What is better for biceps, dumbbell or barbell?

One of the most common questions in athleticism. What better develops the biceps, barbell or dumbbells? But in reality, the correct answer here is not to find out what is better, but to figure out how to effectively combine these two types of training. In fact, both dumbbells and barbells are equally effective for biceps, but they develop and work through them in their own way. Therefore, in the training of hands it is necessary to use both, and that.


The bar is most suitable for basic power work for the total weight of the biceps, while dumbbells allow for accented training to increase the peak of the biceps or the development of the brachialis and forearms. By the way, it is the hypertrophied brachialis that can literally push out the biceps, because of what it will look visually more. The variant of the exercise with the EZ-bar also makes a slight emphasis on the brachialis and forearms, but nevertheless the dumbbell lifts in the “hammer” style load these muscles 100%.
The bar is usually placed first in the training of the hands, then follow the dumbbells. But this order is not at all obligatory. Periodically, in order to “surprise” the muscles, you must change the order of the exercises and perform first lifting dumbbells standing or sitting, and then the bar. This technique can have another positive effect: after lifting dumbbells, the biceps will be tired enough and when you move to the bar, they will “call off” Arnold Schwarzenegger lifting EZ-barbelless burning, and very quickly. Efficiency will grow. At the same time, the weight of the bar should not be greater, which will positively affect the technique of execution, without cheating and jerking.
Negative repetition, when the heavy weight slowly and under control falls to the lower point of the amplitude, it is better to carry out with the bar, since there is achieved a uniform synchronous load. This technique can be extremely effective for increasing the strength and total mass of the biceps, but it should only be performed by advanced athletes with developed muscles and strong ligaments. For beginners, the usual boom lifts in combination with dumbbells will do the best.


A characteristic effective feature of dumbbell lifts is the possibility of supination and pronation of the hand during lifting. (supination – the maximum turn of the hand palm up, pronation – turn the brush, when the palms are parallel to each other or “look” down). If you lift dumbbells (alternately or together) with maximum supination, then an emphasis will appear to increase the peak of the biceps, which creates an effective look. If you raise dumbbells with pronation of the brush, the main load will get to the brachialis and forearms, while the biceps will develop in width. Rises Arnold Schwarzenegger lifting dumbbells in the style of hammers in the style of “hammer” perfectly develop the strength of the hands. With the regular execution of the “hammer” the working weights in the lifting of the bar and other exercises with dumbbells increase.

Exercises with dumbbells are quite diverse. If you really need power work with a solid weight, then the best choice will be dumbbell lifts standing, where in the final repetitions you can use a little cheating, but if we want to feel the biceps as much as possible and get a burning sensation in them (which means their subsequent growth) then the most suitable will be the lifting of dumbbells on an inclined bench at an angle of 30-45 degrees (with supination).

One of the most effective devices for training biceps is the Scott bench, which was invented by 2-fold Mr. Olympia Larry Scott. Although he himself first called his invention a music stand, later they all began to be called a bench in honor of its creator. Scott’s bench allows you to conduct training with both a barbell and dumbbells, and achieving simply extraordinary efficiency. Larry Scott himself used a triple option, lifting first dumbbells, then the barbell palms up, and then the EZ-bar palms down. As the champion later told, this technique made his biceps record for the time.

Training biceps (once a week):

  1. Raising the rod (EZ-rod) on the biceps standing: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
  2. Lifting dumbbells to the biceps standing (sitting): 3 sets, 8-12 reps
  3. Concentrated lifting dumbbells to the biceps sitting: 3 sets, 10-12 repetitions.