Good old fashioned bicep curls



  • Funny how sometimes ya go full circle. When I first got into weights, curls was basically all I did, bear in mind these were the days of limited internet access and all I had was a few weights as opposed to a gym membership.

    Anyway, my chin up progression has stagnated a bit and I've incorporated barbell curls back into my routine, 3 sets of 5 reps going pretty farkin heavy. I'm really feeling the burn with these and enjoying lifting heaps more than back in the day ( obviously much of this is down to training other bodyparts as well ! )

    Anyone else doing these bad boys too ? need to grab me a few dumbbells so I can do some hammer curls as well.



  • I always chuck in a few sets on Fridays towards the end of my shoulder/abs work and mainly because I usually have casual friday which means t-shirts and well....suns out = guns out!

    Like to do heavy DB curls - seated and a slight twist in the movment - do maybe 3 sets of 6-8reps. And then follow it up with standing EZ bar curls - usually 2 sets wide grip and 2 sets narrows of 10 reps with minimal rest. Get a good pump that way. Usually superset the EZ bar curls with some triceps work....dont forget the triceps as decent triceps make the arms look so much bigger.

    Havent done any hammer curls for a while nor preachers etc. Might be good to shake things up a bit.



  • I always do three sets (3 times per week). The first two sets are easy; the final one is killer.

    First set is puny, usually 1/3rd weight of the max. weight (used on my final set) for the full reps (12-15). Helps stretch the muscle.

    2nd set, I go with the full max. weight, and curl 1/3rd the reps (usually about 6). Not difficult. Again, stretching the muscle and preparing for the last set.

    Third set is the blowout, I use the maximum weight, and target my reps (12-15), and then I keep curling until I cannot lift any more. The muscle is usually burning hot, and generally all muscle tissue development will come from the last few lifts you can barely move.

    (I know lots of guys in the gym who are mentally lazy on these last few reps and quit before pushing themselves, and then they wonder why their muscles aren't growing...)

    When the reps increase from my strength, I increase the weight on my next workouts, but follow the same routine. Works for me.

    My biggest worry is "balance" I remember watching Jesse the Body back in his prime flexing enormous triceps, biceps and chest, but his legs were not as developed and always looked skinny by comparison, and I am loathe to get a top-heavy look.



  • [indent=1]I've taken my weight right back down for curls. I was hitting three sets of 12 (standing) but ended up swinging too much in the last few reps of each set.[/indent]
    [indent=1]I'll do two lighter sets now - reeeeeal slowly so I can feel the stretch. Then I finish up on something heavier - I sometimes throw in a barbell set of curls as well.[/indent]



  • I have been doing ez bar curls super setted (real word?) with hammer curls...arms are screaming by the end, but seem happy the next day...



  • I like the old 21s as well with the barbell and nice and slow. The last few reps are always tough.

    For a while prior to last summer I was doing 10 of 10 so 10 sets of 10 reps of barbell curls with 30seconds rest between sets. Only do it at like 75% of what you would normally do and the first few sets feel pretty easy but from 6 or 7th set onwards its killer. Get an explosive pump though. I'm sure my bicep had its own dam pulse driving home. Was twitching away something chronic lol



  • On the dumbells, are you lifting with any differential between your arms? I am right-handed... On bicep curls I can do greater weight and/or reps with my right arm than I can with my left. Conversely, doing overheads with the dumbell I can do more max. reps with my left than my right, so there's more strength in that shoulder and tricep. My arms physically [i]look[/i] the same, but there is a definite difference in actual exercise weight there, and I've been scratching my head about it for a couple years. I used to do a lot of boxing and baseball when I was in my late teens and early 20s and wonder if that's the way my arm strengths naturally developed in training and balance, and whether any amount of weight training through my late 40s is going to change it...



  • I actually thought I could notice a difference in size of left vs right last year but the tape measure tells me otherwise. It must be more in the shape then that makes me see a difference with the right having a better peak.

    Have heard about imbalance being common with boxers so there could be something there.

    If doing DB curls I will make sure i'm either doing them both at once or left arm first.



  • Different schools of thought on them. I am going through the heavy with slightly iffy form at the end ( ie moving the back a wee bit to help and after all some people emphasise the "negative" portion of the curl ) while others say go lighter with strict as a strict thing form. I'm getting some great burn from the former technique though as described and will also chuck some "Cheat curls" in as well every now and again. Arnie himself spoke highly of these.

    Red Terror I think everyone is stronger( if only by a little bit ) in their dominant arm ( in my case my left ) yet strangely enough I can grip harder in my right which I possibly put down to heaps of guitar/bass playing ( ie it is my fretting hand ). Great for beating guys in arm wrestles ( either hand )



  • I never do curls. What is wrong with all you sissies?



