Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53

Thread: To curl or not to curl...

  1. #1
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,884

    To curl or not to curl...

    Why do you do curls? Should they be included?

    Reason to include them:
    I know that new lifters are going to throw them into their routines no matter what anybody says. I try to include them in routines in such a way that is not going to derail the whole routine. Something like a couple of sets of barbell curls will keep most new lifters happy and they will be less likely to switch routines for the latest blitz-and-bomb bicep program.

    Also, I think curls are a very functional lift...really, I do

    Reason to not include them:

    When recovery is at a premium, I think pull-ups and rows give you more bang for the buck. If you are one of those guys that does not recover well from too much stimulus, then adding little isolation exercises can derail your efforts.

    Can you think of any more...
    Last edited by Off Road; 12-06-2009 at 09:10 AM.
    _________
    ______
    ___

    Off Road Journal

    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_white.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  2. #2
    big on TONING dynamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cockeysville, MD
    Posts
    1,219
    I threw them in because it helped my arms stay balanced for benching. My triceps are redonk so I could push a lot of weight when I started but I had problems controlling it on the way down and my biceps spasmed the whole time. Then I kept them in bc my arms kept getting bigger. Whether it was from DLs or rows more than curls, probably, but I didn't want to change something that was working.


    Though I have to say now that I do dips and pullups and rows in place of curls lol I would say they are not necessary and I wouldn't put them back in my routine. I avoided pullups for a long time though bc I'm 270ish lbs but I decided they're too good not to do even if I can only do 3 at a time after I deadlift.
    Last edited by dynamo; 12-06-2009 at 09:13 AM.
    My journal
    Goal(Current):
    400(335) Bench Press
    600(520x3 2xBW) Dead Lift
    500(495x1) ATG Squat
    Total: 1500(1350)
    365 Front Squat
    consistency and intensity.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    673
    reasons to include them
    - for me, my left bicep is much bigger than my left and that even makes a difference during rows, so i do Alt DB Curls once a week to try to even them out
    - if your biceps don't respond as well to chins and rows
    - ego (for some people)
    - people want to have big biceps-- when you flex your arms, everyone looks at your biceps


    reasons to not include them
    - i feel like a loser working biceps
    - in the big picture, it's nothing important
    - already hit bi's hard doing other exercises
    - bi's make up 30% of the arm, and focusing more on tri's will help your arms more than focusing more on bi's.
    Last edited by JRider23; 12-06-2009 at 11:26 AM.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    At a slight angle to the universe
    Posts
    1,816
    Big arms look good but as Stuart McRobert says: "The easiest route to big arms isn't a straight line to the curl bar." The problem is that biceps command an inordinate amount of attention in both lifters and the general populace.

    I'm one of those guys that doesn't respond to volume and isolation so I don't do them. I haven't done a curl for years. Maybe once I've progressed a bit further I'll throw them in but right now I just don't give a ****.

  5. #5
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,706
    Why not do them? There is nothing wrong with specific arm work. No need for a lot of volume, but one should definitely train their biceps just as they should train all of their larger muscles.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    At a slight angle to the universe
    Posts
    1,816
    ^^ I don't know if that was addressed at me or not but I do chins in place of curls. Which is a similar movement and I think what Off Road was getting at.

    Another potential reason for doing curls is that some people just like doing them and find them a fun exercise. I think sometimes weight-lifting can get a bit prescriptive, do this, don't do that... but if you're doing everything right then there's no reason not to fit in the exercises you like.

  7. #7
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,706
    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    ^^ I don't know if that was addressed at me or not but I do chins in place of curls. Which is a similar movement and I think what Off Road was getting at.

    Another potential reason for doing curls is that some people just like doing them and find them a fun exercise. I think sometimes weight-lifting can get a bit prescriptive, do this, don't do that... but if you're doing everything right then there's no reason not to fit in the exercises you like.
    If you want the best arms possible and the most strength possible in any type of a pull (chin, row etc.), then train your biceps. That would be my nutshell version.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  8. #8
    squat rack curler platypus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    482
    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    If you want the best arms possible and the most strength possible in any type of a pull (chin, row etc.), then train your biceps. That would be my nutshell version.
    People seem to forget this. However, it is true that to build an overall stronger body, it is better to focus on compound movements, in which case rows and pullups would be the best work for biceps.
    ain't nuttin but a peanut.

    You will have gotten stronger when the weight that feels heavy is actually heavier than the weight that feels heavy now. Then the weight that feels heavy now will be a warmup for the weight that feels heavy then. But the weight will always feel heavy or you're not lifting enough weight. Clear? -Rippetoe

  9. #9
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,706
    You should always focus on building the largest muscles of the body, but you should not forget things like biceps and triceps. For most (if not all) compound lifts the arms are most certainly a limiting factor.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  10. #10
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,884
    Related story...
    I can see what Chris is talking about. I've found [in the past] that my chin-ups have increased by focussing on rows and curls and not even doing a single chin-up.
    _________
    ______
    ___

    Off Road Journal

    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_white.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  11. #11
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,706
    At the risk of sounding immodest, trust me. I know more than 99% of the most popular gurus out there. I have pretty good size and strength to back up my thoughts as well as access to the best minds in the business.

