T Nation

Random Thought


Hi all , been lifting for almost 4 months now and gained some overall mass ( more fat that expected ).

My question is - will excluding certain muscle group from training have a benefit for the other muscles ( considering that you can gain only certain amount of muscle per week )- it seems that my arms are lagging behind overall progress and stalling other lifts ( muscle imbalance ). Current full body workout workout , 3 days per week - Monday , Wednesday , Friday ( will do for next 2 weeks ):

Squats 3x12
Lunges 3x10
Standing calf rise 3x max
Dead lifts 3x12
Bench press 3x10
incline dumbbell bench press 3x10
dips 3x max number
chin ups 2x max
pull downs 3x10
dumbbell row 3x10
standing biceps curls 3x10
dumbbell triceps extensions 3x10
Abdominal reverse curl 4x12
Ab-slide on medical ball 4x12





If you neglect certain muscles you will only increase any imbalances you already have. The arms are relatively easy to overtrain compared to other parts of you body, if lifts are truely stalling due to your arms, it could be that your overtraining your arms which could result in loss of strength and muscle mass. This is only speculation - we don't know what your program looks like (a little more insight would be helpful). Are you doing direct arm work? Before or after your bigger lifts? How often are you lifting?

Keep in mind though dropping curls variations, tricep kickbacks, extensions, skull crushers, etc out of a program that has rows, bench, ohp, pull ups, dips, etc doesn't neglect your arms muscles.

Again this is only speculation, what does you program look like (exercises, rep/set, order of exercises)?

Keep in mind thought neglection of muscle groups will only further complicate imbalances.




Not doing direct arm work is neglecting your arms. Do not feed him the "you can get big arms from rows and presses" bullshit. Do you use your arms? Yes. But it is not significant enough to give you big arms.

Pretty sure neglection isn't a word.


First you can get impressive arms by not training them directly, sure not nearly as much as if you were (directly training them) but thats not the point. If his arms are directly responsible for stalling other lifts and he is doing direct arm work can't it be possible that hes doing to much volume with the possibility of over training them. If he is in this current state wouldn't reducing volume or taking a brief break from direct arm work help him get back in line for progress? Idk if this is the case as I already mentioned. Maybe hes not doing enough? Perhaps he decides to curl to failure for x sets before he does his rows/pull ups? OP did give enough information, I put down only 1 of the many reasons he could be having trouble stalling/lagging.

Consider my statement in reference to the OP's somewhat specific trouble (lagging growth/arms stalling other lifts) and to idea that he might be doing too much rather than in general terms.


Good thing that is not the point, because you are so full of shit I can smell it from here.

Either that or your idea of impressive and my idea of impressive are two way different things.

Dude has been training 4 fucking months. EVERYTHING is lagging. EVERYTHING is holding back his lifts. He needs to eat more sleep more and keep HITTING EVERY MUSCLE GROUP.


Try training harder. Care to explain these imbalances as it doesn't make sense.


I'm currently doing full body workout ( will switch to upper/lower body split afterwards ) :
Squats 3x12
Lunges 3x10
Dead lifts 3x12
Chin ups 2x max
Pull downs 3x12
Dumbbell row 3x10
Bench press 3x10
Incline overhead dumbbell press 3x10
Dips 3x max
Standing biceps curls 3x10
Dumbbell triceps extension 3x10
Reverse ab curl 4x12
Ab slide on medical ball 4x12
Diet wise - I'm consuming about 3000-3300kcal ( 260-300g of protein , didn't count carbs or fats )


Are you doing all of this at once because if you are that is way too much!! Have you looked at programs like Starting Strength or WS4SB?


From the program your doing right now, I would guess that its not your arms that are slowing you down but rather the amount of volume on each muscle group. For a full body routine, I'd suggestion picking 3 compound lifts, one upper body push, one upper pull and one lower body. With that add 2 isolated lifts and one for core(curls, extensions, ab wheel, etc).