  • Interesting variation is with a single kettlebell. Do one set gripping the vertical part of the handle (palms facing each other) and another set of skull crushers - don't use the handle, but cup the KB in both hands.

    The different grips mean you exercise in a slightly different way than usual, and are also good for the forearms. Also you need to do them slowly - otherwise you'll have 20kg of cast iron hurtling towards your nads.



  • my right stronger than my left, so I always do left arm first when do one arms, and match it with my right.

    last few reps a bit of cheating is always OK, especially with heavy weights, gets your body used to lifing the heavier weight through the range of motion where it can, and you sson gain the bit ofstrength needed in the failing parts! only on heavy though, and you always start as strict as you can.

    as per my thread, we;ve been doing the old fashioned standing, alternate DB curls on our current programme, and been a blast, best bicep workout for months!



  • Voltron we're posers, nothing wrong with that

    However noticing a bit of tennis elbow in my right arm so will ease it back a tiny bit and apply plenty of deep heat.



  • what is the difference between a little cheating and having someone spotting you?



  • [quote name='MN5' timestamp='1335672929' post='283344']

    However noticing a bit of tennis elbow in my right arm so will ease it back a tiny bit and apply plenty of deep heat.
    [/quote]

    Been there done that mate. It's a real annoying one and impacts so many movements but there are some good stretches/exercises you can do to make sure its well warmed up etc



  • [quote name='JK' timestamp='1335674462' post='283350']
    Been there done that mate. It's a real annoying one and impacts so many movements but there are some good stretches/exercises you can do to make sure its well warmed up etc
    [/quote]

    Me too pal, even a bit of pain when I lean it on a table. A bit of a break and the above mentioned Deep Heat and I'll be sorted.



  • Working it over by rolling a tennis ball around it for 5mins is dam good too. Gets in there pretty dam nicely.



  • [quote name='taniwharugby' timestamp='1335218599' post='282298']
    I have been doing ez bar curls super setted (real word?) with hammer curls...arms are screaming by the end, but seem happy the next day...
    [/quote]

    This is an interesting one. While highrep supersets certainly give you a good pump at the time are they the best for building muscle in the long term?



  • not doing that high reps, am doing about 75-80% max weight and then doing sets of 12-10-8-6-4.

    I only did those super sets the once, have decided to try and up the weight for the main exercise considerably, so will see.



  • [quote name='BartMan' timestamp='1335317316' post='282496']
    my right stronger than my left, so I always do left arm first when do one arms, and match it with my right.

    last few reps a bit of cheating is always OK, especially with heavy weights...
    [/quote]

    That's what I do with my left. When I can't lift any more, I'll cheat with the right assisting, and then use the left exclusively to control the weight for the lowering. I'm not sure how much muscle is developed that way, but it's what a trainer told me years ago, so I stick with it.



  • [quote name='Rancid Schnitzel' timestamp='1335772463' post='283594']
    This is an interesting one. While highrep supersets certainly give you a good pump at the time are they the best for building muscle in the [b]long term[/b]?
    [/quote]

    All I know from anecdotal experience is that for long term, you need to regularly exercise. You can go hard for three months and get big, and then easily lose most of your gains by going soft for a month, and be kicking yourself afterward for failure to maintain all the hard work. Right now I am happy with the way I look, so am mostly exercising to maintain it, which balances cardio with mid-number sets. In the past, when I wanted to get buff n' bigger, I could accomplish it fairly quickly with single super-sets of lower reps (6-8) and maximum weights (i.e. the heaviest weight I can lift six times), and keep curling until I can lift no more. If I had pushed beyond 8 reps, then it was time to increase the weight for the next session. But as I say, I'm not trying to get bigger these days (plus, I don't want to give myself a hernia or stroke with too much stress at my advanced age!!), so I am doing between 12-18 reps on most exercises, and those weights are generally what will get my arms burning in the 15-18 reps range. Still, as I say, if you want to get big, a good warm-up with lighter weights to stretch the muscles, and then small-number super-sets of maximum weight will bring results pretty quickly.



  • [quote name='taniwharugby' timestamp='1335673483' post='283348']
    what is the difference between a little cheating and having someone spotting you?
    [/quote]

    For me, "cheating" permits me to push myself and yet still have control, whereas when somebody is spotting for me, it's generally for safety reasons, because you are trying to squeeze every last ounce of energy into the lift, and that sometimes means going beyond "fail-safe." It's really for safety reasons when you are no longer in control of the weight. With "cheating," you are probably working the one arm, and using the other as your "spotter" to control that weight, which can get really dangerous when it's not properly controlled.



