T Nation

Training Biceps and Triceps

How hard should you train biceps and triceps when training back and chest? My current routine looks like this:

Mon - Back/Bis
Tues - Chest/Tris
Wed- Off
Thurs - Shoulders
Fri - Legs
Sat - Off
Sun - Repeat Mon

My back routine consists of 4X deadlifts, 3X lateral pulldowns, 3X BB Rows, 2X Parallel-Grip Pulldowns, 2X Seated Rows, 3X BB Shurgs ; I then do 3X BB Curls and 3X DB Curls. Is this enough for biceps?

My chest routine consists of 4X BB Bench, 3X BB Incline, 3X Flys. Then I do 3X Behind the neck DB Extensions and 3X Cable Pushdowns. Is this enough for triceps?

When I leave the gym on back/bi and chest/tri days I just don’t have the feeling that I have fried my biceps and triceps. I’m the kind of guy where I feel I have to feel sore the next day in order to judge the effectiveness of my workout.

Would it be a good idea to add another exercise for biceps and triceps? Say incline DB Curls and Dips/Skullcrushers?

I think you’re not doing enough chest/tris. 10 more working sets for back/bis than chest/tris. Throw some close grip bench press in there.

Maybe change your bicep routine a bit, those 2 moves are pretty basic. Try Incline curl + Hammer curl or something.

Out of curiosity, why are you only doing 2-3 sets per move? Do you feel sore at all with those workouts?

[quote]clemsonmike wrote:
How hard should you train biceps and triceps when training back and chest? My current routine looks like this:

Mon - Back/Bis
Tues - Chest/Tris
Wed- Off
Thurs - Shoulders
Fri - Legs
Sat - Off
Sun - Repeat Mon

Just me, I’d switch Thurs. and Fri, so you get some rest for your shoulders from Mon. and Tues. It shouldn’t affect anything else, but it’s up to you.

Depends how I train. If I train heavy, 3 sets, two exercises (so 6 total) for biceps and triceps is all I do. If I train high reps and lower weights I do about 9 sets each, but complete it in less time.

That’s because of trisets, even still for those two muscle groups things like extended sets, drop sets etc has worked really well for me, but…that’s just me.

If the numbers are going up steadily then you’re on the right program soreness or not

[quote]clemsonmike wrote:
How hard should you train biceps and triceps when training back and chest? My current routine looks like this:

Mon - Back/Bis
Tues - Chest/Tris
Wed- Off
Thurs - Shoulders
Fri - Legs
Sat - Off
Sun - Repeat Mon
[/quote]

my routine is identical to yours, except for i have an arm day on saturday. sun and wed are my off days.

if you can add that extra day, it will both help you get enough work on those triceps/biceps and also get you out of the gym a little sooner on chest and back days

I’d just do arms seperately, 8 sets of biceps, 8 sets of triceps. One heavy mmovement, barbell curls and closegrip bench, and then 1-2 iso movements, inclince or concentration curls, and overhead extensions and cable pressdowns. Eat a lot and keep adding weight to the bar.

Everyone is different, I usually only do two or three exercises for Biceps but I’ve found I need to work a bit harder on tris.
I very rarely feel sore in my biceps despite training to failure, they are still one of my strong points.
If your doing back before bis and chest before tris you dont need to mess around with warm up sets, go heavy go till fatigue and three sets of two exercises should be enough. Obviously if they are a weak point or your going nowhere though you should change it up.

Try actually super-setting back compounds with tricep isolation and chest compounds with bicep isolation. You’ll get more total work for your arms if you do this. You will, however, have to move your back and chest workouts further apart.

I’m currently on a split where I do ‘arms’ on their own day, but for most of my training years, I’d have Back/Bis and then Delts/Tris. I always tried to keep chest by itself because it was a weak point for me.

Volume-wise, I always have, and still do very little for bis and tris. I always figured that Tris get toasted with all the chest and shoulder pressing I do, and I’ve always loved destroying my back, so my thinking was that I needed little in the way of crazy shit for bis (besides, they are pretty small muscles overall).

