T Nation

Can't Get Biceps/Triceps to Respond

Hello all,
I am 41 years old and have been training on and off for years. Just to look and feel better. My biceps are a joke, and my triceps are of reasonable strength, I guess but I cannot get them to grow. Current routine involves Close Grip Bench Press, Push Downs, Skull Crushers, Barbell Curls, EZ Curls, Chin Ups but nothing seems to work for me. Any advice? Please be nice :slight_smile:

Do you do those exercises in that order? If so switch the around so you address your weakness first.

Can’t give feedback without a lot more detail regarding your workouts, including: workout splits and frequency, specifics re weights used, number of sets and reps/set for each exercise, rest periods, number of workouts/week, how much training is actually involved in ‘on again off again training,’ etc.

I also have difficulty with this, can’t seem to grow biceps no matter what. Part of my problem may be that I sleep with my head on my bicep, so I may be cutting off the blood supply at night. Can’t get comfortable any other way though.

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
Can’t give feedback without a lot more detail regarding your workouts, including: workout splits and frequency, specifics re weights used, number of sets and reps/set for each exercise, rest periods, number of workouts/week, how much training is actually involved in ‘on again off again training,’ etc.[/quote]

This. Also Diet

My experience is that less is more when it comes to arms. I usually do 6-8 sets total and 2 exercises tops each for bi’s/tri’s 1-2 times a week.

I have mostly used overhead db extensions (one db two hands) and rope pushdowns for triceps. All overhead movments will work the triceps from a stretched position, which again recruites most fibers and makes the hardest contractions. Don’t be afraid to go heavy here! Pushdowns are mostly done for higher reps with short rest between sets, around 30 sec.

For biceps I have found seated barbell curls with FatGripz and a drag curl-style to be effective. I also like hammer curls a lot, either with a rope or dumbbells. I am always squeezing hard on each rep and never resting at the bottom.

I feel the bi’s/tri’s get a lot of work through presses, rows and pullups/chins and don’t need too much direct work. But ALWAYS strive for max contact and strict form; make every rep count as if it was the last one :slight_smile:

I am probably less qualified than many of the others on here, but I’ll throw some things out there that might help. Since everyone’s body responds differently, it’s difficult to say what will “work”. I don’t have huge 20 inch arms or anything, but here is what generally works for me.

I have always enjoyed doing bis and tris together on my last lifting day of the week. I do this for a couple of reasons… First, there are parts of the year that are more stressful, tiring, etc. and It is more difficult to push myself to get into the gym. Who is gonna do a big leg day on Friday morning? However, it’s not hard to make yourself get up and go finish the week with arms. Secondly, it doesn’t take away from bigger lifts during the week (heavy press, big pulls, etc). you always get some work on your arms in every workout other than legs. Then it’s just targeting specifics with them to finish the week.

I like to alternate Bi then tri or vice versa during each session as well. It pushes the blood back and forth through the whole workout and then the superset (one bi/tri exercise) at the end finishes everything off. I like supersets to finish workouts, especially on arm days, but usually mix it up or bounce between “workouts” every other week for a (6-12 weeks) then change, modify, or target a little differently for the next cycle.

I have gotten alot of good things from tnation in a short time and have incorporated much of it in order to get some variety.

I’m sure one of these guys/gals on here will be able to get you rolling with this… Lot’s of good stuff here and some very sharp folks. Good luck.

I do a superset with bi’s where I do a set of incline curls(10-15) than imeadiatly do a set of curldowns,these are done on the pulldown machine with a curl grip I set the weight for 10-15, but I use my body to get 20, for some reason nothing trashes my bi’s like this combo, tinker a bit and see for youself.

as far as tri’s I do a bodyweight move, where I stand in front of a bench or rail at waist hieght, put my hands togeather on the rail, step back 3-5ft and drop my head downthrough my arms under the rail, I straighten my arms and push myself upright,(sort of standing skullkrusher) everyone I’ve taught this to loves it, and it blows up the long head like mad, I don’t do these on arm day, I just jamb them in around other body parts, like back day you can do 4-5 sets between rows,they don’t add a lot work and you can get a pump in your tri’s on off days. Hope some of this helps, good luck