T Nation

Training the Arms


I tend to focus my training on condition and getting better at thai boxing, but I do lift weights twice a week.

I focus a lot on my back, shoulders, legs but I tend to do no excersise for my arms (triceps and biceps)

My question is: Is there anything functional about training the arms?

I already train my arms when I do my shoulders, back, chest and even leg (think about lunges), so is training my arms overdoing it?

I noticed that training really hard with the weights is getting my thai box lessons down, so I try to do as much as needed when I lift weights, but not more then needed

If you have nothing else to do then berate me, please just ignore my question. I ask the questions I am in doubt about, so saying I don't know what I am talking about is kind of ignorant.

Thank you


First two lines contradict the third.

Curls never hurt anyone. Go crazy.


what i meant with that, is, that I know I don't know the answer to my own question so saying i don't know what i am talking about is .. well, i was searching for the word you just said 'contradict'

Can't hurt you say, but will it do me any good besides having bigger arms?


Work your whole body. Eventually your arms will become weak points that will not allow you go get stronger in your main lifts. This "don't train your arms" philosophy is stupid.


I know you said you train Thai Boxing but did you read the Article from today on the main page? Its about MMA training. Its a good read.


I am going to read it, I am also busy with the forum post "how to train", it's very interesting and it really gives answer to a lot of questions

sometimes I can be to impulsive with my questions I think


Train everything. Including arms.

Besides, strong arms = stronger clinch


I will go the opposite a little bit-

on training arms or 'ovetraining' them ( dont like that word)

First Martin Rooney's article is a good read-
stick to the basics cause they work.

in my case I have severe tendinitis in both biceps/arms and have lots of pain in my forearms.
like dont train kind of pain.

its due to a few things

  • repetitive things I do at work- I make television and film- and the work is physical
  • training with a very high volume of pulls/cleans/powercleans and pullups/chinups
  • a long history of training- wrestling +judo for most of my child/teen/adult life- til my early 30's

Im 39 now. so everyone is different.

I dont think neglecting the arms is good- but I would not reccomend
an 'arm piority' BB style training either.


x2. Training arms /= giving them their own day. I could care less what I curl, I do it once or twice a week, and I don't usually go hard on them. They grow, slowly but growing, and my arms don't tire out during a light spar. Curls, like lateral raises, are an accessory exercise.

I have long arms, and noticed little growth or strength in my arms until I started isolating them.


This kid is making it sound like he does no arm work at all, and is asking if he should be doing some.

I think he should. Not a ton, and like KMC said, no bodybuilder style bullshit. But adding a few sets of curls and extensions onto the end of your workouts won't kill you, and it'll help them keep pace with the rest of your body, providied you're growing.

DeFranco includes direct arm work, and I kind of swear by his programs. And I know first hand what happens when you listen to the "Don't train your arms" crowd... you end up with a thick back and chest and shitty arms.

Which may not matter if you're a competitive fighter, but damnit, I'm still vain at least a little.


I will start training my arms too, it may not matter but the picture of me having a body that weighs 200 lbs (i now weigh 195 lbs) but arms that weigh not even 1 lbs... Not a pretty picture. I am vain, damnit..

DeFranco programs? Never heard of it


do your pull-ups & dips.its will make your Muay Thai & your arms better.


Be a badass and do them with a weight vest. Seriously.


thank you for the tips guys.

I don't care a lot about what people think of me, but walking with a weight vest in the gym is a bit to far for me now. I might in the future tho so I keep it in mind, thank you


your speaking in 2 different categories though. your talking about size and he is talking about training them for fighting. if your training and building size chances are your doing a more slower and controlled movement. training slow and controlled = performing slow. you will never see an athlete train at a slow level. you always train at the speed and control you would for the actual competition


Nope, I perform each rep with as much force as I can. As far as I can tell from watching training vids of pro bodybuilders, they do the same thing (with x3 more weight and volume).
Strength, power and size are not exclusive.

"you always train at the speed and control you would for the actual competition"

I do not agree at all.


I would suggest you look at your recovery more as well as how you are training.

If you are lifting at near your max you should be tire the next day and during training. Remember it takes 24 to 72 hours to recover from a workout, and that is only for energy levels and removal of waste. For the muscle breakdown you have created it will take a bit longer to recover. If your are working correctly you will always notice a drop off of strength and fitness after a couple of weeks and then a gradual increase.

That is the reason you should always cycle your training to avoid overtraining. Since you are still starting map out a 8 week program to work on muscle strength as a base and during this time work on simple strikes and technique. Next 8 week cycle can be Endurance working with lighter weight and more fighting. Arms do not have to be huge to have power the strike power is from proper use of the entire body and your own explosive energy. You may have or may not have a power shot. If the later is the case don't waste time on beach arms work on overall techniques first.

There is lots of good advice on these sites but also some mis information. Study the basic's of training but not from a magazine.

Good luck on your training


yeah you nailed it i didnt train arms for 3 years ended up with exactly that. arms that just looked out of place and tiny also were definitely hindering performance in some lifts. just phosphorescently started adding curls and extensions two 5 3 1 at the end of each day..... ( i think 5 3 1 would be an amazing and certainly better rounded workout for op ) still though im 5'8" 195 lbs and only 15 in arms if im lucky looks dumb


not to provoke an argument, but my arms are essentially the same size/shape as when i was at my biggest and leanest (around 225 @7-8%, not clean)...i haven't done any direct arm work for years....prolly about 5 or 6. granted, my arms aren't huge or anything, and i still do a lot of pushups, pullups, kickboxing/grappling, etc.

but if you like training them, then have fun. not everything has to be "functional".....


It's not unheard of. I was reading the MadTitan thread on the BB forums, and he claims the same. His arms are pretty impressive, large for such a lean guy, and got that way with pullups (a lot of them though, multiple times a week). Everyone's different.