T Nation

How Necessary Is It to Train Arms?

if you train heavy compound lifts 3 x per week is it still neccesary to train your arms or will they still grow

Well if they aren’t growing at a satisfactory rate, then yes. If they are, then it’s entirely up to you.

If you care about 'em than yeah.

Yes.

They could be the weakest link in your chain.

Only on the internet have I ever heard ANYONE EVER say that you should abstain from training arms… if you want bigger arms.

I should add to this that a lot of curling movements train more than just your biceps. I feel my forearms quite worked on some variations.

The only reason not to do concentrated arm work is if your a power lifter and cant afford to shove another low recovery day in there.

But you can always do “active recovery” which really just means lifting fairly light reps at the end of the week with a muscle group that isn’t fully recovered, just to stimulate the muscle without putting too much strain on it.

The main growth comes from your back and chest days.

If you want big arms you will train your biceps.

How necessary is it to train?

Defiantly, depends on your progress.

When I started lifting I did not do any variations of curls.

Now I’m paying the price and trying to catch them up!

I do not train my biceps directly
I do however bench,plenty of back work,shoulder work .I also do work the triceps pretty heavy

with how I do things my arms get pretty tired without curls.
but it stands to reason if you want a muscle group to get bigger then you need to work it.

think close-grip chins, bench, cable press downs etc. Those are all really good arm moves. No reason not to train them at the end of a day.

-chris

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
Yes.

They could be the weakest link in your chain.[/quote]

Exactly. It seems like it’s “cool” for the functional crowd to dismiss direct arm work, but at the same time, identify dorso-flexion in programs to avoid any any imbalances or shin splints.

If its skeletal muscle it can benefit from training.

The way I am seeing it, from reading Alpha, if alot of those guys say one of thier biggest mistakes was not to train arms, and assuming Alpha is just that, I will side with them and say arm training is probably something worth looking into.

As a powerlifter, you would hammer your triceps with board work, close grips, shirted work, and accessories. I question how much value I get out of extensions and pushdowns- but I still do them. In theory, your biceps and forearms will grow and get stronger from their passive roles in the big 3 lifts as well compund accessories like rows and chins. However, I have come to find that curls help with my recurring biceps tendonitis. I have also added wrist curls to help me hold the bar better when I bench (anything much over 500 bends my wrists way back)

i dont think you get the same growth if you dont work arms…doing compounds your arms will grow but if asthetics is also part of your plan you wont see the shape and peak. imo

I think a beginner can get away with not training their arms directly and still get decent growth/strength gains in them. Most intermediate and advanced trainees can’t.

I followed the ‘no direct arm work’ BS for a year in the start of my training (which included plenty of rows, chins, bench and dips), my arms went from a pitiful 12" cold to 11". I did get leaner and slightly go up in weight, but everything went to my torso.

Some people just need direct work I guess.

I don’t worry too much about direct training with the arms.

That said I still train either biceps or triceps at the end of every session.

Nothing hits my biceps more than inverted rows, chins, and bent rows. I usually do either straight bar curls, incline curls, reverse curls, and cable curls ( 2 - 3 exercise per session)

Triceps get alot of work from the incline, decline, and flat bench. Then at the end of the session I will do 2 -3 exercises like rope pulldowns, dips, or OH extentions.

So I guess I do direct arm lifting but it takes a fraction of the time compared to the complex lifts.

Hope that helps…