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Biceps Curl Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


The objective of this test is to assess the strength of the athlete's biceps.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • A set of dumbbells
  • Bench
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to complete as many biceps curls as possible with no rest.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant selects a dumbbell weight close to the athlete's one repetition maximum load
  • The assistant adjusts the inclined backrest to 30 degrees to the vertical
  • The athlete stands behind the inclined backrest with the arm, palm up, and forearm resting on the inclined surface
  • The assistant hands the athlete the dumbbell which also rests against the inclined surface
  • The athlete flexes the elbow to a vertical forearm position, lowers the dumbbell down onto the backrest and continues with biceps curls until unable to continue. The upper arm must remain in contact with the bench's backrest at all times
  • The assistant counts the number of successful curls
  • If the number of curls exceeds ten then the athlete rests for 10 minutes, the assistant increases the resistance and the athlete repeats the test
  • The assistant uses the maximum load calculator to determine the athlete's 1RM
  • The test is repeated for the other arm

Bicep Curl - Start Position   Bicep Curl - End Position


I have been unable to locate any normative data for this test.

Dohoney et al. (2002)[1] following their research, identified the following equations to determine 1-RM for the bicep curl test:

  • 4-6RM : 19.97 + (0.81 x weight) + (2.31 x number of reps)
  • 7-10RM : 23.9 + (0.77 x weight) + (2.16 x number of reps)

For an evaluation of the athlete's 1RM enter the number of successful curls (Reps), the Weight and then select the 'Calculate' button. The number of successful curls must lie in the range of 4 to 10 otherwise 1RM will remain blank.

Reps   Weight kg     1RM kg


Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the strength of the athlete's biceps. The 1RM for the left and right biceps should not differ by more than 10%.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • The test can be administered by the athlete


  • Specialist equipment required


  1. DOHONEY, P. et al. (2002) Prediction of one repetition maximum (1-RM) strength from a 4-6 RM and a 7-10 RM submaximal strength test in healthy young adult males. Journal of Exercise Physiology, 5 (3), p. 54-59

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2005) Biceps Curl Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed