T Nation

Lagging Arms on a UB/LB Split


#1

Good day, Coach Thibs.
I’m trying to set up a UBLB training split, but I consider myself a torso dominant lifter so my delts, arms (and traps too) are lagging compared to chest and back. I can only lift 3x week, so I’m going with an UB-LB-UB template. Can’t add another LB day because I already do acrobatics so I don’t want to further tax my legs.
My first UB day is like so:

UB 1

  • Flat Bench + Weighted Chins (3-4 sets)
  • Incline DB Press + Rows (3-4 sets)
  • Flies + Shrugs (3 sets)
  • Tri 1 + Bi 1 (2 sets)
  • Tri 2 + Bi 2 (2 sets)
  • Front Delts + Side Delts (2-3 sets)

My second UB day would be on Saturday. For me, this means that I can train in the morning and potentially twice on this day (maybe something like Chest/Back morning, Arms evening).

I’m considering the follow solutions in order to bring up my arms:

  1. Twice a day on Saturday like I said earlier, in order to have an arms only workout
  2. Pre-exhaust training on Saturday, starting with say Banded Close Grip Press + Supinated Grip Chinups (compound movement variations that target arms better), then arms isolation, then compounds for chest and back.
  3. Regular UB day, maybe only one superset for torso (but done fresh, at the start) and then maybe an extra superset for arms.

Coach, would you suggest me one of these solutions? Or a different one?

Thanks a lot, have a nice day.


#2

No need for twice a day right now. If they are lagging, frequency is the most important thing. So I would add one biceps and one triceps isolation exercise done as a pair at the end of all three of your workouts.

With your UB day 1 I would use moderate weights, something that allows you to get about 8 good reps. An do rest/pause sets… 8 reps / rest 10 sec / max reps / rest 10 / max reps… that is ONE set and do 3 like that.

With your LB day I’d focus on mind muscle connection: hold the middle of the range of motion for 15 sec, flexing the biceps (or triceps) hard… then do 8-10 reps with a fairly slow speed… again 3 sets

With your second UB day I would go heavier, something like 5 x 5


#3

Coach, sorry if I bump the thread up but I have a related question.
So, I train arms 3x week the way you suggested and it’s paying off. I also added a front raise and a side raise variation because front and side delts are lagging as well.
In one on my UB day I start with OHP so I guess delts are thoroughly covered.
But I’d like to know how should I train the rest of the body meanwhile. Should I just work on strength for back (most developed body part for me), chest and legs (normally developed) or still provide a hypertrophy stimulus with an added secondary exercise done with higher TUT?
Thanks again, coach.


#4

That is way too broad of a question. What are your goals, mostly strength or size? I personally believe that the back is best trained using hypertrophy schemes. As for the lower body you can have one heavier lift (I still wouldn’t go lower than 5 reps) and 2 or 3 assistance exercises trained for more hypertrophy.


#5

Sorry coach, I must have explained myself poorly.
Hypertrophy wise, the goal for now would be achieving proportions. Since chest and back are ahead for me, what if I focus on hypertrophy for lagging body parts while mostly working on strength on main lifts (thus maintaining chest and back size)?
I can activate both just fine with compound movements, so I might increase intensity but reduce volume on my UB days (in general, more focus on strength rather than hypertrophy).
Overall workout duration would be shorter (closer to the optimal workout duration), also instead of gaining full-body muscle mass I would try to add mass only where I need it (something similar to hypertrophy specialization training: faster hypertrophy only for chosen body parts and maintenance for the rest).
So, to recap, heavy compounds only for the upper body but hypertrophy training for limbs. Is this doable or not, in your opinion?
I mean, if my goal is strength but I have weaker body parts that don’t allow me to go past a certain point, shouldn’t I try to make those bigger and stronger to shatter my plateaus?


#6

You could try one of the many new Thib programs thats come out in the 4 years since you started this thread?


#7

Yeah, I’m just overthinking things. Sounds like a great idea to start all over and simplify.