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Upper Body/Weight Loss Suggestions

    Dear T-Nation,

To be blunt, I've got a weak ass chest and skinny ass arms that look horribly out of proportion to my large legs and thick upper body. I've also got a stomach I can't fucking loose. My current routine is as follows:

(Three sets for a minimum of six reps or a maximum of ten before going up in weight)

day1: Chest/arms
-bicep curl/other
-Skull crushers/other
-wrist curls
-30 min cardio

day2: rest
-30 min cardio

day 3:back/abdomen
-seated rows
Suggestions would be greatly appreciated

day 4:rest/cardio

day 5: Legs
-Leg press/squats
-leg curls
-calf raises

Day 6:rest/cardio

Day 7: anything/everything active.

I also have no idea what my caloric in-take should be, though I do no that McDonalds three times a day is a big "no". Feedback would be great, and I'll answer any relevant questions. Thankyou all for your time.



personally, I wouldn't get into the body part split training yet...if you want things to grow proportionally i'd have a go with total body training, or upper/lower splits (2 leg days/2 upper days) and hit the BIGGER compound movements like military press, push press, deadlifts (will help your arms!). Get yourself strong in bench, military, squats, deads and you will not have small arms. Worry about the fine tuning (shrugs, curls, skull crushers, wrist curls, calf raises) later. You're not hitting any movements enough throughout the week. Right now you have just 3 sets of horizontal push, 3 sets of horizontal pulls, 3 sets of vertical pulls, 0 sets of vertical push, 6 sets of quad dominant lifts, 0 sets of hip dominant lifts (deadlifts, good mornings, etc...). Also, why 3 sets of 6-10? You do this every workout? Mix up the rep patterns...3x15,4x10,6x5,8x3,...oh yea, and don't do sit ups...abs are for stability




You have a small chest because you only work your chest once a week. What do you mean by cardio? Why are you doing "cardio"? Oh, and the stomach you can't lose... It is both your diet and your exercise. You are following a bodypart split... how is that going to help you? Like jskrabawhatever said, you need more full body training multiple times a week to hit all your muscle groups multiple times per week. You might also want to check out the work done by Timothy Ward. He's about to release a fat loss book called The Theory of Fat Loss. There is a lot of good info on his site... and he has responded personally to all my emails so far. http://thetheoryoffatloss.blogspot.com


I actually checked out that site. He actually seems pretty legit...not all about "lose 100 lbs in just 3 weeks doing only 30 min of sitting on your ass!" He's pretty much a no bullshit guy about hard work = results and not just selling a product. 100,000 cyber points for credibility on that account!. I particularly liked his article about strength as one of the most important factors for burning fat. It's one of those things that's always kind of implied with most successful conditioning programs, but you never really hear people say it directly. Have you read that one? Check it out:



You should no longer give advice.

When the fuck do you work your arms with a deadlift? Do you curl it at the end? Where the hell do people keep coming up with this.. I see it all the time now. If you bend your arms during a heavy deadlift.. you will rip something that shouldn't be ripped. You will increase grip strength with your deads, but you arms will NOT grow from this movement.
Core is definitely for stability, but I've learned over the years you can't take away crunches... they are still needed.

OP - get stronger. If your chest and arms are lacking, get them stronger. Don't worry about your "gut" until you are happy with your development. Hit your arms with compound movements AND isolation movements. Figure out if your upper body responds better to twice/week or three times/week.

What are your lifts right now?


The part when you pick the weight up. You know of a variation that doesn't use your arms?

hmmm...i didn't know the only way you could "use" your arms is with a curling motion...my bad, what the fuck does isometric mean anyway?

Maybe, maybe not...depends on how much room for growth there is; however, dude that can deadlift 600 will reap more benefits from a greater potential for overload on all his upperbody lifts, which directly contribute to arm growth. It's probably more of an indirect stimulus for muscle growth in that way. Do you know any guys who can deadlift 600 and have small arms?

jumping from 15-18 inch arms...deads won't do much if anything for that...but starting out with twigs...yes, they'll help.

I've heard it several times, too. Heard it from enough of the experts enough times that I'm sold. Off the top of my head, most recently here.

