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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:49 am 
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Need advice and help please regarding my very skinny arms

I have a well developed thick chest and thighs but skinny toned arms(11 inch arms)
When I wear a top my chest sticks out in it but my arms are very skinny and my tshirt is loose at sleeves when I wear it.

How can I bring them up make them more thicker

I've heard and tried doing squat, bench and deadlift but do not feel my arms working from that but get gains in my chest and legs.

What do I need to do?

A bit about me?
5ft 5
60kg
Ectomorph/Mesomorph

I used to do s lot of running /football / press ups etc but gave that up few years ago
Worked out since then and have did variety used to be 5 day split training each body part but changed to more compounds Execises after doing some research.

My diet is good and healthy- I eat alot but got to watch if I eat too much it goes to my stomach/oblique area where i store a lot of fat.

Genuine advice would be much appreciated thanks.

Kind regards

Kevin


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:04 am 
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are you doing rows or pull ups frequently?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:28 am 
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kevinf92 wrote:
Need advice and help please regarding my very skinny arms

I have a well developed thick chest and thighs but skinny toned arms(11 inch arms)
When I wear a top my chest sticks out in it but my arms are very skinny and my tshirt is loose at sleeves when I wear it.

How can I bring them up make them more thicker

I've heard and tried doing squat, bench and deadlift but do not feel my arms working from that but get gains in my chest and legs.

What do I need to do?

A bit about me?
5ft 5
60kg
Ectomorph/Mesomorph

I used to do s lot of running /football / press ups etc but gave that up few years ago
Worked out since then and have did variety used to be 5 day split training each body part but changed to more compounds Execises after doing some research.

My diet is good and healthy- I eat alot but got to watch if I eat too much it goes to my stomach/oblique area where i store a lot of fat.

Genuine advice would be much appreciated thanks.

Kind regards

Kevin


Hi Kevin, now what you'll probably find is a lot of people on this board are going to tell you just to get bigger overall, and that you don't need to work your arms directly. They will tell you that compound lifts are enough, and the best way to add muscle to your arms is by doing compounds.

I believed this dogma when I first heard it, and thought that compounds would be enough, then I couldn't understand why my arms weren't getting bigger. I used to sneer at those idiots wasting their time doing curls. "Pfft!" I thought, "those idiots are wasting their time, don't they know they should be squatting to bring up those arms?"

My torso was doing just fine, but my arms weren't doing anything. So I added arm work, and surprise surprise, my arms got bigger. Funny how that works, eh?

Now I'm not saying that arm work should be your focus, but you definitely want it if you want your arms to grow. Your workout should still be based around squats, deads, bench, rows, pull ups (or pulldowns if you suck at pullups) and overhead press. These are the big movements that will give you the most bang for your buck. However, you will need to do some isolation stuff for your arms, and here's why:

During big, compound lifts, your body doesn't care that you want your arms to do the work. It will use whatever muscles are strongest to stop the weight from crushing you to death. Your body doesn't care about aesthetics, it cares about survival. A prime example of this is people who's anterior delts get hammered by benching, but it does little for their chest. In these individuals, the anterior delts are much stronger than the pecs, so they end up doing all the work, causing little stimulation of the chest. This is why your torso is growing but your arms are not; your body is not using your arm muscles to their full capacity.

So train your arms. You can add a few sets of curls after one of your upper days, and a few sets of extensions after another upper day. Or you can do extensions and curls together at the end of a workout, it's up to you. Just don't do your arms first in a workout, or else you won't have energy left for the big compound lifts, which are still the most important thing.

If anyone tells you compounds are enough, ask them for a picture of those huge arms they've built without direct arm work. I am guessing there will be very few pictures...

Because I am in a generous mood, I am going to give you an arm workout that will have you bursting out your sleeves in no time. I feel generous today. These exercises are done as pairs, so straight after one you move into the other with no rest.

Cable Pushdowns/Hammer curls 3 x 15
reverse grip cable pushdowns/cable curls 3 x 15
dumbell extension/concentration curls 3 x 15

that'll do it. This shouldn't take you long to do, keep the rest periods short.

happy lifting!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:19 pm 
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ephs wrote:
are you doing rows or pull ups frequently?



Yeah I do them too , i enjoy doing pull ups


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:21 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
kevinf92 wrote:
Need advice and help please regarding my very skinny arms

I have a well developed thick chest and thighs but skinny toned arms(11 inch arms)
When I wear a top my chest sticks out in it but my arms are very skinny and my tshirt is loose at sleeves when I wear it.

How can I bring them up make them more thicker

I've heard and tried doing squat, bench and deadlift but do not feel my arms working from that but get gains in my chest and legs.

What do I need to do?

A bit about me?
5ft 5
60kg
Ectomorph/Mesomorph

I used to do s lot of running /football / press ups etc but gave that up few years ago
Worked out since then and have did variety used to be 5 day split training each body part but changed to more compounds Execises after doing some research.

My diet is good and healthy- I eat alot but got to watch if I eat too much it goes to my stomach/oblique area where i store a lot of fat.

Genuine advice would be much appreciated thanks.

Kind regards

Kevin


Hi Kevin, now what you'll probably find is a lot of people on this board are going to tell you just to get bigger overall, and that you don't need to work your arms directly. They will tell you that compound lifts are enough, and the best way to add muscle to your arms is by doing compounds.

