Build muscle over 50 (and below!) with this simple yet lethal workout from the Queen of Biceps

This big arms biceps workout from semi-retired pro bodybuilder Yaxeni Oriquen is as simple as it is effective

Yaxeni Oriquen Queen of Biceps over 50 biceps workout
(Image credit: Yaxeni Oriquen)

When it comes to biceps workouts, 53-year-old ex-bodybuilder Yaxeni Oriquen knows what's best: just look at those guns! Also known as the 'Queen of Biceps', for obvious reasons, Yaxeni definitely knows how to get big arms and how to maintain muscle mass with this simple yet efficient arm workout.

If we are being 100% honest, if you are 50 and completely sedentary, we don't think you are going to get guns like Yaxeni, even if you tried this biceps workout. The Queen was a professional bodybuilder for 25 years, so obviously her muscles respond to training better than those who haven't lifted anything heavier than a Sky remote in recent times.

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In fact, the Queen can still out-lift most gym rats in their 20s, and it's younger girls (and boys) who will probably benefit most from her workout. Due to the fact it won't kill them, for a start.

That said, frequent resistance training at any age can help you lose belly fat, boost metabolism naturally and generally make you more fit and healthy. Doing resistance training can improve mood and provide a sense of well-being too. 

If you are over 50 – or under 50, come to that – and new to strength training, you might want to take a look the best workout for beginners first as opposed to start lifting heavy straight away. We also have the best kettlebell workout for beginners and – if you are after big guns – the best arm exercises for beginners too.

The Queen of Biceps workout

This video comes courtesy of our pals at Miami Muscle. While that is a channel devoted to slightly more, uh, non-average workout experts, the Queen's actual workout here is actually a very sound, classic one that could work for anyone who wants to get big arms. 

How to perform Yaxeni's 'Giant Series' biceps workout

For Yaxeni's 'Giant Series' biceps workout, you should use only the best barbells – an EZ bar, specifically – and the best dumbbells and best weight benches

Not everyone has barbells at home but you can replace them with a pair of dumbbells and achieve a similar effect. For most of these exercises, you can even use the best resistance bands, they would work just fine

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The five biceps exercises included in this workout are: standing barbell curls (EZ bar), preacher curls (EZ bar), alternating dumbbell curls, reverse curl (EX bar) and finally, battle ropes. Each exercise should be performed back to back until muscle fatigue sets in, then give your muscle some rest in between sets (60-90 seconds). Repeat the set twice more (three times altogether).

How to build muscle over 50

(Image credit: Future)

Standing biceps curls

The workout starts with probably the most old-school of bodybuilding exercise: standing biceps curls. This exercise can be performed using an EZ-bar or dumbbells (even the best kettlebells). Despite being and isolating exercise, you'll need to flex that core when doing standing biceps curls to stabilise your body efficiently.

When curling, focus on moving the lower part of your arm only to isolate the biceps as much as possible. Slow, controlled movement is key for effective muscle building and doing less reps 'properly' is worth more than churning out twice as many 'half reps'.

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York 15kg Gold Vinyl E-Z Curl Spinlock Weight Set | On sale for £39.99 | Was £49 | You save £9.01 at Fitness Superstore (opens in new tab)
The York 15kg Gold Vinyl E-Z Curl Bar Set is so tacky, it's not even tacky anymore. Every dad has at least one of these rusting away in the garage, or if not this, maybe the York spinlock dumbbell set in its original grey plastic case. Complete with six quality 2.5 kg York vinyl weights plates. Just perfect.

How to build muscle over 50

(Image credit: Future)

Preacher curls

Preacher curls isolate the biceps beautifully. EZ-bars are best suited for preacher curls but you can use dumbbells too; just make sure you hold them properly, using underhand grip. There really isn't much to talk about here: all you need to do is pull the weight up nice and slowly without lifting your bottom of the pads you're sitting on. Repeat until you can't lift the bar up any more.

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Mirafit M2 Preacher Curl Bench | Buy it for £99.95 at Mirafit (opens in new tab)
The Mirafit M2 Preacher Curl Bench has an adjustable preacher pad , built in castors for easy transportation and features a strong, powder-coated steel frame. Max user weight is 130 kg and max bar holder weight is 120 kg. You'll get big arms quicker using this bad boy.

How to build muscle over 50

(Image credit: Future)

Alternating biceps curls

This biceps curls variety is perfect as a third entry as it gives each muscle a bit of time to regenerate between each reps as you alternate between the two arms. Same applies here as with standing biceps curls: keep your core engaged and lift from your elbow, not from your shoulder to isolate the biceps as much as possible.

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Bowflex 2-24 Kg SelectTech Dumbbells (Pair) | On sale for £499 | Was £599 | You save £100 at Fitness Superstore (opens in new tab)
Do yourself a favour: buy these while they are in stock. And they won't be in stock for too long so you'd better hurry up! The Rolls Royce of home weights, Bowflex Selecttech dumbbells replace a range of individual weights and are perfect for home gym environments.

How to build muscle over 50

(Image credit: Future)

Reverse curls

Reverse curls are your secret weapon for bigger biceps. Reverse curls are almost the same as standard biceps curls but in this variation, you hold the bar with an overhand grip. Reverse curls improve grip strength way better than standard curls too as you have to work harder to hold the bar.

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Fat Gripz Thick Bar Adapter | Buy it for £25.95 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Want to get big forearms? The 'revolutionary shortcut to arm size', as Fat Gripz puts it, works well with every type of weight and increases bar diameter so it's more challenging to hold them. This way, your forearm gets activate way more which in turn will increase forearm girth. They are pretty inexpensive too, all the better.

How to build muscle over 50

(Image credit: Future)

Battle ropes

And finally, let's squeeze out every little bit of energy left from those arms by doing a quick session of battle ropes. Don't just wriggle your arm around though: shake those ropes as hard as you can up and down for 30-60 seconds. Guaranteed burn.

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Mirafit Battle Jump Rope | Buy it for £15.95 at Mirafit (opens in new tab)
Haven't got the space to house a battle rope station at home? Get the Mirafit Battle Jump Rope instead. The ropes range from 1.1kg to 3.9kg and are 1-2 inches thick, making them the perfect tool for boxing and endurance training. Get swole while you get fit, that's more like it!

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Matt Kollat
Fitness Editor

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab).