T Nation

Opinions on Concentration Curls

Are they good. Currently I’m going them, and feel that my biceps are beter worked than barbell/ez bar curls ev er had. I’m just wondering as I only really like them for bicep, so are they enough to develop all the bicep muscles (there are a few I think, correct me if I’m wrong).

I had a go at barbell curls today for my new workout, but found it hard to barbell curl what I can curl via concentration curls (I can almost conc curl 20kg for 6 with each arm, but find it hard to curl that with both arms), go on, you can laugh. COuld my pathetic excuse be that my arms are not used to working together (as I can curl more in one hand and when they work together).

Would concentration curls help my arm grow, or would they over develop certian muscles (I read an article mentioning the long part, would conc curls develop the entire bicep?), I’m sorry if this is fast but I gt a lesson soon, and have to be quick…

How much do you squat?

Bottom line is yes they will definitely help, but I would focus on bigger, compound movements such as rows & pull up/pull downs which will also hit your biceps.

For direct work BB curls with different variations work well (reverse, wide and narrow grips), but occasionally throwing in some concentration curls at the end of a workout won’t hurt to give you an extra pump.

I’ve only started squatting, its measly, about 70kg.

I just need to know if by only doing conc curls, on my bicep day, would they not grow proportionally, as I dont like doing barbell/ez bar curls, or hammer curls, as the workout said, wht would be good alternatives.I do rows on my back day (and wide grip chinp ups), so that ovviously would help work my biceps to some extent.

Do chinups after the wide grip pullups. If you don’t like something it’s probably because it’s hitting a weakness and that means you should do it more. Improve your squat and everything else improves.

Working on getting your squat strong would be the best thing you could do. I wouldn’t sweat the bicep stuff.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
How much do you squat?[/quote]

That was perfect. You made me choke on a radish.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
Working on getting your squat strong would be the best thing you could do. I wouldn’t sweat the bicep stuff.[/quote]

Can’t someone do both?

I have no idea what people are thinking when they say do legs when one asks about arms. I suggest you do ARMS if you want big ARMS. People mistake large-bone-structure-naturally-huge-arms with good arm development by guys who never do arms and stick to squat, bench, and rows.

This is not the case, as even so top guy in here has warned against curl-grip rows as being potentially dangerous. So where does that leave this guy? Wide grip rows all day long for arms, but no direct arm work? No…

We all know guys who never had a bar on their back EVER, and do arms and chest all the time and they have great arms with not ever doing one squat. How is this possible?

Easily- to have big arms without having natural huge size, you simply work the arms directly. At my best I was 185lbs with 18.5 inch arms and I really never did a squat. How did I accomplish this? Well, I curled…a lot. I could curl 135lbs on the olympic bar for a few reps when I was 18 at a bodyweight of around 190. I also did concentration curls- a lot of them. What was the result? Big arms.

Yeah, you can do pull ups and chin ups, but most guys can’t do many. So, instead of quitting in frustration because you fail at 3 on the pull up bar, hit the barbell and dumbbell curls, and alternate your grip from wide to close. Don’t neglect direct arm work unless you want substandard biceps.

Now, you’re going to hear a lot of people sucking the squat’s dick after this post, but take it from me when I tell you that it is NOT necessary to squat for you to have big arms. There are a lot of male models in the mgazines with great torsos, but legs that have obviously never really had a bar with over 135 lbs on it across their shoulders.

Not everybody wants 32 inch thighs, so for those guys who would like to be able to fit in jeans, definitely do barbell curls for arms and just do them like you would do any other muscle- you know the drill: 5x5, 8x3, etc. and remember to pick 2 exercises, let’s say body drag barbell curl and concentration curls or hammer curls. Train them no different than you would anything else and they will come up.

Who in their right mind would tell a guy who wanted big lats to squat? Makes no sense…want big legs? Squat. Big shoulders? Press. Big chest? Dips or bench press…Squat isn’t the catch-all answer to all questions.

Concentration curls can be a good finishing movement but I definitely wouldn’t base my entire session around them.

Given the numbers provided you could probably stand to fill out a bit and the big exercises are great for that. Don’t listen to the “don’t work you arms directly if you want big arms” crowd, I believe we are now capable of doing both compound AND isolation exercises.

One last thing, if you want arms that look good when they’re just hanging by your side, shoulders and triceps are the key, don’t neglect them.

