Everybody wants BIG and defined biceps.
However, when it comes to training them, some people get it terribly wrong.
This article will set you straight as far as Bicep Curls are concerned.
Watch the video first then read the instructions below.
How To Do Barbell Bicep Curls
Lift the bar with an underhand grip about shoulder width apart.
Soften the knees with a slight bend
With elbows at your side, lift the bar up until the peak contraction point of the biceps. This is the point BEFORE the forearms are vertical. Most trainers will tell you to “go to vertical”. The problem is that this actually takes the resistance OFF the biceps as the weight is simply resting on your bones and not actively CONTRACTING against the biceps. So stop at the point where the biceps are MAXIMALLY contracted (a few inches before vertical)
Now lower the bar under FULL muscular control; no dropping the bar here.
It should take about 1 second to lift the bar, and around 2 seconds to lower it.
Barbell Bicep Curls are an exercise where Optimized or Controlled Loose Form will improve performance.
As shown in the video, have your torso bent over slightly before starting each rep.
INITIATE the rep by lifting the bar with the biceps ONLY.
Once the bar is already moving, allow your torso to move back into a straight up position.
There is a sticking point in the middle of the range of motion during bicep curls. Optimized form here is not about cheating or creating momentum; it simply DISTRIBUTES the resistance more evenly throughout the whole range of motion. The result is heavier weights used and more reps completed. This creates more OVERLOAD, which stimulates more GROWTH.
NOTE: You CAN take a short breather at the bottom between reps towards the end of the set. Some lactic acid will flush out and stave off fatigue allowing you to generate more overload with more reps.
Try this form ASAP and experience the extra growth stimulation 😀
Let me know how you like it below.
Train With Intensity!
Mark (on Facebook? Click ‘like‘ below or I’ll ‘accidentally’ drop my barbell on your toes)
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Cool. Doing arms tonight. I see alot of people doing barbell bicep curls with their backs to a wall or a machine, to stop all body movement. I look forward to trying this out. Would you think of doing this instead of Cable Curl? I’m abit confused in my understanding if all linear bicep contractions (i.e. no rotation) are essentially the same…? barbell curl, cable curl, concentration curl…..?
Uh…hate seeing people do that back against the wall thing. No doubt their PT recommended it to them.
No do these in addition to cable curls.
I’m so there.
Mark been doing it that way after I watched a video of yours with db’s I’m sure… It’s so funny watching people doing it the “static” way if you like… On another note m8, eager for the new workout, but will it be volume or intensity based, or a bit of both… What I have noticed is how quickly you can put size on in your workouts, but I like to play football (soccer) and some level of fitness, can you recommend a way of keeping a bit leaner without Tspa … I like my food to much to give up carbs… I’ve done Tspa which was good but hard to sustain… Sorry for the long winded reply… Tam
Excellent, dude! You the man!
Just back from the gym and it hurts all over! I’m sure I was getting some disapproving looks as I performed the barbell curls, which just encourages me to do it more 🙂 Seeing your vid again, I think I was slightly over extending my torso, sometimes going abit beyond vertical, but overall it was a very good exercise. Whilst in the middle of a set I ‘think’ I remember seeing Arnold doing this kind of curl on a YouTube clip. He mentioned contracting bicep muscle to just before PCP, begin the torso movement to vertical and contract biceps abit more. Therefore you’re at the PCP point for MUCH longer than normal. I tried it a few years ago but was told what I was doing was b@llocks. Now with MuscleHack backing, lets see who’s laughing now !!! 🙂
Hi mark, great video!
I have one question: are concentration curls a good pre fatigue exercice before doing standing barbell curls?
I’m with John, So There!!! I was going up to vertical position at top of rep, & my grip was to close together. Gonna put it to work on Back & Bicep day. Thank You Mark!!!
Great article Mark. I like these alot. I will never do supinating dumbbell curls again, since there is not enough stress at the bottom of the curl (just as you mentioned in the past). I’m glad I’ve learned about optimized from you. It’s functional, natural, and most definitely effective. Looking forward to more articles. Musclehack rocks!
@Tam. THT5 will include both Volume and HIT cycles.
The way to stay leaner on a gain cycle is not to overeat in the first place. Use my Calorie Calculator and dont’ go over that amount.
@daniel91. No, concentration curls aren’t good as a pre-fatigue exercise as you work one bicep at a time. When you then move to barbell curls, one arm will fail way before the other.