Do Powerlifters Need To Work Biceps And Forearms?
A poster to Monster Muscle's raw forum wants to know whether it's necessary to work the forearms and biceps directly. He asks:
I have noticed that very little is said about forearm and bicep work. I personally don't do any forearm work and usually only do hammer curls for biceps. What advantage would I gain by increasing my arm workouts, and what would be the best exercises?
any kind of arm exercise is going to help in you in powerlifting no matter what. Strong biceps are a great stabilizer in the bench press and are good for heavy deadlifts. That is if you keep your biceps stretched out. A lot of people will do curls and dont fully extend at the bottom. Keeping the biceps loose, but worked will help in stabilizing bench press and deadlifts (you see a lot of people detach their biceps pulling a heavy deadlift because their bis are non existent)- forearm work, well i dont do direct forearm work, but grip work and heavy straight bar bicep curls and hammer curls will work your forearms plenty. Using common sense, when bench pressing, though your forearms arent directly aiding in pressing the weight, you still have to hold the weight in your hands! And strong big forearms are also good for maximal deadlifts in grip.
My motto is, if you have a muscle, work it. Powerlifting has its primary muscles for big lifts, but neglecting a muscle group can only lead to injury and no body wants that.
I only do hammer curls, don't feel their is any benifit in doing anything else for bi's. anything that you can't use a lot weight doen't seem to give me any help.
biceps don't need to be worked....that is if you work your back hard enough.
There won't be much of an advantage from working your arms....just keeping pounding the heavy iron and focus on the big 3.
Biceps are important, no question. The guys here who might debate that probably have (or have always had) very strong biceps, and have never had to train them.
Unless you do 'dive-bomb' benches, you wont get too far with weak bi's. The more controlled your strict bench is, the stronger your biceps will have to be. Mine are always fatigued by the time i'm done my heavy bench. If i do heavy biceps the day or two before my ME bench, it suffers noticeably.
Hammers seem great for building mass and incorperating the forearms, but nothing beats the basic standing EZ-Curl for building bicep strength. They dont build the BIGGEST beach-muscles (likely why the bodybuilders like barbell curls instead), but they do make for the strongest arms. They can be worked just like any other heavy lift; sets ov 5, or 8, or 3, singles, peaking programs, negatives, whatever.
I prefer to stand, so i can cheat (just a little) by leaning back a bit if it needs some help. Find the exercise that lets you use the most weight possible, even if it means cheating. If you have a strong core (and you're not an idiot...) you wont hurt yourself.
Weighted chin ups (palms facing you) also kick ass, as do the DB hammer curls (i like to cheat these too). Reverse curls (EZ bar) also build brutal arms.
VERY important in ALL these, ALWAYS go to full lockout (elbows locked, arms straight) with biceps. Otherwise, you'll have big, useless, bodybuilder arms. This might be why deadlifts tear biceps...? But certainly, you wont be able to throw anything very well, and you'll be cheating yourself out ov the most important part ov the bicep ROM.
Has anybody seen a guy who benchs 350 with small bi's, I haven't! All the work I do- benching, back work all work bi's indirectly.
As for the forearms I stopped working them directly, wasn't seeing any results and they are usually hurting after a good back day.
i was always told bi's get enough work from back work and to only do hammer curls but to do them at the same time and not to alternate them. make the body work as one.