I do some kind of curls (3x8-12) on both my DE and ME bench days. I do it because Westside does it, overall balance shape and in hopes to prevent a bicep tear when doing heavy deads.
Reason to include them:
-Chicks dig BIG ceps.
-biceps are used as stabilizing muscles when Benching.
-Chicks dig BIG ceps.
Reasons to not include them:
-It's to easy to let momentum do the work for me.
-I suck at them
-Chin-ups give you more bang for your buck (they hit the back as as well).
I guess this is a sort of relevant question. How do you guys feel about Hammer Curls? Doing curls with a supinated (regular / underhanded) grip makes my wrists hurt a lot, so I elect not to do them. I get that the HC grip isn't in as great an angle for recruiting the biceps, but at the same time one can generally do more weight that way. Does that balance it out?
Curls have their place just as any exercise but it all depends on the individuals goal, how long they have been training, what they have been doing. Obviously for strength athletes the curl is used more as an accessory movement, but it definitley is needed for bodybuilders. I've done programs that have an Arm day as well as programs where I do 2 bicep exercises twice per week.
One problem that exists with bodybuilders who want bigger biceps, or any muscle for that matter, is they tend to either do more exercises or try to lift heavier weights, this can make things worse. If we train a muscle and now make it part of a "movement chain" then it must adapt to the strength demands of the whole movement. A chain is as strong as its weakest link. If you make a weaker body-part part of a more fully functioning movement chain, it'll be forced to adapt. And it'll respond with more efficient fiber recruitment and force production over time when called upon for isolation work.
I do a ****load ov arms... enough to actually hinder my weightlifting (racking cleans mainly). But i'm still pushing my bench, and strong biceps make for a more controlled bench. The stronger my arms are, the easier it is to lower, pause and control the bench. In fact, recently i've changed my bench set-up slightly to use a bit less lat and a bit more arm, and it feels so much stronger than before.
Besides, if you want to be just strong... like everyday strong and useful, then you need strong biceps. Bench has got to be one ov the most useless exercises for functional strength, aside from the general level ov upper body power it gives. We all just love to do it. Curls far more accurately replicate things we actually do in our daily lives.
I train as much arms as my crowded and stressed split (read: my recovery) will allow. As long as i'm still training bench regularly i'll crank out the arms.
He does not train biceps directly at all or so he claims. See the interview.
Or so he claims... that might be it. Maybe that was his mindset at that time. I have a hard time believing he didn't train biceps. Maybe he never sat in front ov a mirror and did DB concentration curls (man i'd LOVE a picture ov that...), but i'm sure he hit chins or pull-ups or rows bloody hard enough. Or maybe the guy could BB curl 250lbs when he was 14... who knows?
What I know is that a lot ov powerlifters could stand to do a lot more arm work. You can see it in their benching.
Jsully One of the things I have learned is that the people who know that a moderate amount of isolation work can be useful,already know the big lifts work! It is the other 99% of lifters who don't get it! You know the bench,curl,rinse,repeat crowd! In order to get them to believe in the compound movements it has become a mantra to all to just to lift heavy! If you read some of the strongest peoples journals on this site "most" do some direct Bicep and Tricep work!
interesting thoughts. I rarely do direct bicep work. My bi's are hit with heavy rows, pullups, etc. For my goals, that is all I need to do.
For instance, when I do barbell yates rows, palms up I ***never*** feel it in my biceps. I'm sure there is ***some*** assistance, however, I never feel it in my biceps. I focus on pulling with my elbows so that my rows are not compensated with added bicep assistance. I also feel the same with pullups and chins. I focus on pulling with my elbows and just imagine that my hands are mere hooks gripping the weight. I feel nothing in my biceps.
I've always been an advocate of bicep isolation, but everyone has always gotten on the soap box and raved of compounds.
I'll tell you that when I had 19" arms, I did LOTS of isolation.. now my arms are about 18" and I don't do near the isolation... I've recently added isolation again, lol. In my opinion, telling a n00b not to do isolation is silly. Bicep work is fun, they should be able to do 4-6 sets of biceps if they want without getting scolded..
I say do some curls, I never really have and it shows-biceps would have to be my worst body part.
If they grew easy like my quads I think all the rows etc would be enough but I do need to isolate to hit my biceps and actually just started adding them in.
5 x 10 once a week should do it.
If you read some of the strongest peoples journals on this site "most" do some direct Bicep and Tricep work!