Somehow I have a sneaky suspicion you won't read this... =) Can you promise to at least read it BEFORE you feel like coming back and bullying me a little more on these forums?


Youre a jackass for no less than 3 reasons.

  1. Your arms are small as shit.

  2. Everything you posted is something you read somewhere else and blurted out because you thought it applied/made sense

  3. This is an excerpt from the article YOU POSTED as backup for your belief.

Adding to that. Not only does indirect work do a subpar job at stimulating the biceps, you choose something that isnt even an indirect exercise. FUCKING DEADLIFTS DO NOT STIMULATE THE ARMS IF YOU DO THEM RIGHT. At no point does the elbow or shoulder joint move during the deadlift. There is no possible way for the biceps to receive stimulus to grow. At least chinups require elbow flexion. Are you going to say that squats are good for trap growth, since your traps have to activate in order for the bar not to touch your vertebrae?

Say "isometric" again and I'll ship you a box of shake weights.

Cliff notes :

Guys asks how to improve his arms. You have minimal authority on the issue. And you have parroted second hand information that isnt even close to best method for adressing the problem.

And I'm going back to my posting hiatus so I wont respond.



The article that the guy posted is actually a good article. He just read it wrong.

The part at the end where it says not to specialize on arms all year means just that. It does not mean to only train biceps and triceps with isolation ONLY 3-4 weeks out of the year. It means spend time FOCUSING on arms only rarely. Arms should still get attention on a routine basis.

Train a muscle as often as it's recovered.

If your arms annd chest only need 4 days to recover dont wait 6 to train them again. I cant train my legs more than once a week with the volume I prefer. But I can easly hammer my chest twice a week. Figure this stuff out through trial and error.


I just looked at your pictures after BONEZ's comment. You shouldn't be giving advice. I RARELY give advice.. and if I do, it's when I am pretty sure what I am saying is true through years of reading and listening to the smart guys.

Do me a favor and see how much your arms grow only doing deadlifts for a year. They wont. I train hockey players with very big legs and relatively big deadlift numbers - some of them only have 15-16 inch arms.

If you want to help this guy out, go ahead. Help him with losing his gut, because it looks as though you have had some experience in that area. DO NOT help a man with arm and chest growth when you are only 155 with 14 inch arms yourself.

Do hat I did when I joined T-Nation. READ. I read Bret's article, in fact I read every article posted on this site, I have also read Bret's glute book and have his blog on my RSS feed. Don't quote small parts of articles because it makes you look stupid.

You can't give good advice to a beginner if you are a beginner yourself.


I believe the purpose of the heavy lower body exercises would be to stimulate growth hormone release. That's why I'm a fan of starting hypertrophy workouts with a deadlift or a squat or a power exercise. More growth hormone = more growth. Prime the body for growth and then stimulate the upper body with some big compound movements like bench, military, pullups, and rows.

Isolation work is fine and everything, but I have found it to be most time efficient when the person has already been training for a long time and isn't a beginner. Everything works for beginners, so why not make it efficient? Get in. Work your ass off. Get out.


That's actually a big part of what I was getting at in my OP. He'll have an easier time losing his gut by focusing on compound movements, and either total body training or upper/lower splits. I didn't tell him not to do isolation...I said not to focus on it just yet (as it seems to compromise the majority of his training right now). All this backlash was started because of one little thing I added in my OP about deads helping to stimulate arm growth. And honestly, who cares if it will help his arm growth? He'll be doing deadlifts.

Your last part made me chuckle. I haven't been 155 since I was 14. I was 170 in my avi back in july, and today I'm 190 and I honestly don't measure my arms. They are proportional, though, to everything else and I think the OP is looking for that more than 18 inch mammoth biceps at the moment. I could not give advice to anyone looking exclusively for arm growth...but I think the OP is worrying about a few more things than just that.


Not trying to be a dick, but your program is terrible, dude. There are quite a few things you need to learn about program design before trying to design your own. My advice would be to adopt a pre-made program written by someone who knows what they're doing until you get the hang of this stuff.

As far as diet, there are a few articles in the archives that are awesome places to start learning how to eat. The search function sucks balls, though, so the best way to find the articles is to google search for them and add T-Nation to the end. Example and awesome starting point: Massive Eating T-Nation