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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:19 pm 
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Hi everyone, just looking for some advice about how often you can train your arms as I keep getting conflicting info! Basically, I've bulked in the past and my arms have always lagged behind despite doing workouts that had lots of compound exercises in them, so I came up with a 3 times a week workout to focus on my arms, but not at the expense of everything else. What I came up with was:

Monday and Friday
-----------------------
Chin ups: 1 set of normal, 2 sets of negatives (stopping halfway down for a second. I'm still too weak for 3 sets of normal chin ups.)
Alternate dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8-12
Incline dumbbell curls: 3 sets of 8-12
Lying tricep extensions (dumbbell in each hand): 3 sets of 8-12
Overhead triceps extensions: 3 sets of 8-12
Close grip bench press: 3 sets of 8-12

Wednesday
---------------
Good mornings: 3 sets of 8-12
Split leg squats: 3 sets of 8-12
Side raises: 3 sets of 8-12
Front raises: 3 sets of 8-12
Arnold presses: 3 sets of 8-12
Shrugs: 3 sets of 8-12

I had some pretty good results and got my arms up to the 14.5 inches they are now (I'm aiming for 15"). I have a week off now and I have some questions before I change the workout (I'm getting bored of it, and want to keep my muscles guessing.)

1. Is the workout ok overall? Or is it complete rubbish?
2. How would you recommend I change it to keep the focus on my arms, but without neglecting others. I was thinking of changing to a chest/tris day, a back/bis day, and a legs/shoulders day. This would mean I could do more exercises for my arms in each workout, but would I get better growth by working them once a week this way, or is it better to work them a couple of times a week with fewer exercises? This is my main question actually as I've never been sure about this one!
3. What would you consider the best biceps and triceps exercises to be? I did dips in a previous workout, so will go back to them, and add some weight. I'll try and do more normal chin ups too, rather than the negatives.

I realize I'm asking a lot but if anyone could give me any advice whatsoever I would be so grateful as I'm desperate to get my arms to 15"!! (Although I realize it's going to take a long time, I'm not expecting this to happen overnight don't worry about that :) )

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:55 pm 
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Inch on your arms = 10lbs muscle/weight gained, give or take a pound. I wonder what your overall strength is at, on your standard lifts "bench/deadlift/squat/bentrow/overheadpress". The reason I ask is because you can get to a point where your body wont be able to support curls and such when you start getting heavier, and won't be able to properly stimulate them. And as for the chinups, cable pulldowns can be a replacement to help you build your strength there. Some things you can try beyond that, is slow controlled repetitions on your isolation movements, and squeezing at the peaks. I've found that works really well.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:46 am 
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1) The workout had a lot of isolation excercises, you can have as much stimulation for your arms if you use less isolation and more compound movements. (the compound excercises also induce more hormones than isolation excercises).

2) I don't know which is better, some say full body workouts are the way to go, others say split workouts are plain better. I've almost always used full-body workouts just because they use up less of my time and are better for fatloss.

3) Don't know the answer to this question as well, but I'm sure you'll get better results by using compound excercises + some isolation then the other way around.

For workout A I'd do more something like this:

A) Deadlifts
B1) Close grip BP
B2) Bent-over rows/Rear-delt rows
C1) Military Press
C2 )Raises (NOT lateral raises, just look them up in the deltoid section)

You've still got as much stimulation for your arms, but your torso gets much more stimulation.

Workout B:

A) Power Cleans + Push Press
B) Front Squats
C1) Chin-ups
C2) Dips
D1) EZ-bar curls
D2) Skullcrushers

The B workout can be made shorter and more geared towards fat-loss by doing power clean + front squat + push press (this is 1 rep).

This should be done 3 times a week: AXBXAXX (week 1/3/...)
BXAXBXX (week 2/4/...)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:54 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, guys :)

brook011 wrote:
Inch on your arms = 10lbs muscle/weight gained, give or take a pound. I wonder what your overall strength is at, on your standard lifts "bench/deadlift/squat/bentrow/overheadpress".


