What Doing Curls in the Squat Rack Says About a Man

It’s happened to us one too many times. We show up to the gym, ready to perform high repetition sets of clean and jerks at 315 (that’s three plates for those of you that can’t count) and get BIG, only to have our hopes and dreams crushed when we discover that the squat rack is already occupied by another man who is performing, of all god forsaken exercises, curls.

Curling in the Squat Rack

I mean seriously dudecurls? Bro, there’s a million other places you could be performing the same exercise, yet you choose the most sacred and holy of all places in the iron sanctuary: the squat rack. You could literally pick up that trashcan over there and get the same workout with the amount of weight you’re doing. Hell, your gym bag with those two industrial sized containers of whey and one canister of casein (note: if you don’t have casein before you go to bed, you might as well not sleep) and bucket of C4 weighs more than that bar. But I digress.

Instead of continuing down this path of name calling and vilification, I have decided to take this opportunity to do a complex, in depth character analysis of those who choose to perform curls in the squat rack. So, here now, we will answer the question, “Why, truly, is that man over there curling in the squat rack?”

1) He doesn’t consider viable alternatives for accomplishing the same task— alternatives which would consume less valuable resources (i.e. individual curling bars, EZ curl bars, dumbbells, etc). Clearly this character trait extends into the rest of life. Most likely he does not recycle, he does not participate in any compost programs, and he throws his cans of Monster and Red Bull out the window of his jacked up domestic truck. OR perhaps he’s a spitting image of a compassionate humanitarian and is just clueless in the weight room. You decide people.

2) He is not mindful of the needs of others with whom he shares the same space/ resources. Any bro in their rightful mind knows that the squat rack space is intended for one thing and one thing only: performing multi-joint compound movements. Squat. Clean. Press. Deadlift. But don’t you dare curl in that space. If you have to go to the bathroom, use a toilet. Not the squat rack.

3) His focus and motivation for lifting is primarily aesthetic, driven by the perceived social currency he believes he will generate by possessing larger biceps. This one’s a stretch, but more likely than not (unfortunately) it’s true. However, curling in the squat rack won’t get you generic tribal tattoos on your bicep, the metaphorical equivalent of “stacks on stacks” in the world of social currency. Blacking out from the USDA recommended daily intake of ten Four Lokos (clearly some industry ties at work here), however, will.

curling in the squat rack

In short, curling in the squat rack is a metaphor that extends to the rest of life itself. A metaphor that represents ignorance, selfishness, and misguided motives. However, we don’t have to curl in the squat rack. We have a choice. We can CHOOSE to do heavy back squats or power cleans in the squat rack instead of curls. We can CHOOSE to use the resources at our disposal (i.e. the internet) to spend sufficient time reading and researching the optimal path to our desired destination. We can CHOOSE to make this world a better place. 

If you know someone that curls in the squat rack, please share this message with them.

This message has been brought to you by the National Society of Men with Integrity Seeking to Improve the State of Mankind.

Title Photo Credit: flickr

Photo Credit: flickr

Written by Konrad Stoick

Konrad is a fitness enthusiast, occasional comedian, and perpetual people watcher. Connect with me at

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