T Nation

Training Bodyparts

What do you folks think of doing specific exercises for certain bodyparts? This may sound like a weird question, but over the past month I’ve followed an arm specialization routine, and my arms shrunk! So I’m really wondering what the use of specific arm exercises is. Same with shoulders. I have pretty good shoulders, but i never train them directly. I’m really thinking of doing nothing but deadlifts, dips and chinups or rows. I mean my arms grew when I focused on deadlifts… Maybe it depends on the individual. So I’d like to know your opinions.

Add Squats to your program and I bet you will have some amazing success!

As supplemental exercises go, I will sometimes throw in some supersets on bi/tri, but these are at the expense of other anabolicaly valuable exercises.It comes down to a decision as to how I want to alot my training/recovery time,and the conditions of that recovery. Do I wans big mofreakin guns?You Bet!Then work the guns.Do I want startling strength that makes people wonder “how can a twerp lift that?” Also yes. I use a pendulum style training. This past month I’ve been on the pure strength end,next few weeks on upping the reps while maintaining a high load, a few weeks of that and I use the strength gains to increase hypertrophy at moderate reps. Allways taking into consideration the different modes of recovery for different styles of lifting. Look up pendulum training in the archives.I forget who wrote it but it is good. It has nothing to do with pendulums or clubbells.It shows how to swing between Neural training and hypertrophy.

There is no doubt that you have to gain size all over to gain size on your arms. That is why those who ONLY work arms will soon find their progress stagnate. However, that doesn’t mean that all programs should ignore direct work for smaller muscle groups and much of your decision on where to focus the majority of your training comes from where you are to begin with. Simply put, if you were training correctly, direct arm training should not have resulted in LOSS of muscle in the area. That doesn’t even make logical sense and screams out questions like, how were you eating, how was your training program set up, and how many times in one week were your arms being worked. You then wrote that it may have been worked too frequently. Gee, that just might be overtraining for you.

And again, I don’t know many men who have arms bigger than 18" who NEVER did direct arm training and who weren’t simply “farm boy big” to begin with. Please point out these people with defined huge arms who never worked them directly pushing close to 20".

I’m pretty certain I didn’t overtrain. The arm routine in question was Ellington Darden’s routine, I thought doing the superslow dips and chinups might be a nice change of pace. Fact of the matter is that I usually do very heavy dips for chest. During the past couple of weeks I didn’t because I was focusing on arms. I did use the aforementioned superslow dips, but with way less weight. I think that is why I regressed. My triceps were probably worked heavier when I didn’t do anything specific for them. I have reason to think that something like heavy bench presses will be more of a growth stimulant than triceps extensions or something like that. Same with chinups vs. barbell curls.

As for people who were not farm boy big whose arms grew considerable without direct arm work, I’m not sure about that. I have pretty decent arms, and I never worked them directly, up until recently. Having said that my arms were always a bit disproportioned compared to the rest of me.

P.S. I hope I made any sense in this post, I’m pretty tired.

I’m on your level in regard to isolation exercises, I’ve never felt they’ve done anything substantial insofar as mass, with the exception of one exercise: Side Raises.
I found these necessary when I first started lifting and continue to consider them as crucial to maintaining shoulder width.

Hi Francois,
Certainly a bulking diet helps. You reported:
“Since you won’t gain weight when prioritizing the arms, because everything else takes a back seat, they won’t grow.”
If this is the problem I would use Kubik’s “Jurassic” program for arms:
Monday: Squat,bench presses,pullups,close grip bench, barbell Curl
Wednesday: Close grip bench presses (5 singles),Barbell curl (5 singles), Military presses, Barbell curl (5 sets to maximal pump), Hanging from the bar (1 till you fall)
Friday: Deadlift or half deadlift or one arm deadlift, incline bench or V bar dips,hammer curl, bench lockouts, farmer’s walk.
Happy New Year !