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Are Bicep Curls Neccessary?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by TonySoprano, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano Active Member

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    I was just wondering Since I do chest presses...the pec machine...preacher curls...bench press....close grip bench press....tricep extensions and shoulder press....most of the excercises mentioned workout your arms/biceps/triceps as well...and other body parts at he same time...do i need to spend time on doing just bicep curls sitting down? i feel i don't get anything out of it
     
  2. HobbesAB

    HobbesAB Well-Known Member

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    direct arm work is not necessary. if you're growing with indirect arm work, then you're obviously providing enough stimulation for your biceps to grow. If you're growth is stalled, then consider adding some direct arm work.
     
  3. JeremyLikness

    JeremyLikness Well-Known Member

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    It depends on your goal. What are you looking for? From what you've described you do:

    Chest press = horizontal push + arm extension
    Bench press (how is this different than chest press?)
    Pec machine = horizontal push
    Close-grip bench press = arm extension + horizontal push
    Triceps extensions = arm extension
    Shoulder press = vertical push + arm extension
    Preachur curl = arm flexion

    So the question really is - how are you splitting your workouts? You are doing 4 exercises (possibly 5) that are arm extensions (triceps) but only one that works flexion (biceps)??? That's severely imbalanced.

    I'm assuming you do back on a different day? It seems you are making the mistake most people do, by doing a boatload of chest exercises but only one shoulder exercise. The most common way to injure the shoulder in the gym is by benching, typically because people worry too much about destroying their chest but then do only moderate volume on the shoulders leaving them as the weak link.

    I'dd add some shoulders, and then hopefully your back is balanced between horizontal (rowing) and vertical (pulling) movements ... that will give you more arm flexion.

    Unless you have a definite imbalance you should be matching work, i.e. one flexion per extension, etc.

    If that is your total upper body then you are missing shoulders, back, and biceps in a big way. If it's just one day then it's tough to say what is needed without seeing the full routine.

    Jeremy
     
  4. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    I had tendinitis in my brachialis in both arms due to benching. They are used as a stabilizer for the lift. All the rowing, pullups and pulls that I was doing did not allow for sufficient strengthening of my brachialis. In the end, incorporating a few sets of db hammer curls worked wonders on alleviating the pain. I would say that they are necessary from the viewpoint of strengthening elbow flexion. As for building big biceps, I don't know, I don't care.
     
  5. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Bicep curls are not necessary. No curls of any kind are actually necessary.


    You didn't mention rowing though. Rowing IS necessary.
     
  6. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Preacher Curls ARE a bicep curl.

    Seated curls with a barbell are just another type of curl.

    From your post you mention that you are doing other ex's as well in your workout which at first glance leads me to believe you're doing full-body.

    So if you are including a type of curl in the workout (which you obviously are) and you want it to be "one" bicep ex per workout where you do biceps, there is no need to stick to the same bicep ex all the time.

    Check the "biceps" threads and select some alternate work from those.

    :)
     
  7. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano Active Member

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    Chest press is different from bench in that bench you are laying on your back...n the machine that is titled chest press in my gym...you sit up straight and hold two handles and push forth.....


    I do two shoulder exercises I just didn't mention one since i dont know what you call it...i do regular shoulder press...and then theres one where you sit down and pull a T shaped bar down onto you cheskt while sitting ....sorry im not good with gym terminology....I think that works out your shoulders and back....


    EDIT: I do Upper/Lower Body on alternate days....are you guys saying I should cut out some of the upper body?

    also do cardio everyday if that makes a difference
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    You asked about biceps. None of the pressing stuff you are talking about has much to do with your biceps.

    Pulling things down can be good for your back, could be good for your biceps, could be a lot of things. Can you find a picture of the machine on the internet? That would help us figure out what it is. It sounds to me like a lat pull-down machine. Which, although good, isn't really a complete substitute for some sort of rowing.
     
  9. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Sounds like a chest supported row machine.
     
  10. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano Active Member

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    http://www.rochesterfitnessequipment.com/Commercial_Strength/Tuff_Stuff/Tuff_Stuff_SP-404.jpg

    What part(s?) of your body does this machine work out..I really feel like Im working when I do this machine...

    Here is the pic....I was responding to the poster a few posts above who mentioned that I wasn't working out my shoulders/back ...sorry if i got off topic....so single handed sit down curls aren't neccessary? that was the main question...also are preacher curls neccesary? I find they do more than the singe handed curls but since I do a bunch of other exercises that involve triceps....
     
  11. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    That's a lat pulldown machine. Works the lats, shoulders, and maybe a bit biceps depending on how you do them. Similar to a pullup/chinup.
     
  12. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I would do a BB curl or chins in any arm workout. Lets see a picture of an arm that wasn't build with curls in the workout. I certainly would never replace a BB curl with preacher curls.:cool:
     
  13. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    That machine has two main uses. The big single handle at the top is primarily for lat pull-downs, which sounds like what you described. Lat pull-downs are a good exercise.

    The other handles on the machine are for rows. Instead of pulling down, you pull them toward you. That exercise is OK for your rowing requirement.

    Make sure you balance the amoung of pressing you do with a similar amount of rowing.
     
  14. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano Active Member

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    Sorry for sounding like an idiot...whats rowing? don't bash me hehe...there are probably stickies about this but i want like a one sentence answer....and what are they good for?
     
  15. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Most traditional gymnasts did that, so at elite levels you typically get results like this:

    [​IMG]

    If you want a no-curl program for biceps? You can find one here and here from a respected strength coach (Alwyn Cosgrove).
     
  16. tennisball

    tennisball Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Olympic level gymnasts do zero direct arm work.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Rowing is pulling on something in front of you with your arms and upper back.

    Rowing is essential for a lot of things. If you press a lot more than you row, you are increasing your chances of injury. Rowing strengthens the upper back and can correct posture and breathing. Rowing is good for the core. Rowing is important if you want a big upper back - like this Dorian Yates:

    [​IMG]

    Dorian Yates invented the Yates row.

    If you don't even know what rowing is, you need to fix that. It is a waste of time to think about which flavor of curls to do until you have your upper back and chest figured out.

    Now it's all well that you have the ability to row on that machine you showed us. I would rather see bent over barbell rows, single arm dumbell rows, and t-bar barbell rows in your program (more variety and hit your back harder) but seated rows are pretty good, and way, way, better than no rows.
     
  18. TonySoprano

    TonySoprano Active Member

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    ok so then curls are necessary? im confused as hell
     
  19. tennisball

    tennisball Well-Known Member

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    Read above. You should be doing:

    ROWS
    PULLUPS
    DIPS
    BENCH PRESS

    along with:

    DEADLIFT
    SQUAT

    If you focused on those for the next 12-24 weeks, you would have a lot bigger arms with ZERO direct arm work.
     
  20. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    It was certainly true for ages, but I'm not sure they all avoid weights like they used to. But it drives the point home that curls are not necessary.
     

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