T Nation

Armless Training


Sorry if there have been threads on this before, but I thought this would be an interesting training topic to discuss.

I've been thinking about this a bit lately, especially after rewatching a few vids of CT's on the "Thibs pulldown." It just makes so much sense to me to take use of arms out of exercises where we wouldn't necessarily want our grip strength to interfere with fully activating the target muscle.

I gave this a try last night just for cable flyes and can honestly say I felt it about twice as much in my pecs even at the exact same weight.


I could see that working for an advanced lifter who is really looking to bring up key areas...but I don't see the use in most lifters who have a way to go to get there.

The last thing someone without big muscles needs to do is take those muscles out of the equation.

If you can lift 400+lbs without straps, then maybe you can get away with it.

To make the point clearer, if you look more like the guy in that vid, use it and let us know how it goes.

it you look like a newb, USE those same muscles groups to get bigger all over.


You're reducing the leverages of your arms to lift heavier weight. In other words, you're "cheating", or what some would consider sloppy technique.

I tried to bring this topic up once on the bodybuilding forum, but was told that "this isn't powerlifting". Fair enough.


Thanks for the input. I think the danger here is when lifters see this and then decide, oh well this makes sense...I'll use it for ALL my exercises! Then things like grip strength may go by the way side.

I do think even an intermediate lifter can benefit by doing this on one or just a few of their exercises. I for one am not nearly an advanced lifter; however, I will likely make Thibs pulldowns a part of my back training from now on.


even if this works to a degree, i often wonder what happend in the course of evolution..since cavemen grabbed a huge rock and deadlifted it, countless humans have built themselves to gigantic proportions with just fuckin' gripping a heavy weight and moving it around space and time. whats next, squats without legs?

p.s that guy in the video (IFBB pro) didnt build those pecs with "armless cable flys".

sorry, but short of some kind of pathology (resulting amputations etc) i dont see why anyone would need it.


IFBB PRO Seth Feroce needs it.

No points for guessing exactly what he needs it for.


lets see, Seth Feroce is a presentor in an official video made by the comopany making thhat product. do i need to go on? do you really think IFBB pro's would even be IFBB pro's if their pec development was so poor they needed to "armess cable fly"?


As someone who has carpal tunnel, I can also see this being very beneficial for someone such as myself.


Flawed argument. The more appropriate example would be squats without holding the bar.

As for the thing itself, I see it helping engage the lats for rows, maybe even the lateral raise but not much else.


squats without hands are too badass to be compared with armless rows.


I don't see the problem. It's just armless training ..


not to mention...those things look F**king annoying and constricting! I cant even wear an iPod armband without feeling like my arm is being choked.


I agree with Professor X. This is useless for most people unless you have some sort of injury that would prevent you from using your hand/distal extremity. This definitely would have application for amputees.



Well played sir, well played.


Seems like it would be cool for flyes. I sometimes have trouble activating my chest and I can see this helping.


interesting but not something id rush out and buy anytime soon...

whats the difference between doing flyes with those and doing it on a pec deck with open hands?


Exactly what I discovered last night. Never hurts to try. I obviously don't have the product in the video, so I just used those things you hang from to do leg raises...forget what they're called.


Not too much I suppose, except you have more freedom for ROM, if you want to do high to low crossovers or low to high.


Bingo. Poeple believing Seth Feroce actually trains like that on a daily basis are extremely gullable.


My point was he needs it to make money, that's all.