I believed this dogma when I first heard it, and thought that compounds would be enough, then I couldn't understand why my arms weren't getting bigger. I used to sneer at those idiots wasting their time doing curls. "Pfft!" I thought, "those idiots are wasting their time, don't they know they should be squatting to bring up those arms?"

My torso was doing just fine, but my arms weren't doing anything. So I added arm work, and surprise surprise, my arms got bigger. Funny how that works, eh?

Now I'm not saying that arm work should be your focus, but you definitely want it if you want your arms to grow. Your workout should still be based around squats, deads, bench, rows, pull ups (or pulldowns if you suck at pullups) and overhead press. These are the big movements that will give you the most bang for your buck. However, you will need to do some isolation stuff for your arms, and here's why:

During big, compound lifts, your body doesn't care that you want your arms to do the work. It will use whatever muscles are strongest to stop the weight from crushing you to death. Your body doesn't care about aesthetics, it cares about survival. A prime example of this is people who's anterior delts get hammered by benching, but it does little for their chest. In these individuals, the anterior delts are much stronger than the pecs, so they end up doing all the work, causing little stimulation of the chest. This is why your torso is growing but your arms are not; your body is not using your arm muscles to their full capacity.

So train your arms. You can add a few sets of curls after one of your upper days, and a few sets of extensions after another upper day. Or you can do extensions and curls together at the end of a workout, it's up to you. Just don't do your arms first in a workout, or else you won't have energy left for the big compound lifts, which are still the most important thing.

If anyone tells you compounds are enough, ask them for a picture of those huge arms they've built without direct arm work. I am guessing there will be very few pictures...

Because I am in a generous mood, I am going to give you an arm workout that will have you bursting out your sleeves in no time. I feel generous today. These exercises are done as pairs, so straight after one you move into the other with no rest.

Cable Pushdowns/Hammer curls 3 x 15
reverse grip cable pushdowns/cable curls 3 x 15
dumbell extension/concentration curls 3 x 15

that'll do it. This shouldn't take you long to do, keep the rest periods short.

happy lifting!


Thanks for your time answering my question and appreciate it, very helpful and useful, i will take it on board


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:16 pm 
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I suspect some other issues, like diet
and
How much can you deadlift ?

While I agree you probably will need direct arm work to get the best arms you can, at 11 inch arms and worrying about gaining a bit of a belly, I'd say general strength and consuming enough food are your primary roadblocks.

a guess.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Yep. What Bob said. Of course, he is wrong in his prediction about what the rest of us would say. He underestimates his influence on us all.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:01 am 
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I still snicker behind his back Doc.

My advice - and really listen to what Bob said since he had the same problem as you - drop some of the cardio and do what Bob tells you.

But in response to this:
robertscott wrote:

If anyone tells you compounds are enough, ask them for a picture of those huge arms they've built without direct arm work. I am guessing there will be very few pictures...


Image

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:24 am 
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I bet Hoosegow bakes.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:43 am 
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LOL!

Fine, OP I should've mentioned that if you get yourself up to a 400lb bench then yes, you will have huge arms. In the meantime though you might want to train them, just in case...

And hoose I don't see how sneaking into a zoo and photographing apes helps your case...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:25 pm 
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robertscott wrote:
LOL!

Fine, OP I should've mentioned that if you get yourself up to a 400lb bench then yes, you will have huge arms. In the meantime though you might want to train them, just in case...

And hoose I don't see how sneaking into a zoo and photographing apes helps your case...


When you misrepresent someone's argument for the purposes of defeating it, it's called a straw man FYI.

Most people trying to gain weight need to lift more and eat more. As generalized advice for a novice lifter, focussing on the compound lifts vs. trying to find a program to address lagging body parts is going to yield far better results. From a general health perspective focussing on the fundamental human movements and developing useful strength is pivotal, essential, and ought to be mandatory.

That being said, I'm a perfect example of being all go and no show. I've got wheels for days and have blown my thighs up as high as 24 inches, but my guns have never passed 13 inches. Even when I was benching 175 at a competition body weight of 121 (note: not tall!) I was still built like a 13 year old from the waist up. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, and if any of us had found it we'd be selling it for million dollar book deals and not sharing it on an Internet forum :p

@OP give Jim Wendler's 100 rep challenge or Dan Trink's 4 weeks to big arms program a try. Charles Poliquin has also written quite a few articles on bigger arms, including his final solutions for frustrated lifters series.

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Last edited by JasonJones on Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:47 pm 
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lol, i was thinking "i hope hoosegow joins the discussion" after i was reading robert's post. and now he posted a pic of his arm :grin:

very interesting thread til now and again about the question of all questions "are isolation exercises necessary?". would be nice if other legends from this forum would jump in and present their point of view, like stuward, kenny croxdale, dub or i would really like to know KPj's opinion on that.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:11 pm 
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I don't have to say anything, Hoosegow covered it. Besides, I'm built like Jason, only taller.

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Thanks TimD


Last edited by stuward on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:15 pm 
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"Are isolation exercises necessary?" has been discussed here ad nauseum. I think a fair summary is:
For general strength and health isolation lifts are not necessary for most people, and the basic compound lifts are foundational.
For lifters who wish to try to increase the size of particular body parts (I can see how this could go badly astray here) isolation exercises are needed.
Most lifters would benefit to some extent from a few carefully chosen isolation lifts as accessories to major lifts. Or to look cool in the gym.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:21 pm 
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stuward wrote:
Besides, I'm built like Jason, only taller.


Everyone is :angryfire: even my own sister rivals me in height…

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