with a resistance training exercise plus cardiovascular advantages.

According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, supersets result in much larger anaerobic expenditures (for building muscle development and mass) and aerobic expenditures (for enhancing endurance) than regular resistance training [5].

Balancing Bicep Supersets with Tricep Workouts

Balancing bicep supersets with triceps workouts is crucial for symmetrical arm development.

  • Start with a compound movement like a close-grip bench press for triceps, followed by bicep curls. This approach ensures both muscle groups receive equal attention.
  • Alternate between bicep and tricep exercises, maintaining equal volume and intensity. For instance, perform three sets of bicep curls and match them with three sets of tricep dips.
  • Focus on controlled movements and a full range of motion rather than heavy weights. Incorporate variations like hammer curls and overhead tricep extensions to target different muscle fibers.

Rest adequately between sets and ensure proper nutrition for optimal growth.

FAQs

Should I Superset Bicep Workouts?

Yes, you should superset bicep workouts. Combining biceps movements into a single superset arm workout is a wonderful method to obtain a sleeve-bursting pump and bigger gains without spending countless hours in the gym.

In this arm routine, you'll incorporate workout training with light weight to target the primary muscles, making it an effective and occasional workout for building bigger arms in less time.

Is 3 Sets for Biceps Enough?

No. 3 sets for biceps are not enough. You must execute at least eight sets of direct bicep exercises per week to meet the Minimum Effective Volume (MEV) for biceps.

What to Pair With Biceps?

You can pair abs and back muscle workouts with the biceps to execute pulling movements. Simultaneously training these closely connected muscle groups is good since one may rest while the other works.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28698987/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20733520/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5556132/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20300020/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33927111/
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About The Author

Senior Coach
Connor Sellers holds a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Rutgers University He is an author and personal trainer with the mission to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their fitness and lifestyle goals. He mantra is that staying fit has an overall positive effect on one’s body, mind, and spirit.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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