Curlbro: “A pejorative slang term referring to gym-goers [who] focus on training their arms when weight lifting.” (Source: Know Your Meme.)
Despite being closely associated with the Jersey Shore aesthetic, “curlbro” first appeared in a UK fitness forum, The Student Room, on November 11, 2010. An Urban Dictionary definition was posted on December 10, 2010: “The word curlbro consists of the two words curl (for biceps-curl, a popular isolation exercise in hypertrophy training) and bro (brother, but here: fake tan, borderline-retarded, gel-in-hair, unintelligent person).”
“Curlbro” gained traction after Time magazine released a set of photos of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan working out. Something about the pose, the facial expression, the backward baseball cap, and the earbuds proved irresistible to amateur caption writers.
You know who they are. They are the men who line up in front of mirrors in gyms all across the United States, who pass hours curling their way into oblivion, who look at a squat rack and see not a squat rack but a really fancy contraption in which they can do curls. Every day is arms day for these guys.
The female counterpart of a curlbro, I learned from Caitlin, is a “cardio queen”:
The sadly ironic thing is that the curlbro has more in common with the cardio queen than just about anyone else in the gym. In fact, I’d say the two are photo negatives of each other. Each one is so focused on making their body look a specific way – a way that is defined strictly according to their gender – that they completely ignore all of the things that actually make for a strong, healthy body. I mean, who cares if you have twenty inch biceps if you can’t run a mile or you can’t bend over at the waist. And big deal if you can fit into a size 0 but you can’t even open your own damn jar of pickles.