T Nation

Help Preserve Arm Size During Cut

This may be impossible. I’ve been bodybuilding/powerlifting 13 years and reached a bodyweight of about 195lbs with 17" arms. Height 5’9’’ I put on too much fat, felt crappy, and have now cut to 182lbs.

My arms are already back down to 16" maybe a fraction less. This always happens when I cut weight–I lose in the forearms/calfs/arms before finally trimming from the core. My Chest has always been rather overdeveloped relative to the triceps–same for back to Biceps–its almost cartoonish–think Mighty Mouse! When I gain too much fat it looks very blocky.

So I’ve been trying to correct this imbalance by doing less flat bench, increasing tricep work and cutting mass while preserving the upper arms. But it isn’t working–they’re shrinking.

Poliquin has mentioned this 15lbs bodyweight per 1" on upper arms and I think he is right.

I have been trying to shock the arms by working them 5 times a week, but I plan to keep cutting till I hit about 168lbs, which would be around 7% bodyfat. This is to see if I can do it–plan to say around 175lbs.

At this rate, I predict I’ll lose at least down to 15 1/2 arms, which is what they were back in 2003, the last time I did an extreme cut from 174lbs to about 158lbs. 4 years to get to 17 and all gone!!

My long term goal is to hit about 178lbs at 8% bodyfat. However, I can’t keep bulking and cutting. Being 195 just killed my performance–I crosstrain in gymnastics/breakdancing/martial arts. The stress on the wrists and joints with that extra weight and the loss of relative strength is not worth it.

What do you guys think–keep high frequency training on the triceps? Boost calories for 1 week to slow the loss, then resume the cut? Cycle this way till I creep down toward 170lbs?

Or just figure the arms are going to shrink while getting “ripped.”

[quote]josephjackson wrote:
This may be impossible. I’ve been bodybuilding/powerlifting 13 years and reached a bodyweight of about 195lbs with 17" arms. Height 5’9’’ I put on too much fat, felt crappy, and have now cut to 182lbs.

My arms are already back down to 16" maybe a fraction less. This always happens when I cut weight–I lose in the forearms/calfs/arms before finally trimming from the core. My Chest has always been rather overdeveloped relative to the triceps–same for back to Biceps–its almost cartoonish–think Mighty Mouse! When I gain too much fat it looks very blocky.

So I’ve been trying to correct this imbalance by doing less flat bench, increasing tricep work and cutting mass while preserving the upper arms. But it isn’t working–they’re shrinking.

Poliquin has mentioned this 15lbs bodyweight per 1" on upper arms and I think he is right.

I have been trying to shock the arms by working them 5 times a week, but I plan to keep cutting till I hit about 168lbs, which would be around 7% bodyfat. This is to see if I can do it–plan to say around 175lbs.

At this rate, I predict I’ll lose at least down to 15 1/2 arms, which is what they were back in 2003, the last time I did an extreme cut from 174lbs to about 158lbs. 4 years to get to 17 and all gone!!

My long term goal is to hit about 178lbs at 8% bodyfat. However, I can’t keep bulking and cutting. Being 195 just killed my performance–I crosstrain in gymnastics/breakdancing/martial arts. The stress on the wrists and joints with that extra weight and the loss of relative strength is not worth it.

What do you guys think–keep high frequency training on the triceps? Boost calories for 1 week to slow the loss, then resume the cut? Cycle this way till I creep down toward 170lbs?

Or just figure the arms are going to shrink while getting “ripped.” [/quote]

you did the complete opposite thing you are supposed to do, you should keep volume low and the weight high in order to make your body hang on to the weight, all that work your doing will just make it worse as you keep tearing down your muscles, but not giving them enough cals to be repaired(which is what normally happens, they get repaired bigger in a caloric surplus) Stop what you are doing right now, unfortunately you might have already done some damage…

[quote]josephjackson wrote:
This may be impossible. I’ve been bodybuilding/powerlifting 13 years and reached a bodyweight of about 195lbs with 17" arms. Height 5’9’’ I put on too much fat, felt crappy, and have now cut to 182lbs.

