T Nation

A Bit Confused...


New guy here. I've been lifting and trying to gain weight for a while now. I'm 5'11 162 and my goal is all in the arms basically. I've had twigs sticks for arms my whole life.

I have no problem putting on weight. I'm confident I can get to 170 and beyond. My question is, is it very well possible that I just end up with a gut and still skinny arms? Can I expect my arms to grow soon as I continue to lift mostly everyday?

Basically, do you find that it is as simple as lifting+gaining weight= Arm muscle? I can post current bod pics if needed


No, please no.

You are skinny as hell dude.

170 @ 5'11" is still super skinny. Of course your arms are small at that size.


Mine are only 17.5 so take it for what it's worth.

Lifting+gaining weight will equal bigger arms.

Do direct arm work.

Find a good balance between mind muscle connection and getting stronger on your arm isolation exercises.

Don't forget the triceps.


yeah. don't worry about your legs and back. especially your legs. girls never notice the wheels.


I am going to just assume that you will come back to this tread when you realize that just training arms is not yielding the resuts you wanted, and you will find this post. I am also assuming that you are like 20 years old or less, and have spent a very limited amount of time in the weight room (forgive me if I am wrong). I would like to apologise in advance for my thoughs being scattered, but bear with me, if you are a total newjack, this will save you a lot of time.

You may like your arms, but women love legs and back (squats and deadlifts) no matter what they tell you.

There was a thread on here a while ago and someone said something like 10 lbs gain total usually yields an inch on your arms (if it is good weight gain). And the fastest way to gain weight in my opinion is to squat properly.

Also in my opinion, it is pretty pointless to only want your arms to be bigger. It will look goofy if the rest of your body is lagging. Women make fun of guys with huge chests, and arms, and no shoulders, back, and legs.

If youre not busting a nut on your last few reps of each set, then you arent working hard enough to grow.

When you do go into the weight room, dont be shy about lifting. Everyone there is doing the same thing (ie trying to get larger/stronger) and everyone started somewhere (so if you are self conscious about your arms, remeber that the 200+ lb guy next to you with 18 in arms was also at one point too). Being consistent will be the optimal route for growing, no matter what you decide. Also if you go in the weight room and work hard, people will come over to talk to you and help you out if you are doing something seriously wrong. If they are bigger than you, generally they are trying to help, get their name, be respectful chit chat whatever, but be all about business too. Work ethic is the most important thing.

Another standby for all people looking to gain weight is:
Lifting + Eating + Sleeping = Growing
Take one out and you will not get growth. You must sleep and eat properly otherwise you are spinning your wheels going to lift 3+days a week.

Granted, Im not too big myself, but this should at least get you moving in the right direction as it is doing for me currently. The best places to look for information are in the sticked threads (usually the first 4 or so posts in each forum that have a mark next to them). Look for beginners programs and pick one and stick with it. You will see results and want to keep going back and eating right to keep your gains and make more. It will eventually be addicting. If you have any particular questions just ask. Again, everyone starts somewhere and your problems are not unique.

Also remember that everyone is different and some things will work for some and not so well for others. Find what works for you and work your ass off. Hard work always works.

One good idea to keep you accountable and making progress is to create a training log on here and keep up with it. People will stop in to keep you accountable, comment on your results, and offer advice. It is a fantastic tool.

Good luck on your start. Congratulations on finding the one place on the web that is dedicated to results, and not finding some kind of new revoutionary way to do a one legged bosu ball squat while simultaneously doing dumbell raises to get jacked and lose weight simultaneously to get teh abz. People on this forum will offer solid advice that will get you moving forward toward your goal.



look bro, you body works as a unit, without strength training your core, legs, and shoulders, your arm strength is limited . do your self a favor and go about this the right way, i have no idea how old you are, but its about time you realize there are no shortcuts and the only way to achieve your goals is through genuine work. Train to be an athlete, not just to look like one


and glutes. women really don't care about your ass, either.



At such a light bodyweight I'm of the opinion that strength progression on overhead presses and bench presses will help his arms the most. Focus on getting your strength up on your presses, eat more, and your arms will grow.


You guys give the WORST advice, good lord. LOL

He wants big arms so naturally everyone is telling him to squat and deadlift, or just focus on bench press and overhead press and eat food then you will surely have big arms... yeah that doesn't sound like a recipe for disaster at all. What an idiot.

How about... start eating a bodybuilding diet, train everything including your arms, and once they grow you might find a passion in yourself for bodybuilding more seriously? If not, enjoy your slightly larger arms and carry on with life.

This stuff is not complicated, and the truth is 99% of guys first consider picking up weights because they want bigger arms.



lol that some of you think all women fit in some pretty little box designed by your preconceived notions.

Get this, they are all individuals with individual tastes...

Also if pussy is the only reason you are lifting, best of luck making progress past pedestrian newb gains.


