T Nation

Cable Or Freeweight


I am curious whether cable curls or barbell curls produce the most hypertrophy. Considering Regular and Reverse Curls. Also wondering instead of Dumbbell Hammers if Rope cable curls would be to the same benefit. (2 Sided rope) Thank you for any incite into this.


Barbell curls are a great mass builder, pure and simple.
However, need more info from you to give you a quality answer and to avoid generalising.
Do you train Total body, part per day etc?
Do you train Biceps by themselves?
What are your lifts (weights etc)?


I am currently on a Total Body Training Program. My workout schedule is as follows: (for this next 2 weeks/ week two performing antagonist sets)

Workout One: (Monday)

Low Back/Hips: Traditional Deadlift
Delts: Seated Barbell Military Press
Quads/Hams: Hack Squats (Wide Stance)
Pecs: Flat Barbell Bench Press
Lats: Semi-Supinated Pulldowns
Biceps: Standing Barbell Curls

Workout Two: (Wednesday)
Sets: 4
Reps: 8

Delts: Standing Barbell Shrugs
Quads/Hams: Front Squats
Pecs: Flat Barbell Bench Press
Lats: Horizontal Cable Rows
Triceps: Skull Crushers
Biceps: Hammer Curls

Workout Three: (Friday)
Sets: 3
Reps: 15

Low Back/Hips: Good Mornings
Delts: Seated Barbell Military Press
Quads/Hams: High Bar Full Barbell Squats
Lats: Pronated Grip Pulldowns
Triceps: Overhead Rope Extensions
Calf: Seated Calf Raise

Weight is dependant on the required reps. I choose a weight so that the last 1-2 reps I have to cheat, not necissarily using bad form, by the way. If that helps any.


Either or neither. Technique matters a great deal.

The biggest mistake I see watching people curl is that they rarely go to full extension. Take the rep down until your elbows lock. Don't bounce at the bottom.



Is there any disadvantage to the lesser tension or downforce when doing cable curls as apposed to freeweights?