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BJones

Heavy Cheat Curls...

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BJones

Well - on Richard Sorin's straight talk video he referrs to a conversation with Al Orter about Al's best exercise for athletes - Al's response - heavy cheat curls!

And with the recent discussion on this board about cheat curls - I am very curious.

Any advice or opinions?

Brett

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Tom of Iowa2

IMHO....you can never have arms that are too strong?

Seems like IF you have really strong arms....they might come in handy from time to time.

I think its a great exercise.

I personally always do some strict curls and other bicep exercises also.Sometimes on the day of the heavy cheat day...or sometimes the next week.Seperately.

Svend,log curls are great.10 inch log seems to work well.

Actually I do those strict.

The range of motion is shortened 'cause OF the log....but IMO a good exercise

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MikeP

When I was doing cheat curls (not very sloppy, just a little swing) my weights went up considerably and my clean/press with a keg was doing very well, as well as my stones "pop" and those are two good indicators of how good of condition I am in, so maybe it has something to do with it. I'm going to do some now, cause you've got my interest up. Haven't done arms in awhile now that I think of it....

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Kurt Lane

hmm I usually do hammer curls but im going to hit the barbell with some heavy cheat curls alot more now! Esp if it helps stones and powerclean!

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The Mac

I think cheat curls are an excellent "explosive" exercise - many similar benefits to hang cleans, and probably easier on your shoulders/wirsts if you have problems there. For maximum benefits I personally would not consider them as an "arm" exercise, I would do them as a "whole body power" excercise.

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Zevich

I have done heavy cheat hammer curls - done after strict hammers and gained quite a bit of arm strength especially in the forearms.

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itch85

might try those strict hammer curls followed by cheat curls later on, ill post my views on them, sound like its going to burn

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danegarreau

I am pretty sure Arnold attributes much of his arm size to doing heavy cheat curls.

I also think they can be a very good strength exercise.

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Rick Walker

Biceps certainly play a role in strength sports. How much of a role? I guess that all depends.

Powerlifters and weightlifters dont need much bicep strength. When I was powerlifting, I never trained my "gunz" and my lifts still went up. You do see a lot of weightlifters, especially the lighter guys, with jacked biceps. I think that the bigger the bicep was, the harder it would be to catch a clean comfortably. Seems like more of a hinderance then a help.

Athletes need arm strength to some extent, but again, it depends on the athlete. I would not spend a whole lot of time and energy buidling the biceps of a track athlete or basketball player, but I would certainly do some work.

I am still trying to figure out where biceps play a role in strongman. I have little "gunz". This is because I just cant justify doing curls when I could be deadlifting, squatting, or over head pressing. The way I pick up stones, my biceps are certainly helping, so I should concentrate on them at least a little bit. However, once the stone is in my lap, I dont use my biceps at all. So, I wouldnt say my "gunz" help my stone POP. My arms just act as hooks and my hips do the popping around these parts. ;)

Of course, arm over arm pulls and the like take some good arms.

I suppose I should add them into my program. Maybe on Saturdays, which is now resevered for stones, deadlifts, and tire, I will add some cheat curls with the axle. I am thinking 5x5 at the absolute most! I will have to see how I feel. The harder my main workouts are, the more I drop things like bicep work.

Also...now that we are on the subject...I dont bench press at all either. As a matter of fact, I do no chest work. Might need to throw that in somewhere as well. Axle bench press...5x5.

Thanks for making me think this morning Brett! My damn coffee hasnt even kicked in yet....my head hurts. :whacked

Rick Walker :rock

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SHRUG

I love training Biceps. :rock

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BJones

I can live this day satisfied that I have hurt the brain of Rick Walker! It is a good day. :D

Seriously - your biceps tendonitis may be due to the overload of your stones and such on your biceps - would direct training have avoided this?? Don't know but I know I don't do any direct arm work and my biceps are screaming after I lift my stone.

Sounds like heavy cheat curls are on as an experiement.

Brett

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Roark

Many seem to make the cheat curl a complete cheating exercise- that is, they cheat it up, then let it flop down.

Cheating it up is fine, in my view, if you emphacize the lowering under control as in negative assisted.

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MikeP

Biceps are one of the "fun" bodyparts to train, youre not all jacked up the next 3 days and can't get out of a chair - no matter how hard you train your biceps.

Rick, on my stone form, when they used to help the most, I didn't ever even lap the stone, I would basically zercher the stone from the ground and in one movement "cheat curl" it up and let the momentum carry it forward onto the barrel. Much faster but I can only do that up to about 260lbs. After that I must 2 part the move, lap, then readjust and pop with the hips. Now, to help my little back problem at the moment, I 2 part all my stone lifts just because I don't have to bend nearly as far at the waist to get under the stone.

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SqeezeMasterFlash

I've always enjoyed doing cheat curls until the weight gets to much, then doing "power curls". Cheat curls with the bar starting on the ground, then up and curled in one motion. Nice for the explosion, and if you fight it on the way down it will leave your arms really cooked.

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Rick Walker
I love training Biceps.
When I say I might start doing some axle curls...I in no way mean I will start doing the amount of bicep work you do shrug. 20 + sets of biceps in beyond the realm of bodybuilding.
Seriously - your biceps tendonitis may be due to the overload of your stones and such on your biceps - would direct training have avoided this?? Don't know but I know I don't do any direct arm work and my biceps are screaming after I lift my stone.

I dont know. I do know that it doesnt take much to get my tendonitis flared up. That includes curls. One of the reasons I dumped curls was that they hurt. Especially when using a straight bar. When my hands are supinated on an oly. bar, and I near the top of the curl, the pain in my elbow and forearms is almost unbearable. I guess that is the reason I avoid curls...so I have something left for stones.

However, I am willing to try them. 3 to 5 sets of 5 max with the axle. No more.

Much faster but I can only do that up to about 260lbs

Well, right there is my problem then! I dont own any stones under 260 pounds. :whacked

Couldnt one get the same emphasis from a power clean or reverse power clean as one could from a cheat curl movement?

Fighting the weight on the way down. Ouch. :pinch That hurts my entire arm structure. I guess I am destined to never have "gunz".

Rick Walker :rock

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nagual
Many seem to make the cheat curl a complete cheating exercise- that is, they cheat it up, then let it flop down.

Cheating it up is fine, in my view, if you emphacize the lowering under control as in negative assisted.

I second that. I usually only cheat to overload the negative. For optimal strength development, this is superb.

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Tom of Iowa2

Kaz,former WSM was a big believer in training the guns to assist in the bench for powerlifting.Hammer curls in particular.

I'd guess his arm strength helped him a lot in strongman.

Svend trains arms on day1 of this training cycle.He feels arms are very important for strongman.

Gary Taylor ,former WSM and silver medalist(as an O -lifter)in the Olympics...trained Biceps VERY heavy.(and had body builder sized biceps as a strongman)

Magnus Samuelson,former WSM has VERY strong arms.And has curled/cheat curled some massive weights.

Savickus....not ripped but he has some 22" cannons.

Pudz...goes without saying what his arms look like.

(lets not turn this into a steroid discussion....or attributing ALL their success to steroids :dry )

I can't imagine not training arms heavy.Can't imagine not thinking they wouldn't be important.

My own goal is to be able to cheat curl 315# some day.Josh would like to cheat curl 450 lbs.

Also,still do strict arm work .Heavy and light.

Having that sort of strength in that particular movement,IMHO,is going to help stones,the log and seated arm over arm,husafelt carry.

Others have had success in strongman? without real strong arms I suppose...but it depends on what you view as success.

Keep in mind...its not the only exercise to become proficient at....still hit deads,overhead presses,inclines,squats,front squats.....although we've all backed off on power cleans for awhile.

Edited by Tom of Iowa2

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The Mac

I think Kaz used to preach the benefits of bicep work for powerlifters in helping to provide a cushioning effect for the forearms when the bar is near the chest.

In OL, strong biceps (rather than massive ones) help to control the elbow especially during the snatch, lessening the chance of elbow dislocation.

I don't think a great deal of bicep work would help either of these two groups, but they certainly need to be as strong as possible!

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MikeP

So is this Josh Bigger doing these incredible weights?

And speaking of the guys who have had great success in WSM etc with great arm strength, think of how much longer Jamie Reeves could have lifted if it wasnt for tearing both biceps repeatedly. I don't know what his bis training was like but I am sure he was probably weaker in the bis and his strong back/legs overpowered them.

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Tom of Iowa2
So is this Josh Bigger doing these incredible weights?

Yeah.

IMHO,it wasn't the weight that impressed me....it was how he just kept going...

After doing 55 reps...on the way up(counting warmups)he did one continuous drop set that ended up being nearly 30 reps.

Maybe thats why he doesn't need to train the rolling thunder...yet keeps getting stronger at it?

Edited by Tom of Iowa2

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Tom of Iowa2
And speaking of the guys who have had great success in WSM etc with great arm strength, think of how much longer Jamie Reeves could have lifted if it wasnt for tearing both biceps repeatedly. I don't know what his bis training was like but I am sure he was probably weaker in the bis and his strong back/legs overpowered them.