My last arm workout was thus:
1- Rope pressdowns (actually do 1 arm at a time)
2- DB Skull Crushers (keep arms angled, so no ‘rest’ portion at the top)
3- Bench Dips (just a couple of non-lockout sets to burn out) - not at every workout though.

1- Non-support Concentration curls
2- Cambered Bar Drag Curls (or ‘Bicep Rows’ in the new Nat BBing and Fitness Mag)

that’s it. Always focusing on more of an isolation movement, as, again, I figure they get hit already in my schedule indirectly pretty hard.

S

Triceps was a weak point for me until i started focusing on three excercises.
I started transforming my tris when i began dipping. Then after a few months i completely stopped doing dips and instead focused solely on two movements:
Close grip bench presses and
Tri extensions

Both with free weight and i’ve used a few different tri extension variations, from standing to seated dumbells(one on each hand), and from standing to lying barbell ones(i.e. skullcrushers).

Also, i believe that close grip bench presses should be performed in such a way that you don’t lower the bar as low as hitting your chest, but a tad less, while trying to lower it as far from your chest as possible(or as close to your abdomen as possible, you get my point) so that you minimize chest and delt involvement.

Machines are ok, but if you work with moderate/low volume i think you should dump kickbacks or tri pulldowns and instead perform the 2-3 kings of tricep building.
DIPS/CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS/SKULLCRUSHERS

Also, training tris with chest and bis with backs has worked fine with me and i firmly believe one has to reach a very high level of muscularity/strength before having a separate arm day.

[quote]austin_bicep wrote:
I’d just do arms seperately, 8 sets of biceps, 8 sets of triceps. One heavy mmovement, barbell curls and closegrip bench, and then 1-2 iso movements, inclince or concentration curls, and overhead extensions and cable pressdowns. Eat a lot and keep adding weight to the bar.[/quote]

I would echo what austin is saying here. After training chest or back, my hands and arms are too fatigued to give biceps or triceps my utmost intensity and attention. Putting them on a different day allows you to handle bigger loads and add weight to the bar faster, which is what it’s all about.

when doing dips…how do you move your arms? like elbows back or elbows to the side? (also doing them on a bench with a plate on your lap)

Search for HST, hypertrophy specific training, if size is what your after and you have been training as you say you will get tons of results with it.

if you want to kill your bi’s and tri’s at the end of your chest/tri’s workout do dips, and after back/bi’s do chins, your arms will have been pre exhausted and since they are the smaller muscle then they will fatigue first, and since they are compound exercises too they wont hurt your chest and back.

try that out, works great for me.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
austin_bicep wrote:
I’d just do arms seperately, 8 sets of biceps, 8 sets of triceps. One heavy mmovement, barbell curls and closegrip bench, and then 1-2 iso movements, inclince or concentration curls, and overhead extensions and cable pressdowns. Eat a lot and keep adding weight to the bar.

I would echo what austin is saying here. After training chest or back, my hands and arms are too fatigued to give biceps or triceps my utmost intensity and attention. Putting them on a different day allows you to handle bigger loads and add weight to the bar faster, which is what it’s all about.[/quote]

I’m with you guys.
While you will hit the tris/bis with more volume if you stuck them with chest/back, the amount of weight should be more if you devote a separate day to them.
that’s what I do anyways.

there’s no right or wrong, only preference here

if you want sore, then do a negative only workout for your arms (not your larger muscle groups). i pick one exercise for bi’s and tri’s (one arm preacher curl and one arm DB overhead extension). i choose a weight that i cant lift with one arm, but obviously with two. i use my other arm to get the weight up, but then i only use one arm to lower the weight, resisting the WHOLE time.

i do this till the weight overtakes me and i cant lower it under control. thats one set. do anywhere from 1-3 sets (3 sets total). i wouldnt do this more than once a week, since the microtrauma is so extensive.