T Nation

Arm Day?


I'm a long time reader, but stay rather quiet on the boards.

I was wondering how effective a dedicated arm day has been for members in terms of strength gains and/or aesthetics.

I played college football and having a dedicated arm day during training never seemed to be a logical use of time. I'm a few years removed from college and have continued the same path. I consider myself rather strong, but desire more size in my arms (as well as chest). Relative to the size of my back, shoulders, legs, etc. these parts fall behind.

I should note, I do have very long arms (7 foot wingspan). With my schedule, I can realistically only lift weights 4 times a week.. anything more is gravy.

My question is this. Do you feel a dedicated arm day is worthwhile in my case? I'm willing to sacrifice a little strength for aesthetics. Also, anyone who does an arm day, what is your weekly training split?

I realize everyone's body is different, I'd just like to poll some members on their experiences. Thanks for your time.


Hrmmm I don't know how well an arm day fits in if you only have 4 days to train. If I had to make a 4day split personally it would probably be:


Or something similar to that. I will answer your question though, I personally do have a dedicated arm day and since adding it and really focusing on my arms they have come up nicely. I used to feel they were a weak point and now receive compliments on my arm size all the time.

My split is as follows:

M - Legs
T - Chest
W - Back
Th - Shoulders
F - Arms
Sa - Cardio & Misc. stuff
Su - Cardio or Off



Your deadlift must be off the charts.........unless your 7'2" :))


Hmm, I once used this split:

Fri-Delts, Traps, Abs, whathaveyou

The off-days were due to my schedule.

Had no trouble increasing strength for reps, so it obviously worked just fine.
I took pretty long rests between ramping sets, so workouts took a while (esp. arm day :wink:

I agree with josh. You guys who have trouble increasing strength for reps on arm exercises would probably benefit from an all-arms day where those muscles aren't pre-fatigued.
Or do bis on leg day before legs and tris on delt day after delts (since most people only do one overhead-press per delt day). That should work, too.

Edit: I also did one or two pressing exercises for tris on arm day, +one extension. So no issues due to having delt day before that or anything.


my split is this when bulking.

monda- back
tues- chest
weds- cardio
thurs- legs
fri- arms + shoulders

you can fit it in easily like that


If you only have 4 days to lift
and want an arm day; set it up.

I like the spilt that Cephalic_Carnage posted:

Delts, Traps, Abs,

I do: chest/bi, back/tri, legs, shoulders/core right now....so far so good.

The point is; if you want to do something...carve your workout around that if you have a goal. Simple.





Most times when you see guys with a dedicated arm day they're on a 5 day split (i.e. chest/back/shoulders/legs/arms) but there are ways to do it. The one that Cephalic_Carnage suggested is good but I would do chest+shoulders/back/legs/arms because your back comprises more muscle mass than your chest and shoulders combined and those two are very related in most pressing exercises


yeah, I don't know how people muster the energy for chest and back in the same day


i only workout 4 days a week and mine is like this
tues-chest and bi
thurs-back and rear delts
sat-shoulder tris and traps

preety much what dorian did for a part of his carear.


I appreciate the responses everyone. I've decided to give the arm day a try, going with either cephalic or squatdeep's recommendations. Currently, for reasons of focusing on my bench and squat strength, I currently do chest/back, legs/lower posterior chain, chest/tri, legs/bi's/abs. It did accomplish a better bench and squat.. however, it's probably obvious to everyone else why my arms don't look great. I guess I'm at a crossroads when it comes to my goals.If the arm days don't work for me after some time, I'll go back to more of what Josh and crod recommend.

Josh: I agree, an arm day once out of only 4 lifting days doesn't seem productive at first, but the look of my arms needs help. I need a change. Thanks for sharing your experience.

tribunaldude: Yeah, it's 7 feet. I'm 6'7" so it is unproportional... and yes, deadlifts are easy for me, but didn't do much for my legs. At a normal width grip, I'd say my legs only go down to what equates to a quarter squat depth. If I do any deadlifts, it's with a snatch grip and wider stance.

Cephalic_carnage: Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience. I'm strongly considering the split you suggest.

Jehovas_fitness: Thanks for the input. I've done chest+back quite often and yes, it can be draining. I want to know what you do for a tongue routine.. that thing's swoll. I bet the ladies love it.

b rock: you're right, i need to just write it out, think it through, and do it.

daneq: Thanks for the suggestion. I love doing push/pull phases... just not doing it right now.

squatdeep: Thanks for the suggestion. I'm dabbling between your suggestion and Cephalic's.

crod: I like that 4 day split. I often do tri's with chest and I'm beginning to wonder if that's my problem. Plus, I do chest (pressing) 2x per week. Once with tri's, once with back. I might go with chest + bi's and only once a week if the arm day doesn't work out for me.


You have the exact same split as me, down to the days of the week and everything (except for that I usually do calves at the end of chest and shoulder days, and my weekend cardio has been negleted lately).

As a matter of fact, your stats are very similar to mine as well.


You have the exact same split as me, down to the days of the week and everything (except for that I usually do calves at the end of chest and shoulder days, and my weekend cardio has been negleted lately).

As a matter of fact, your stats are very similar to mine as well.


For my part,Im on my 1st PCT,and my training is on 4 days 2 dyas /on,1 day /off,1 day /on.For 7 weeks and after this Pct im come back on AAS.


Lol I usually do calves on chest, shoulders and saturday.


BTW squatdeep and I said pretty much the exact same thing. Pull means deads + back, push means chest + shoulders, w/e all these splits will work just fine. Good luck.


While I only started having a dedicated arm day recently, I already feel like it's made a difference both aesthetically and in pushing and pulling movements. Soon as I stop dieting I'm sure I'll see even better gains. My split (bodypart wise) is-


Plug in a rest day between legs and arms, or arms and back if you feel especially sore. 2 exercises per bodypart, one power exercise and the other a pump exercise, no reps lower than 6 and 3 sets per bodypart. I try to make my warmups challenging and at the same time bump up the weight every few sessions.

As long as you continue to hit your core lifts hard I think you won't detract from recovery and will probably get even stronger in the bargain. Toss in some judicious cardio and some big eating in there and you have yourself a recipe for an impressive physique a year or two from now.


Well, I was doing:

BTN pulldowns
Wide Hammer-grip Cable Rows
Incline Presses
Flat Machine Presses
Rack Pulls

Face Pulls (those were more of a quick prehab thing)

I like my upper back to be somewhat pumped before pressing, hence doing some back exercises first.
With enough rest between sets/exercises, I had no fatigue problems whatsoever.

Rack Pulls last as you would do when training DC... No issues here, either.

I don't like training delts with chest on a traditional split because that seems to irritate my shoulders and strength on delt exercises suffers. Works on DC, but not on a 4-day (at least in my case).

This split was originally intended to be a 5-day:

But as I've mentioned, I made it a 4 day due to my schedule and set it up that way due to aforementioned issues.

@jehovas' : Dude, eat more :wink: It's easy to train that way when using the ramping technique (I mostly did 8 reps on warm-ups, then 6-8 on my top set.. If I did 8 on that set, I stopped right there, rested, and put on a little more weight for a fifth set of 5-6 reps.

Quads were 20-12 reps over 5 sets), since you're not exhausting yourself with 3-4 worksets on every single exercise.

@OP: Good luck with your training.


If I may ask another newbie question... I never did split training, one thing I've always wondered about was why nobody seems to use the pre-fatigue from chest or back training?
Back + Biceps
Chest + Triceps

Also, on shoulders day, do you only train the middle of the deltoid since the others get hit anyway on back & chest day, or all of them?


You train the whole shoulder area on delt day. Most do Traps there as well. Might want to include some face-pulls (either as your dedicated rear-delt exercise and/or as extra prehab).

Plenty of people do back+bis and chest+tris, but for those who have arm-strength/size issues, it just seems to hinder arm-progress.

4-way (and more) splits are set up so that you can train the muscle with multiple exercises while it's fresh, then let it rest (only being hit indirectly on occasion) during the rest of the week (or however long one training-cycle lasts) and then come back and really concentrate on beating your previous numbers (preferrably not just by 1 or 2 reps. the rate of size progress usually corresponds to the rate at which you increase your strength for moderate to high reps).