You could also rotate workouts to incorperate different lifts ( Week 1: A, B, A Week 2: B, A, B). Workout a could be bench press, rows, back squat. Workout B could be inclined bench, pulldown/pull up, deadlift. Your choice.

You could also pick up a full body program like strating strengh or maddcow 5x5 or a split like nik133 suggested (Westside for Skinny Bastards).


Cut down to one exercise per bodypart, for instance bench, squat, deadlifts, overhead press, calf raise, curl, press downs, and wrist curl. 3x8. As many days per week as you want.

Next month do something else. 3x8. One exercise per body part. As many days per week that you want.

The next month, go to push/pull, or upper/lower, or any kind of two way split that you want. Train 4-6 times per week, go something like 5x5, one exercise per body part. Switch exercises every 3-4 weeks or when you feel stale on them. Do this for 6-8 months. Keep up the eating and rest, continue to get more and more consistent as you go.

Good Luck.


Right , will switching to a new routine improve muscle development and lifts ? Is this work out any good - upper/lower body split , Monday and Friday - chest , shoulders and arms :

Bench press 3x10
Decline dumbbell press 3x10
Weighted dips 3x max
Dumbbell shoulder press ( Arnold Press? ) 3x10
Upright row 3x10
Lying triceps extension 3x10
Alternate dumbbell curls 3x10

  • Tuesday and Saturday legs , back and abs/core :
    Front squats 3x12
    Some variation of lunges 3x10
    Leg extensions 3x10
    Standing calf rise 3x max
    Pull ups/chin ups 3x max
    Pull downs 3x12
    Bent-over dumbbell row ( with one arm ) 3x10
    Weighted Swiss ball crunches 4x12
    Hanging leg raises 4x12.
    some cardio or tabata sprints on off days .


Why don't you get a good routine off the net from a good coach then waste your time with this shit?



BTW, this an article providing some proof that direct arm training is not superior than compound lifts. Just throwing it out there...


First of all, one author's opinion is not proof of anything.

Secondly, the study he cited was very vague and only lasted for 10 weeks. Basing entire long-term training strategies off of that is retarded.

And as for his example, two twin brothers eating and living the same, one only does deadlifts, the other one only does bicep curls... which one will have bigger arms in a year?

The answer would be completely based on their own bodies and structure, although in reality, 9 times out of 10 the guy doing bicep curls will have bigger arms than the guy doing deadlifts.
Coming from a martial arts background I have seen guys that do nothing but squat and deadlift, and guess what.... they gain hardly any upper body mass at all except for their back.

And we have all seen guys who do nothing but workout their arms, and they manage to gain an inch or more on them... Do they look retarded and out of proportion? Sure. But then again the entire hypothetical example the author posed was retarded.


You best be trollin...

Find me pictures of people with big arms that don't do, or didn't do direct arm work.

I am so sick of the "don't do curls" crowd it isn't even funny. BB's have been doing fucking curls from the beginning of time, now all the sudden you don't need them? WTF?


don't like this at all. I'm not a fan of this type of training. I can't see how you can have any energy left for the last few body parts if you really went full out for the first few.

i see this as a cause of imbalances, you are too tired for half the training session. If you aren't you are not working hard enough.

As a test start your next day with the "Bent-over dumbbell rows" and see if the weight is lighter and the sets are easier than usual. If it is then you are not getting a good second half of the workout.

Go look at the 5/3/1/ training method. It rocks.


Just train with an ordinary 3-4 day split for gods sake.


The 5/3/1 is a good program, I haven't seen one person disappointed with it, always making gains in strength, and accessory lifts can be used to get you big.

No one here said "don't do curls" the closest thing to that was me saying compounds doesn't neglect your arms - but that was assuming he was over working his arms with "isolated" lifts which was stalling progress in other lifts - related to this lifters specific problem, not everyone. It turns out that he is over working everything. Now that we know what his program is, its relatively easy to see that instead of ditching arm work, he should be ditching the program.

Can you build big arms with only compound lifts (and we aren't talking deadlifts)? Yes. Can you build -bigger- arms with a combination of compounds and iso? Of course.