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Joe D's "3-6-12" Badass Biceps Builder


Training athletes for performance is definitely my forte, but summertime is here and everyone is talking about getting “shredded abs” and “bigger biceps”, so I decided to address the latter topic. 

On a personal note, I’ve always had shitty biceps - whether it’s because of poor tendon insertion points or some other genetic factor - my biceps were always non-existent compared to my triceps. But, coming from a football background, I never really cared because my lack of biceps development didn’t negatively affect my performance on the field.

But now that I’m a washed-up meathead who’s approaching 40, I finally decided to give some priority to my biceps to see if I could get them to grow. After a few months of experimentation, I stumbled upon something that actually worked for me. Now I’m not saying this is the “be all, end all” of biceps training - and I'm certainly not saying my biceps are going to be mistaken for Arnold's biceps in his prime - but this is the first routine I’ve ever done that’s actually made a noticeable difference. 

The “secret” to this routine’s success is that each of the three exercises overload different points in the strength curve and different heads of the biceps brachii.

Simply put, this routine attacks the biceps from every angle to ensure full development.



1A. Eccentric Chin-ups (close, underhand grip): 3 reps, 10sec. each lowering

1B. 1½ rep Incline Dumbell Curls: 6 reps

1C. Band Curls: 12 reps

*Rest 10-15sec. b/t each exercise. Rest 3 minutes b/t each tri-set.
**Repeat for 2-5 tri-sets. 


Check out the video below and then I’ll explain more about the method behind the madness… 


Eccentric Chins
The purpose of performing eccentric chins is to develop the short head of the biceps. (The short head is stimulated whenever the arm is flexed in front of the body.)


We further increase recruitment by prolonging the time under tension because of the slow (10 second) lowering.


1½ rep Incline Dumbell Curls
The purpose of performing incline dumbell curls is to develop the long head of the biceps. (The long head is stimulated whenever the arm is extended behind the torso.)


We further increase recruitment by prolonging the time under tension by incorporating “1½ rep” sets.


Band Curls
The band curls are performed with the upper arm in a neutral position and a “hammer" grip is used to overload the brachialis.


(If you do not have a band, this exercise can be substituted with regular dumbell hammer curls.)


As you can see, each of the three exercises is performed with the upper arm in a different position. This is an overlooked component of biceps (and triceps) training, but training your arms at different angles is crucial if you’re trying to get them to grow! 

I suggest performing my “3-6-12” biceps workout twice a week (2-3 days apart) for 3-4 weeks. Start with two tri-sets during the first workout and work up to 5 tri-sets by week 3 or 4. (You can perform this routine by itself or as part of a full upper body workout.)


Got YOUR tickets?!



Joe D. 

PS – Like the tee I’m rockin’ in the video & pics? You can pick one up HERE.  


  1. Joe, A few blogs back you announced that you were working on a new e book for us washed up meatheads. I believe the name was "BUILT 2 LAST", any idea when that will be ready? Great biceps workout. I will be trying that in my routine.
  2. Not only do the exercises match up but your shoes and shirt as well. Great job
  3. Vintage defranco. Cutting edge stuff written in a simple and entertaining manner. Cant wait to try this program tomorrow. cheers joe.
  4. Man this makes so much sense. Made me realize I do 99% of my biceps training w my arm in the neutral position. Time to switch things up!! Thanx coach!!!
  5. This is genius. Leave it to Defranco to come up with this ish.

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