Guys, I’ve gotta talk to you. I’ll try to make it as quick as possible.
I’m not a huge fan of curls. And by ‘not a huge fan’, I mean I did curls for the first time in 2 months 2 weeks ago. While curls have a time and place, they’re not for everybody. In fact, they’re not for the vast majority of people. If you’re 235lb, and have hit a wall where you can’t seem to put on size anymore; then go ahead pump out some girls. If you feel that its really important to try to target a specific head of your bicep, sure go ahead and try it. You’re probably fighting genetics though.
The reason that I have an issue with curls is because almost everybody does them before they’re ready for them. Yes, I know its the most popular exercise ever, but its not the most efficient exercise for beginners.
If you’ve just started working out, do yourself and your body a favor; use compound movements and free weights. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen do endless sets of bicep curls, using every possible grip variation, using dumbbells, barbells, machines and cables, but they can’t do a single chin-up or body weight row. Problem here?
Until you can bang out a solid set of 10 chin-ups, you shouldn’t even consider doing curls. Hell, I think 10 is the bare minimum. Doing chin-ups activates more muscle, causes a greater hormonal response, and requires using a greater load. (How many people do body weight curls? Yea, that’s right, nobody) What does this mean? That you’ll actually build bigger guns with the chin ups. (You’re Welcome)
Every time I see a kid step into the gym, walk up the dumbbells, and start with the hammer’s, I cringe and think of his poor upper back, being neglected and staying weak. That’s not really what I think about, but I think you get the idea. If you’re really going to insist on doing curls, or any other isolation exercise, for that case, do it after you complete all of your compound movements. You’re exercise productivity will increase.
Sidenote: This holds true for everything. I don’t care if you want to get stronger, bigger, leaner, faster, more powerful…Unless you want to stay weak and lame, compound movements for for everyone. So instead of doing your curls, front raises, and seated calve raises, think of how much more productive you’d be with deadlifts, squats, pushups, chinups, rows…
You get the point.