Well, I'm not sure how much my bar weighs (I just use a set of weights at home), but for my bench press I got up to 3 sets of between 8 and 12 reps at about 40-45kg (not including the bar). Deadlifts is closer to 65-70kg, and the rest I don't have to hand.


brook011 wrote:
The reason I ask is because you can get to a point where your body wont be able to support curls and such when you start getting heavier, and won't be able to properly stimulate them.


Sorry to be a pain, but could you explain this a bit more please? I don't really get what you mean :(

brook011 wrote:
And as for the chinups, cable pulldowns can be a replacement to help you build your strength there. Some things you can try beyond that, is slow controlled repetitions on your isolation movements, and squeezing at the peaks. I've found that works really well.


I meant to say in the original post that I don't have access to a gym, this is all done at home! Thanks for all the tips though, I'll certainly try the controlled movement and squeezing at the peak of the movement. To be honest, I need to drop my curl weights, because I increased them too quickly through impatience I think, and my form isn't as good as it should (or needs to) be.

Thanks again :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Wouter wrote:
1) The workout had a lot of isolation excercises, you can have as much stimulation for your arms if you use less isolation and more compound movements. (the compound excercises also induce more hormones than isolation excercises).


See that's the thing, I did that a while ago - concentrated on mainly compound exercises, but didn't really see any gains in my arms (but did in my chest etc.) so I'm not sure what was going on!

Wouter wrote:
2) I don't know which is better, some say full body workouts are the way to go, others say split workouts are plain better. I've almost always used full-body workouts just because they use up less of my time and are better for fatloss.


Well I'm definitely not going for fat loss, but I might switch to the routine you've posted below just to change things up!

Wouter wrote:
3) Don't know the answer to this question as well, but I'm sure you'll get better results by using compound excercises + some isolation then the other way around.

For workout A I'd do more something like this:

A) Deadlifts
B1) Close grip BP
B2) Bent-over rows/Rear-delt rows
C1) Military Press
C2 )Raises (NOT lateral raises, just look them up in the deltoid section)

You've still got as much stimulation for your arms, but your torso gets much more stimulation.

Workout B:

A) Power Cleans + Push Press
B) Front Squats
C1) Chin-ups
C2) Dips
D1) EZ-bar curls
D2) Skullcrushers

The B workout can be made shorter and more geared towards fat-loss by doing power clean + front squat + push press (this is 1 rep).

This should be done 3 times a week: AXBXAXX (week 1/3/...)
BXAXBXX (week 2/4/...)


Thanks a lot! I'll give that one a try and see how I get on, it's a workout I'd definitely enjoy doing! When you say B1 B2, and C1 C2 etc. - are they supersets?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:23 pm 
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not Wouter, but can answer. BTW, I really like his suggestion. Good basic work one day, and a different good basic workout on B, but a little arm focus. Good stuff.
Anyway, A1 and A2 refers to this. Your first two exercises are A sets. You do a set of A1, rest for the prescribed time, do a set of A2, rest for the prescribed time and repeat with A1 then A2, repeat until you have done the amount of sets for the A series, then move on to the B series, done in the same fashion; i.e. B1 B2 until you're through with the B series and then move on to the C series.
Tim


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:43 pm 
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TimD wrote:
not Wouter, but can answer. BTW, I really like his suggestion. Good basic work one day, and a different good basic workout on B, but a little arm focus. Good stuff.
Anyway, A1 and A2 refers to this. Your first two exercises are A sets. You do a set of A1, rest for the prescribed time, do a set of A2, rest for the prescribed time and repeat with A1 then A2, repeat until you have done the amount of sets for the A series, then move on to the B series, done in the same fashion; i.e. B1 B2 until you're through with the B series and then move on to the C series.
Tim


Ah I see! So I alternate between them?