I remember that when I used to lift in high school, I used to hate squatting and all I wanted to do was bench press and do curls. "Squatting was too hard :*("

Then I started to read about how it is the best overall mass builder. I gained 9.4 lbs in 28 days after changing to a program that had them (newbie gains not typical). In the process I have been noticing a lot of small bumps and waves that I never even knew I had all over (neck arms and back especially). I wish I would have been doing a balanced program the whole time. I would be so far ahead of where I am today if I would have just done them, and I have no doubt that the results would have kept me interested back then. I just never had a reason to do them because I thought my goals were elsewhere (arms and stuff).

OP, my advice is still the same as it was before. It will save you a lot of time. Learn the major compound lifts, pick a program that works for you, that doesnt neglect anything, and includes squatting (at the bare minimum if you do one compound lift, then do squats.), do the program hard, eat well, and sleep(you grow while you are asleep). Your arms will grow in the process.

Good luck.



Medium sized shoe box FTW!



Listen to theses guys...get your diet in check, pick a decent routine. Do your compound lifts (deads/squats) AND direct ARM work and check back in when you put on some LBs.


I read all of your responses, thanks. I understand now: focusing only on arms won't work, I need to do a more complete workout that includes other muscles than arms. This post basically revolves around my fear of getting some big belly after I gain all this weight...I was 190 lbs a couple years ago and worked my ass off to get down to 152. Now that I'm not satisfied with just a flat-stomach with no muscles, I must gain the weight back.

Only this time it won't be with mcdonalds, I'm definitely eating better


Good. There is nothing wrong with a Classic Double with Cheese once in awhile, just don't live off waffles and ice cream and shit.

You have a ton of room to fuck up a little bit here and there on your way up, and you may not be happy with 190 once you get there.

Depending on your structure you might still feel you look small at that weight.

Just be smart about this. Make sure your lifts are going up too, not just your scale weight.

Have a plan, understand why you are doing what you are doing and smash fucking weights.


You may want to look at a program like this. Pick up Mark Ripptoe's Starting Strength, the DVD is worth the price.

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps

3x5 Squat
3x5 Press / Bench Press (Alternating)
1x5 Deadlift

3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press / Press (Alternating)
Pull-ups: 3 sets to failure or add weight if completing more than 15 reps


but there is not enough arms!!!

(i'm kidding btw. i like starting strength for a beginners program, too. of course your arms are small OP. EVERYTHING is small. start by gaining slabs of muscle EVERYWHERE. squats and milk. except you might wanna eat a bit cleaner - but you need to eat to grow. notice there is a difference between gaining fat and muscle. train hard. eat lots. your body will limit the growth of your arms if you don't have the legs etc to stand them up lolz.)


Again sorry for the long posts guys, its just that since I am doing all of this stuff right now, I am really into it all.

OP, if you are serious about doing SS go to my log and read...

I am not going to recommend it to you though as it requires that you first humble yourself, and learn to lift with light weights and then crawl them up from there. If you go and do this program wrong, you are in for a world of hurt. I am not so sure I would even recommend this to someone who is just learning to lift. Possible recipe for disaster (not talking about lack of growth, but what if the poor bastard herniates or damn near kills himself. He comes for advice and leaves with a slipped disk or something like that and then never grows his pipecleaners).

Its a fantastic program, but you must be very careful, pay a lot of attention to details in form, and be willing to squat a lot. And, youre optimally going to want to read the book before you even start the program. There was an article by Rippetoe on here called "Who wants to be a novice? You do." that was a great read, but again you cant just go in there and bust a nut squatting 3x and deadlifting up to 2x a week, because you will fuck yourself up if you dont do it properly.

To everyone else, no I am not a master of form, no I am not the strongest mofo on here, no I am not an exercise physiologist, but I am doing this program and it is definately not good to tell someone to just go squat 3x a week without any other advice or mention of using proper weight and stuff. It is a progression, not a BB workout. I want to prevent this guy from doing something dumb and then quitting the weights.

More advice to OP, if you are serious start hitting the weights. DO NOT SQUAT OR DEADLIFT OR CLEAN YET! Spend a few bucks and have a trainer look your form over so you dont break yourself, or have an adult (yes I am 21 and I dragged my father to the gym to watch me squat at 11 pm) read relevant parts of the book so they know what you are trying to do and then go with you a couple times to check it all out before you start going commando. Once you have done this, then proceed to do the program with no more than 135 (bench,deads,squat) and 65 lbs (press and clean) if you have never trained before even if you can do more. From there, the rest is up to you.

In my experience, without much attention to diet (no extra effort, not eating like poop), I have gained 9.4 lbs (total weight on scale, not lbm) in my first month with this program (starting weights at 155 and 85 respectively, eventhough in one of my workouts prior using this template I did more weight). If you do it properly, you will grow, if not, you will get hurt.

If you do check out my log ("Zep's Last Stand") leave a post. I love getting input and I always put more than just the workout and weightlifting info in there so literally everything is up for discussion. You will also find a couple other guys who did the program and have been helping me tweak it and answer my questions in there.



Damn, there might be another post on the way saying similar stuff. I had a major internet failure and just wrote another whole response. Please ignore the second one or whatever you want haha. Seriously though, confusticated interweb machine!