Arnold Schwarzenegger Shared Why Preacher Curls Are Effective For Muscle Growth

Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses his change in workout routines.
Arnold Instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger breaks down why preacher curls are better than incline dumbbell curls.

There are few, if any, bigger influences in bodybuilding than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Along with all he has done for the sport, Arnold continues to share his knowledge with the next generation. This is done using his daily newsletter, Arnold’s Pump Club. During the latest edition, he compared preacher curls and incline dumbbell curls.

Arnold is arguably the most famous name in bodybuilding, as well as the community outside of it. He has also led quite an eccentric life — a 4-time Mr. Universe champion, and 7-time Mr. Olympia champion, an Emmy-award winning actor, and a two-term governor of California. The Arnold Sports Festival, which has been held annually since 1989, is named after him as well, and now held in multiple countries each year.

This is why Schwarzenegger is a great person to listen to when it comes to workouts. He used a recent study from the National Library of Medicine to explain his point on preacher curls.

“There are endless exercises to help you build bigger arms, but a new study suggests not all movements are created equal.

Recent research suggests that preacher curls are more effective at building bigger biceps than incline dumbbell curls.”

Each exercise has its own benefits but Arnold discussed why preacher curls give an edge in terms of muscle-building.

Arnold shared tips on how to stay healthy while sitting all day.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger Talks Preacher Curls vs. Incline Dumbbell Curls

Arnold Schwarzenegger began by explaining how increasing muscle size is a “matter of progressive overload and training through a full range of motion.” This means loading the muscle where it is challenged and has leverage.

“At the bottom of the incline curl, even though your muscle is stretched, the muscle is not under as much tension. On the other hand, with preacher curls, your bicep is completely loaded in the stretched position, which is why the preacher curl led to more growth.

Preacher curls allow weightlifters to find that maximum force and leverage. 

While one exercise might be more effective than the other, according to Arnold’s research, he says that both should be incorporated into your bicep day.

“Both exercises are still great and can be incorporated into your workouts. But the preacher curl will be hard to top if you’re limiting your exercises and focusing on the biggest bang for your buck.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.