Run The Rack For An ‘Incredible’ Biceps Pump

Close-up of man performing biceps curl with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How successful your biceps workout is can be judged in several ways. Did you perhaps lift a heavier weight than ever before, or complete more reps? The best measure, however, might be just how hard it is to straighten your arms in the days after your workout.

This intense dumbbell finisher will leave you in no doubt that your biceps have put the work in during your session, and the DOMS it inflicts on your muscles will be felt even by seasoned gym-goers.

Personal trainer Emily Servante, global trainer education manager at Ultimate Performance, tipped us off about this finisher when explaining how effective dumbbells can be in building muscle.

“If your focus is trying to build bigger biceps, try this old-school bodybuilding finisher at the end of your workout, known as ‘running the rack’,” says Servante.

It’s a very simple workout. All you need is access to a dumbbell rack with a wide range of weights and the ability to perform a biceps curl with good form. 

Run The Rack Biceps Finisher

Woman performing biceps curl with dumbbells next to rack of dumbbells in gym

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Start with a relatively light weight and perform five to eight biceps curls per arm,” says Servante. “Replace the weight, rest for 60 seconds, and then repeat the exercise with a slightly heavier weight. Repeat this pattern until you can no longer curl the dumbbell with good form. Trust me, you feel an incredible pump in your arms afterwards!”

Note how far up the rack you get and use that as your target to beat the next time you’re brave enough to try it again at the end of your gym workout

If that tickled your fancy and you’re looking for more techniques to make dumbbell curls more challenging, read our guides to drop sets, negative reps and 21s.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.