    People on websites like these have taken a good message and perverted it. The good message is to focus on the compound movements and not single joint movements like curls. That will make you grow. Endless sets of curls, kick-backs, and pec flyes will not make you big and strong. A limited number of sets with benches, deads, and squats WILL make you big and strong all over.

    Now, does this mean accessory isolation work is bad? NO!!!! It means it should be added sparingly as support work for the compound movements. THAT is what will make you biggest and strongest.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  12. #12
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    3,715
    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    At the risk of sounding immodest, trust me. I know more than 99% of the most popular gurus out there. I have pretty good size and strength to back up my thoughts as well as access to the best minds in the business.

    People on websites like these have taken a good message and perverted it. The good message is to focus on the compound movements and not single joint movements like curls. That will make you grow. Endless sets of curls, kick-backs, and pec flyes will not make you big and strong. A limited number of sets with benches, deads, and squats WILL make you big and strong all over.

    Now, does this mean accessory isolation work is bad? NO!!!! It means it should be added sparingly as support work for the compound movements. THAT is what will make you biggest and strongest.
    This.

    I am so sick of the attitude that all you need to do is Bench Squat row and dead.
    My Journal
    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    you're an intelligent guy... but you're also half #$%&ing crazy... and that my friend is the formula for a great powerlifter.
    23 Years old
    5'10 198'er
    Squat-565(wraps) 560(Raw)
    Bench:365(raw)
    Deadlift:555(raw)
    Front Squat-465x1 (wraps) 405x2 (raw)
    AtLarge Nutrition Optimize your body and Support WBB

  13. #13
    Senior Member Clover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    773
    I may have to add these in once or twice a week. I'm really struggling with my chin ups right now, maybe these will help.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cphafner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    The Big Apple
    Posts
    7,701
    I'm with Chris on this. I'm not a big believer in arm work, but don't totally neglect them. I'll toss in a couple bicep and triceps exercises.
    My Journal
    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=119765

    I think this is possibly the all-time best response on WBB. - Jorge Sanchez

    "you're an animal eat like one damn it!" - Wikked1

    "Now we're finally getting to the chicken or the egg question," I grinned. "Did I eat all that food because my size gives me more of an appetite, or did I get to be this big because I've been forcing myself to eat like this for years?"

    From A Body Builder is Born

    i knew you were a beast but not that kinda of a beast that eats grown men and children.. lilmase

  15. #15
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,884
    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Now, does this mean accessory isolation work is bad? NO!!!! It means it should be added sparingly as support work for the compound movements. THAT is what will make you biggest and strongest.
    I think that's where the problems come from. If you tell some of the newer lifters that it's okay to throw in some curls, many will take that to mean it's okay to do endless sets of 10 different kinds of curls.

    So, I think a lot of guys tell new lifters to replace the curls in favor of compound movements knowing that they'll still sneak in some curls here and there, which would be perfect
    _________
    ______
    ___

    Off Road Journal

    http://www.wannabebig.com/logo/alnlogo_white.gif

    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  16. #16
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    13
    I just love curls i like the way it feels when i do them i like the way I look when I do them i like the way my arms look for a few minutes after I do them . That and I work at home so rows and curls is all I do for arms. Until I bet a chin up bar . Being as lazy as i am it may be awhile before I get around to it

  17. #17
    Clean Bulk in Progress james_w8lifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    325
    Quote Originally Posted by Geraldw View Post
    I just love curls i like the way it feels when i do them i like the way I look when I do them i like the way my arms look for a few minutes after I do them . That and I work at home so rows and curls is all I do for arms. Until I bet a chin up bar . Being as lazy as i am it may be awhile before I get around to it
    No tricep exercises? (Dips, Skulls, etc.) The Tri's make up more of the arm than the Bi's so maybe you need to change it up.
    6' 1.... 211lbs.
    Bench: 275lbs x 1
    Deadlift: 385lbs x 1
    Squat: ??? (not enough)
    Goal by the end of May 2010... Weigh 225lbs.

    Journal: The Obligation... Become a F***** Beast

  18. #18
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    At a slight angle to the universe
    Posts
    1,816
    Curls as a "functional exercise", bent arms and strongman training.

    Maybe Tom can chip in here but I've wondered what the official line on biceps work is for strongman training. I've wanted to start a thread on this for a while.

    The arms, and especially the biceps are crucial for picking up awkward objects and carrying them. With deadlifts you only ever lift with straight arms, but in real life you usually have to stretch your arms around the object, hitch it up or carry with bent arms. When I was working as a removals/manual labour guy over the summer this was constantly apparent with every desk I carried! I think my arm strength remained OK while everything else plummeted.

    I've heard some strongman competitors do no bicep work in the gym because they don't want to risk bicep tear, and others do lots of bicep work because they also don't want a bicep tear... Thoughts.

  19. #19
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    12,706
    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Curls as a "functional exercise", bent arms and strongman training.

