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The Art of the Strict Curl: Insights from Bodybuilding Maestro Robby Robinson and Mike O’Hearn

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Robby Robinson, an emblematic figure in the realm of bodybuilding, recently partnered with the renowned Mike O’Hearn to display the prowess of performing a strict curl, an exercise steeped in technique and finesse, at the famed Gold's Gym in Venice.

The Science Behind the Strict Curl​

A strict curl is more than just a basic arm movement. To truly master this exercise, one must adhere to the essential rule of maintaining three pivotal points of contact against a firm wall during the entirety of the movement:

  1. The back of the head
  2. The upper back region
  3. The glutes
This precision ensures stability, technique, and maximum engagement of the bicep muscle.



An Exceptional Collaboration: Robby Robinson and Mike O’Hearn​

Mike O’Hearn's engagement with Robby Robinson on his widely viewed YouTube channel provides viewers with a wealth of knowledge from the ex-Masters Olympia champion. Their workout rendezvous on September 18, 2023, was a testament to their commitment to diverse training, as they introduced their viewers to the less-commonly practiced exercise: the strict curl.

In this session, Robinson delineated the exact techniques he incorporates while toning his biceps with strict curls. As a visual aid, the bodybuilding maestro showcased a live demonstration.

The Strict Curl Technique in Detail​

Robby Robinson, even at 77, encapsulated raw power and finesse. With his sleeves strategically rolled up to reveal the intense tension and engagement on his biceps, Robinson impressively completed a rigorous set of 10 reps using a 60-pound barbell.

Following Robinson's lead, O’Hearn, accompanied by his spouse, Mona Muresan, adopted the strict curl technique. Muresan employed the same barbell as Robinson, while O’Hearn opted for a fixed EZ-Curl barbell, ensuring optimal wrist alignment, weighing in at 90 pounds.

Strict Curls in Competitive Arenas​

The strict curl, although not a staple in most powerlifting contests, does hold a special place in certain meets, where it's executed against a solid wall. One prominent organization endorsing meets with the strict curl as a category is the International Strict Curl Association (ISCA), pioneered by C.T. Fletcher.

During these competitions, the athletes are required to meticulously perform the curl following the judge's instructions. Successful completion demands that the curl's peak is maintained until a subsequent command is received. With judges closely observing from either side, only those lifts that respect the three-point wall contact are ratified.

A Trip Down Memory Lane with O’Hearn​

In the midst of their workout, O’Hearn unveiled a fascinating tidbit from his past. Nearly three decades ago, in 1994, O’Hearn had graced a strict curl contest. This revelation was followed by another set, where each participant ardently performed to their mechanical limits.

The strict curl might not enjoy the same spotlight as the triumvirate of sanctioned powerlifting – squat, bench press, and deadlift, but a dedicated community of competitive powerlifters ardently pursue this discipline, vying to lift the maximum weight possible.

As recent records indicate, September 2023 saw Leroy Walker maintaining his grip on the strict curl world record, with a commendable lift of 114 kilograms (251.37 pounds), a feat equally matched by Nizami Tagiev.

In Conclusion​

The realm of bodybuilding and powerlifting is expansive, with various disciplines and techniques that athletes hone over time. The strict curl, while not as mainstream as other exercises, is a testament to the precision, dedication, and finesse required in this sport. Giants of the field, like Robby Robinson and Mike O’Hearn, continue to inspire, educate, and set new standards in the world of fitness.
 

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