Last updated on October 8th, 2020 at 12:59 pm
Personally, I have been a big believer in muscle isolation and never recommend the cheat reps but Arnold cheat curls are little different.
The reason I don’t recommend cheat reps to my students because they start to develop a habit of cheated reps and eventually start to ruin the whole form and technique.
Cheat curls were originally practiced to increase gain mass and strength. If done properly, cheat curls have got the ability to take the arms training to the next level. Many old school lifters were known to include some cheated reps in their training routine because of its unmatched benefits.
Ahead in this article, we are going to discuss everything about Arnold cheated reps and tips to master it.
What is Arnold Cheat Curls
If you have read anything about Arnold’s arm training routine, you would know that cheat curls were his absolute favorite workout to develop bicep size. Arnold used to start his bicep training with few sets of heavy bicep curls to gain the required stimulus for muscle mass.
Many other bodybuilders were known to include cheat curls in their arms training routine but Arnold made them famous and that’s the reason it’s named after Arnold.
Arnold suggests, lifters should choose a weight that is heavy enough for the strict curl but light enough to perform 5-8 cheat reps. The idea behind cheat curl is to push through the sticking point of workout to get the maximum work done.
Cheat curls actually allow the lifter to use the momentum to lift heavier weights and overload biceps for growth. The negative or eccentric phase of the bicep curl is usually the strongest which doesn’t really get trained because of the body’s limited ability to lift heavier weight in concentric (flexion) phase. Including cheat curls within a training regime allows the lifter to train the eccentric phase as efficiently as concentric.
How to master Arnold cheat curls
Arnold cheat curls is a name that newbie fitness enthusiasts use as an excuse to do the ego lifting. Cheat curls are not about curling super heavyweights, an expert eye can easily spot a difference between an ego lift and an Arnold cheat curl.
Tip 1: Have a spotter: He might be your lifting partner or your trainer, his main task is to support your way to CURL UP (concentric part).
Tip 2: Hold the contraction: Holding the contraction for 2-3 seconds leads to increasing the time under tension which assists in better muscle activation and improves the pump.
Tip 3: Controlled eccentric part: Any movement can be defined into three phases; concentric, isometric, and eccentric. Concentric is the flexion part of the exercise and eccentric is when you reduce the tension to bring the weight down to starting position.
Controlling the eccentric portion has been proven very beneficial for the development of muscle fibers. It also helps the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers which improves the explosiveness.
Tip 4: Maintain a tight core: cheat curls may involve a lot of swings which might put the spine in a compromising position. Keeping the core tight and activated not only helps in preventing injury but will also assist in the development of stronger and bigger abs.
CHEAT CURLS – FOR MONSTER ARMS – Rich Piana
Benefits of Cheat Curls
Benefits of cheat curl doesn’t mean that you should start incorporating the cheated curls or reps with every single workout, Cheat Curls should be no more than 10 percent of your biceps program. You also need a variety of strict movements to develop the complete quality of the muscle.
1- Lets you focus on the eccentric part
Eccentric is also known as “Negative training” to many people.
Researchers have proven that negative training was significantly more efficient in building muscular size and strength than positive-style training. If you are not paying emphasis to the eccentric portion then you are leaving lots of gains on the table.
Thing is, your body is capable of lifting more weight while negatives than the concentric motion, which is why cheat curl hugely benefits the negative training.
2- Monstrous gains
Lifting heavy weight surely gives you monstrous gains, but does that mean that we should stop focusing on proper form and technique?
No, that’s the reason Arnold cheat curls should be practiced for 3-4 sets only (20% of the total arms training). A limited amount of cheating is allowed, it won’t create a lot of harm.
Arnold once said in an interview “I would do 5 repetitions of Barbell Cheat Curls with 275 pounds. Handling this amount of weight does not help create great biceps shape or give the muscle a high peak, but it certainly is effective as a mass builder.”
3- Strengthen joints
Do you know, bodybuilders with a powerlifting background tend to experience fewer joint injuries?
Moderate weight isolation workout is good for muscle hypertrophy but not the best for joint strength. That’s the reason powerlifters develop stronger joint than a bodybuilder.
Cheat curls will not only stimulate muscle growth but also strengthen joints to withstand a high amount of wear and tear.
4- Stronger and bigger forearms
Forearms are one of the most neglected parts of the body that most of the lifters don’t train separately.
Many lifters suffer from poor forearm and wrist strength because of the lack of direct training. Arnold cheat curls required extensive wrist and elbow stabilization which allows them to grow bigger and stronger.
Hey guys thanks for reading, let us know your thoughts on the article. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always.