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  1. #1
    Registered User Muuuse's Avatar
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    Bicep Curl Weight Not Increasing!

    Hey!

    I've been lifting for about 2 years, but only properly for about 2 months (Diet). I've gained almost 2 stone of muscle in 3 months.

    I seem to be having a problem with my Barbell and Dumbell Curls. Every other exercise on other muscles is ok. The biceps... however. The weight hasn't really increased in a long time, even though I've been eating a lot more and getting bigger.

    I can lift a maximum of 35kg Barbel Curl. Which has been the same for almost 2 months. Even though I'm not a beginner, I'm going to start Rippetoe's 5x5 workout to gain general mass.. will that help in the long run?

    Any help is appreciated?
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  2. #2
    Greek God Of War DJBrickman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Muuuse View Post
    Hey!

    I've been lifting for about 2 years, but only properly for about 2 months (Diet). I've gained almost 2 stone of muscle in 3 months.

    I seem to be having a problem with my Barbell and Dumbell Curls. Every other exercise on other muscles is ok. The biceps... however. The weight hasn't really increased in a long time, even though I've been eating a lot more and getting bigger.

    I can lift a maximum of 35kg Barbel Curl. Which has been the same for almost 2 months. Even though I'm not a beginner, I'm going to start Rippetoe's 5x5 workout to gain general mass.. will that help in the long run?

    Any help is appreciated?
    Biceps are a small muscle group so it may develop slower than others. My advice would be to stick with it for a while.
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  3. #3
    Banned Tyciol's Avatar
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    Are you also unable to increase the reps?
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  4. #4
    Registered User Muuuse's Avatar
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    Yeh, pretty much! I've been stuck on 35kg at about 6-8 reps for a while now. It's always my first movement when it comes to Bicep exercises, so by the time I hit the Conc. Curls and Dumbbell Curls, the amount of weight I lift on those is pretty low compared to other people I guess.

    For the Conc Curls and Dumbbell Curls, I can only do 15kg. I don't know what other people are curling, but I think that's pretty poor myself :S
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    Originally Posted by Muuuse View Post
    Hey!

    I've been lifting for about 2 years, but only properly for about 2 months (Diet). I've gained almost 2 stone of muscle in 3 months.

    I seem to be having a problem with my Barbell and Dumbell Curls. Every other exercise on other muscles is ok. The biceps... however. The weight hasn't really increased in a long time, even though I've been eating a lot more and getting bigger.

    I can lift a maximum of 35kg Barbel Curl. Which has been the same for almost 2 months. Even though I'm not a beginner, I'm going to start Rippetoe's 5x5 workout to gain general mass.. will that help in the long run?

    Any help is appreciated?
    Get a spotter to help you force more reps out. Also, up the weight and have a spotter assist you with it. If you don't always have someone to spot you, do cheaters. Cheating the weight up really does help one build up his strength, just not as well as does the former method (with a spotter).
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  6. #6
    Registered User Muuuse's Avatar
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    Yeh, ok... thanks for the help mate!

    I watched a video in this site by Dorian Yates. He was explaining the importance of negatives and how you should cheat on the up and then really concentrate on slowly lowering the weight when exhausted. I've been trying to do them when I get fatigued on the positives, but It's too hard to get the weight up there without a spotter- even when I cheat.

    I suppose I'll keep on going. Like DJBrickman said - it's a small muscle group and may take a little longer to grow.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Roniboney's Avatar
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    very small muscle group dude.took me 3 months to get 15kg dumbells for 12 reps of 3 sets but i got it.Slow and steady.If you increase the weight you lift in barbell curls by 10kg a year thats a massive increase in 5 years.Remember you cannot get huge weight augmentations in certain muscle groups. For squats hell ye man.2.5kg every week lol
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  8. #8
    Registered User NeverSerious's Avatar
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    For my biceps I only do 2 exercises 2 sets each.

    Its a small muscle group and doens't need to be hit like chest or back.

    Do 2 sets of inclind dumbell and then i do 2 sets of 21's.

    Most of my bicep gains came from that and back days.
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    Originally Posted by Muuuse View Post
    Yeh, ok... thanks for the help mate!

    I watched a video in this site by Dorian Yates. He was explaining the importance of negatives and how you should cheat on the up and then really concentrate on slowly lowering the weight when exhausted. I've been trying to do them when I get fatigued on the positives, but It's too hard to get the weight up there without a spotter- even when I cheat.

    I suppose I'll keep on going. Like DJBrickman said - it's a small muscle group and may take a little longer to grow.
    Negatives are good. Don't you have a gym partner or a friend you could ask to spot you? Also, try and up the weight and do less reps for strength training.

    I would also recommend drop-sets, e.g. do your sets til failure then drop the weight by half or whatever you feel is good and pump out a few more sets to really get the muscle working.

    Good luck bro.
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  10. #10
    Registered User TKerby91's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Muuuse View Post
    Yeh, ok... thanks for the help mate!

