T Nation

Arms Not Growing


My arm growth has stalled for about three months now. Everything else has grown since I started lifting.

Chest- Started at 40in, now is at 46in.
Shoulders- 49in.....now 53in
Arms- 12in....now 16in
Calves- 16in....now 16.5in
Quads- still at 25in

This has all been from about 45lbs of growth (180-225). I am still gaining weight, and the past three months I have gone from 210 to 225, however arms have stayed at 16in the whole time.

Current Training- I have two arm days a week (not always, but vast majority). One negative thing to note about my training is that I do not train legs. Reason being having 16in calves at 180lbs, and 12in arms looks absolutely ridiculous. Legs have always been a strength. Am starting to train legs very soon though, just wanted to get my upper body into proportion, now that I am 225lbss and 16in arms; my proportions are much better. So here is what my arm training looks like.

-Cross body hammer curls- 3 sets of 10
-Concentration curl-3 sets of 12 (was doing preacher curl, but gym removed it)
-EZ bar/Barbell curl with 3 second negative- 2 set of 8
-Incline skull crushers-3 sets of 12
-Dips- 2 sets of 8
-Rope push downs- 4 sets of 12

*For the second workout of the week, I do a variation of every movement. Visually my arms are looking better (more defined, more "mature"). However they are not getting bigger.

Current Diet- Lots, I am growing everywhere except arms and steadily putting on weight with what seems to be pretty much no fat (at 6'4 225 is nothing to brag about, however I have kept my waist at 30in while gaining 45lbs). Each week I am adding more food to my plate, and the scale moves.

Any help is greatly appreciated.



Go simple

EZ Bar Curls
Ez Bar Reverse Curls
Hammer Curls

Smith Close grip

Dont do a second arm day....just kill the pressing and rowing moves on their days


there could be several things wrong here. Honestly id get rid of most of your arm workout. 2/3 of your bi movements are secondarily held up by your brachioradialis. Switch them to more isolating movements. 1arm DB preachers, Incline curls, 21's, etc.

Put some more emphasis on the tricep, its a big portion of the arm. Dips are a good mvoement if you can do them without throwing in Chest, and so it deserves more than 2 sets. Use another heavy movement, like barbell press.


21's? Really? Probably the most absurd exercise in history.

His arm routine is based on the John Meadows article. And its a real solid routine. Quite a few people are having success with his stuff.

OP Your problem is more likely than not an issue of feeling the muscle work. Or going too heavy too fast. Ramp up the weight more dramatically and feel the muscle working.


wait youre 6 4!?!

just eat and keep lifting. no one has big anything at 6 4 225


Well I wouldnt say that. Coleman was big on em. I mean i wouldnt suggest to make it a weekly cornerstone of a bi routine, especially if you normally use a high volume low load style of lift, but throwing a set of heavy 21's once every several weeks feels great.

Actually, those constant tension curls of CTs are essentially the same idea, but just a cleaner, harder to cheat version. Get that massive pump. Yea should probably substitute Constant Tension curls in for my 21s comment =p


OP has 16" arms. Lets not pretend that ANYTHING that ronnie did on video has any relevance to the OPs situation.

Seated alternating dumbell curls
Barbell curls
Hammer or reverse curls

arm training doesnt need to get crazy when your arms arent big


x2, was going to say that.

Get your strength up.

It's the muscle being over-loaded that builds it...not exercise per ce.


How are you progressing with weight with the arm exercises?

I would just stick to the basics and focus on progression

Bonez217 said: "OP has 16" arms. Lets not pretend that ANYTHING that ronnie did on video has any relevance to the OPs situation.

Seated alternating dumbell curls
Barbell curls
Hammer or reverse curls

arm training doesnt need to get crazy when your arms arent big"

This would do just fine.


Thats not what my girlfriend says......

Yes I am pretty tall, and still lanky. At 180 I looked like I was dying. Not good.

As far as my progress in strength it has been pretty good. For example dips I have gone from, at 180 not being able to do 5 with my own body weight, to now being able to do 10 with an extra fifty added to my bw.

Thanks for all the input everyone will give your suggestions a shot. I am obviously going to keep getting bigger, stronger and growing till I hit 250. Then I am going to focus on getting lean at that size. I just wanted to make sure that I was not doing anything to keep me from progressing, in terms of arm size.


She told me that she was just being polite to you.

Enjoy your time at tnation


im pretty much having similar problems, i think my tricep may be growing but i'm almost certain my biceps are not


A pointer for arm training (like most bodyparts) is to keep constant tension on the target muscle.

This obviously includes no excessive bouncing (maybe a slight jerk on the "turnaround" point, the part where you burst up on the positive...but definitely control or even slow down the negative).

Constant tension on the target muscle may include shortening the range of motion a little; so taking standing biceps curls as an example, you wouldn't go to complete lockout (elbows straight). Same once you've curled the load up, you want to quickly descend/turnaround (not hang around or get to the point where gravity/leverage is taking the biceps out of the movement).