UPDATED 3/19/10: Gaining Strength on BB Curl (Rep Ranges)

Someone explain to me why so many people (usually the smaller ones) think that curls are somehow magically different from any other exercise when it comes to strength gain.

With exercises where you can’t lift as much as on the big three and for which the gym’s DB’s or plates go up in relatively large increments, just use a wider rep-bracket (6-10 or 6-12… Or 4-8/4-10 or whatever) or make use of platemates/fractional plates/mag weights…

[quote]MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Lower the volume a bit. warm up until you’re ready for your first work set.

Try to get at least 6 reps. Rep range can be 6-10 maybe (it can vary). If you only get 6 reps, keep the weight the same next time you do the exercise. If you get upwards of around 10 (or maybe 9) increase the weight 5lb.

My volume for BB curls would be:
warm ups

  1. Heavy workset, 6-10 reps.
  2. Lower weight a bit and get 10-12+ reps
  3. Repeat #2 perhaps.

Don’t do 3x10 if you want to get stronger. Focus on one heavy work set which you will ALWAYS strive to either add weight or increase number of reps (or hey, both if you have a great session one day).

Don’t worry too much about progressing in weight with the back off sets. Over time they shoulud obviously go up, but if you are concerned about strength, make sure to constantly progress in some way on that first heavy set.

THis type of rep/set scheme works well and should allow you to make better progress.[/quote]

might start tryin this on all my workouts… is what your talking about basically pyramiding down?

If your about to go on a heavy curl cycle I would recommend you invest in some wrist wraps and use the ez curl bar more too.
Your going to have to try and push it sometimes try and curl more weight then 10 reps, only problem is the wrist seems to take longer to strengthen you don’t want to get stronger with the curls then have to stop because your wrist is not strong enough.

[quote]kaoticz wrote:
I dont see how that works most ppl i know that only weigh like 140-150 have like 12-15 inch arms, however even at 150 according to the 15lb formula your suppose to have 10 inch arms. They are all like 16-17
Im 143, 15 and have 12.5 inch arms, and i only started paying arms a lil more attenrtion like a couple of weeks ago, before that it was all squats lol. So idk.

One thing i though is maybe it means for a balanced weight, like most ppl i see my age actually have big upperbodes but chicken legs, though that doesnt apply to me im kinda like the opposite since i focus more on squats (vertical jump improvements)and less on upperbody.

Very random post but yeah :slight_smile:
LOl
[/quote]

I highly doubt someone 150lbs can have 16’ or 17’ inch arms loll…

[quote]zraw wrote:
kaoticz wrote:
I dont see how that works most ppl i know that only weigh like 140-150 have like 12-15 inch arms, however even at 150 according to the 15lb formula your suppose to have 10 inch arms. They are all like 16-17
Im 143, 15 and have 12.5 inch arms, and i only started paying arms a lil more attenrtion like a couple of weeks ago, before that it was all squats lol. So idk.

One thing i though is maybe it means for a balanced weight, like most ppl i see my age actually have big upperbodes but chicken legs, though that doesnt apply to me im kinda like the opposite since i focus more on squats (vertical jump improvements)and less on upperbody.

Very random post but yeah :slight_smile:
LOl

I highly doubt someone 150lbs can have 16’ or 17’ inch arms loll…
[/quote]

Well, what about onemorerep? :wink:

Ok, so unless the guy is short and has rather nice genetics, then having 17 inch arms in a lean state at 150-160 is most likely rather hard to achieve.

[quote]ebraunschweiler wrote:
MeinHerzBrennt wrote:
Lower the volume a bit. warm up until you’re ready for your first work set.

Try to get at least 6 reps. Rep range can be 6-10 maybe (it can vary). If you only get 6 reps, keep the weight the same next time you do the exercise. If you get upwards of around 10 (or maybe 9) increase the weight 5lb.

My volume for BB curls would be:
warm ups

  1. Heavy workset, 6-10 reps.
  2. Lower weight a bit and get 10-12+ reps
  3. Repeat #2 perhaps.

Don’t do 3x10 if you want to get stronger. Focus on one heavy work set which you will ALWAYS strive to either add weight or increase number of reps (or hey, both if you have a great session one day).

