Blog 16 – An Ode to the Bicep Curl. 

Blog 16 – An Ode to the Bicep Curl. 

Well it’s the end of Week 7. I’m slowly, but surely, making my way through the plethora of Tiny Desk Concerts on YouTube. “What’s playing in the background that inspired this blog?” you ask. Harry Styles. No, none of that teeny bobber One Direction, shit. We’re talking pure, unplugged, unadulterated, solo Harry. Simply, Harry… And yes his backing band, but no one is here for them. 

Anyway, I got to thinking about how in the world would I spin this into a blog, and then in to thinking about songwriting. And “what do you write songs about?” you might be asking – you sure are an inquisitive bunch today. Loss and Love, of course. So then got to pondering about the things that we have loved and/or lost in our exploration of physical activity. And then it came to me… No, this isn’t going to be some existential exploration of self or a conversation about how we’ve grown so much that we are no longer our former selves. No, this is about the bicep curl. A thing that for many of us was part of our introduction to the gym that we haven’t thought about in years or perhaps we’ve even come to mock, and for others a thing that has only been talked about as it were Something-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. 

I didn’t know what I was doing, 

But you came so naturally.

I felt out of place,

But you made me look like a pro. 

We kept this up for quite some time, 

But then I left you behind. 

It wasn’t your fault, you did nothing wrong, 

But I just had to go.

People said you weren’t effective, 

And only for the bros.

People said you couldn’t deliver, 

I started believing.

But then something funny happened, 

You waited.

But then something funny happened, 

I started believing.

And THAT my friends, is how you write a blog about a song inspired by Harry F’ing Styles. BOOM. Platinum… “Did I really just waste my time reading this?” Yup. But let me summarize.

In all seriousness (or maybe just a touch more seriousness), I’m not sure where along the fitness continuum we get to the isolated-movements-aren’t-effective-as-compound-movements-so-therefore-they-are-a-waste-of-time stage but if you stick around long enough you get there. But at least 1 strength coach – same friend whose name rhymes with Bylan as a matter of fact – will tell you it’s hogwash; a false narrative; a comparison of apples and oranges. Let’s start thinking about compound movements as a chain, and the muscles within that chain the links. The stronger the links, the stronger the chain. If you want to do some bicep curls… or skull crushers… or dumbbell pullovers… or whatever “Bro-move” that you want to pretend you’re just too cool for. Do it. The higher the blood-pump the better. “Great so I just pick up the weight and go at it?” Well sort of, but we can add a little more structure, like:

Tabata Bicep Curl

:20 Curls (concentric/eccentric)

:10 Hold the weight out at 90 degrees (isometric)


Tabata Skull Crusher

:20 Skull Crusher (concentric/eccentric)

:10 Hold Arms at extension, actively flexing the tricep (isometric)

“Isn’t all of this a little too simple?” Maybe. But somewhere along the way it got way too complicated. 

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