    I watched a video in this site by Dorian Yates. He was explaining the importance of negatives and how you should cheat on the up and then really concentrate on slowly lowering the weight when exhausted. I've been trying to do them when I get fatigued on the positives, but It's too hard to get the weight up there without a spotter- even when I cheat.

    I suppose I'll keep on going. Like DJBrickman said - it's a small muscle group and may take a little longer to grow.
    Good series that is, lot's of interesting tips.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Muuuse's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I don't go to the gym, so I don't have a spotter. Plus, none of my friends really workout (weight wise)- they just do the occasional cardio. I do my workout at home. However, I'm gonna have to joing a gym now I want to do this 5x5 program. The weights I have here don't go heavy enough for the deadlifts and squats, plus I don't have a dip bar or anything at the right height.

    And yeh TKerby91- it's a really great series to watch. I learned a fair bit from the videos. Who better to learn off aye? Very knowledgeable fella!
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  12. #12
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    when was the last time you changed something up? You mentioned the same rep range, what about sets?

    Good idea to try the heavy negs, I think it'll help to change the routine.

    There are other things you can try, I had really good success with my triceps by doing 10 sets. I picked a weight I could do a solid 6 reps with on CGBP. I would then do 10 sets of 4 reps with that weight. I also really liked doing to 20 reps squats, and I knew a guy that would use the 20 rep concept with any exercise he hit a plateau with.
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  13. #13
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    You need to lower the reps and raise the weight. Preacher bench if you can get ahold of one. If not, improvise by resting your arms on something similar.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Muuuse's Avatar
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    Ok then! That all makes sense! I'll give it all a go. Thanks lads!
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    Biceps are a small muscle group and the numbers you're dealing with are smaller, so x% increase will be a much lower number increase that say for bench press or squats. You might also switch up your bicep routine and substitute dumbell for barbell or concentration curls, cable curls, hammer curls, and one of my personal favorites, I love to do reverse grip bent over rows, which incorporates biceps.
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    If you're unable to get extra reps with your max weight, you could try getting extra reps with a lighter weight, ala drop set approach.
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    You don't have to join a gym to get heavy weights. Just get a 300 pound Olympic set for $100 to $200 on sale at a sporting good store and some longer spinlock bars and you are good to go. On curls really it is hard to gain in percentage terms on curls.
    If you curl 77 pounds then 1/2 percent gain in strength a week would be only 0.4 pounds a week increase in weight and that would lead to a 20 pound increase in a year, and that is not achievable in the long term for most. So you have to be patient and figure out ways to force yourself to progress on curls. You can microload by hanging bags of pennies on the bar or duct tape weight on. Or you can try to add a cheat rep if you can not add a strict one.
    You can aim to add full cheat reps after your strict reps and slowly convert those to merely lean forward lean backward no momentum cheats, then to lean back reps only.

    Also if you are struggling to progress on one biceps exercise it makes little sense to do two others also. IF the barbell curl is your priority I suggest doing it at the beginning of your workout so back, or wrist intenstve or other exercises could not possible interfere with your ability to measure objective progress. I also would suggest simplifying things doing just one set of barbell curls, and your other curls on another day or alternate what you do first. You could introduce some variation in your curls too, one workout strict, another cheats, another focusing only on negatives, another on holding strength. If you can't gain a measurable strength increase workout to workout it makes sense to introduce variations that work the biceps and do them so that when you work your regular curls again you probably will have measurable gain.

    If you can't add a rep doing curls between workout one and two, for example you add another rep range or style between the two workouts.

    If you are serious doing some heavy wrist work can help too as far as increasing barbell curl strength. If you can bend your wrist in more you lessen the distance the biceps has to apply force.
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    Cheers for the advice!

    I used to do drop sets and supersets, but my weight rarely increased and I thought that the only real way of building muscle, along with the correct diet, is to confuse your muscles by giving them heavier weights. I do occasionally do a drop set on the last set of the exercise just to make sure I've reached fatigue. I suppose I'll just persist making sure the form is right and eventually(hopefully) it'll come.

    I just ordered a door pull up bar. So I'm going to start to do chin ups. I've heard these are one of the best exercises for bicep strength and mass... is that right?
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by firstmark View Post
    You don't have to join a gym to get heavy weights. Just get a 300 pound Olympic set for $100 to $200 on sale at a sporting good store and some longer spinlock bars and you are good to go. On curls really it is hard to gain in percentage terms on curls.
    If you curl 77 pounds then 1/2 percent gain in strength a week would be only 0.4 pounds a week increase in weight and that would lead to a 20 pound increase in a year, and that is not achievable in the long term for most. So you have to be patient and figure out ways to force yourself to progress on curls. You can microload by hanging bags of pennies on the bar or duct tape weight on. Or you can try to add a cheat rep if you can not add a strict one.
    You can aim to add full cheat reps after your strict reps and slowly convert those to merely lean forward lean backward no momentum cheats, then to lean back reps only.

