As a full time fitness industry professional, I get to see some strange stuff in the gym. I cannot post it all. However, a recent phenomenon has swept the gym I train out of. This applies to people who use the gym not my Vancouver personal training clients. I have been noticing an alarming increase in the number of workouts that center around the bicep curl. You can summarize that most guys who workout want to have athletic looking arms. However, the amount of time and focus these guys are putting into bicep curls is pretty sad (for the results they will see). Not that the bicep curl is necessarily a bad exercise. However, basing an entire workout on an isolation movement is counter productive. The bicep is a small muscle group and cannot move a lot of weight relatively speaking. So if you are trying to increase the size of your arm by doing multiple sets of an isolation movement (such as any of a variety of types of curls) you are not going to build a lot of muscle. What should I do to increase the size of my arms? Start with exercises that move a lot of weight: squats dead lifts, heavy pressing, chin ups (and weighted chin ups) and finish with isolation movements such as curls (if you have energy left). Skipping the movements where you can move heavy weight will produce very little muscle gains. Think of your bodies capacity for exercise as a big hole in the ground. You are trying to fill the hole up. You can use big rocks, small rocks and sand. Squats and dead lifts are big rocks, pull ups, heavy pressing and rows are small rocks and bicep curls are sand. You are going to fill the hole better and faster by combining the big and small rocks and adding the sand on top. It is more efficient than trying to pack down all that sand.
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