I don’t need to tell you why you need to do bicep curls. You want ripped guns? You want women to faint when you flex? You want to be able to crush walnuts in your elbow crease (but not be able to touch your own shoulders)? You do bicep curls.
If you’ve been to a gym before, you’ve probably seen a few of the stations in the picture up there. Usually, they’re relegated to some dark corner with the free weights, far from all the cable machines and ellipticals so they don’t interfere with the serious gym goers. They’re called squat racks. No one knows why.
These squat racks are specially designed gym stations built solely to perform the one exercise every fit person must do – bicep curls.
“But wait,” you whine because you’re a sad little girly man who doesn’t have to turn sideways to squeeze his massive, pulsating arms through doorways, “I thought you could curl anywhere, why curl in the squat rack?”
I’ll Tell You Why
- It’s What They’re Designed For – Clearly, a squat rack is purpose built for curling. It’s obvious. Why’s it called a squat rack then? Who knows. Their specially designed cubomantic shaping makes for the ideal space to move a barbell up and then back down again. Obviously, squats are supposed to be done on yoga balls. Who would want to do those anyway, I’m pretty sure they don’t even work any important muscles. When was the last time you flexed your quads at the beach to impress the ladies?
- Squats Destroy Your Knees – Even if you were some kind of genius and knew what muscles squats worked, they’re super, incredibly dangerous. One time, I was enjoying a nice iced beverage at my gym’s smoothie bar when I considered maybe doing a body weight squat at some point. Blew out my ACL. True story. Don’t be stupid like me. Knees weren’t meant to bend, they were only meant to prop up your glorious biceps.
- Key Gym Positioning – Do you know why they put the squat racks where they do? You don’t. Shut up. In every gym they’re almost centered in the ideal place for curling. First, they’re put in front of a mirror. What’s the point of curling if you can’t see the pump? If you didn’t have mirror to reflect your glorious visage, you’d look awfully stupid dropping the weights and flexing after each set. Even better they’re often positioned in the corners of the gym. This means they’re acoustically ideal for reflecting the mighty roars you release with each rep. Even worse, you might not hear when your spotter screams “One more rep!” or “Light weight! You got this bro!” from two feet away. Acoustics. It’s science.
- Ultra-Safety – You already know you have to have a spotter. You could probably die or something if you don’t. But is it really O.K. having just one spotter? Sure, they make you feel safer with their hands at your elbows and their comforting warmth pressed against your back in a totally non-sexual completely platonic bro-hump of safety, but how much can they really help? After all, you’re clearly the alpha male here, it wouldn’t be proper to have friends who have bigger biceps than you do. How can you expect them to help? The squat rack provides bars and pins and stuff, so if the unthinkable happens and you miss a set your precious toes are safe.
- Versatility – Most people realize there’s no limit to the types of curls you can do in the squat rack. Bicep curls. Hammer curls. Reverse grip curls. Bicep curls. Bicep curls. I could go on. Bicep Curls. But did you know that you can do other exercises in the squat rack? I don’t just mean taking dumbbells in there to superset barbell curls with dumbbell curls I mean exercises that are actually not curls. It’s true. The squat rack is the perfect place to do your push ups, crunches and leg lifts – not that you need to do calisthenics, but it’s a good way to show off to the rest of the gym how incredibly powerful your biceps are.
- Because I Said So – You’re still reading this? After all the great reasons I’ve given you to curl in the squat rack, you’re seriously still reading this and not racing off to the gym to do your curls? Do you even curl? Get to it, Princess.
As you can see there are clearly six good reasons to curl in the squat rack. I’m sure there are actually seven, but I can’t be bothered to write the last one down. It’s chest day (everyday is chest day) and I have to go do my curls.
Photo Credit: Robert Douglass
If you’re coming to this post after the fact, and didn’t see the date, it was written on April 1st. If you don’t know why that’s significant, I highly suggest you Google it.