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strivin for more
12-18-08, 7:50 pm
i currently have a 3 day split : back and bis, chest and tris, then legs. i have found especially on back days, im in the gym for 2 hours plus doing lats, lower back, traps, shoulders, and biceps. i was wondering if you guys think itd be a good deal to go ahead and split my back and bi days to lats and bi ceps, then the other day shoulders and traps. would performance suffer with the other groups that get hit less often ya think? thanks guys.

shizz702
12-18-08, 8:03 pm
You shouldn't be in the gym for more than an hour in my opinion, anything more, especially when training intensely, anything beyond an hour will result in catabolism and hinder gains.

Sounds to me like you are doing way too much and you should cut back on the volume. If you want to opt for a 4 day split it still would be unnecessary to split the back up.

A perfectly productive back and bicep routine would be like this:

Deadlifts
Shrugs
One arm db rows
Chins


Keep it simple. Something like that trained at high intensity would have all angles of the back/traps/and bis covered and take no more than an hour. The idea is to do less, but work hard. Train smart bro.

In Flames
12-18-08, 8:08 pm
Back/Biceps Workout

3 x 4-8 Dead-lift
3 x 8-12 Wide Grip Pull-ups
3 x 12-15 One-Arm DB Rows
1 x 30-50 Hyperextensions (You can start out heavy, just keep going and dropping weight down until you reach between 30-50 reps, whichever you choose).

3 x 8-12 Barbell Curls
2 x 12-15 Incline DB Curls
1 x 30-50 Hammer Curls (You can start out heavy, just keep going and dropping weight down until you reach between 30-50 reps, whichever you choose).


Change exercises every 8 weeks..the next Back workout could look like this..

3 x 4-8 Trap-bar Dead-lift
3 x 8-12 Wide Grip Pull-downs
3 x 12-15 T-bar Rows
1 x 30-50 V-bar Cable Rows (You can start out heavy, just keep going and dropping weight down until you reach between 30-50 reps, whichever you choose).

MVP
12-18-08, 8:27 pm
Keep things simple. Stick to your heavy compound presses and pulls and you will grow. Squats, deadlifts, benches, pullups, etc.

If you want big arms completely ignore them. Stick to your heavy compounds and they will grow in proportion, if you have stubbern arms, then it's safe to add in barbell curls. Dips are recommended always (by me).

shizz702
12-18-08, 8:31 pm
Keep things simple. Stick to your heavy compound presses and pulls and you will grow. Squats, deadlifts, benches, pullups, etc.

If you want big arms completely ignore them. Stick to your heavy compounds and they will grow in proportion, if you have stubbern arms, then it's safe to add in barbell curls. Dips are recommended always (by me).

Damn right!

Notice the example back routine I posted had no direct bicep work. Train your body as a whole, you will stimulate more overall growth with the big compound lifts. It's ok to throw some curls in for a pump or what not, but the the squats, deads, presses, and pulls are the big picture you should focus on.

strivin for more
12-18-08, 8:54 pm
alrite guys. thanks for the tips.

MVP
12-19-08, 12:36 am
Damn right!

Notice the example back routine I posted had no direct bicep work. Train your body as a whole, you will stimulate more overall growth with the big compound lifts. It's ok to throw some curls in for a pump or what not, but the the squats, deads, presses, and pulls are the big picture you should focus on.

I couldn't agree more.

MrMonday
12-19-08, 3:22 am
If you want big arms completely ignore them. Stick to your heavy compounds and they will grow in proportion, if you have stubbern arms, then it's safe to add in barbell curls. Dips are recommended always (by me).

I completely disagree with this for a lot of reasons I could go into, but..

who do you know of that has actually seen success from this method MVP?

Who has big arms that never trained them? I am really curious.

strivin for more
12-19-08, 7:31 am
im not totally against training arms hardcore or anything, but whats wrong with doing some stuff with em? like what would the harm be? im just curious.

MeanStreet
12-19-08, 7:49 am
Honestly i have big arms for my body and i dont work them much .What these people are saying here is correct my arm work on most of my compound lifts, but again my arms have never been my problem

shizz702
12-19-08, 8:10 am
im not totally against training arms hardcore or anything, but whats wrong with doing some stuff with em? like what would the harm be? im just curious.

I'm not against training arms directly either, but I am against overtraining them. The biceps and triceps are very small muscle groups and very prone to overtraining. What most people don't realize is your triceps get hit with all pressing movements, and your biceps get hit from pulling movements. The triceps, especially take a pretty good beating cause just about all routines include a lot of pressing movements when training chest and shoulders.
You juist don't want to get too carried away with the direct arm work cause as said they can very easily get overtrained. My arms saw more growth then ever when I started focusing more on the big lifts and laying off the isolations except for some curls here and there. There's an old saying, "If you want big arms, SQUAT!"