    Also if you are struggling to progress on one biceps exercise it makes little sense to do two others also. IF the barbell curl is your priority I suggest doing it at the beginning of your workout so back, or wrist intenstve or other exercises could not possible interfere with your ability to measure objective progress. I also would suggest simplifying things doing just one set of barbell curls, and your other curls on another day or alternate what you do first. You could introduce some variation in your curls too, one workout strict, another cheats, another focusing only on negatives, another on holding strength. If you can't gain a measurable strength increase workout to workout it makes sense to introduce variations that work the biceps and do them so that when you work your regular curls again you probably will have measurable gain.

    If you can't add a rep doing curls between workout one and two, for example you add another rep range or style between the two workouts.

    If you are serious doing some heavy wrist work can help too as far as increasing barbell curl strength. If you can bend your wrist in more you lessen the distance the biceps has to apply force.
    Thanks for the tips.

    The only problem about the home gym and heavy weights is that I don't have a smith machine. So I can't do squats- which are the main exercise of the program. There's no way I'm going to be lifting a 200+ bar above my head without killing myself

    Plus, I'm going uni soon where they have a gym on campus, so it would be pointless to buy one now.

    Do any of you perform squats without a machine? If so- I would love to know how
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  20. #20
    My supplement is your mom MrMisanthrope's Avatar
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    1. Go to the gym.
    2. Grab 40 kg barbell.
    3. Reverse grip clean the weight up
    4. Let it down slowly with good curl form in a negative contraction
    5. Do a set of 12 of those.
    6. Spend the next few days in pain. Eat like a pig and sleep well.
    7. Fukkin' magnets.
    9. Try to curl it again. You have now increased your bicep curl.

    I know this works because I can curl goddamn 68.2 kg and I am a lot smaller than most of the other people I have ever seen pics or videos of who apparently can curl a similar weight, so I know what I'm talking about. Go do it and report back.
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    dont worry too much about struggling w/ bicep weight, focus on big compounds and your bicep curl weight will come with time. you can try adjusting your form a bit and emphasizing the negative to cause more muscle damage and thus greater growth
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    You don't need a Smith machine for squats, get a power rack and squat freeweight style. Yeah, the chinups are also really good for bis.
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    Focus on the compounds and many other things will fall in place.......

    But in general alot of it is mental and many times we get caught up in what we've done as a limitation of what we can do.

    I was stuck at 60lbsx10 and 70x8-10 with bb curls for what seemed like forever until late in my routine I accidentally picked up an 80lb (that I thought read 60lbs -the writing on my gym's weights is sometimes faded) and rep'd it out for 6 paused saying "damn I'm tired this weight feels heavy as hell today" and powered through out 2 more.
    Like I said, it was late in my routine so I thought that I was just fatigued, but when I put it down I realized the 60lbs bar was already on the rack and I'll just rep'd out 80 for 8.
    After I'd done it once, the next go round it was easier and I'd wrapped my mind around it. Within a month I was repping 100lbs x 12.

    Just try it. The worst you can do is do a few reps and fail. Big deal, so what. At least you'll know YOU can do it. When you're mind wants to tell you to quit (on something like bb curls) just do it.
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    Originally Posted by Muuuse View Post
    Thanks for the tips.

    The only problem about the home gym and heavy weights is that I don't have a smith machine. So I can't do squats- which are the main exercise of the program. There's no way I'm going to be lifting a 200+ bar above my head without killing myself

    Plus, I'm going uni soon where they have a gym on campus, so it would be pointless to buy one now.

    Do any of you perform squats without a machine? If so- I would love to know how
    Smith machine squats are the devil.

    Get a squat rack or power rack. A power rack would probably be better for home use (can spot yourself safely on the bench press, and various other uses).

    Smith machine squats are definitely not the norm, dunno where you heard that from.
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    You can do front squats, overhead squats, or one legged squats. You don't have to just do back squats.
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    So much bad info in this thread.

    Bicep curl weight is generally irrelevant. Obviously, you will want to get stronger but an increase in poundage doesn't really correlate to muscle growth. It's not like poundages on the big three, which one might use to chart progress. The biceps, for many people, follow their own rules.
    Last edited by Pump Freak 86; 05-29-2011 at 06:44 PM.
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    Originally Posted by firstmark View Post
    You don't have to join a gym to get heavy weights. Just get a 300 pound Olympic set for $100 to $200 on sale at a sporting good store and some longer spinlock bars and you are good to go.
    Ugh, I actually just missed out on a chance to buy something similar last week. I just wasn't sure if it was okay since it was a 3-piece bar and I didn't know how well it would hold together if it were loaded that high. For $250 you got one 7' (2.1 m) three-piece bar, two Olympic spring clip collars, two 45 lb plates, two 35 lb plates, two 25 lb plates, four 10 lb plates, two 5 lb plates, two 2¼ lb plates

    I guess if that was an issue I could have ordered a solid bar online or something though. I guess 264.5 lbs of olympic plates for $250 is still an okay deal.

    Maybe I could get something like this http://ironmind-store.com/Apollons-A...ductinfo/1271/ then I'd never have to worry about it falling apart. Plus the grip workout would probably make rows/deadlifts ridiculously hard even with light weights.
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