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No arm growth!

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Five_Magics
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2004/03/24 15:38:58 (permalink)
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No arm growth!

For the last 8-10 weeks I have been doing Franky Ny's routine detailed in the "Another mass building routine" thread. I have gained about 5-6 pounds in this time, some of which is unfortunately fat. I have made good gains in strength, but as per usual my biceps and forearms refuse to grow... even when doing deadlifts, SLDL's, barbell rows etc week in week out! I have decided to take a week out and then go back to the a 5x5 routine which will look like this:

Monday:
Deadlifts (10x1 or 3x3... I don't like 5 rep deadlifts)
Barbell Rows (5x5)
Barbell Curls (5x5)

Wednesday:
Military Press (5x5)
Dips (5x5) (will alternate with flat dumbbell press every 4 weeks)
Close Grip Bench (5x5)

Friday:
Back Squats (5x5) (I have finally replaced my smith machine with a squat rack!!! :))
SLDL's (5x5)
Calf Raises (5x5)

That is the core of the routine. However, I feel that I am going to need to fill it out a little. I need to improve my ab strength, wrist strength and forearm strength because I believe the lack of strength in these areas are hindering my overall progress.

So, here are my questions:

1) What should I do for my abs? I would like to do some sort of leg raise movement. However, I do not really have the right equipment. Would if be possible to do them on my dips station (which is quite high from the floor)?

2) What should I do about my wrists/forearms? I have recently bought some COC grippers. I can close the trainer easily but have great difficulty in closing the #1. Should I do hammer curls? Reverse Curls? Wrist curls? Plate pinching? Static holds?

3) Biceps! Why do they refuse to grow?! Will the barbell curls be sufficient to get them to grow? A problem I have is that my left wrist is quite weak. This is due to the fact that I broke my arm in two places near to the wrist a few years ago. Everytime I do barbell curls it is quite painful. Any suggestions?!

Any input would be much appreciated!

#1

26 Replies Related Threads

    Size
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 16:13:50 (permalink)
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    If you've only been doing a routine for 8-10 weeks how do you know your arms aren't growing?

    Adding an inch a year would be a good result, so two months would equate to 1/3". That would be next to impossible to measure with the vaguries of temperature change etc.

    The best way to get arm growth is to stop training them (IMHO).
    #2
    Ironhead
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 16:31:28 (permalink)
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    What about dropping direct arm work altogether? Sounds crayzee, but maybe replace teh Bicep curls with wide grip chins. See how it goes after 6 weeks.
    #3
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 16:32:45 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Size

    If you've only been doing a routine for 8-10 weeks how do you know your arms aren't growing?

    Adding an inch a year would be a good result, so two months would equate to 1/3". That would be next to impossible to measure with the vaguries of temperature change etc.

    The best way to get arm growth is to stop training them (IMHO).



    I understand what you are saying. However, it is not only over 8-10 weeks... I should have mentioned that I did 12 + 4 weeks of 5x5 before that. 26 weeks is surely enough time to recognise that something is not quite right.

    I had stopped training my arms in the belief that it would accelerate growth. I think I was being misled somewhat by the opinions of some people on this site. What I want to know is this: could I derive any benefit from adding low rep sets of hammer curls/reverse curls and wrist curls into my routine?
    #4
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 16:37:01 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Ironhead

    What about dropping direct arm work altogether? Sounds crayzee, but maybe replace teh Bicep curls with wide grip chins. See how it goes after 6 weeks.



    I have done that for the last 8-10 weeks. Unfortunately, I am now unable to do chin ups/pull ups since I have got rid of my smith machine for a safety squat rack. The smith machine has held me back on squats since I started, so I had no choice but to get rid of it, even though it prevents me from chinning! I suppose I could rush over to the park and do chin ups in the football goals!
    #5
    DaveH
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 16:57:05 (permalink)
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    You could try close grip underhand pullups. They are a great bicep builder. But, you've binned the smith machine so you will need another bar to pullup off of.

    How much do you weigh? Reason I ask if you are under 87kgs (i think) you can buy one of those chin up bars for the doorway from Argos...
    #6
    Skrewdriver
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 17:02:30 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive

    You need to look at your diet not at your routine, because if you've only gained 3lbs of muscle over 26wks you are just aren't eating enough.


    How would you describe your diet FM?

    FM may very well not be eating enough.. - but he's still managed to put on fat... (?)

    #7
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 17:56:18 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive
    You need to look at your diet not at your routine, because if you've only gained 3lbs of muscle over 26wks you are just aren't eating enough.



    I have gained 16lbs since starting the 5x5 routine last year. I had a starting weight of 11 stones and now weigh between 12 stones 2lbs and 12 stones 6lbs. My legs have got thicker, my chest, shoulers, back and neck have got bigger, yet my arms are still very disappointing.

    My diet is not the problem. I eat a five fairly large, well balanced meals (typical meal = chicken breast, brown rice, mixed vegetables)every day, and guzzle down 100 grams of whey protein on top of that, as well as glasses of milk and a few bits of fruit. If I eat anymore I will start getting fat, as I have already noticed a general increase in body fat.

    I will probably start a journal in the next week to let you guys know how I get on with the next 12 weeks!
    #8
    Size
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 18:02:58 (permalink)
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    16 lbs in under a year is pretty impressive. Give it another couple of years (and a couple of stone), then start worrying about arm measurements. Think in years rather than months and everything falls into perspective.
    #9
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/24 23:51:19 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by dg

    On the other hand, Five Magics, why not just add some bi/tri specific work in there for twelve weeks and see what happens?



    That is what I have decided to do. The barbell curls will go on back day, and I will do close grip bench press rather than regular bench press (alternating dips with dumbbell bench every four weeks). I will also add in some hammer curls and wrist curls, as well as gripper work, static holds and plate pinching. Ideally I would like to have a separate day for grip/forearm work, but the 3 day split does not realy allow for this. So I will have to allocate one or two exercises to the end of each workout.

    In addition to this I am going to start doing regular cardio again. This is not really a reaction to the small fat gain I have noticed, it is more a concern for my general health! Two or three cardio sessions per week, each 20-30 minutes long (or maybe a HIIT session instead), either running/sprinting in the park or rowing on the rowing machine I have at home. I may also do some chin ups if I can find somewhere with something that I can use as a chinning bar! A tree, maybe? :)
    #10
    GTM
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/25 19:49:59 (permalink)
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    I'd certainly expect some reasonable arm growth with a 16lb increase in weight.. (for me that would be at least an inch on my arms). Have your arms not grown at all? What do you call "disapointing" growth?

    If not doing any direct arm work hasn't worked for you.. then the answer is to do some. Personally I would only do

    Barbell curls 3x5 (5x5 is too much imho)
    and
    Skullcrushers 3x6

    Try that for 3 months and see how you get on. You will probably find though that your other exersizes will not progress as quickly. But if it results in what you consider to be a better balanced growth then that shouldn't be an issue.

    GTM
    #11
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/25 20:22:12 (permalink)
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    Well... the plans for my new routine have been foiled by my dad, who goes out of his way to make things difficult for me. If he isn't moaning about me eating too much, he is moaning that I want to get rid of his precious smith machine! So, basically, I can't do proper squats as he refuses to allow me to replace the smith machine with a power rack/squat rack. He is a complete moron.

    I can't afford to join a gym, so I am lumbered with the smith machine for the forseeable future. Which means no decent squats, no barbell bench press and no close grip bench press. Fantastic...[:(!]

    #12
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/25 22:15:36 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by dg

    The Smiths machine is nowhere near as bad as it's made out to be around here. Don't sweat it.



    It was good when I had light weights on the bar, but now that I have increased my squat weight it is starting to feel very uncomfortable. If I continue with it I think I will end up injuring something. My knees and back never feel quite right when I squat on the smith machine.

    Ironmind have something called a "super squat hip belt" that holds up to 3500 lbs. Would this be a better option than squatting on the smith machine??
    #13
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/25 22:22:38 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by GTM

    I'd certainly expect some reasonable arm growth with a 16lb increase in weight.. (for me that would be at least an inch on my arms). Have your arms not grown at all? What do you call "disapointing" growth?



    My arms probably have grown slightly, otherwise I would look silly! :) The problem is with my biceps really. They refuse to grow. My barbell curl has not increased for ages despite the fact that I have piled weight on to my barbell row and deadlift. I really can't decide whether to carry on with the barbell curls (despite the pain it causes in my left wrist) or swap to chin ups... or do both?

    #14
    Yib
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/25 22:57:05 (permalink)
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    do chins

    dont do both
    #15
    Size
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/26 10:29:45 (permalink)
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    A Smiths machine is a good bit of kit and if you won't be able to do chins without it I'd keep it. Deadlifts will keep your stabilizer muscles up to speed so I wouldn't worry about the downside too much.

    It sounds like you're looking for a magic bullet, which you won't find.

    How old are you?
    #16
    turbo
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/26 16:34:08 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Five_Magics


    I had stopped training my arms in the belief that it would accelerate growth.



    I did the same over the previous 6 months. Didnt do any direct arm exercises as I figured that the deads/chinups etc.. would be enough. Result was I gained nothing on my arms. Now for the next 6 months im hitting my arms as hard as I can with barbell curls/tricep extentions etc... Already I feel like they are getting bigger, just after a couple of weeks.
    #17
    Robert
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/26 16:54:05 (permalink)
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    quote:
    1) What should I do for my abs? I would like to do some sort of leg raise movement. However, I do not really have the right equipment. Would if be possible to do them on my dips station (which is quite high from the floor)?

    2) What should I do about my wrists/forearms? I have recently bought some COC grippers. I can close the trainer easily but have great difficulty in closing the #1. Should I do hammer curls? Reverse Curls? Wrist curls? Plate pinching? Static holds?

    3) Biceps! Why do they refuse to grow?! Will the barbell curls be sufficient to get them to grow? A problem I have is that my left wrist is quite weak. This is due to the fact that I broke my arm in two places near to the wrist a few years ago. Everytime I do barbell curls it is quite painful. Any suggestions?!



    #1 absolutely, dip station would be fine. hanging leg raise, weighted when you can manage 3x5
    #2 put your CoC's in the shed for 4 weeks. do one of these after every session:

    -plate curls 3x10
    -plate pinching 3x10seconds
    -static holds/barhangs [chinning bar will do] 3x10seconds, and, farmers walk 3x10m

    and i garentee<sp? the #1 will be yours at the end of that 4 weeks. i am working on shuttin the #2, should have it nailed in the next 3weeks myself.

    #3 6x3, yes, 6sets of 3reps. go real heavy. BBcurls or ezbar if your wrists give you sh.t, also, remember, your biceps aren't going to get any bigger if your not giveing your shoulders and triceps the same reason to grow. your triceps should be TWICE the size your biceps are, they constitute 2/3 the upper arm. or they should do. you wont get big bi's if you have small shouldrs and small forarms and small tris.

    rob
    #18
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/26 18:19:41 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by JohnnyFive
    When you do set after set of isolation work on the proximal muscles you are taking away from your recovery ability



    Set after set? It is possible to add isolation exercises to a routine without being excessive.

    For example:
    Monday
    Deadlift (10 x 1)
    Barbell Row (5x5)
    Barbell Curl (3x5) OR Chin up (3x5)
    Hammer Curl (2x3)

    Is that a bad routine? It could be worse... I could go and do 5 compound exercises in ONE routine...

    quote:

    Say for example you can gain 20lbs of mass over a year without any arm work and your arms don't grow at all, nothing, zilch. Great, that is exactly what you want



    That is exactly what I do not want! I don't want spindly little arms coming out of my shoulders! Although I enjoy training for strength, I am also concerned about what I see in the mirror... As are most other people who lift weights.

    This, however, does not mean that I am going to fill out my routine with endless sets of isolation exercises, it just means that I am going put my biceps and forearms higher on my list of priorities. I did this with shoulders for the last 12 weeks and managed to pile 20 kg to the bar... As a result, my shoulders are visibly bigger. Why should I not do this for biceps/forearms also?
    #19
    Five_Magics
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    RE: No arm growth! 2004/03/26 18:23:08 (permalink)
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    Robert:

    Thanks for the suggestions mate! I will take them into consideration. I am still pretty unsure as to exactly how to organise my routine. I am going to start a journal soon, so please check it out and let me know what you think!
    #20
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