Build your biceps in just 10 minutes with this upper body dumbbell workout

Build bigger arms and define your biceps with this short dumbbell session

Woman trains her arms with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Getty)

It's possible to develop strength and build muscle in your arms just using some dumbbells and this simple piece of equipment is especially good for targeting the biceps. This 10-minute dumbbell routine uses something called pyramid sets to challenge your biceps and improve your upper body strength.

Pyramid training involves using sets of identical exercises that begin with light weight and higher reps and then build up to heavier weight with fewer reps. So you'll need to be able to work with more than one size of dumbbell. You should consider using a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells as they allow the flexibility to modify the load mid-workout.

Joe Wicks, or The Body Coach (opens in new tab) as some may know him better, designed this short workout as part of a new strength challenge he has created. This upper body session is all about targeting the biceps. Wicks uses three different weights for this routine, light, medium, and heavy. He explains what this pyramid set will look like:

"We are going to start off by doing a heavy weight,10 reps. Then the middle weights are going to be 15 reps and the lighter weight 20 reps. Then we go back down so it's 10, 15, 20, 15, 10. The weight decreases as you increase the reps and then you go back down and increase the weight again".

Watch The Body Coach's 10-Minute Bicep Workout

He will keep you right with his video demonstrations and audio cues, just make sure you are ready to 'burn out the biceps' with him. Although it's an intense session, allow yourself time to master the correct form for each move. Proper form will boost your muscle gains and will help to prevent injury.

Those who are new to weights and still learning strength training tips as they go can benefit from learning this challenging resistance training technique. Likewise, seasoned weight lifters can also gain from trying out this dumbbell pyramid set. If you've hit a plateau in your training, pyramid sets are good for shocking your muscles and this new training format can help stimulate growth again.

Plus, pyramid training can be applied to other muscles and not just the biceps. Perhaps you have tired of your usual shoulder dumbbell workout and fancy applying this tough technique to your next shoulder session.

There are plenty of ways to keep your strength workouts fresh and help you reach your fitness goals. You can also aid your progress by getting in sufficient amounts of rest and recovery. For example, massaging out your muscles using one of the best foam rollers after workouts will be beneficial. The same as how important it is to top up your diet with plenty of protein to help repair your muscles and boost growth.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.