T Nation

Direct Arm Work?


#1

Hey guys,

I'm currently following 5/3/1 and have been for a couple of years with good progress and some setbacks, but overall I am very happy.

I train four times a week, 2 upper, 2 lower.
Monday- 5/3/1 Squat
Tuesday- 5/3/1 Bench - Chest/Back (currently dealing with a shoulder issue, so I may stop benching and switch over to DB flat bench for a bit.)
Wednesday- OFF
Thursday- 5/3/1 Deadlift
Friday- 5/3/1 OHP - Shoulders and Arms

My question is, is Friday's workout doable? Or is it simply too much volume in one day? I usually do chins or a row variation with every pressing movement for the upper body days. Chest/Back work very well together, I love working them together; but Friday's workout is what I'm concerned about.

Last Friday my workout looked like this:
- 5/3/1 OHP with chins/weighted chins (underhand grip)
- Close Grip Bench 4 sets of 6-10 reps with DB rows, same sets and reps.
- Lateral Raises - 4 sets of 10-12
**All arm work was done for 3 sets of 6-10 reps*** I also change the exercises every week or two.
- BB curls with press downs
- DB hammer curls with Overhead extension (seated DB on a slight incline in this workout)
- Spider curls with cable kickbacks and face pulls

Just typing all of that out makes me realize I should probably lose some of these exercises, because it kind of looks like way too much, haha. What do you guys think?


#2

Why 3 different curl variations in one workout?


#3

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
Why 3 different curl variations in one workout? [/quote]

I know…haha. I’m starting to ask myself the same question. I guess I’m just anxious to demolish my arms and get them to grow. But I know, that many different curls is too much. I want to continue this program but figure something out for arm work. Maybe more sets and less exercises for arm work?


#4

At present, you’re training your arms with 54-90 reps in one workout. Do you give the rest of your body that much volume? If no, is the rest of your body growing?

I genuinely don’t feel that you need to train the arms differently than anything else.


#5

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
At present, you’re training your arms with 54-90 reps in one workout. Do you give the rest of your body that much volume? If no, is the rest of your body growing?

I genuinely don’t feel that you need to train the arms differently than anything else. [/quote]

I think it almost becomes an obsession of “chasing the pump” with arm work. I should probably avoid that…


#6

Chasing the pump isn’t the worst thing in the world, but there may be more effective ways to do it. I like to do just 1 huge set of curls/tricep work on my overhead day. Usually a drop/strip set. Seems to satisfy the need for the pump without a ton of different exercises.

2 big ones I’ve done recently:

Axle curl strip set: shoot for 100 reps in as few sets as possible.

Hammer cur to curl drop set: run the rack, do a set of 10 with one style, go to a lighter dumbbell, switch styles, and repeat.


#7

Big arms:

Get bigger/stronger on the main lifts
Do fat bar curls
Do dips
Do rope chins
Do chins/pull-ups

That should help guide you.


#8

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
Big arms:

Get bigger/stronger on the main lifts
Do fat bar curls
Do dips
Do rope chins
Do chins/pull-ups

That should help guide you.[/quote]

Thanks for the response, Jim.

I will keep weighted dips in my bench workout and weighted chins on my OHP day. For an accessory movement instead of close grip bench after OHP, I am doing Incline DB bench followed by a row variation. After those movements, I could throw in a few sets of curls and pressdowns without any issue I’d imagine? How many sets/reps would you recommend so I don’t overdo it on this day?


#9

Can’t remember where I read this, but when doing chins, if you keep your torso more vertical it hits your biceps more and if you lean back it hits your upper back more. I’ve recently started doing 3 sets leaning back, and 1-2 sets staying vertical and then hitting some curl variation right after. It’s been very simple and very effective. Hope it works for you if you give it a try!


#10

[quote]Aches89 wrote:
I will keep weighted dips in my bench workout and weighted chins on my OHP day. For an accessory movement instead of close grip bench after OHP, I am doing Incline DB bench followed by a row variation. After those movements, I could throw in a few sets of curls and pressdowns without any issue I’d imagine? How many sets/reps would you recommend so I don’t overdo it on this day?
[/quote]

Man if I could give my younger self one bit of advice it would be don’t try keep everything going at the fastest pace all the time.

Your triceps are getting serious work when you bench, press, dip and even when you do chins.

If you feel they are a point of weakness, then do some close grip benching as your supplemental work for a cycle or two.


#11

[quote]Aches89 wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:
Big arms:

Get bigger/stronger on the main lifts
Do fat bar curls
Do dips
Do rope chins
Do chins/pull-ups

That should help guide you.[/quote]

Thanks for the response, Jim.

I will keep weighted dips in my bench workout and weighted chins on my OHP day. For an accessory movement instead of close grip bench after OHP, I am doing Incline DB bench followed by a row variation. After those movements, I could throw in a few sets of curls and pressdowns without any issue I’d imagine? How many sets/reps would you recommend so I don’t overdo it on this day?
[/quote]

I recommend following what I wrote. 100% of people get 100% of the arm work they need - 100% of people leave out other important shit in their overall training program.

So my advice is to seek balance, not guns. Guns will come. Balance must be sought.


#12

Jim Wendler is like the yoda of weightlifting.

Lift heavy you must guns you will make.