[quote]2lb Monkey wrote:

I had a go at barbell curls today for my new workout, but found it hard to barbell curl what I can curl via concentration curls (I can almost conc curl 20kg for 6 with each arm, but find it hard to curl that with both arms), go on, you can laugh. COuld my pathetic excuse be that my arms are not used to working together (as I can curl more in one hand and when they work together).

[/quote]

It’s a new movement for you - so you will suck at first. It also indicates that your stabilizing muscles are not up to snuff if you can CC more than you BBC.

[quote]
Would concentration curls help my arm grow, or would they over develop certian muscles (I read an article mentioning the long part, would conc curls develop the entire bicep?), I’m sorry if this is fast but I gt a lesson soon, and have to be quick.[/quote]

BB curls for mass and strength, concentration curls for shape.

If you want big arms, you need to do pull-ups, bent rows, squats, and deadlifts. If just doing a lot of curls built up your biceps, 90% of the lifters at most gyms would have 24" guns.

[quote]rmexico wrote:
If you want big arms, you need to do pull-ups, bent rows, squats, and deadlifts. If just doing a lot of curls built up your biceps, 90% of the lifters at most gyms would have 24" guns.[/quote]

Close, but you need to do pull-ups, bent rows, squats, deadlifts AND CURLS if you want big arms.

What’s with people against fucken isolation work?

Concentration curls will help your biceps to an extent. Overdosing on just them won’t give you a bodybuilder’s arm but by time they have little effect on you, you will learn better how to lift weights.

To be honest I based on pictures i would do anything fitness diva told me to do over usssssswhatever anyday.

[quote]2lb Monkey wrote:
I had a go at barbell curls today for my new workout, but found it hard to barbell curl what I can curl via concentration curls (I can almost conc curl 20kg for 6 with each arm, but find it hard to curl that with both arms), go on, you can laugh. COuld my pathetic excuse be that my arms are not used to working together (as I can curl more in one hand and when they work together).

.[/quote]

It is prety well known that you can exert more strength with a unilateral movement than bi-lateraly in a lot of different exercises .

That being said, the difference is not that great. Usualy 5 but up to 10 percent difference between 2x(unilateral max) and a bilateral of the same movement.

If you are having problems with straight bar curls it is probably a wrist flexability issue.

I would also say that the concentration curl is a good exercise for building biceps. Just be carefull of the elbows when you get exhausted.

There is definitely a place for isolation work with your biceps, but I think the key to large looking arms are the triceps and lats. Part of it is an illusion, as your lats get bigger, your triceps rest against this muscle.

Also, depending on your experience level, you may get better overall results from focusing on the more compound movements, specifically, all the wonderful pullup/chinup variations.

I had been lifting for many years, foolishly for most of my early years. Then when I stumbled onto one of Berardi’s books, I wisened up. I didn’t do any curls for at least four months. My arms got a lot bigger. I am a big fan of chins. There are so many variations you are almost guaranteed to find a couple that you really like.

Thanks guys for the advice, I’ll probably aim for 2 bicep exercises for my bicep day (I have a 5 day workout), one being nobviously concentration curls, as they are fun to do. I may look into incline bench curls, as there was an article praising them for the biceps.

i also do chin ups, deads, squats, rows, so my arms should build too whilst doing them. How does that work? Is it sort of like yuor body telling you to get bigger when you do compound exercises, as if that ws the case (and if I had the proper equipment, I’m using an ez bar to deadlift, because of my Uni gym, which isn’t great, but it still works, and the gym is so cheap), I’d look into doing only olympic lifts.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Concentration curls will help your biceps to an extent. Overdosing on just them won’t give you a bodybuilder’s arm but by time they have little effect on you, you will learn better how to lift weights.

To be honest I based on pictures i would do anything fitness diva told me to do over usssssswhatever anyday.[/quote]

Desperate bloke aint had pussy since pussy had him. Thinks cozying up to this chick here will score him points. It’s a laugh.

Annnnnyway…

You can go by what this stupid sod says and squat all day and get arms like that chick…lol…thats totally possible. However, if you want big arms, do what I said- you’ll thakn me. Let this nothing of a guy squat for HIS arms.

They’re called concentration curls because they concentrate all the work in your biceps. They’re one of the most isolated isolation exercises which is great for really targeting the biceps. I prefer doing pullups and rows though.

[quote]Fitnessdiva wrote:
Working on getting your squat strong would be the best thing you could do. I wouldn’t sweat the bicep stuff.[/quote]

i agree w/ her as a beginner you should concentrate on the basics and getting stronger…the size will follow