Chef Rush takes us step by step through performing the perfect strict curl.
Chef Rush, aka Andre Rush the Bodybuilding White House Chef, has gone viral in recent years due to his massive physique. To be more specific, he has gigantic arms that some have even called the biggest arms in the world. While that might be up for debate, there’s no denying his massive arms overall. That’s why we met up with Chef Rush to go through an in-depth ultimate arm workout guide. In our latest GI Exclusive, Chef Rush breaks down how to perform the perfect strict curl.
Late last year in 2020, the strict curl challenge went viral in the fitness community. It brought attention to an extremely powerful and equally challenging lift – the strict curl. It’s an effective exercise tool to have in your arsenal but it’s also potentially dangerous. That’s why in our latest Chef Rush workout video, he goes into detail on how to perfect the strict curl.
Strict curls might look simple when you see it, and in many ways it’s a very simple movement, but the specifics make for a challenging exercise in its own right. Below we break down Chef Rush’s instructions:
How To Perform The Strict Curl
There’s a few notes that Chef Rush mentions here that we want to bring up at the top. First and foremost, this exercise can be dangerous if you go in overconfident with too much weight. Chef Rush himself shares a story of a friend he knows who tore both of his biceps doing strict curls.
To avoid this make sure to warm up first. Never underestimate the importance of warming up before going heavy into weightlifting. Not only does it get the blood pumping, it also gets you in the right mindset for where your body is at and how much weight it can handle that day.
Chef Rush suggests doing 15-25 reps unless you’re going for heavier weight. In that case decrease the reps down to 8-12. Again, testing it out with warm ups are key to know what you can handle with this movement.
Now to get into the actual movement. First you’ll need a curl bar or as Chef Rush calls it a “crooked bar.” Then depending on how you want to perform the exercise you can grip the bar either with an inside or outside grip. Chef Rush prefers outside grip as he believes it optimizes muscle activation.
Next, while standing, simply pick up the barbell and let it hang in front of you with your arms relaxed. At this point you simple curl up the bar to your chest. The key here is to do slow focused movements. It’s also important to do a full range of motion, don’t give up before curling it up to your chest and do not start a new rep until your arms are already back at the starting position.
Chef Rush recommends keeping your elbows tight to avoid injury. It also allows for a more focused strict curl.
In general, it’s a rule of thumb to avoid momentum while doing any exercise. This can lead to poor form and potential injury. This remains true for the strict curl but Chef Rush does suggest allowing for a little momentum if you don’t have a spotter.
What is important is to not go overboard here. Also this momentum should only be used at the start to bring up the bar initially. Chef Rush puts it best – if you cheat 15%, you’re still getting 85% of a good lift. Think of this as providing yourself what a spotter would do when you’re struggling on a lift. It provides a little push so your muscles can do the rest of the work and still be exhausted.
The strict curl is a powerful exercise for building biceps and a great move to include in your arm workouts. But it’s also important that you maintain proper form and procedure while performing the lift. If you get lazy or overestimate what you can handle, you’re heading straight for an injury
You can watch Chef Rush showcase how to perform the perfect Strict Curl in our latest GI Exclusive video above. This can be a great way to follow along after you’ve absorbed the instructions here.