Don’t worry too much about progressing in weight with the back off sets. Over time they shoulud obviously go up, but if you are concerned about strength, make sure to constantly progress in some way on that first heavy set.

THis type of rep/set scheme works well and should allow you to make better progress.

might start tryin this on all my workouts… is what your talking about basically pyramiding down?
[/quote]

This is basically what Prof X has outlined in his Prof X: A request thread. It’s the basic template for body part splits. I do DC right now but this is how I would structure my set/rep scheme if/when I go back to body part splits.

Not sure what you mean by pyramiding down - are you referring to the ‘back off’ sets? If so, those are just to get some more work in - they are taken to failure like the first heavy set, and use less weight because 1) you will already be pretty fatigued from that first all out set and 2) you may want to work in a slightly higher rep range to get some more blood in there and to aid in hypertrophy.

If you were to keep the weight the same, after, say, getting 7 reps on your first set, you aren’t going to get more than that on your second one. You’d end up with maybe 4 or 5. Lowering the weight allows you to get more reps, putting you in a rep range that stimulates hypertrophy.

[quote]youngblood52 wrote:
i can bb curl 65 lbs for 3 sets of 10 (pathetic i know but thats why i need to increase the weight i’m using). i BB curl once a week.

what is the best rep/set scheme for gaining strength on this exercise? i desperately need to increase this weight[/quote]

You can also throw in a rest-pause technique which is good for strength. You pick your 3 rep max and curl once every ten seconds until you can’t get another rep. You should be able to get 6 or 7 reps this way. It tends to work better for pulling exercises, so curls should be easy.

You can do 65 for 3x10, so just fucking do 70 next time and go for 3x8. When you can do that for 3x10, move up to 85 or 90…

Sorry if this was mentioned already, but I don’t feel like going through all the posts to catch up. You might want to look into separate bicep exercises for the bicep brachii and brachialis. The links for the two muscle groups are shown here http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/ArmWt.html#anchor1910082 . There also two tnation articles which appear to delve into the topic (I only skimmed through them) Pop 'Em Out Muscles and Biceps, Fast or Slow? . Just a different idea to throw out there.

train back harder

You guys need to stop linking this kid articles about complex shit and telling him about rest pause and whatever.

He curls fucking 65lbs. He needs to start moving more weight every workout. You don’t need some complex shit. He’s not even busting plateaus. He’s just making newbie gains.

Sorry about that i meant 16-17 age, arms 12-15inches… my bad

Also i said that BW devided by 15lb because the article i read that in ( some poliquin QandA) “proved” that Arnolds arms wernt whatever he claimed (cant remmeber exact, 21 or 22 inches ) by dividing his bw by 15, to detemine the size of his arms.
Thats why i brought it up.

[quote]kaoticz wrote:
Sorry about that i meant 16-17 age, arms 12-15inches… my bad

Also i said that BW devided by 15lb because the article i read that in ( some poliquin QandA) “proved” that Arnolds arms wernt whatever he claimed (cant remmeber exact, 21 or 22 inches ) by dividing his bw by 15, to detemine the size of his arms.
Thats why i brought it up.
[/quote]

What the fuck are you on about? Stop reading dumbass articles that say shit like that. Read posts by big guys.

[quote]Artem wrote:
You guys need to stop linking this kid articles about complex shit and telling him about rest pause and whatever.

He curls fucking 65lbs. He needs to start moving more weight every workout. You don’t need some complex shit. He’s not even busting plateaus. He’s just making newbie gains.[/quote]

You’re probably referring to me, and if so you read into what I wrote incorrectly and I probably should have been clearer. I told him to look into different exercises for two basic muscle groups. Indicating to him to throw in a lift such as preacher curls along with db/bb curls is simple stuff.

I gave two links, which I stated I only skimmed through, to help him read the difference between the bicep brachii and brachialis. I suppose the post may have been better left without the two T-Nation, which I could see may raise complication.

[quote]kylec72 wrote:
Artem wrote:
You guys need to stop linking this kid articles about complex shit and telling him about rest pause and whatever.

He curls fucking 65lbs. He needs to start moving more weight every workout. You don’t need some complex shit. He’s not even busting plateaus. He’s just making newbie gains.

