Can I just do the Bench,DL,Squat and still get great arm gorwth? Some dudes @ my gym dont focus on bench,dead lift or squat and their Biceps are huge(lol those curl monkeys) compared to the football guys who only do the BIG 3.
Lifting is my life
I am 15
@ 155 lbs
If you want big arms you have to work your arms.
People here will say "no just squat bench deadlift and row and youll be fine". There is nothing wrong with arm work, just don't base your routine around them. Like at the end of every lower body day I toss in some bicep work. Do 3-4 sets of 8-12 and you should be fine. My arms respond well to high reps, yours might as well.
As for tricep work, you should already be doing plenty to help with your bench.
What it comes down to... as long as your doing the big lifts any accessory work is just icing on the cake.
Last edited by BFGUITAR; 08-22-2008 at 11:39 AM.
It isn't necessary, but it certainly won't hurt, but don't become a bench and curl dude.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
to be honest for a lot of guys with small arms you just end up over-training if you chuck in arm movements. when youre starting to get some decent lifts after a year or two you should start to add arm movements, but not too many mind.
yes, for now you can just bench/squat/dl, but eventually you will develop sticking points, and you will have to train certain body parts to work through these sticking points.
23 years old
6'3, 308 lbs
I can't believe you guys honestly think this...
3-4 sets of bicep work a week cannot hurt and will improve bicep growth! Telling someone not to do isolation movements for bicep growth is silly for anyone who wants bigger biceps. Shins and rows do use biceps but a little bicep work goes a long way.
Again it goes back to the curl jockey.
These guys may only curl and and disregard training anything that they cannot see from the waist up and is not on the front of their body but the thing is I have seen many of them with large biceps. In comparison to the rest of their body it could be argued yes i know, though they do have a significant amount of weight on the bar when they are curling. Some of them I reckon must curl maybe 2/3 times in a seven day period....
I am not condoning it at all. Just something i have noticed.
The average is the borderline that keeps mere men in their place. Those who step over the line are heroes by the very
act. Go. - H. Rollins
A little bit off topic, but a lot of the male gymnasts in the Olympics have really big biceps - I mean disproportionately large - and I think it just looks kind of funny.
If big biceps are really important to you, yes do a few sets a week, but don't go overboard. It's not really going to help you all that much if you have the rest of your training dialed in, anyways.
at 15 no dont worry about about much arm train maybe 2 sets on each, each week! dont overtrain them... worry about squats, deadlifts, military presses, pullups, dips! all the basic stuff people over look bc there is so many different exercises now! trust me... been there done that my friend
Pull-ups will work your arms hard AND your back AND is a lot more impressive. I've done a measly 15 in front of a crowd of kids and ladies at a church retreat and they thought it was amazing. xD
When I dropped all bicep work and focused on heavy pressing and pulling, my arms went from 14 to 16 inches. Before that they were stuck at 14 for quite some time, despite the curling.
And a few sets of bicep curls will not do much anyway if the rest of your training is lacking. Get the calories in, focus on the big compounds and growth will come. What's going to stimulate the biceps more, pull-ups or curls with 50 lbs?
Some people may need isolation work, but it's likely because they have not reached the level of strength required for the heavy pressing and pulling movements which overload the body to such an extent that the arms are maximally (or very nearly) loaded.
Others may have reached this level of strength but might be holding back for some reason (a sub-conscious fear of injury for example).
If you are highly advanced you might feel that isolation work is needed to squeeze every last .1 inches out of the arm.
But for the vast majority of trainers they should be focused on other goals. Not doing direct biceps work does not mean that they will not get big arms.
When you can OHP your bodyweight and chin with 100 lbs for 10 reps each, you will have big arms. Then and probably only then would one require some extra bicep work for insurance purpose.
Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-23-2008 at 09:04 AM.
I am not telling him to drop heavy pulling/pushing. Like you, you dropped curling and had a solid routine. When you focused on biceps I am sure there was a lot more wrong than just your routine (diet perhaps?). So by saying you went no where while doing a lot of curls doesn't prove anything because chances are many other things were wrong as well. On top of all this, perhaps your biceps responded well to low rep high weight. Others may respond to higher rep low weight a lot better. Doing both will maximize growth.
Your comparison between the pull ups and bicep curls are silly. If a person could do 100 lbs pullups for 10 reps, chances are he can curl a lot more than 50. If a person were to go do those pullups and than do 10 reps with the highest weight he can, than the curls would hit his bicep harder. There is a reason there are so many people with extremely large arms and nothing else. Because they do bicep curls. They work.
Now don't think I'm defending curl jockeys but isolation work WILL greatly help with growth if you already have a solid routine.
Even when maximally pushing myself in the pull movements I still don't utilize my biceps to the extent of bicep curls.
The bottom line is... why deprive yourself of something that can only help you in the end? Doing bicep curls in moderation wont hinder growth and can only help.
Last edited by BFGUITAR; 08-23-2008 at 10:54 AM.
H: 5'7" W:185
Goals: 495 -315 -585
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Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185
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honestly i didn' take the time to read the other reply's... but at 15 you need direct arm work. find a good split that will work for you... if anything even a few intense sets of bi's at the end of a back workout and tris at the end of a chest workout is better than nothing... it all depends how much time you have to train and what your goals are.... good luck though bro it sounds like you are in the right place for these fellas to give you some good advise... i have been reading a ton of posts these past few days and you have some knowledgable guys on here...
Again moderation is the key. And keep in mind that my advice (on these forums) is geared primarily towards the beginner/intermediate lifter. Highly advanced/elite lifters MAY profit (as I have said above and in other threads) from some curling. But I feel strongly that beginners and intermediates should not even worry about that... nor apparently do Mark Rippetoe, Bill Starr, or Fred Hatfield for that matter.
The problem here is that too many people think "If some is good, then more is better". And little by little the arm training and focus tends to go up with a corresponding decrease in training and focus everywhere else. I've seen it happen more times then I care to remember. Training for the majority of people (particularly less advanced lifters) should be simple and free from as many distractions as possible.
Arm work tends to distract the less advanced. That is why we get so many people (on these and other forums) asking questions like "Why won't my arms grow/how do I make my arms bigger?" That is why we see people doing 20+ sets for arms. And that is why (in your gym apparently) you have so many people with big arms and nothing else
Last edited by Songsangnim; 08-24-2008 at 09:17 PM.
Song, if your logic is correct than bodybuilders must be idiots for doing any direct bicep work. Why do it if they can just do the big movements? Because bicep curls DO hit the biceps hard and promote growth.
Like I have said, some people respond better to low weight/high reps than high weight/low reps. It's about finding what works. By doing both you stimulate more muscle fibers, increase mitochondrial density and number... This is all important for growth. 3 sets of high rep bicep curls a week WILL ONLY help progress and will not hamper size/strength gains at all.
1) Mark Ripptoe and the others you mentioned don't care about bicep size.
2) Doing bicep work shouldnt be looked at as "more arm work" but rather different arm work. If someone loses focus because they do a little bicep work than they must be messed and is not a reason not to do them. I view bicep curls as something to do on the side, throw in some sets at the end of a nice hard workout.
A person starting must understand that curls are SUPPLEMENTARY exercises. And even a person starting can and will benefit from them.
How often did you do bicep curls? What was your routine?