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Machine vs. Barbell
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Cherry

MACHINE vs BARBELL !

Would you rather do a set of curls on a MACHINE or with a barbell?

With the machine you completely isolate the joint but with the barbell you have access to your 'stabilizers' for additional assistance.

You want HUGE biceps, but you may only choose one. Which will you choose? and why?
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DSears

Either the old plate loaded Nautilus bicep/tricep machine, a Superslow systems bicep curl or a Hammer bicep machine.

David
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davise

If you gave me the option of dumbbells, I would go with the incline dumbbell curl.
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Cherry

dumbells are definitely allowed. why do you like the incline dumbells over a machine? what's your thoughts here? thanks.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Cherry wrote:
You want HUGE biceps, but you may only choose one. Which will you choose? and why?


Machine

1. Even a strict barbell curl performed with the best possible biomechanics (see Bill de Simone's Moment Arm Exercise) doesn't provide as balanced a resistance curve as a properly designed arm curl machine.

2. A properly designed arm curl machine will provide true full-range resistance - balanced resistance over a full ROM, including resistance in the stretched and finished position.

3. An arm curl machine enables better focus on the biceps since less attention has to be paid to posture and balance.

4. A properly designed arm curl machine with fused movement arms makes it easier for a trainer or training partner to assist with forced reps, forced negatives, negative-only, max contraction, etc.


If I had to pick one arm curl machine I'd pick the Eccentric Edge.
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BloodandGuts

I would pick a machine also. The only one i ever tried that i thought was worth anything was an old beat up Nautilus unit, but man the intensity felt in the fully contracted position was nothing i ever felt with a barbell. It's very hard to cheat with those too.

I've also found close grip palms up pulldowns to be a great bicep exercise.

if i couldnt use either of those, then i would stick with DB's (seated alternate DB curls, or standing bent concentration curls like Arnold used to do)

i do not like using barbells for arm training as they always seem to place inordinate strain on my wrists.

regards,
B&G
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Michael Petrella

Ontario, CAN

Old nautilus machine for sure. I have just finished initial testing of most of a junior Hockey team. Most are not that big but a few have some muscularity in the arms. All of them however, without exception were incredibly weak at the top of the movement on a plate loaded nautilus bicep machine.

Even lighter weights just came to a halt a few reps in at the top of the movement unless I forced it to the top with some assistance or allowed cheating with the back.

I just got a multi bicep and all though I never liked it as much as the plate loaded version, I just got an akinetic bar for it and that alone may change my mind. We will see.

Michael
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aaronmh

Pendulum STS has developed a bicep curl machine that is phenomenal.
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MKM

I always prefer free weights. They also train important stabilizing muscles and more muscles involved in exercise, more fibres in each working muscle are recruited. The law of irradiation is well known by strength scientists.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

MKM wrote:
I always prefer free weights. They also train important stabilizing muscles and more muscles involved in exercise, more fibres in each working muscle are recruited. The law of irradiation is well known by strength scientists.



The muscles that act as stabilizers during barbell curls are involved directly during other exercises. The stabilizer involvement in barbell exercises doesn't make any huge difference.

Fiber recruitment has nothing to do with the tools used, it has to do with the load and rate of fatigue - in other words, how you perform th eexercise has a lot more to do with it than what tool you use.

The "law of irradiation" is just another way of describing indirect effect, and nothing new, and not specific to barbells either.
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Cherry

Drew Baye wrote:
MKM wrote:
I always prefer free weights. They also train important stabilizing muscles and more muscles involved in exercise, more fibres in each working muscle are recruited. The law of irradiation is well known by strength scientists.


The muscles that act as stabilizers during barbell curls are involved directly during other exercises. The stabilizer involvement in barbell exercises doesn't make any huge difference.

Fiber recruitment has nothing to do with the tools used, it has to do with the load and rate of fatigue - in other words, how you perform th eexercise has a lot more to do with it than what tool you use.