The problem is that "most" novice lifters (me included) are like three year olds. Give them an inch and they take a mile! 4-6 sets of correctly done curls would benefit just about every lifter! However 4-6 turns into a lot more if kept unchecked! You said it Bicep work is fun,fun usually wins over hard,no matter what the final results are! That is why direct arm work gets such a bad rap on this site,veterans know that we noobs love to cop out! This is my opinion of course!
I'm talking about total, functional strength which the big three don't entirely address. Squats and DLs may be the foundation of strength, yes, but not the finish, they aren't all-encompassing. Powerlifters may not want to hear that, but its the truth. Carry a 200lb sandbag 200 yards and tell me deadlifts and squats fully prepared you for that. Press it overhead 10 times and see how much your bench press training helps you there. Pull a heavy vehicle 100 feet with your feet and a rope and see if your body is ready for it at all.
I don't want to harp on powerlifting, I have no problems with the sport at all, I'm just trying to point out that you have to train for quite a bit more than a big total if you want to call yourself the strongest man in the world. There are different avenues of strength, many of them have little use for a powerlifter. Ed Coan didn't train his biceps because he was a powerlifter. Powerlifters only need their biceps to be strong enough to stabilize and prevent injury. They don't compete in any strength movements that require even a bit of elbow flexion. So from that, Ed Coan couldn't be the strongest man in the world. He hasn't trained to carry heavy weights, or to get an odd shaped, heavy weight from the ground to the shoulders (two examples of basic strength that require significant biceps strength), overhead pressing, weight tossing/throwing, or any of the various other strength moves. He's only trained to improve his squat, bench, and deadlift. He is and was immensely strong, and if he trained for a strongman competition for a while I have no doubt he'd be great at it, but that's not his game.
Feel free to disagree. As for curls:
Reason to include them:
1. It is good to have strong elbow flexors. What is the best exercise for the elbow flexors? Curls.
2. If the only reason you work out is functional strength, they are still a good movement to get strong at. Anyone who has ever worked moving furniture or manual labor can tell you how important bicep/forearm strength is.
3. Women dig em
Reason to not include them:
1. Not nearly as much bang for your buck as rows and pullups
2. While the standing curl and cheat curl are both good strength exercises, most people don't need them to accomplish their goals
3. They take up time in the weightroom that can usually be better spent
If you can fit in a few sets of heavy curls, they'll do you more good than harm. If you can't, its probably nothing to worry about.
Squats and deadlifts are among the most functional of lifts for strength. Sitting on a toilet/chair is an everyday movement and picking something up off the floor is also an everyday movement for many people. These are the most natural functional lifts.
Agreed, like I said they are the basis of functional strength
Being the strongest man in the world does not mean you have to have strong biceps.
It really does. It'll be a sad day when the strongest man in the world doesn't have strong biceps, and a day that will never come. How could you work up to an appreciable weight in a row or pullup without strong biceps? How could you carry a heavy atlas stone? How could you "powerclean" an anvil or heavy sandbag?
Chins and pullups also work the elbow flexors and harder than a curl.
You can't verify this scientifically, and I don't think it is valid at all. The biceps are almost always the limiting factor in curls as they are the primary movers, therefore they tend to fail before other muscle groups, activating more motor units and fatiguing more muscle fibers locally. Pullups are primarily a back exercise, that's just anatomy and biomechanics. If your only goal is biceps size and strength, you should opt for the curl.
A strong back and legs are far more important. It's funny that you mention those two specific jobs...I've done both for summer jobs when I was in university and high school...so I should know
Once again, I agree. They are certainly more important, but that doesn't mean that elbow flexors are unimportant. If you carry a couch up some stairs, for example, you're statically supporting the weight in the mid range of the standing curl exercise. If that's what you gotta do are you going to train just deadlifts, or deadlifts and curls. For optimal strength cover all of your bases.
Actually biceps constantly rate way down on polls when it comes to women's taste. Glutes are far and away the number one bodypart they check out. What 2 exercises builds glutes the best? Hint neither are curls
Glutes are probably my best body part, but women don't ask men to drop trou and show their cheeks when they want to see muscles, they ask to see your arms. I think its ridiculous how many guys build huge upper bodies and ignore the lower, but it looks just as stupid to have a big lower body and average upper.
Just two things. What is going to train the biceps harder a 50 lb curl or doing chin-ups with that 50 lbs of weight strapped on to your body?
Having a big lower body and average upper was never part of my argument to begin with. Let's not set up strawmen shall we?
These days i find bicep work a pain in the ass. They are something to get done towards the overall plan. When i cant fit 'em in in the time i have to work out, i really dont get upset anymore...