I have 18.5 inch arms and haven't included direct arm work in my routines. That said, my arms are solid, but lack shape, especially around the elbow joint. To rectify this, I am now including direct arm work to get the shape that I want.
You can get big arms without direct work, but it certainly isn't optimal. Unless sub-par results are your goal, or you only train for a specific sport, direct arm work is most likely a good idea.
This is just a hypothetical question to try and styr up some constructive and creative thought.
Maybe we can debunk a myth, challenge some people's thoughts and their dogma, or maybe let some people know that what they're doing might not be best for their goals.
lots of replies, but few have actually said that the dude who is weaker on major lifts and trains arms directly has bigger guns, why might that be?
Barney FiF: your rationale is highly flawed, unless of course your overhead presses are more like a jerk type movement. If you want to toss out squats and deadlifts because you tense your lower body up when you shoulder press, go for it!
I would think you are the minority in that. I won't get into mentioning my measurements because I'm tired of that. I just know mine are bigger and they got that way because I trained them hard for years. They also get a lot of comments. I am sure the fact that I wear tank tops a hell of a lot helps with that, anywhoo, I have never understood the reasoning behind it.
Yes, beginners need to understand they need to train their entire body. No, they don't need to be told to avoid certain body parts to get them to do that. Any idiot who ONLY trains his chest and arms won't stick with this long anyway. I am of the opinion we need to get rid of the people in gyms taking up space anyway, not recruit more of these assholes.
I agree to a point. I don't think everyone can get 18 inches, but I think people can get fairly large arms without direct bicep work.
I got to around 17 inches with never doing any direct bicep work and only close grip press and board presses for triceps. Once I added more direct arm work, I gained 1/2 inch in about a month.
But, I see no reason not to train your arms directly, especially if you train with your physique in mind. I didn't for a long time. Latley my mindset has shifted more and more towards bodybuilding (though I don't like to call it that). Just do some arm work if you want big arms. You will eventually reach a point where they won't grow from indirect work.