Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So What is a Zeller Curl?

In our last post, we gave you Marvin Eder's favorite arm routine for breaking through "ruts." One of the exercises he recommends is the "Zeller Curl." These days, most bodybuilders probably don't know what a "Zeller Curl" is. So here is some background. This curl is named after Art Zeller - the famous physique photographer - who in his early years, was a classic physique builder (i.e., a bodybuilder before the advent of steroids) who popularized this curl.

The curl is basically a "cheat & negative rep" curl with dumbbells. Here is Marvin's description of it (as told to Barton Horvath) from Joe Weider's Your Physique Magazine (Dec. 1951 issue):

"Zeller Curl. This curl is named after Artie Zeller who popularized it some years back, and is now widely used by New York City bodybuilders. Take a heavy dumbbell, heavier than you can curl to the shoulder in good form, and swing this weight to the shoulder. Hold the elbow against the side, on the hip if possible. Now, lower the weight, leaning back while doing so, fighting the downward movement of the weight every inch of the way. When it is down all the way, swing it up to the shoulder again and repeat... It may take a little practice to master this movement, but since Marvin feels that it is one of the very best, it will be worth a little special attention."

So there you have it - the "Zeller Curl" - another gold nugget from the Golden Era of Classic Physique Builders! - Classic Physique Builder

(Above photo: Art Zeller on the cover of Joe Weider's Muscle Builder Magazine, Jan 1955 issue)

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