The strict curl has been a go-to move for growing biceps for decades. You’ve no doubt seen photos and videos of legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno hitting them to grow their peaks.
But in the social media era, it hasn’t necessarily been the sexiest lift. You’re more likely to see gym bros on Instagram hit one of the three main lifts—bench press, deadlifts, and squats—than an isolation move like the curl.
That’s changed recently thanks to popular YouTube vlogger and fitness news commentator Nick Miller of Nick’s Strength and Power. In July, he uploaded a video in which he talked about the heaviest strict curl ever, a 113kg (249 lbs.) curl held by Dennis Cyplenkov.
Like the three main lifts, powerlifters would compete to see who had the heaviest strict curl. Motivational expert and former strict curl world record holder C.T. Fletcher even has his own federation called the International Strict Curl Association, Miller explains. Miller himself has also competed in strict curl meets.
Shortly after Miller’s video, powerlifter Larry Wheels uploaded an Instagram clip of himself curling 198 pounds.
Ever since then, people have been tagging Wheels and Miller while attempting heavy curls on their Instagram stories. Without a doubt, the lift is experiencing a renaissance of sorts and bodybuilding legend Lee Priest has even been getting in on the action.
With the move gaining popularity, we thought it’d be a good idea to run down the benefits of the lift and how to properly execute it. To do that, we tapped celebrity trainer Don Saladino, who has some pretty impressive biceps peaks himself.