T Nation

High Reps/No Wt for Small Muscles?


#1

Iv always trained my abbs and biceps same as anything else by adding weight and hitting the 8-12 rep range. So for example one of my bicep excersizes is weighted chins and for abbs one excersize I do is decline crunches holding a weight plate behind my head.

However Iv watched a few vids from people such as brandon curry who suggest mostly for abbs and sometimes biceps to not use weight at all and just do unweighted reps until failure.

What are peoples thoughts on this? I thought without increasing weight I wont get anywhere? I mean unweighted chin ups, am guna be there going up and down all day!


#2

What do you mean by unweighted? Just curl your arm with nothing in your hand?

If you mean bodyweight, I would suggest getting a LOT heavier before making it the cornerstone of an arm workout.

Either way just stick to curls and stuff: heavy, light, feel the burn, high rep, low rep, rest pause, super sets, High volume, push failure... whatever the hell works.


#3

Yeh sorry i didnt explain that very well I mean high rep bodwyweight chin ups and crunches to failure, is that enough or do i need to be adding weight?


#4

Lately I've been incorporating 15-20 rep sets to my arm routine, as I've also been paying more attention to how the pros train those muscle groups but I still work my way up to a heavy set of 8 or so. Definitely liking it, especially for further injury prevention measures as I'm even more warmed up for heavy sets without much sacrifice in weight. Even then it doesn't matter as long as progression picks up after making that change.


#5

I can do 100 crunches without an issue. Can you do 100 chin ups?

I do think you can do something of benefit by doing some sort of calistheitc routine to loosen joints and get blood rushing. I would also do calisthetics over weights with some frequency, with the belief that it would not increase my mass directly.


#6

With something like chin-ups I like to ramp up like 3 sets of 4-8, increasing weight added each time...then after a 3-4 minute rest do a bodyweight set to failure. I actually can do more this way than if I just go at it fresh since I feel so light.

When it comes to weight training there's no such thing as either or. Make room for both, and see how you respond.

Moreover, it's troublesome if one of your "biceps exercises" is chinups. This is primarily a back exercise and is less than optimal at stimulating hypertrophy in the arms.