Standing Barbell Curl Benefits

There are many benefits of standing barbell curl. I will be sharing those benefits in this post. This is one of my favorite exercises. And l like it because biceps are one of favorite body part. I always wanted to make big arms and did achieve my goal of 18 inch arms. My arms measure now 16 and ½ inches. Well, that’s a different story and I don’t want to talk about me in this post. But my goal is to build them again.

Okay, I won’t waste your time with my goals. Let’s get right into how standing barbell curls can help you. Because that is what is this post is all about.

So how can Standing Barbell Curls help you and why should you do it?

Standing Barbell Curl is a basic compound exercise that is good for your biceps. If your goal is to shape your biceps or if you want to build mass of your biceps, this exercise is the best exercise for your biceps. There are many isolation exercises also, but this is the king of all biceps exercises.

If your goal is to build muscle, load the weight you are comfortable with and load the barbell. The heavier the weight the more your muscle will grow. You have to be sure that you are following the right technique when you are doing barbell curls. Only by following the right technique, you will get the results you want.

So how do you do standard barbell curl and which muscles work when you do this exercise?

You can do barbell curls with a straight bar or you can also use an ez bar curl. I have got good results with a straight bar. When you have a wide grip, it will build your inner biceps and when you have close grip it will work on your outer biceps.

So this way, you can work your biceps muscle when and target outer biceps or inner biceps depending upon what is weak point of your biceps.

The best technique is to keep the grip that is shoulder level. Same goes with standing barbell curl with ez bar curls.

When you do barbell curls, it will work your biceps but it will also work on your forearms muscles. You will feel some kind of stretch in your forearms also. So it helps to build your forearm muscles to some degree also.

So let me explain how you can do this exercise by yourself. Pick up the barbell and load the weights you are comfortable with. Then aim for five sets of this exercise. Use a straight bar and a shoulder width when you are doing this exercise.  Curl the weight up by standing straight. When you do this movement you have to be sure that you are keeping your wrists steady and you should not twist your wrists outside or inward. If you do this, you will take the pressure off the biceps and you will be working your forearms.

Also, your elbows should not go to the side and your upper arms should be steady when you do this exercise.  Only your forearms should move in this exercise. The biceps should do the majority of work when you are doing this exercise.

When you are doing this exercise, there are many times when you will get carried away with people doing this exercise with more weights. Don’t copy them and do the exercise with the weights you are comfortable with.

There are many show offs in the gym who will be doing this exercise with weights loaded that they cannot handle. I feel they are bunch of phonies who will hurt themselves. So don’t be like them.

So now you know the standing barbell curl form, make sure that you follow it.

Do the exercise in a correct text book form. Text book form will give the correct results.

Another few things that are important when you are doing this exercise is that you should not drop the weight when you are doing the negative part. The negative part of the movement is when the weight is coming down with gravity. That is the time you need to control the weight and not just drop it.

This is an important thing. The other thing that you need to do is make sure that you flex your muscle when you reach the top of the movement.  This will build the peak of your muscle.

Another thing you have to do when doing this exercise is that you should build continuous tension when you are doing this exercise this means when you are at the bottom of the movement when you are doing this exercise, you should not rest and keep going on until your biceps are crying for mercy. Don’t stop and keep on going. Pain means growth. Always remember, No pain, No gain. This is a motivational quote that I read in Arnold’s encyclopedia of bodybuilding.

As you are aiming for 5 sets of these exercises, there are two things you can do. The first set is always for warm up and it can be for 20 repetitions.

In the following sets, the repetitions will reduce and you will increase the weights on the barbells. So you can do next repetitions in the range of 8 to 12 repetitions. This should be done if you are looking to shape the muscle. This will also increase your endurance.

If your goal is opposite and you want to do build muscles mass, then I would recommend doing repetitions in 6 to 8 repetitions range. This will build muscle mass.

On occasions, I would even suggest doing repetitions as low as 6 repetitions, 4 repetitions and even 2 repetitions. This is kind of performing barbell curls with power training method. It has worked for me and it should work for you also.

You should do this if you are aiming for building big biceps like your favorite bodybuilders and actors.

Continue Reading

Learn to do T bar rows

T bar rows are an amazing exercise for upper back and you should do it to build your upper back. You can build the width of your back with lat pull downs and pull ups. But if you want to build your thick upper back, then you should do T bar rows.

Bent over rows is another exercise to build your upper back. When you do both of these exercises, you will be sure that you have build good workout routine for your back. 

So the question is how do you do T bars rows?

If you are in a good gym, usually you have T bar rows machine. You can just load the plates you are comfortable with and start doing repetitions. I was lucky to have T bar machine in a gym I used to workout in. However most of the gyms don’t have a T bar row machine but there is a good alternative.

If you don’t have a T bar rows machine, then I will explain how you can do T bar rows without a standard machine. This just has few extra steps and you can use same instructions if you have T bar rows machine in your gym.

To do T bar rows, you need a barbell and a corner of a room. Fit the barbell in the corner of room. Keep a heavy dumbbell or some heavy plates on it. This will make sure that the barbell doesn’t move when you are performing the exercise. This is a safety precaution you have to take.

Load the plates you are comfortable and stand with the bar between your legs.

You will need a v grip handle that you also use when you are doing seated cable rows. When you have this v grip handle, hook it under the bar with both your hands. When you are in this position, you have to keep your back straight and it should not be arched.

In this position, pull the bar up until it touches your body and then drop the weight down again. This is the right movement and make sure that the weights don’t touch the floor. You need a good range of motion but you also have to build continuous tension when you are doing this exercise.

Aim for 5 sets of 6 to 10 repetitions. You can also do 1 warm up set of 10 to 20 repetitions. This is advisable on most of the exercises you do. It is always good to do a warm up exercise of more repetitions in the same movement.

Continue Reading

Bent over barbell row

Bent over barbell row is one of my favourite exercises for building back muscles. If done properly, it can build your upper back to great proportions and can also define your upper back.

Bent over barbell row was one of the exercises I did for my upper back routine and I still do it during back day. I will give you details on how to do it so that you can get the upper back of your dreams.

You will need a barbell, some weights and an action mindset J

Load the barbell with weights you are comfortable with. The barbell should be on the floor or you can stand on the bench. When you are standing on the bench, you will get a long range of motion. This can be helpful. If you don’t have the bench, then don’t worry. It’s ok.

If you are standing on the floor, bend down and pick up the barbell with wider than shoulder grip. When you do this, you have to make sure that your back is straight. Now pull the barbell up until it touches your upper abdomen. Let it go down slowly again in a controlled fashion. You should drop the weight slowly.

When you do this movement, your body will be in a 90 degree angle. Some people nowadays advocate of keeping your back little up. This is like 100 degree angle. I like the old school way of doing it which is 90 degree because I feel it is the better way of doing it. Not because I like it. It is because it the one that provides the best results.

What I mean by 90 degree angle is that your upper back is parallel to the floor and there is a slight bend in your knees.

Increase the weight when you move on to the next set. The first set should be light and then you should increase the weight in your next set.

I would suggest doing this exercise for 5 sets and in the range of 8 to 12 repetitions. You can increase the weight some weeks and you can do up to 6 to 8 repetitions also.

This will increase the mass of your back, if you want to make a big back. The other thing that you can do is make sure that you rest more when you are doing 6 to 8 repetitions.

Continue Reading

Quadriceps exercises

Quadriceps exercises

If you want to know what the best quadriceps exercises are, you have come to the right place. I will be talking about my experience and will share what I think are the best quadriceps exercises.

Building your quadriceps is a must and people often ignore their leg muscles whenever they go to gym.

If you don’t know what quadriceps is, they are front of your thigh muscles.

There are many ways you can tone up your quadriceps muscles. There are many exercises. I will talk about two exercises for building your quadriceps muscles and which are also good for toning your quadriceps muscles.

So which are the best Quadriceps exercises?

The two exercises that are best are called squats and also leg presses.

I will explain how to do both of them. Squats will be easy for a person depending on the height of the person. Shorter people find it easy to do squat and tall people have some problems whenever they think of doing squats.

My height is 6 feet 2 inches and I always found it difficult to do squats but I did overcome that barrier and was able to build some good legs. My maximum in squats has been 300 pounds for 2 repetitions.

For doing squats you need a gym and a squat rack. Load the barbell with some pounds and get under the barbell.

When you unrack the barbell, you have to make sure that your back is straight and that the barbell is placed on your trap muscles. Squat down till your upper thighs are parallel to floor. Then push back up by pressing down to the floor. Make sure that you have the right balance whenever you do this and also use a weight that you are comfortable with.

It is also good to take help of a spotter whenever you do this. This makes sure that you are safe when you are using lots of weight.

If you are tall, you will find that you have tendency to lean forward when you are doing squats. That is okay however make sure that your back is straight. You can also keep a small 1 inch wooden log below your ankles whenever you do squats.  This will give you a better balance and will put pressure on your thighs instead of your back. This is beneficial for people who are tall.

Shorter people will find it easier to do squats and may not need a log. They just need some good sneakers whenever they want to do squats. There are some people who like to do squats without any shoes. I am one of them and I always felt good about it.

Nowadays there are many people who don’t like doing squats and they think they can build the same kind of muscles mass when they do leg presses. That is true however I feel one should not avoid doing squats because it is a basic exercise for front thighs and will also build you overall endurance. So there are many other benefits also.

If you are thinking of doing leg presses, there are two kinds of leg presses machines. In old gyms, you will find a vertical leg press machine and new ones you will see 45 degree leg press machine.

When doing leg presses, you can go for the 45 degree one.

For doing this exercise, you will have to lie down on a leg press machine and keep your feet on the pads on which you will push the weights up.

I have seen photos of bodybuilders pushing the weight and up doing leg presses with 1000 pounds. Those photos are inspiring and I have always dreamed of lifting so many weights. J You should always use a weight that you are comfortable with. Choose uncomfortable weights after you master the right technique.

Once you are lying on the leg press machine, unhook the safety hooks with your hands and push the weight up with your legs. I have found out that you don’t have to push the weight completely up. You don’t have to completely stretch out your legs. This builds continuous tension on quadriceps muscles.

When performing these quadriceps exercises, you should always do 5 sets of squats and 5 sets of leg presses. This will be a good workout and you will definitely tone or build you quadriceps muscles when you do this.

You can do repetitions of 8 to 12 repetitions. This is the ideal repetitions that people do when they are performing leg exercises.

Occasionally I would also suggest doing some power training and going as low as 6 to 4 repetitions. When you do this you can take some longer rest between your sets. It is always good to find out how many weights you can lift. It also gives you a big ego boost to know how many weights you can lift.

Continue Reading

Calories burned walking up stairs

If you are curious about calories burned walking up stairs, then this post will give you some details and insights about it.

Today I had a good workout and I felt I should share with you. I did some staircase climbing at my workplace and I was curious how many calories did I burn.

I have a colleague who does this everyday and I was inspired by him and felt like joining him. This happened when we went down for a break and while coming back up we decided not to take the elevator.

The best part is that I work in a 40 storey building and my office is on 16th floor. It was a challenge I knew and previously I have climbed six floors. Walking for 16 was a difficult task however I did accomplish it and I am proud of it.

When i reached 12th floor, my heart was pumping faster and I decided to take a 30 second break. I thought it is not good to push my body so much on the very first day.

My legs were feeling like noodles when I reached the top floor.

I am working on losing some pounds and I have decided to make this my routine everyday and walk 16 storeys every day.

I did some research online to find out how many calories are burned walking up stairs. It is always good to measure how many calories we are burning. We can then plan accordingly.

I found out that a person who weighs around 150 pounds, will burn around 100 calories if he or she walks for 10 minutes. This will increase if the person is overweight and weighs more than 150 pounds. This is just an approximate figure.

As I weigh more, I know that I will burn more calories J

This will be initially however I can increase my speed of walking and I think this will increase the intensity of the workout.

While finding out and searching online if any other people do this, I found this video. This man lost 80 pounds in 18 months by taking the staircase. He also lost 10 inches and now wears 42 inch pants.

Check out the video for inspiration:


Continue Reading

Benefits of pull ups for men

I was never a fan of pull ups. You know why because I was unable to do them. 🙂 That thing changed when I was able to do them.

When I was a teenager, I read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding book and I was inspired and motivated. In that book Arnold has mentioned that if we are not able to do pull ups initially, we can do one or two repetitions unless we complete 50 repetitions.

Now that was a challenge for me because I was unable to do even half a repetition. 🙂 You can always take help of a spotter but that’s not the right way to do pull ups and I won’t recommend this.

There are many spotters that can help you but the best way is to build your arms and also lose fat weight.

So I felt something was wrong and decided I need to change few things. The biggest problem that I was facing when I was doing pull ups was that I was overweight and I was not able to lift my body.

So the first step in doing pull ups is that you have to make sure that you are not overweight. This means that you don’t have any extra fat on your body.

Once this is sorted out, you will be able to do pull ups smoothly.

There are many benefits of pull ups. I will share few benefits of pull ups for men and women.

The first benefit is that it works on your latissimus dorsi muscle which is your upper back. You will get that V shape that all men want and all women like.

It is considered one of a best exercise for your upper back and it will help to sculpt your upper back. You will get that chiselled look for your upper back.

The other benefit is that you will be able to pull up your body easily and this is benchmark of true fitness.

Another great advantage of pull ups is that, it improves your grip strength. When your grip strength is good, you will be able to lift heavy weights in all other exercises. This will lead to significant increase in muscle mass and also help you in toning your body part.

Continue Reading