How Much Should You Be Curling According to Body Weight?


If you are lifting weights that are too light, you might not be giving your muscles enough of a workout. However, choosing weights that are too heavy won’t just mean you can’t curl them, it can be potentially dangerous! One great source of information is a chart located at However, it is not just easy as finding a number, there are also important tips to learn about how to properly complete those curls.

The previously mentioned chart is based on data collected from over 200,000 recorded weightlifting sessions. Each weight increment will have different sections, based on the experience of the user. For the upcoming examples, we will assume that you are in the beginner category. According to the chart, a woman who weighs 120 lbs is expected to be able to barbell curl 13lbs while a woman who is 150 lbs should curl 16lbs. While these numbers are a good starting point, there is still more to learn about curling based on bodyweight.

Bad Form Risks Injuries
When curling, it is essential that you focus on good form. It is imperative that you keep your back straight while performing a curl. The only part of your body that you want to move is your arm. A common mistake for first-time lifters to make is to swing their body along with their arm, which causes two big problems. The first problem is that swinging your body puts the workload on your entire body, reducing the workout benefits for your arms. The second problem is that you can risk throwing out your back by swinging back and forth.

Rep Ranges are Your Friend
Knowing the amount of weight that you should curl is great. However, you will need to determine how many times you can lift the weight which is also known as repetitions. Using the information on the previously mentioned calculator, let’s say that you are a woman who weighs 140 pounds. According to the chart, a 140-pound woman should be able to curl a 15lb barbell but how many times should she be able to do it? Figuring out the right rep range will be something you’ll learn from experience, as this number varies from person to person. However, it is generally said that 5-8 reps are better for developing strength while lifting above eight reps is used for developing muscle size.

Know When to Call it A Day
It is always important to be overly cautious instead of careless in the gym. If you are experiencing any type of pain while curling, it is advised that you set the weights down. While it is expected to feel soreness in your muscles after you’ve worked out, you shouldn’t feel pain while lifting weights.

In conclusion, determining the amount of weight you should be able to curl doesn’t have to be impossible. However, once you have your specific number, you still need to ensure you are curling safely. If you curl with bad form you can risk injuring yourself and not getting the proper workout you desire. Understanding what repetitions you need to use, based on your fitness goals, will ensure you are curling correctly. If you are in pain during a workout, it’s time to call it a day.