My arms are already back down to 16" maybe a fraction less. This always happens when I cut weight–I lose in the forearms/calfs/arms before finally trimming from the core. My Chest has always been rather overdeveloped relative to the triceps–same for back to Biceps–its almost cartoonish–think Mighty Mouse! When I gain too much fat it looks very blocky.

So I’ve been trying to correct this imbalance by doing less flat bench, increasing tricep work and cutting mass while preserving the upper arms. But it isn’t working–they’re shrinking.

Poliquin has mentioned this 15lbs bodyweight per 1" on upper arms and I think he is right.

I have been trying to shock the arms by working them 5 times a week, but I plan to keep cutting till I hit about 168lbs, which would be around 7% bodyfat. This is to see if I can do it–plan to say around 175lbs.

At this rate, I predict I’ll lose at least down to 15 1/2 arms, which is what they were back in 2003, the last time I did an extreme cut from 174lbs to about 158lbs. 4 years to get to 17 and all gone!!

My long term goal is to hit about 178lbs at 8% bodyfat. However, I can’t keep bulking and cutting. Being 195 just killed my performance–I crosstrain in gymnastics/breakdancing/martial arts. The stress on the wrists and joints with that extra weight and the loss of relative strength is not worth it.

What do you guys think–keep high frequency training on the triceps? Boost calories for 1 week to slow the loss, then resume the cut? Cycle this way till I creep down toward 170lbs?

Or just figure the arms are going to shrink while getting “ripped.” [/quote]

195 to 168, man, that is a lot of weight to drop, but I know where you are coming from as I was 195 myself and and now down to 188, and although I am getting leaner, I don’t want to lose all my muscle. Don’t go lower than 500 calories below maintance, and always try to use the heaviest weight you can for some body parts, like back and legs.

[quote]josephjackson wrote:
This may be impossible. I’ve been bodybuilding/powerlifting 13 years and reached a bodyweight of about 195lbs with 17" arms. Height 5’9’’ I put on too much fat, felt crappy, and have now cut to 182lbs.

My arms are already back down to 16" maybe a fraction less. This always happens when I cut weight–I lose in the forearms/calfs/arms before finally trimming from the core. My Chest has always been rather overdeveloped relative to the triceps–same for back to Biceps–its almost cartoonish–think Mighty Mouse! When I gain too much fat it looks very blocky.

So I’ve been trying to correct this imbalance by doing less flat bench, increasing tricep work and cutting mass while preserving the upper arms. But it isn’t working–they’re shrinking.

Poliquin has mentioned this 15lbs bodyweight per 1" on upper arms and I think he is right.

I have been trying to shock the arms by working them 5 times a week, but I plan to keep cutting till I hit about 168lbs, which would be around 7% bodyfat. This is to see if I can do it–plan to say around 175lbs.

At this rate, I predict I’ll lose at least down to 15 1/2 arms, which is what they were back in 2003, the last time I did an extreme cut from 174lbs to about 158lbs. 4 years to get to 17 and all gone!!

My long term goal is to hit about 178lbs at 8% bodyfat. However, I can’t keep bulking and cutting. Being 195 just killed my performance–I crosstrain in gymnastics/breakdancing/martial arts. The stress on the wrists and joints with that extra weight and the loss of relative strength is not worth it.

What do you guys think–keep high frequency training on the triceps? Boost calories for 1 week to slow the loss, then resume the cut? Cycle this way till I creep down toward 170lbs?

Or just figure the arms are going to shrink while getting “ripped.” [/quote]

How many bodybuilders have you EVER seen with arms much bigger than 15-16" at around 170lbs? Hell, 16" is probably pushing it and you want to drop lower than that?

You claim you want big arms but then claim your performance was suffering at a higher body weight. If that is actually true then you need to pick a goal and stick with it. What did you think was going to happen by dropping that much weight? There is a reason there are no people walking around with 20" arms under 200lbs.

Further, why would you even consider training arms alone 5 times a week? It OBVIOUSLY isn’t working for you…but you thought you would just keep doing it?

looks like what you did didn’t work. I would try something different.