Should I still aim for 3 sets of 8-12 reps for each? I've read on more than one occasion that 8-12 is the best range for hypertrophy. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:49 am 
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Yes, alternate between A1 and A2.
As to rep ranges, you can start out with 8-12, but at some point you're going to have to vary rep ranges. heavier weights with 5-8 reps works pretty well as a good medium between hypertrophy and strength. Most good periodized programs have you doing 3-4 week blocks in several different rep ranges. Conjugate programs, well you work the different range all in one week.
Tim


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:51 pm 
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Mr_Schneebly wrote:
Hi everyone, just looking for some advice about how often you can train your arms as I keep getting conflicting info! Basically, I've bulked in the past and my arms have always lagged behind despite doing workouts that had lots of compound exercises in them, so I came up with a 3 times a week workout to focus on my arms, but not at the expense of everything else.


Do you keep measurements of your bodyparts other than arms? It could be that your arms aren't lagging your other bodyparts, but rather that you're focusing in on arm growth.

As far as your new workout goes, I would try it as is for a month to see if you make further gains. If you don't, you can always go back to the 5x5 routine.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:00 pm 
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TimD wrote:
Yes, alternate between A1 and A2.
As to rep ranges, you can start out with 8-12, but at some point you're going to have to vary rep ranges. heavier weights with 5-8 reps works pretty well as a good medium between hypertrophy and strength. Most good periodized programs have you doing 3-4 week blocks in several different rep ranges. Conjugate programs, well you work the different range all in one week.
Tim


Ah ok, I'll mix up my rep ranges then :) Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Stephen Johnson wrote:
Mr_Schneebly wrote:
Hi everyone, just looking for some advice about how often you can train your arms as I keep getting conflicting info! Basically, I've bulked in the past and my arms have always lagged behind despite doing workouts that had lots of compound exercises in them, so I came up with a 3 times a week workout to focus on my arms, but not at the expense of everything else.


Do you keep measurements of your bodyparts other than arms? It could be that your arms aren't lagging your other bodyparts, but rather that you're focusing in on arm growth.

As far as your new workout goes, I would try it as is for a month to see if you make further gains. If you don't, you can always go back to the 5x5 routine.


Yeah I do measure other body parts, but have focussed on arms recently, because my bench pressing was stagnating not because my chest was tiring, but because my arms were! I'm hopeful that once I get to 15" on my arms I'll be able to break through my bench press ceiling! I don't have my measurements to hand, but I normally measure my chest, both arms, waist, and thighs at the widest part.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:40 pm 
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I'm reading a bit of a mixed message here. Strength and muscle size correlate to a large degree, but aren't the same thing. Most of the time when someone states that their goal is strength, they don't talk about arm size (or size of any other part), and vice versa. If strength is really the goal, I'd stop measuring and continue focusing on a good balanced whole-body program. I know that we've discussed this with you before, and I have the feeling that you don't really believe this, but that's what I'd do.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Andy, if you go back and read his original, he wants a good overall program with a focus on arm size. You can easily build size and strength simultaneously, and the program Wouter suggested is tailor made for that purpose. Looks like an old Brooks Kubik program we did back in the day.
Tim


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Alright. I think it's time you started a thread on the history of weightlifting. Among many other things, you could tell us just who Brooks Kubik was (or is)!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Brooks Kubik, AKA the author of Dinosaur Training. A long time strongman , PL and OL competitor. Put out a great newsletter called the Dinosaur Files which lasted from the late 90's to around 2001. Printed out lots of info from all the old Physical culture magazines, and in particular Bob Hoffman's Strength and Health, and Peary Rader's Ironman. Lot;s of good info on the old timers, DB OL variations, barrel lifting, sandbags, etc. Alas, a few years ago, he got way too comercialized, as did Matt Furey, and most of his old stuff is gone, and his new stuff is way overpriced.
Tim


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