IF you look at the 'greats' in WSM?

many of them had extrordinary arm strength.

If you look at Reeves?perhaps NOT having some strong and condtioned pipes....was part of his premature downfall.

It just seems another bodypart that can be made stronger and it is definitely in the "mix"of events.

Calves too.I hit calves heavy(as do others here)800# stack on the calf machine and then weight on top of that.1000# on Leg press calves.Heavy seated calves.

Plus the gym has a tibia flexion machine that thickens up the peroneu longus(sp?)and IF nothing else....heavy calf work strengthens your ankles.And Heavy standing calves gets you used to heavy(1000# plus)loads on your back(and ankles) .

i

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Jedd Johnson

Any weak link in a chain is going to promote damage.

In this case, weak biceps will promote failure on lifts involving arm flexion, and the imbalanced strength can lead to cummulative trauma injury or weakness that results in tears, etc.

With that said, athletes need to to stimulate the biceps in some way to maintain integrity in the chain (the body). To ignore it is to ask for trouble.

When I actually go to the gym, I do reverse curls on an EZ Curl bar or fat barbell curls (strictly). If I do not have a bar, i will usually have a loadable thich handle dumbbell in my bag and I will curl that in concentration curl form. The fat handle works the grip and stabilizers of the wrist and elbow for flexion movements. The Reverse curls works the extension muscles, resulting in a better balance.

One could make an argument that they are working their biceps by flipping tires or by cleaning kegs, but it is important to remember that tire flipping results in bicep tears for some athletes, and also that keg cleaning is mostly done with the posterior chain with very little direct bicep work.

The point is to remember balance so that the chain is strong throughout.

-Jedd-

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Tom of Iowa2
but it is important to remember that tire flipping results in bicep tears for some athletes, and also that keg cleaning is mostly done with the posterior chain with very little direct bicep work.

From observing contests for years I think its safe to say Tire flip has been responsible for more torn biceps/biceps tendons than any single event.

I've heard older strongman say that they just do NOT want to flip a tire.Some have come out and said "forget it"

On the other hand?it may have been lack of bicep preperation OR other things? but part of the Heavy bicep work and double underhand(fairly close grip)deadlifts and dumbell deadlifts are with the tire flip and log clean in mind.

People will say..."only way to prepare for the events are by doing them"...true,but IMHO its better to be strong enough before getting too immersed in traing "them".

When flipping a tire with hands wide...everybody felt a lot of strain on the biceps.

Moved hands in closer and working on specifically "fixing"that weak area.

Not that i haven't ever flipped a tire or cleaned a log....(same goes for Josh)....but when we feel "strong enough" we'll start training "them" specifically.

If you look at the top Pros Svend,some of the other Eruros....they were strong BEFORE they got into strongman.

of course...lots of different methods to skin a cat...and reach the same goal.

But,IMO, the weakest links....shouldn't be weak?

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Bob Lipinski

Suprised no one has mentioned heavy lat work....

Since I am into benching mostly, I feel that my lat work keeps my bi's strong enough for really anything that I need to do. Of course, like anything else if you want it as strong as possible you should likely work it a little more.

Dammit, this thread is turning me gay. I jsut flexed in the mirror and I am now seriously thinking about starting curls.

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foggymountainmuscle

One strongman event that hasn't come up yet is the conan's wheel. For those who have done the Conan's wheel it's obvious that it is not a test of bicep strength but if you watch a person go through a run their arms get lower, and lower, and their elbows become more and more extended. Combind that with a plodding, tired pace that jolts the hold even more and you've got ground contact. Now unless you collaspe on your feet because your legs or lungs gave out, your front shoulders and bicep probably just cost you a fair amount of ground, which could be the difference between a win and a loss. You may not feel it while doing the event, but the simple fact is that gravity is trying to break your hold.

I've said it on the NASS board before but I believe many tears come from training the biceps in a different manner than what strongman demands from them. Most bicept exercises stress the muscle near the termination point, by the elbow, when tears from say stone lifting and tire flipping get torn at the insertion, near the shoulder. (I've heard of examples confirming this, correct me if I'm wrong about the nature of most bicept tears in strongman.) The solution for this, I think, is heavy lat training that will work the bicep in this manner.

Whenever I do curls, I like to do heavier partial movements near the top of the lift, since normal curling is not too stressful in that particular range of motion. Partial lifts for pulling movements like these will probably strengthen the sinues to help prevent tears.

Oh, and whenever I'm in the gym and I see people doing curls, I just want to scream "GO ALL THE WAY DOWN, FULLY EXTEND THE ELBOW!" Oh wait, that would break the constant tension on the muscle, which would be counterproductive to getting a good pump. :rolleyes

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