    Maybe Tom can chip in here but I've wondered what the official line on biceps work is for strongman training. I've wanted to start a thread on this for a while.

    The arms, and especially the biceps are crucial for picking up awkward objects and carrying them. With deadlifts you only ever lift with straight arms, but in real life you usually have to stretch your arms around the object, hitch it up or carry with bent arms. When I was working as a removals/manual labour guy over the summer this was constantly apparent with every desk I carried! I think my arm strength remained OK while everything else plummeted.

    I've heard some strongman competitors do no bicep work in the gym because they don't want to risk bicep tear, and others do lots of bicep work because they also don't want a bicep tear... Thoughts.
    Strongman trainees have the logs they press which require a curling motion to rack them at the shoulders. That is just one biceps exercise they perform.


    AtLarge Nutrition Supplements – Get the best supplements and help support Wannabebig!

  20. #20
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    691
    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I think that's where the problems come from. If you tell some of the newer lifters that it's okay to throw in some curls, many will take that to mean it's okay to do endless sets of 10 different kinds of curls.

    So, I think a lot of guys tell new lifters to replace the curls in favor of compound movements knowing that they'll still sneak in some curls here and there, which would be perfect
    I agree if there is no rhyme or reason to your workouts and you let curls dominate a day or two the ability to gain is diminished! In a proper workout there has to be a place to work your biceps correctly! I am on SS and think it is great however I don't think my biceps would keep up with my triceps if I never changed my routine. The idea of building a base of full body strength and them moving on to a mixed style workout makes all the sense in the world to me! In that scheme you would definitly have to include a few sets of quality curls on the correct day! There is no doubt that a general theme of no isolation movements drift in and out of this forum however with the amount of newbies (me included) posting it is easy to keep reading lift heavy compound only to try and get them on the proper path! We know they will get bigger if they do!
    "The deadlift is more functional in that it’s very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip

    Max 3x5 Goal 3x5 by 12/31/11 *1X5
    Bench (245) (275) 285x1x1 335
    Dead (385)* (445) 435x1x1 505
    Squat (320) (355) 355X1X1 405
    Squat (195) (275) 20 Reppers!
    (950) (1075) 1075 1245 Goals (Not including 20 reps)
    5'10" 288Lbs 02/01/2011 Goal Weight 230 On my way back from a Break!

  21. #21
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5
    I do curls palms down once or twice a week to hit my forearms

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    453
    I haven't done hardly any curls lately, but I do a decent amount of chin and pull ups and various rows, lately I have noticed biceps giving me problems during bench, might be my form or it might be my biceps just aren't getting hit hard enough. I will probably throw in a set of curls once a week for a while just to see if that makes my pain go away.

  23. #23
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    38
    BT (Ben Tatar, in an interview with Ed Coan) : YOU DON'T TRAIN MUSCLES LIKE BICEPS?

    Ed Coan: nope, biceps are like ornaments on a xmas tree


    Classic Coan

  24. #24
    Senior Member David Trantham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    LEXINGTON,NC
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    At the risk of sounding immodest, trust me. I know more than 99% of the most popular gurus out there. I have pretty good size and strength to back up my thoughts as well as access to the best minds in the business.

    People on websites like these have taken a good message and perverted it. The good message is to focus on the compound movements and not single joint movements like curls. That will make you grow. Endless sets of curls, kick-backs, and pec flyes will not make you big and strong. A limited number of sets with benches, deads, and squats WILL make you big and strong all over.

    Now, does this mean accessory isolation work is bad? NO!!!! It means it should be added sparingly as support work for the compound movements. THAT is what will make you biggest and strongest.
    agree 110% , good answer!!
    height: 6' weight offseason 220lbs bodybuilding: 10 years
    2009 contests
    IFPA CAPE COD 3rd place heavy
    IFPA YORTON CUP 2nd place heavy
    NPC ElITE CLASSIC 1st heavy (overall Winner)

    TRAINING LOG http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=131702

    ATLARGE NUTRITION- YOUR #1 CHOICE FOR BODYBUILDING SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS

  25. #25
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Yeongsan. South Korea
    Posts
    5,907
    Quote Originally Posted by SEOINAGE View Post
    I haven't done hardly any curls lately, but I do a decent amount of chin and pull ups and various rows, lately I have noticed biceps giving me problems during bench, might be my form or it might be my biceps just aren't getting hit hard enough. I will probably throw in a set of curls once a week for a while just to see if that makes my pain go away.


    I don't understand how biceps are giving you problems when you bench.

Similar Threads

  1. 200 lb dumbell curl? (bet at MY job)
    By MrWebb78 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 11-08-2006, 04:35 PM
  2. Dumbbell Curl or Dumbbell Hammer Curl - and why
    By Questor in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 11-06-2006, 10:10 AM
  3. Bench Curl
    By Nik00117 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-29-2006, 02:16 PM
  4. Form on hack squats, barbell curl
    By Jack the R in forum Bodybuilding & Weight Training
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-06-2006, 10:06 PM
  5. 335Lbs and 1000 Calories a day
    By GrumpyFlex in forum Diet and Nutrition
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-22-2006, 05:39 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •