No significant gains in arms. Advice?

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    Jan 23, 2008 2:29 AM GMT
    Eight weeks ago, I began a mass building program and have seen significant gains in the amount of weight I'm lifting. Nevertheless, I've yet to see significant gains in the size of my arms -- one of the primary reasons I started this program. I understand that diet, body composition, intensity play role in my progress but in your experience what would you consider to be significant gains in your arms for a period of eight weeks? The following are my routines for days which include arms:

    Day 1 (shoulders/triceps)
    Standing Military Press - 6-8 reps x 3 sets
    Dumbell Lat Raises - 6-8 reps x 3 sets
    Seated Dumbell Rear Lateral Raises 6-8 reps x 3 sets
    Overhead dumbell extensions 6-8 x 3 sets
    Rope Pulldowns superset skull crushers 6-8 x 3 sets

    Day 2 (back/bi)
    Preacher Hammer Curls - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
    Close Grip Barbell Curls - 6-8 reps x 3 sets
    Weighted Overhand Pull Ups - 8-10 reps x 3 sets
    Dumbell Rows 6-8 reps x 3 sets

    Day 3

    Day 4(chest)
    Weighted Dips - 8-10 reps x 4 sets
    Bench Press - 6-8 x 3 sets
    Incline Bench - 6-8 x 3 sets

    By the time I get to the last set in each of these days, I'm physically DONE. Am I doing anything wrong? Do I just need to wait?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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    Jan 23, 2008 11:22 AM GMT
    Something I did to accent the arms was to split the days so that I did chest and back one day then shoulders and arms the next day. That way instead of working on arms as secondary muscles they would be isolated from beginning to end for their day. Hope that helps
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    Jan 23, 2008 12:22 PM GMT
    What about:

    Day 1 (shoulders/triceps)
    Day 2 (back/bi)
    Day 4(chest) & TRICEPS
    Day 3 Legs & BICEPS

    That way you work twice as much on yr arms.

    Another way around may be:

    Day 1 (shoulders/triceps)
    Day 2 (back/bi)
    Day 3 (chest) Legs

    Take also a look at my workout, I've detailed the exercices in this topic:

    Here it is:
    Each exercices is made of 3sets 10/8/6 Reps to failure.
    Biceps and triceps on fridays are supersets.

    MONDAY: Back, BICEPS, Oblique
    TUESDAY: Chest, TRICEPS, Abs/Lower Back
    THURSDAY: Shoulders, Leg, Oblique
    FRIDAY: BICEPS, TRICEPS, Abs/Lower back
    WEEKEND: Rest
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    Jan 23, 2008 2:32 PM GMT
    I would also try and up the weights and do maybe 5 or 6 reps on each set. This will help with the intensity factor. I'm not an expert or anything, but I have to really stack it on to feel sore in my arms. Like any muscle, they get used to your exercise very quickly, and they need to be "shocked" into growing.

    I hope this helps, you look great !

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    Jan 23, 2008 2:49 PM GMT
    Only two observations

    theres a hell of a lot of upper body there compared to lower body apart from tearing the muscles to repair the training role is to stimulate and release growth hormone

    rest days - you dont say where the rest days are but either way the same muscles are getting blasted continually giving limited recovery time and limited growth

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    Jan 23, 2008 3:02 PM GMT
    ever try 21's for your biceps? standing w/ a bar curl the weight (about 20% less than you would normally use, it will feel light at first but it won't feel light by the end!) up until your forearms are parallel to the floor, elbows at 90 degrees, then lower the weight back down. do this 7 times then on the 8th rep curl the weight all the way up and lower it down only until your elbows are at 90 degrees again; do this 7 times, then on the 8th (15th total) rep lower all the way down and continue imediately by completing 7 full motion curls; all the way up and all the way down while remebering to really squeeze the muscle at the top of the contraction. by the end you have done 21 reps. do 2 or 3 sets of these once every couple of weeks, but not every week, and you should notice some size gain.

    for triceps I really like dumbbell kickbacks and skull crushers. a variation on the skull crusher is to do it at a slight incline so your arms are not at 90 degrees to your chest. remember to focus on form in all exercises and visualize the muscles you are working, even if you need to lower the amount of weight you're lifting!

    one great thing about arm exercises is that it is easy to do forced reps without a partner since you have the arm to help out if needed, and forced reps are good for muscle growth. negative reps are also good for growth I've heard.
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    Jan 23, 2008 3:10 PM GMT
    21's are a killer, if yuo can put the bar down and release your grip at the end of it it means ya wussed and didnt work hard enough ha ha ha icon_lol.gif
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    Jan 23, 2008 5:37 PM GMT
    21's are a good way to do it.
    One of the reasons they can work so well is because they just force tons of blood into your biceps, which force it to grow.

    Something else I tried a couple of years ago, and saw really good results on, was to do a 4 day split, with arms being done on 2 days of the week. You do maintenance for everything but arms. I read it in Flex magazine. Something like this:

    Monday: Chest, Back and Shoulders
    Tuesday: Arms
    Wednesday: Rest/Cardio
    Thursday: Legs
    Friday: Arms
    Saturday: Rest/Cardio
    Sunday: Rest/Cardio

    For the arms workout, do super sets; triceps for one set, then biceps for the next, no break in between. Rest after both sets. Do 3 different exercises for each muscle group, with decreasing reps. So that will be 9 sets total for triceps, 9 sets total for biceps. And for rep ranges, try 12 - 10 - 8 for triceps, and 10 - 8 - 6 for biceps. The idea is that triceps are bigger, so they need a bit more work. Also, don't forget the brachialis muscle (between/under the biceps and the elbow). Oh, and you can do fore arm exercises at the end to get some striations in your fore arms.

    So here's a sample workout:

    Skullcrushers - 12 reps
    Barbell Curls - 10 reps
    Skullcrushers - 10 reps
    Barbell Curls - 8 reps
    Skullcrushers - 8 reps
    Barbell Curls - 6 reps

    Overhead dumbbell raise - 12 reps
    Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls - 10 reps
    Overhead dumbbell raise - 10 reps
    Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls - 8 reps
    Overhead dumbbell raise - 8 reps
    Incline Bench Dumbbell Curls - 6 reps

    Pressdowns - 12 reps
    Hammer Curls - 10 reps
    Pressdowns - 10 reps
    Hammer Curls - 8 reps
    Pressdowns - 8 reps
    Hammer Curls - 6 reps

    Palm down wrist curls - 20
    Palm up wrist curls - 20

    (Wrist curls are when you kneel and lay your fore arms on top of a weight bench, with your hands hanging off the edge. Put a light weight in each hand, then roll it out to your finger tips and back, curling your wrist at the end).

    Hope that helps. Sorry if that wasn't articulate enough for y'all. Feel free to correct anything I got wrong icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 23, 2008 9:12 PM GMT
    Handstand pushups grew my arms a lot. I saw that a lot of gymnasts do them, and that's what I wanted to look like, so I started doing them last summer, and I've never stopped getting compliments about my arms since then.
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    Jan 23, 2008 9:35 PM GMT
    I think that the most important thing is just to give it more time...eight weeks isn't all that much in the grand scheme...muscle building is a gradual process that, dependent on many individual factors (particularly body-type), can take a good bit of time to fully develop...especially in an area (the arms) that is adapted to regular use.

    My suggestion is to consider adding more exercises to your arm I read it, you only do two exercises that isolate your arms. While that's two more than none, it's easily one or two less than you could be doing. You also probably realize that as you work you full arm (bi's and tri's) you will generally be increasing the size and strength of both...thereby making overall gains that decrease the noticability of gains isolated to your biceps. Start measuring your arms, if you haven't been already, and you'll more than likely notice incremental gains.

    Another general thought is why not add shoulders to leg day and de-couple that double "pull" day of back and bi's (as one necessarily diminishes the full performance of the other) and put chest and bi's together (a push and a pull) and back and tri's together (a pull and a push) and not only achieve a better balance, but also shave a day off of your routine which will quicken your overall turnaround and surely speed your gains.

    Last thought...I don't notice stomach work in your routine? It's hugely important to strengthen your core as you add mass and increase activity in all of the areas that surround it. All of the above said, it's most important to use proper form and incrementally build your routine and stamina so as to incrementally increase your size and strength in a way that allows injury-free adaptation.
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    Jan 23, 2008 10:30 PM GMT
    8 weeks, if I could build mass in 8 weeks I would already look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It took me about 4 months to see significant growth in my arms.

    Realize there is no magic pill or exercise that will get you there in 8 weeks. Only steroids will put mass on you fast and only if you exercise right.

    It looks like your going heavy by the low reps and thats good. I hope you are failing on your last rep, if not add weight. I hope your diet is adjusted for mass building if not you need to fix that.

    I always look at these programs as a starting point. They do produce results, but it usually takes a lot more to get where you want to be. Don't be discouraged or give up though, but do get used to the fact that bodybuilding is a lot longer process than 8 weeks.
    Great workouts