A lot of people will probably not be able to comprehend that.

Ironaddict says it best here: "If you want big arms---SQUAT! Want your chest to grow? SQUAT! Shoulders?? SQUAT! If you don't understand the relationship, and how squatting (or deadlifting) could possibly make your arms grow, one day you will. Or you may never learn, and your arms, and upper body may never reach their potential. The bulk of my arm work (and MANY) of those I train is actually done when doing chest or back. Then one or at most two different direct arm exercises are done to finish the job. I have never seen a guy that does full range dips with 100+ LBS strapped to his waist, or close grip benching 300+ lbs with little triceps. Nor have I witnessed the guys that does pull-ups with 50-100 around their waist, and rows with 250-350 lbs with small biceps. Do that first and all you need are a few good sets of some type of curl, and a few sets of skull crushers, or push-downs to finish the job. The big compound lifts are where it's at."

MeanStreet
12-19-08, 8:32 am
now that was well said

strivin for more
12-19-08, 8:42 am
very nicely put, i have to say i totally agree with that. ive also noticed my biceps are shot after i do some big pulls, so pretty much a couple curls finish em off, as long as i get enough rest in between? like doing tri work after some big benching?

shizz702
12-19-08, 8:52 am
now that was well said
thanks bro

very nicely put, i have to say i totally agree with that. ive also noticed my biceps are shot after i do some big pulls, so pretty much a couple curls finish em off, as long as i get enough rest in between? like doing tri work after some big benching?

right on bro, yea like I said a little bit or arm work ain't gonna hurt nothing, a few sets of curls to finish things off on your back day would be fine, as well as maybe some skull crushers or whatever suits you after your pressing. I personally like to hit up close grip benching and weighted dips for my triceps. Work your way up to big poundages on weighted dips or close grips and expect to have big triceps!

strivin for more
12-19-08, 9:40 am
but hitting back to the main point of the topic (i learned some stuff on the arm info you gave gave me) but you think i should split my back day into traps/shoulders/lower back and then make the other day lats/biceps?

shizz702
12-19-08, 9:46 am
but hitting back to the main point of the topic (i learned some stuff on the arm info you gave gave me) but you think i should split my back day into traps/shoulders/lower back and then make the other day lats/biceps?

No, like I said I think you should cut down on the volume (assuming you are doing too much if it is taking you 2 hours) and get it all done at once. You'd be better off training 3 days a week then 4, and the extra day off will be better served for recovery.

I recommend you use the example back routine I posted and modify it to your liking.

strivin for more
12-19-08, 4:14 pm
alrite, thanks man. will do.

MrMonday
12-20-08, 2:16 pm
This is one of my pet peeves.......


I'm not against training arms directly either, but I am against overtraining them. The biceps and triceps are very small muscle groups and very prone to overtraining. What most people don't realize is your triceps get hit with all pressing movements, and your biceps get hit from pulling movements. The triceps, especially take a pretty good beating cause just about all routines include a lot of pressing movements when training chest and shoulders.
You juist don't want to get too carried away with the direct arm work cause as said they can very easily get overtrained. My arms saw more growth then ever when I started focusing more on the big lifts and laying off the isolations except for some curls here and there. There's an old saying, "If you want big arms, SQUAT!"

The triceps, and especially the biceps, are small muscle groups, but they're also very fast-recovering muscle groups. Suggesting that they are "easily overtrained" sounds like some lousy scare tactic in my opinion. No ordinary person is in the gym after their back/bicep workout thinks to themselves "you know I think I'll do two more bicep exercises" and then BAM he's "overtrained" (whatever that means) and his biceps simply won't grow! In order to "overtrain" your arms you'd have to be hitting them hard at least 3 times a week, or training them when sore... basically doing something STUPID, something no typical trainee would do in the first place.

It should be no surprise to anyone that your arms grew best when you focused on gaining strength (and probably bodyweight) all over your body, including your arms. Do you honestly think people new to bodybuilding are actually doing concentration curls and pushdowns INSTEAD OF squats and bench presses?

It is fine and good to emphasize that we need to focus on our biggest most basic lifts and bringing up those numbers of course, but some of you guys (not just referring to shizz) take things too far in the other direction by suggesting that someone NEGLECT their biceps and their triceps altogether. This is NOT an effective bodybuilding strategy, and I have yet to see a single person build up an impressive physique (with impressive arms) by not training their arms.

In bodybuilding, barbell curls and skullcrushers are just as basic and important a lift as a squat or a bench press.


Ironaddict says it best here: "If you want big arms---SQUAT! Want your chest to grow? SQUAT! Shoulders?? SQUAT! If you don't understand the relationship, and how squatting (or deadlifting) could possibly make your arms grow, one day you will. Or you may never learn, and your arms, and upper body may never reach their potential. The bulk of my arm work (and MANY) of those I train is actually done when doing chest or back. Then one or at most two different direct arm exercises are done to finish the job. I have never seen a guy that does full range dips with 100+ LBS strapped to his waist, or close grip benching 300+ lbs with little triceps. Nor have I witnessed the guys that does pull-ups with 50-100 around their waist, and rows with 250-350 lbs with small biceps. Do that first and all you need are a few good sets of some type of curl, and a few sets of skull crushers, or push-downs to finish the job. The big compound lifts are where it's at."

What a lot of newbies take home from a statement like that is to neglect their arms, in the hopes that they will grow just the same as the other muscles even though they aren't training them with the same amount of intensity.

Now maybe you're only 5'6 with a body structure that would actually allow that to happen, but most people, especially of average height and above, need to train their arms with intensity to make them grow along with everything else. NOT treat arm training as an "afterthought".

Not only that, but most people wouldn't even be able to reach a CGBP of 300lbs or a 300lb barbell row without training their triceps and biceps correctly. It is skewed to look at a guy rowing 300lbs (a big guy who has a good mind-muscle connection and knows how to row with his back musculature) that has big biceps and say to yourself "oh, if i want big biceps i have to row 300lbs, clearly bicep training is an afterthought".

Rather than looking at his entire routine and realizing this guy works everything, and he couldn't row 300lbs without his arms being of a significant strength/size level to support that weight, which he didn't achieve by neglecting them.

The arms need to be strengthened with focus and intensity just like the pecs and the thighs and the shoulders do. To this day I have yet to see a single person achieve success with this "don't worry at all about arms" philosophy. And I have looked... and what I have seen is guys that win up with lagging bodyparts that have to spend a lot of time backtracking to bring up those bodyparts.

/rant

shizz702
12-20-08, 6:11 pm
This is one of my pet peeves.......


/rant

I understand what you are saying and I agree. I am NOT saying to totally neglect the arms, and bodybuilders with well developed foundations should especially not neglect them.

But one of my pet peeves is those, especially novices that spend too much time training them and neglecting the big picture: the legs and the back. You and I both know that the most musculature in our bodies is in the legs and the back, and when training for size that should be the main focus.

Granted proportionally speaking you will want to bring your arms, chest, shoulders, calfs, etc. up to par, but my point is by packing on a lot of mass on your legs and back by hitting the big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, etc. your whole body will grow.

Now with that being said, the problem I see with a lot of people is neglecting the big lifts and spending too much time on their arms. What do you see 99% of the gym population typically doing? Standing in front of a mirror pumping their arms! How many people do you actually see putting in work in the squat rack?

Now where I agree with you is those that actually pay their dues with the big mass builders and actually build up a substantial amount of mass have every right and actually need to hit up their arms for fine tuning, but the ones who have yet to actually develop a solid foundation yet are just wasting their time.

In the end like I said I'm not completely against direct arm work, I just advise and believe one should not get too carried away with it, and always put the bulk of their energy into the big lifts as they are what is going to pay the most dividends.

MrMonday
12-20-08, 10:41 pm
Apologies for the length, but shizz I know you're a die hard so bear with me here =)



But one of my pet peeves is those, especially novices that spend too much time training them and neglecting the big picture: the legs and the back. You and I both know that the most musculature in our bodies is in the legs and the back, and when training for size that should be the main focus.

"Main focus" is a poor choice of words IMO. I would always recommend doing more work for your back and thighs than your other muscle groups (eg: 3 exercises for chest and shoulders, 2 for biceps triceps and calves, 4 for thighs and back), but I don't believe you should PRIORITIZE those muscle groups over all others. We need to hit all our muscle groups with 110% intensity, not only an arbitrary few hoping they will pick up the slack for the others.

In other words, it is incorrect to suggest that you somehow gain more (or the same) by NEGLECTING anything. Neither your back nor your biceps will grow BETTER by neglecting your barbell/dumbell curls (in fact they will both probably grow less).


Granted proportionally speaking you will want to bring your arms, chest, shoulders, calfs, etc. up to par, but my point is by packing on a lot of mass on your legs and back by hitting the big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, etc. your whole body will grow.

Your whole body will grow if you're eating enough to gain weight, but if you want ALL of your muscle groups to grow AS FAST AS THEY CAN, and in good proportion, then you should be giving 100% to every muscle group.

What is with the minimalist mentality people have nowadays where it seems like people only do (and recommend others do) JUST enough to get by, just enough to see the minimum results. Sure your biceps might grow a little bit if you add 50lbs to your barbell row (for plenty of people they won't grow at all), but nobody can make a sensible argument for not ALSO training just as hard to add 20lbs to your barbell curl at the same time.

Not only will the guy that does both look better, but he will very likely be rowing 50 more pounds QUICKER than the guy who doesn't worry about his arms (that added a few pounds to his curl, if that), simply because the arms will be a stronger supporting structure during the exercise, and they won't be the weak link that kills the connection between the back musculature and the weight being hoisted.

Bodybuilding is about OPTIMIZING the human potential, therefore I believe in training OPTIMALLY.


Now with that being said, the problem I see with a lot of people is neglecting the big lifts and spending too much time on their arms. What do you see 99% of the gym population typically doing? Standing in front of a mirror pumping their arms! How many people do you actually see putting in work in the squat rack?

99% of the gym population isn't interested in bodybuilding and will give up on fitness altogether very quickly. The people that only care about their arms don't care about bodybuilding as a whole and likely don't even read a website like this.

So why frame all your advice and guidelines around the assumption that everybody is a frat boy curl junkie, as opposed to an aspiring bodybuilder? The OP has already given enough information for us to know he isn't a curl junkie, so I don't see your point here.

The same number of people you see putting in work in the squat rack, is the same number of people that are actually interested in being huge. THOSE people are our brothers at AnimalPak, you don't need to concern yourself with the other people.


Now where I agree with you is those that actually pay their dues with the big mass builders and actually build up a substantial amount of mass have every right and actually need to hit up their arms for fine tuning, but the ones who have yet to actually develop a solid foundation yet are just wasting their time.

Training the arms is not "fine tuning". Do you realize that it takes just as much time to grow the muscles of the arm as it does any other muscle of the body (depending on personal genetic differences)? I've seen this philosophy before where people think they can "build a foundation" by only focusing on their chest, back, and legs, and then just spend a little time afterwards "bringing their arms up to speed" in order to "fine tune" the physique.... and it only leads to one thing: LAGGING BODYPARTS and a lot of time spent backtracking.

Barbell curls and skullcrushers ARE "big mass builders" in a bodybuilders arsenal FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.


In the end like I said I'm not completely against direct arm work, I just advise and believe one should not get too carried away with it, and always put the bulk of their energy into the big lifts as they are what is going to pay the most dividends.

"Big muscle groups first, small muscle groups last" is one of the oldest and most well-known expressions in bodybuilding. It is unnecessary, and a poor choice of words and attitude to say things like "don't worry about your arms, just hit your rows and presses and the arms will grow!". It's a lazy, minimalist philosophy that produces lazy minimalist physiques.

If you want to drill something into peoples heads like that, why not tell them "the bigger the muscle group, the more work it needs, but make sure you TRAIN EVERYTHING".

Even if you understand the importance of strengthening the smaller muscle groups along with everything else, I want you to understand that newbies that read our posts and look to us for guidance are going to read stuff like that and take it too far to the extreme, and we end up getting guys who think they shouldn't do a single curl or pushdown until they're 200+lbs of bodyweight and benching/squatting 300/400lbs (not only that, but they think they can actually reach those bench/squat numbers without doing direct training for their muscles)

On a final note and for the third time, WHO has built up decent arms and an impressive physique with this "don't worry about the arms" philosophy?

shizz702
12-21-08, 5:49 pm
Apologies for the length, but shizz I know you're a die hard so bear with me here =)
?

No problem bro ;)

Well said, and point(s) taken. Like I said, I'm not totally against direct arm work, and even do it myself. The main point I just wanted to get across is that one shouldn't get too carried away with it, and I'll leave it at that.

shizz702
12-22-08, 8:02 am
Here's a good post from Machine on the subject of training arms:

Come on baby!!! You just missed the whole point I was trying to drive home. Generally speaking, and to the extent that there are more pressing concerns: ARMS ARE NOT IMPORTANT!!! Show me a man who is on point and seriously aggressive when he trains his back, his quads, his hamstrings, his shoulders, and his chest...and I will show you a man whose arms are sound. There will not likely be any muscular imbalance...if there is no structural or foundational imbalance. That last sentence was the key: if you are not what I call structurally or foundationally sound; you will be faced with muscular imbalances. I have seen very few professional, ametuer, or advanced bodybuilders with acceptionally small arms. Further, if your question comes as a matter of symetry, or proportional acceptability from a judging standpoint: I can readily assure you that 10 out of 10 bodybuilding judges will scratch you out of the prejudging for 4 or 5 other reasons before they even look at your arms. I am not trying to be harsh here; but I do want to drive home the point that while you can always, I say again, ALWAYS! go out and get arms. You cannot however; go out and quickly address a lagging back, quads, or hams in a six month off-season. Put the cart after the horse, worry about the big ticket items before you worry about your twin peaks, you will be better served in the long run.- MACHINE