Brachialis Confusion

A recent T-Nation article recommended low-pulley rope curls for the brachialis. Yet, when I searched brachialis exercises, it said that cross-body DB curls were the best and that the rope curls should be used “very sparingly”.

Huh? Anyone have an explanation?

different authors have different opinions and so will make different recommendations. Authors’ beliefs will also evolve and change over time.

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I believe the article referring to using the rope curls sparingly was John meadows article on arm training. Follow that article’s recommendations to the letter. Elbows will be healthy and your arms will grow.

Here’s a crude anatomy lesson.

Hands supinated (traditional barbell curls)—emphasize the biceps brachii.

Hands neutral (hammer grip)— emphasize the brachioradialis.

Hands pronated (reverse grip)—emphasize the brachialis.

The key word is emphasize. There are no absolutes. Vary your grips and implements and do what you like.

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are your arms so extraordinarily well developed that this is a legitimate concern for your continued development? In your last bodybuilding show, did a judge mention this as a weak point?


Your “reply” was rude and obnoxious. As someone who is inexpert in bodybuilding, but well versed in anatomy (I’m a physician), I find the details interesting and instructive. If you don’t and aren’t interested in passing on what you’ve learned, than you shouldn’t respond at all.

Thanks for the clarification. It’s helpful.

I wouldn’t be offended by what flip says or how he said it. Your question is valid, but unless someone has reached a significant level of arm development its not usually a concern for most people to emphasise a particular element unless you have an obvious weakness(possibly genetic rather than due to exercise selection). Flip is a good example of basic training done well. His focus has been primarily with strength in mind. He has impressive strength, but he has also developed a big, balanced, and aesthetic phyisque all at the same time, so it won’t hurt in the slightest to listen to him even if you end up disagreeing with his opinion.

Wut specialty tho?

Should become a biceptologist.

For a smart dude like you should be using the literature on resistance training and exercise physiology instead of looking at articles on T-Nation. Most of it is trash anyway lel

I’m not a mass monster by any means but I still vary my grip for arm training. I figure I might as well take a balanced approach so I don’t ever find myself with an imbalance.

Would doing only barbell curls cause an imbalance in my arm development? Probably not.

I always heard getting the brachialis to grow would make your arms look bigger because it lies under the biceps and would basically push it out further. Sounds good to me!

I wished you would’ve told me you were a physician. I feel like an idiot for giving a Doc an anatomy lesson. :laughing:

The majority of this stuff sucks. They all use untrained people so everything works. No one has done anything with experienced people or anything long term.

I think someone needs to find their subjects and make sure they have at least two years if steady experience. Then put them on a 6 month prep program so they all have the same baseline training. Then they should run their experiment to see if whatever they’re studying actually works.

I confuse my brachialis by using my triceps during curls.

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Perhaps you are using hyperbole as opposed to making a generalization. Either way your premise is false and accordingly your conclusion may be drawn in error. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with recent research, interpreting it poorly or regurgitating someone else’s basis for disregarding scientific research. If you would like assistance Elitefts’ article “A Meathead’s Guide to Reading Scientific Papers” may help you.

If you use a search engine e.g. google scholar, searching for the terms resistance, training and trained, you can see there are many studies on resistance trained populations with more added to this body every day.

While many studies are limited in the manner you described, to discount all studies and their practical and theoretical underpinnings on that basis is the kind of thing that perpetuates the bro science and bullshit that’s plagued the cesspool that is the “fitness” industry allowing snakeoil salesmen thrive, freely exploiting others.

Please don’t feel that way. Although I do know the anatomy, the mechanics of weight training isn’t something we’re taught. It’s helpful to hear from people with practical experience.

Do whatever curl you want and prescribe yourself some soviet sports supplements

Excellent! Why didn’t I think of that!

Pls write me a presciption too. I suffer from hypo gain ia

Try different things and use what works for you.

Personally I use rope curls quite a bit because they’re easier on my wrists / elbows.

I learned the fundamental principles such as sets x reps and rest periods for different goals from text books and research studies but real world application and experience have taught me just as much, if not more.

Care to point me in the right direction regarding a decent study on trained individuals? Just give me a title and I’ll find it.

I would like to see more studies on enhanced lifters but there’s probably ethical issues there. If society could stop stigmatising and demonising anabolics there’s a huge gap in the research.

It’s only a google search away if you are open minded to learning to improve your training. Here’s a few from 2013-present:

  • Effects of Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Well-Trained Men

  • Effects of Different Volume-Equated Resistance Training Loading Strategies on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men

  • Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men

  • Influence of Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Well-Trained Men

  • Muscle activation during low- versus high-load resistance training in well-trained men

  • Resistance training intensity and volume affect changes in rate of force development in resistance-trained men

  • Comparison Between High-Intensity and High-Volume Resistance Training on the Acute Myokine Response in Resistance Trained Men

  • Nonconsecutive versus consecutive-day resistance training in recreationally trained subjects.

  • Muscular adaptations in low- versus high-load resistance training: A meta-analysis

  • Longer Interset Rest Periods Enhance Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men

  • Crescent pyramid and drop-set systems do not promote greater strength gains, muscle hypertrophy, and changes on muscle architecture compared with traditional resistance training in well-trained men

  • Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men

  • Resistance Training–Induced Elevations in Muscular Strength in Trained Men Are Maintained After 2 Weeks of Detraining and Not Differentially Affected by Whey Protein Supplementation

  • A Systematic Review of Dietary Protein during Caloric Restriction in Resistance Trained Lean Athletes: A Case for Higher Intakes

  • Effects of Load-Volume on EPOC After Acute Bouts of Resistance Training in Resistance-Trained Men

  • A Review of Resistance Training-Induced Changes in Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis and Their Contribution to Hypertrophy

  • Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Linear and Undulating Periodized Resistance Training Programs on Muscular Strength

  • The effects of consuming a high protein diet (4.4 g/kg/d) on body composition in resistance-trained individuals

  • Reduced susceptibility to eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage in resistance-trained men is not linked to resistance training-related neural adaptations