Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
The barbell curl is one of the most basic weightlifting exercises but in my opinion also one of the most useful accessory lifts for wrestlers.
Strong biceps and forearms will help you dominate the tie-ups and body locks, and enable you to pull your opponent close. From a strength training perspective, many of the crucial compound lifts that target the upper back — rope climbs, rows, and pull-ups — require strong biceps to get the most out of the movement. If your grip is weak, how can you use heavy enough weight on rows to actually challenge your back? For those reasons and many more, the barbell curl should be a staple of your training.
But like most “basic” things, I like to add a little gutcheck twist. This “death by barbell curl” challenge is the perfect mix of heavy weight for strength and high reps for endurance. The added time of adding and subtracting plates even ups the ante on the time under tension grip endurance.
- Olympic straight bar and two stacks of five 10lb* plates.
- *younger or lighter athletes may choose to use stacks of 5lb or 2.5lb plates
- Empty bar for 1 rep. Have your partners add 1 plate per side then complete another rep. Repeat this pattern until there are 5 plates per side for the sixth rep. Now begin the decent with 1 plate removed following each rep. Once you reach the empty bar, complete 10 strict reps.
Coach Myers is the strength coach for the Ohio Regional Training Center at The Ohio State University. With the Ohio RTC since 2012, he served as Ohio State Wrestling’s primary strength coach from 2014-18, helping the Buckeyes win three Big Ten titles, their first-ever team NCAA championship, and two runner-up finishes.
A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), Coach Myers owns the Old School Gym in Pataskala, OH, and is a founding partner of top supplement company Max Effort Muscle. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook, and learn more about his strength and conditioning programs for wrestlers of all ages here.