The "law of irradiation" is just another way of describing indirect effect, and nothing new, and not specific to barbells either.


Completely agree here drew. A 'stabilizer' muscle is a muscle like any other muscle, what is a 'stabilizer' in one exercise is a 'prime mover' in another, and responds best to DIRECT work.

In one breath Bio-force claims muscle requires heavy dynamic work and in his next he says tonic static contraction (stabilizer) is all that is necessary. therein lies the nonsense in this claim.
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Landau

Florida, USA

Strength Scientists? Funny - Oil and Water. Bicep Training on Machines is far superior to Barbells in the case of Biceps - Why? Likely in my case scenario we is that have the some of the best tools for this in our posession. Plate Loaded Nautilus Bicep and Compound Position Nautilus Bicep takes care of and targets those stubborn upper arms.

The True Pull would be a great finisher, and we hope to get that Machine soon. That combination of machines will take care of the ultimate development and the functional strength of the biceps muscle - whatever that means. These statements are based on years of experience and understanding the shortcomings of a barbell curl and overcoming which with better tools. David
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marcrph

Portugal

Nothing is more sacred to boobybuilders, excuse me, bodybuilders, than the small muscles of the upper arms, notably the bi's & tri's. I must admit, at one time, being taken in by the development of these vitally important muscles.

Machine vs barbell curls: Are you kidding me! Hiters (neuron trainees) are already about 30-50 years behind time, and this old topic comes up to debate. Worse still is some experienced "neuron" trainee thinks a special machine is going to get their upper arms in optimal shape. Give us all a break.

Curls are primarily for newbies. These folks can add size quickly to their arms. If a seasoned bodybuilder followed their program, they would gain very little. Many studies can be found to show that untrained people gain size and strentgh rather quickly in the beginning, and up to a certain point. Then, when a trainee is seasoned, muscle gains are rather slow to non-existent.

A good trainee can always find a unique stimulus that hasn't been tried before to get marginal gains, but chances are that any increase in arm size in a seasoned trainee will accompany an increase in all the muscles surrounding the upper arms, notably the shoulders, pecs, lats, and traps.

Bottom line: curls are mostly for new trainees and people on steriods, and "neuron" trainees. Use your precious time and recuperative abilities for other exercises.
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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Cherry wrote:
MACHINE vs BARBELL !

Would you rather do a set of curls on a MACHINE or with a barbell?

With the machine you completely isolate the joint but with the barbell you have access to your 'stabilizers' for additional assistance.

You want HUGE biceps, but you may only choose one. Which will you choose? and why?



Hi Cherry,

Little doubt I would choose heavy alternate dumbbell curls.

They present a load in a greater pre-stretched postion than any machine (since most machines have the humerus in a mid position), and they allow you to lift the elbows at completion to create a better position and load in the shortened position.

It would take 2-3 machines to accomplish this.

What some are calling "prestretch" is not prestretch at all, but simply full extension of the elbow joint.

Placing the elbow in front of the body as most machines, will not allow full prestretch of the total biceps.

I might mention that the Alt DB Curl doesn't go all the way in this either, but it is about 30 to 40 degrees better.

For those interested in completely working the total biceps through a full ROM, the humerus has to also translate at the shoulder, with the upper arm and elbow ending up rather high.

It is much like the difference between standing calf and seated calf, on the Calves.

Some may remember Arthur addressing this years ago.

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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Cherry wrote:
Completely agree here drew. A 'stabilizer' muscle is a muscle like any other muscle, what is a 'stabilizer' in one exercise is a 'prime mover' in another, and responds best to DIRECT work.

In one breath Bio-force claims muscle requires heavy dynamic work and in his next he says tonic static contraction (stabilizer) is all that is necessary. therein lies the nonsense in this claim.


Hi Cherry,

If you have a question, why not ask?

It would seem I have not made something clear or you are confused.

What is it you think I have said that seems contradictory?

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davise

Cherry,

Nothing great to add other than from experimenting on my arms incline dumbbell curls give me the best results.

Marc,

I have the same powerlifting/strongman bent as you, but I still feel the curl is an important exercise...look at some of the events that strongmen do...biceps strength is important.
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Cherry

davise wrote:
Cherry,

Nothing great to add other than from experimenting on my arms incline dumbbell curls give me the best results.

Marc,

I have the same powerlifting/strongman bent as you, but I still feel the curl is an important exercise...look at some of the events that strongmen do...biceps strength is important.



Assuming your observation is correct the question is why? What could possibly be the reason for better results? have you thought about it, payed careful attention to what is happening while you dumbell curl then compare that to another form? There must be a reason.
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Cherry

BIO-FORCE wrote:
Cherry wrote:
Completely agree here drew. A 'stabilizer' muscle is a muscle like any other muscle, what is a 'stabilizer' in one exercise is a 'prime mover' in another, and responds best to DIRECT work.

In one breath Bio-force claims muscle requires heavy dynamic work and in his next he says tonic static contraction (stabilizer) is all that is necessary. therein lies the nonsense in this claim.

Hi Cherry,

If you have a question, why not ask?

It would seem I have not made something clear or you are confused.

What is it you think I have said that seems contradictory?




I've heard your answer, I summed it perfectly in post above and it makes no sense. nuff said.
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spud

marcrph wrote:
Worse still is some experienced "neuron" trainee thinks a special machine is going to get their upper arms in optimal shape. Give us all a break.


MIAOW!

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BIO-FORCE

California, USA

Cherry wrote:
Hi Cherry,

If you have a question, why not ask?

It would seem I have not made something clear or you are confused.

What is it you think I have said that seems contradictory?




I've heard your answer, I summed it perfectly in post above and it makes no sense. nuff said.


How do you spell "BLINDERS"?

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marcrph

Portugal

davise wrote:
Cherry,

Nothing great to add other than from experimenting on my arms incline dumbbell curls give me the best results.

Marc,

I have the same powerlifting/strongman bent as you, but I still feel the curl is an important exercise...look at some of the events that strongmen do...biceps strength is important.


Power, strength? I that what you want?

Do chins with two 45 lb plates for 20 reps.

Curls?

Give me a break!

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marcrph

Portugal

spud wrote:
marcrph wrote:
Worse still is some experienced "neuron" trainee thinks a special machine is going to get their upper arms in optimal shape. Give us all a break.

MIAOW!



Whatever that is supposed to mean!
Does that have some "neuron" trainee special meaning?
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MKM

Drew Baye wrote:

Fiber recruitment has nothing to do with the tools used, it has to do with the load and rate of fatigue - in other words, how you perform th eexercise has a lot more to do with it than what tool you use.


What about EMG research? Percentage of fibers recruited:

Incline dumbell bench press 91%
Incline bench press (Smith) 81%

Standing dumbell bent laterals 85%
Standing cable bent laterals 77%

Bent over barbell rows 93%
T-bar rows 89%

Safety Squats (90 Degree Angle, Shoulder-Width Stance) 88%
Smith Machine Squats (90 Degree Angle, Shoulder-Width Stance) 60%

Seems like there are differences between the tools. Free weights beat machines!
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spud

What makes someone a neuron trainee?

Is it a case of "If you have to ask, you are one!" ??

You seemed to be having a go at people who think special machines get their arms in shape. Nobody has said anything like that on this thread.

Sure some folk train on machines. So what?
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marcrph

Portugal

spud wrote:
What makes someone a neuron trainee?

Is it a case of "If you have to ask, you are one!" ??

You seemed to be having a go at people who think special machines get their arms in shape. Nobody has said anything like that on this thread.

Sure some folk train on machines. So what?


I didn't ask what makes a "neuron" trainee.

If you would have bothered reading some of the previous posts, you would have seen the mentioning of several bicep machines!

Are you bothered that someone challenges cherished beliefs of exercise machine superiority?

Ah! Time to do some push presses!


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