T Nation

Upper body lower body balance

I am 5’7.5" and 205 lbs and lugging around about 11%-12%bf (measuring variation on my bodyfat electronic scale). Most guys that I know in the gym that fit my height/weight/bf proportions have a respectable upper/lower body balance. My “problem” area is my upper body. Whereas my calves are at 18" with minimal workout (they get 10 minutes of attention per week and they are the last to be done), my arms are at barely 16". I have tried many different methods to grow them without ANY result. I tried John Berardi’s massive eating combined with Ian King’s Super Strength Program (I am at week 9 of the program). All that happened was that my legs got EVEN BIGGER and my upper body did not move an iota. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I figured if I am eating enough to get two inches on my thighs in two monhts, there should be enough around for my arms to grow a measly half an inch. NOTHING. This arm sub-developemnt is also affecting my chest and back (which had no problem developing until my arms became the weak link). I even went overboard in the eating hoping that it would kickstart my metabolic process. I did add both muscle and a hefty amount of fat as well (I was at 190lbs and 7.5%bf and rather lean to the current pudgy 11.5% bf @ 205) The legs grew again but NOT THE ARMS/UPPER BODY. PLEASE if anybody has an idea (any idea) about what to do here or what the problem might be please let me know.

try EDT arm routine. You can do a search on here and find out more, or go to Charles Staley’s web site. From personal experience, your arms WILL grow !! Absolutely unbelievable routine, like nothing else !!

At those stats, you’re pretty damn big. If you feel that you need some more arm work, why not do an arm-specialization program like EDT for arms by Charles Staley? Another idea is one of Polquin’s arm routines.

You’ll also need to cut back on the amount of volume devoted to other bodyparts in order to bring up your arms.

This is backwards to the usual problem on BB forums, but I think you’re putting too much emphasis on nutrition and not enough on your training. (Heh, not only that but your legs are better than your upper body and vice versa… congrats :wink: ).

You’re right, obviously if your legs are growing you’re getting ‘enough’ nutrition to stimulate growth. So, modify your training to target your upper body more.

I’m assuming if you’re following one of Ian Kings plans that you’re training legs twice/week. This really does require a lot of energy and recovery and, since you’re more genetically blessed in the wheels department, any excess recuperative abilities you have are going towards your legs instead of your upper body. I would suggest you try an upper body/arms specialization routine while cutting back leg training to once/week. I’m kind’ve in the same boat you are although I’m not blessed with great legs (or anything else for that matter), I have to “specialize” on anything to get it to grow.

I’m going to buck the trend and ask this:

Have you been overtraining your upper body? Are you throwing in extra sets because you just “can’t grow”?

It seems like your lower body responds to minimal stimulus, maybe you should try minimal stimulus for a couple of weeks. Hell, can’t hurt.

Then you can throw all the bomb ‘n’ blitz programs like EDT at it that you want.



has the upper body strength levels gone up or staggered? Usually bigger muscle will be able to lift more weight so you might want to do a strength training phase before you go into muscle building phase. Also where is the fat stored on your body? You might have more lower body fat which makes you think that your muscles are growing when in actuality you are just adding fat. something to think about. laters pk

EDT for arms, along with a maintenance program (or maybe even nothing) for legs.

If EDT doesn’t put size on your arms, nothing will.

Thanks to all of you that replied. I have had ABSOLUTELY no success with low volume training. If the volume drops beyong a certain number of total reps for me nothing happens. I am getting limited success with Ian’s program (even though I have really been following to the letter).

The best growth I ever (I know this will sound CRAZY) is when I did an insane volume (we are talking 75-100 sets) These were drop-sets or strips (contributing to the very high volume). The growth I experienced was unlike anything I had ever expected. I added 30lbs of LEAN BODY MASS in 4 1/2 month without ANY steroids. Just creatine and protein. I was at 160 when I started and when I finished these four months…I was at 191. I have been training since 1993. and my weight had fluctuated between 150 and 200 (depending on school, work…bla bla bla). I know that training history played a part in this, but damn 30lbs of muscle. So, EDT here I come!