You’re probably referring to me, and if so you read into what I wrote incorrectly and I probably should have been clearer. I told him to look into different exercises for two basic muscle groups. Indicating to him to throw in a lift such as preacher curls along with db/bb curls is simple stuff. I gave two links, which I stated I only skimmed through, to help him read the difference between the bicep brachii and brachialis. I suppose the post may have been better left without the two T-Nation, which I could see may raise complication. [/quote]
Yours and a few more. It’s just that being flooded with information fucked me over for a while when I started lifting. I needed someone to explain to me how basic progression, a body part split, and nutrition works. I was trying to do the dumbest shit with information gathered from various articles for the longest time.

squats

Many people don’t understand how and why to pyramid up and down on sets, most people shouldn’t do that.

I barbell curl 110lbs for 6-8 reps.

2 and a half months ago, I was curling 65lbs for 6-8 reps.

Here is how I progressed to what I am doing now:

  • [u]Gained 35lbs of bodyweight (I’d say about 25lbs of that is muscle)[/u]
  • [u]Strived to increase weight and/or reps on each movement, every workout[/u]
  • Trained 5 days a week (Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms)
  • Low volume pyramid exercises on my movements.

An example of what I’d do for barbell bicep curl (For weight in lbs, multiply kg by 2.2):

Barbell bicep curl -

Set 1: 15kg (Bar) x 12
Set 2: 30kg x 10
Set 3: 40kg x 8-10
Set 4: 50kg x as many as possible (I got 8 yesterday)

[u]Now, as a general rule for ramping up in weight:[/u]

You should know roughly what weight you will use on your final ‘all out’ set.

Sometimes (and you need to do this to progress), I say ‘fuck this’ and do a weight that I totally didn’t expect to do, pysche myself up and hammer out the reps with it. I just listened to my body, and it told me it felt strong that day.

If you do jumps that are too big, you won’t be properly prepared for the weight on your final set, and won’t get as many reps.

If you do jumps that are too little, you will be fatigued on your final set, and won’t get as many reps.

Here is what I do to ramp up properly:
Select a weight I feel like using on my final set
For set 1, I usually use 30-35% of the weight on my final set.
For set 2, I use 50-55% of the weight on my final set
For set 3, 75-80% of the weight on final set.

So, lets say for bench press, I was going to use 100kg’s.

Set 1: 30kg.
(100kgs / 100 = 1. 1 x 30 = 30kg.)

Set 2: 50kg
(100kgs / 100 = 1. 1 x 50 = 50kg.)

Set 3: 80kg
(100kgs / 100 = 1. 1 x 80 = 80kg.)*

Set 4: 100kg

*I used 80% here because I would rather not fuck around with 2.5kg plates, 80kg I can just use 20kg and 10kg plates

Now you don’t have to calculate that shit all the time. I don’t do it myself, I know roughly what I need to do now, because it 'feel’s right and I listen to my body.

However, I did use this a couple times to just figure out how to ramp properly, and it worked very well.

Gain 20 lbs, then see how much you can curl.

[quote]Artem wrote:
kylec72 wrote:
Artem wrote:
You guys need to stop linking this kid articles about complex shit and telling him about rest pause and whatever.

He curls fucking 65lbs. He needs to start moving more weight every workout. You don’t need some complex shit. He’s not even busting plateaus. He’s just making newbie gains.

You’re probably referring to me, and if so you read into what I wrote incorrectly and I probably should have been clearer. I told him to look into different exercises for two basic muscle groups. Indicating to him to throw in a lift such as preacher curls along with db/bb curls is simple stuff. I gave two links, which I stated I only skimmed through, to help him read the difference between the bicep brachii and brachialis. I suppose the post may have been better left without the two T-Nation, which I could see may raise complication.

Yours and a few more. It’s just that being flooded with information fucked me over for a while when I started lifting. I needed someone to explain to me how basic progression, a body part split, and nutrition works. I was trying to do the dumbest shit with information gathered from various articles for the longest time.
[/quote]

I agree 100%. A friend who coached me along continually repeated for me to keep it simple stupid, and you hear the same sentiment from the big guys around here. Of course getting started I just had to over complicate shit with the latest nifty technique from the articles. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated.