August 28, 2022 Grant Broggi
barbell curls

What Kind of Arm Exercises Should You Do? 

By Grant Broggi, SSC


When our coaches first start working with a new lifter we always focus on what provides the most benefits with the least amount of time in the gym as possible.  If becoming stronger is the main goal then there is no better place to get started than learning how to Squat, Press, Bench Press and Deadlift as taught in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd Edition

With that being said, many men also lift to improve how they look.

They are glad that their bone density is improving, they enjoy the improvement in quality of life, the reduction of back pain and all the other health benefits. But they want more. They want to look better in their clothing, have a bigger back, bigger traps, and yes the obvious: BIGGER ARMS.

Maybe that’s you, you’ve followed all the guidance you’ve meticulously researched or have been coached on. You’ve build up your squat and deadlift and your pressing exercises are heading in the right direction as well.

The squats and deadlifts have built your traps and your back, but you want more. You don’t care about your hips and your butt growing anymore, you want to look good in a t-shirt or with your shirt off.

You want to look as strong as you actually are. 

Enter the Barbell Curl. There are countless arm workouts on the internet and countless articles filling up pages of magazines on how to get a “pump.” So while the barbell curl isn’t the ONLY way, it is a simple and very effective way to build your arms at the end of your workout. You also won’t need any additional equipment since you already have a barbell. 

I have the majority of our lifters add barbell curls to their workouts after their first 4-6 weeks of getting started with their linear progression. They should be performed at end of their workouts after their main two barbell lifts for that session. 

Depending on how much time they have, I program 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. Much like a heavier press, we suggest that people increase weights by 2.5 lbs a week and get about 2-3 minutes of rest between their sets. 

The movement is not very difficult to master, check out our video and make sure you’re not swinging your arms wildly around while you barbell curl.

Good luck and see you at the gun show 💪💪.


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