Monday, September 29, 2008

What's Wrong With Bicep Curls?

Someone recently took issue with some advice I gave an exercise newbie on an online forum.

I basically posted that if your main goal is fat loss, I recommend 3 total body strength training sessions per week on non-consecutive days.

As I've written about before, although many of us did body part splts back in the day, many of the best fitness pros now believe total body workouts are superior for fat loss.

I also said that the majority of your exercises should be compound movements- exercises that use multiple muscles and joints. Examples would be Squats, Pulldowns, Deadlifts, Presses, Lunges, Pullups, Rows, etc.

As I stated on the thread, all of those exercises are more effective for fat loss than the type of exercises most women seem to gravitate toward - Bicep Curls, Tricep Kickbacks, Abduction / Adduction machines, etc.

One poster seemed to have a problem with my advice and along with some other comments asked, "What's wrong with Bicep Curls?"

Nothing's "wrong" with Bicep Curls, especially if people have lots of time to spend in the gym. For efficiency and fat loss, however, I recommend compound exercises- they work more muscles and burn more calories. Rows and Pulldowns will work the biceps along with the back so I prefer those over Bicep Curls, especially when time is a factor.

Does that mean that I think people should never do Bicep Curls? No but unless you're a bodybuilder or figure competitor, you're going to get more bang for your buck with compound exercises.

You'll see better results from a shorter but more challenging workout than a longer, less intense one. So, if you're primary goal is fat loss, concentrate on the exercises that will give you a bigger metabolic boost like Squats, Lunges and Deadlifts (rather than Leg Extensions and Leg Curls) and Rows, Pullups, Presses and Pulldowns (rather than Bicep Curls and Tricep Kickbacks).

No comments: