Last Updated on June 10, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Although I am a bit biased about owning exercise machines, that doesn’t mean I won’t use them at the rec center. The Machine Bicep Curl is one of the first things I do as soon as I enter the building – that is, unless it’s occupied. While some of the effort is removed as opposed to using straight dumbbells, it can be an invaluable method for building strength in the arms.
Why You Would Want to Do Machine Bicep Curls
The design of the machine bicep curl takes a great deal of the effort out of lifting a specific amount of weight. This means that it’s easier to lift 40 pounds on one of these units as opposed to a 40-pound dumbbell. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s a waste of time or effort. Any way you slice it, you’re still lifting a variable amount of weight.
Personally, I use it as a safe method to enhance the strength of my biceps while burning calories. Since I don’t want to bulk up, I can keep the weights lower while performing a greater number of repetitions. This boosts the overall power in my bicep while building lean muscle and losing weight.
I enjoy doing these because the movement is smooth, it’s safer and I don’t have to worry about whacking my children or the dog in the head with dumbbells. You don’t have to fear not getting your hands and arms in the right position as the machine will help you do this. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy dumbbells and dead lifts. I just find the bicep curl machine to be a valuable asset to my overall health.
Some activities include several muscle groups. However, the machine bicep curl is virtually straight forward. In this exercise, you’ll put work on your:
Common Equipment Used
The machine itself is essentially the only item that is used in this exercise. However, some all-in-one gym sets may have a curl feature built into them as well. Here, the curl machine is a standalone unit that doesn’t take up a great deal of space.
Does It Have Potential to Help You Lose Weight?
In reality, any physical movement has potential to help you lose weight. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll use lower pounds and work on higher numbers of repetitions. This gets the heart beating over a longer duration than if I was to try and lift a heavier amount for a shorter duration. When it comes to burning calories, it’s all about constant and prolonged movement. If you could do the same number of reps at 60 pounds as you could at 40, then you would burn more calories. However, the increase in weight will only help if you’re able to sustain a workout over the same duration of time.
This is one of the reasons why I enjoy the Machine Bicep Curl. The leverage of the machine itself can help you sustain active lifting longer than if you were to use lighter dumbbells. In fact, I burn more calories doing a set of 20 reps at 40 pounds with the machine than I do with a set of 20 reps with 10 pound dumbbells. In my situation, I don’t really think the machine takes anything away from the workout.
What Can Be Added to the Machine Bicep Curl?
The machine bicep curl is pretty basic. There isn’t really a lot you can add to the experience in order to increase the difficulty level. When something feels too easy, simply increase the weight or the reps. For me, I am working on getting up to 50 reps at 40 pounds for 5 total sets in one workout. I don’t know if I’ll increase the weight at that point or not. It’ll depend on how much more I want to develop.
How Often Do I Do It?
In a perfect week, I’ll do the exercise at least three times. At one point, I was doing five sets on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Regardless, it’s always one of the first things I do when I walk into the rec center. It’s in my top 25 exercises and I have an average weight of 43.25 pounds. That’s because at one point I increased the weight to 45 total.
Although some people view machines as cheating when comparing free weights, it’s still an activity that can help you build strength and stamina. After a few weeks, you’ll start to feel the difference as you may be able to pick up heavier objects around the house without grunting. I found that tossing a 50-pound bag of dog food in the shopping cart had become a hell of a lot easier. I would suggest any beginner to start with a lighter weight and work your way up.