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Curls/tricep extensions really needed?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Brutus, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Brutus

    Brutus Active Member

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    If you're doing benchpress, military press, barbell rows, and deadlifts, are bicep curls and tricep extensions really necessary? Benchpress works your triceps, barbell rows work your biceps, and military press/deadlifts may work either/or, I'm not sure.
     
  2. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    No....unless you're trying to get pretty.

    But I'd try and throw some Chins into the mix....or pulldowns of various types if you can't Chin.
     
    #2 HevyMetal, Apr 9, 2008
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  3. anfeyd

    anfeyd Active Member

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    They can be effective if your biceps or triceps are the limiting factor in your lifts, but changes are if you're a beginner they are not.
     
  4. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Yes, isolation exercises isolate the muscle you are trying to work. Leaving out isolation exercises is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. :cool:
     
  5. Brutus

    Brutus Active Member

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    Right, but will that actually help my compound movements? Will doing bicep curls help my barbell row?
     
  6. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    they might when you strengthen your biceps by using a direct exercise for them like the curl. Rows aren't for building biceps they are for your lats. That is why you should use an underhand grip in a bent-over row so your biceps are in their strongest postion and do curls so the biceps don't hold back your rows by being weak.:tucool:

    You can be pretty and strong.
     
  7. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Not unless you have cosmetic goals.
     
  8. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    ...doing big compound exercises instead.
     
  9. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Hardly at all. Your row should be well over twice what you can curl on a bar. (For example Dorian Yates' site gives his heavy curl set as 8x140# and his heavy row set as 8-10x375#).

    The biceps help with some rowing movements, but it's usually just assistance. The upper back dominates most rowing movements by a large margin.
     
  10. Brutus

    Brutus Active Member

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    Yes, my row is over twice my curl. I'm just going to stop doing arms and tricep extensions for now, try to focus on compound movements.
     
  11. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    ...and you'll add chins too, right? :D

    Hevy ain't kiddin' on that score. Chins will build up some powerful biceps. They'll also help your rows and deads.
     
  12. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    A well-rounded program ought to consider functional strength and aesthetics. The majority of people find this forum with the goal of aesthetic enhancement at the outset, and isolation exercises can play a part in that.

    It's hardly worth the time it takes to post to this thread to debate. I find that one hard drop-set a week (or 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps) is all that's required. Why debate over a few sets of bicep curls that would require no more than six or eight minutes to complete per week?

    Do them. Or don't. Depends on your goal.

    -R
     
  13. kevin_in_ga

    kevin_in_ga Active Member

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    Big compounds first. Blow them out. Then, if you want, shift to isolation exercises.

    I have added only one set of isolations in my entire lifting program (curls). This is because my triceps are getting plenty of work from my chest workout, but I seem to still have some juice left in my biceps after my back workout. Maybe I need to push a bit harder on my back ...
     
  14. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I don't think that's necessary. If it's your thing, go ahead. But in reality, programs only need to take health into account. Everything after that is elective. Different people are going to want to do different things.
     
  15. Bluestreak

    Bluestreak Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have missed my point somehow...

    -R
     
  16. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Health? Define that. Do you expect to live longer because of something you are doing? Will it prevent cancer or sudden heart attacks? Infections or viruses?

    Don't get me wrong, I think you might feel better while you are alive and if you do the right exercises look better, also. Do you really think what you are doing in a gym will increase your life span by more then a few years at most. I am afraid most of us have a clock ticking in us that determines life span.
     
  17. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Let me clarify. When you say:

    Most people find this forum with a goal of losing weight or fat. The Fat Loss/Cutting forum has more posts than any other forum other than the Fitness Journals forum. I also think most of the people who find this forum are essentially beginners with goals that are not clearly formed. For these people curls are not really that useful and can be safely ignored until they have advanced in the basic lifts past the beginner stage. It's not uncommon to see people show up here who want to lose twenty pounds or more. It is uncommon for someone in that situation to need curls for aesthetics. In fact, until you are advanced enough that curls can be metabolically significant, curls could be a waste of time if you need to cut a lot.

    On the other hand, basic pulling exercises such as rows, pullups, and pulldowns, should be a staple for every healthy lifter. No matter what shape you are in, you can benefit from these.

    My rough rule of thumb is until you can row your bodyweight for say, 6 reps (with or without grip assist), curls are mostly decorations in a workout program.

    By the way curls aren't magically effective either. I actually do curls to make my trainers happy. I have slighlty under 16" arms. My brother the powerlifter does no direct biceps work, weighs 50 pounds less than me (he likes to be lean), and still has bigger arms. Now because he's my brother he is already genetically similar to me, but there are four of us brothers. And two of them are taller and leaner without the tremendous leg strength or ability to gain muscle easily, and my brother the powerlifter and I are shorter, thicker, and gain muscle very easily. So my brother the powerlifter and I are probably genetically a lot closer than the simple 50% trait sharing of brothers. I am working out a little harder than he is these past few years (he retired from competition a while ago), and I DO direct biceps work and he avoided it, so why is it that he is the only guy in the family ever to have really big arms? And he wasn't born with the big arms. Before he was a power lifter he was a High School wrestler with thin arms. I just chalk it up to his twenty years of big compounds compared to my four years even though I have done direct biceps work. We probably both have slowly growing arms, and so the many years of working out counts for more than changes in exercise choice or program.
     
  18. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    Actually yes, the evidence is that longevity is increased a bit for people who exercise as opposed to people who don't. I have provided you evidence of this before, and even just recently. You still don't seem to be convinced, which is fine with me. But other people reading this should know that the evidence is that longevity is increased by exercise.

    Also worth keeping in mind is that the increase in longevity is not that big for most people. For some people (those who are otherwise scheduled to get coronary artery disease, etc.) the increase in longevity is huge. But that is not most of the population. Overall, healthy exercise does extend life, but on average it's a few years, not decades.

    The main reason to exercise for health is the improved quality of life. Although the risk of death has a certain dread fascination, it is actually more important in my mind to maintain the quality of life as much as it is to prolong it. And for this there is a lot more evidence of the health benefits of exercise. All sorts of things improve with exercise. There are lots of conditions people suffer from that aren't going to kill them. Back pain is a big one there - and many of the people who suffer from back pain can benefit from exercise. Osteoporosis, sarcopenia, metabolic syndrome, mental health, sleep problems - all can be positively effected by exercise. About the only thing that can rival exercise for health benefit is nutrition. Exercise is better than grandma's lyesoap.
     
  19. xclutch

    xclutch Active Member

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    When you mean bicep curls are just for cosmetics you mean it doesnt help you overall but it is just to show off how big your biceps can be? which is one of the things that girls/beginners look at... either the abs/flexed biceps.
     
  20. doordude42

    doordude42 Senior Member

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    I couldn't agree more.
     

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