  • [quote name='red terror' timestamp='1335774404' post='283609']
    [b]All I know from anecdotal experience is that for long term, you need to regularly exercise[/b]. You can go hard for three months and get big, and then easily lose most of your gains by going soft for a month, and be kicking yourself afterward for failure to maintain all the hard work. Right now I am happy with the way I look, so am mostly exercising to maintain it, which balances cardio with mid-number sets. In the past, when I wanted to get buff n' bigger, I could accomplish it fairly quickly with single super-sets of lower reps (6-8) and maximum weights (i.e. the heaviest weight I can lift six times), and keep curling until I can lift no more. If I had pushed beyond 8 reps, then it was time to increase the weight for the next session. But as I say, I'm not trying to get bigger these days (plus, I don't want to give myself a hernia or stroke with too much stress at my advanced age!!), so I am doing between 12-18 reps on most exercises, and those weights are generally what will get my arms burning in the 15-18 reps range. Still, as I say, if you want to get big, a good warm-up with lighter weights to stretch the muscles, and then small-number super-sets of maximum weight will bring results pretty quickly.
    [/quote]

    Well yes that certainly helps. My comment was about pump vs actual gains acheived. Taniwa wrote about how his arms burned when doing the SS but was fine next day. Thats also been my experience. The pump might be great but its not necessarily the right way to build muscle. IMHO if you're not aching the next day then you havent lifted properly. The most important thing is to mix it up every few weeks.



  • As mentioned I bust out the old "cheat" curls every now and again, you can go seriously heavy on these and as Arnie said it is the negative portion of the lift that builds the muscle. I can crank a few reps ( however ugly they may look ) of 80kg on these and they burns the guns like nothing else. Obviously at that weight you need to use a fair bit of momentum to get it up ( haha )

    Rancid you're dead right, I'm getting into the curls cos progress on chin ups was stalling a bit. Gotta mix things up.



  • [quote name='Rancid Schnitzel' timestamp='1335782594' post='283630']
    Well yes that certainly helps. My comment was about pump vs actual gains acheived. Taniwa wrote about how his arms burned when doing the SS but was fine next day. Thats also been my experience. The pump might be great but its not necessarily the right way to build muscle. IMHO if you're not aching the next day then you havent lifted properly. The most important thing is to mix it up every few weeks.
    [/quote]

    I do a little cheating with the last few, but for the most part I am doing them correctly. I do mix it up as well.

    I just seem to struggle to get that next day ache form the biceps that I can for shoulders, chest, legs etc.

    @RT my question about cheating vs spotting was more around someone above saying bad form or cheating wasnt ideal as opposed to the actual difference...



  • YEah me too TR, can make the triceps feel like they're on fire the next day but the guns ? hard work.



  • This article seems to fit the bill

    http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/build-your-biceps/



  • We dealt to biceps tonight. My mate is fan of heavy curls using a bench press barbell instead of the ez bar. Really different to my usual bicep workouts.



  • I somehow killed my biceps doing pull ups last night!! Feels bloody great



  • [quote name='Paekakboyz' timestamp='1335947217' post='283923']
    We dealt to biceps tonight. My mate is fan of heavy curls using a bench press barbell instead of the ez bar. Really different to my usual bicep workouts.
    [/quote]

    Good shit paekak, that's how I do em as well. Finished off with a few ( ie not too many ) of 65kg in a kind of 5/3/1 type routine and feeling it today ! I definitely focussed on form and cheating as little as possible.....



  • using the different bars gives you different grips (well duh!), and strikes the different heads of the biceps. Our trainer shows us and it's wicked, but I can't remember what he does to show us the major muscle group used. Anyway, makes it simple and obvious!



  • have just been reading about drag curls, an exercise I dont thnk I had ever heard of or even seen before (a drawback of not visiting a gym)

    anyone got any thoughts on them, I am keen to try anything for my arms which really struggle to get real burn with, and when I do try to go heavy (working out by myself) the delts do tend to give their neighbour a bit of a hand as I cheat to complete a rep, so if these cut that out and focus more on the bicep it should be good.



  • Never heard of them either and I even visit the gym!



  • dont feel that stink then

    in the lastest Mens Fitness USA...

    edit, screenshot of the PDF aint working, despite showing before I submit the post...

    HOw to do it;

    Hold a straight barbell or EZ bar with your elbows extended and drag it up the front of your body until your elbows are fully bent. Pull your arms back as you lift the bar so it stays in contact with your body at all times. Because its a strict movement, you wont be able to use the same weight you would normally.

    Benefits;

    The drag curl prevents your front delts from getting in on the lift, leaving the stress where it needs to be, your bi-ceps.

    Can also be used on reverse grip curls, and the smith machine


Log in to reply