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Why Do We Work Arms Separately?

If a muscle is optimally stimulated by working it through a range of rep ranges, and then left to recover until the next workout, why do most BB routines work arms separately?

Eg on chest day I bench for sets of 6-8 reps (and then isolate with say flies for reps of 12- 15). Most BB routines will work the arms again in the same rep range (and also add some isolation exercises for higher reps) that they have already been worked in that week during chest day

The only answers I can think of are:
(a) arms need more volume to grow than bigger muscle groups; or
(b) aesthetically, slightly overdeveloped arms look better.

Neither really inspires.
Dont get me wrong- I am not challenging the idea. I am questioning the reason behind it

thanks

FG

Uh…I work all muscle groups “separately”.

That is how they got big.

[quote]farm gorgon wrote:
If a muscle is optimally stimulated by working it through a range of rep ranges, and then left to recover until the next workout, why do most BB routines work arms separately?

Eg on chest day I bench for sets of 6-8 reps (and then isolate with say flies for reps of 12- 15). Most BB routines will work the arms again in the same rep range (and also add some isolation exercises for higher reps) that they have already been worked in that week during chest day

The only answers I can think of are:
(a) arms need more volume to grow than bigger muscle groups; or
(b) aesthetically, slightly overdeveloped arms look better.

Neither really inspires.
Dont get me wrong- I am not challenging the idea. I am questioning the reason behind it

thanks

FG[/quote]

You forgot the simplest reason: they don’t get worked enough in order to grow.

I work all muscles SEPARATELY.

It is why they got big.

You posted this in two different forums?

Let me guess…you do full body workouts?

[quote]farm gorgon wrote:
If a muscle is optimally stimulated by working it through a range of rep ranges, and then left to recover until the next workout, why do most BB routines work arms separately?..

If a muscle is optimally stimulated by working it through a range of rep ranges…

If a muscle is optimally stimulated…

If[/quote]
You’re basing your argument on a pretty big “if”. The vast majority of people will not get optimal stimulation by avoiding direct training for smaller muscle groups like the triceps and biceps.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Full body exercises build the body quite well.

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Full body exercises build the body quite well. [/quote]

I wasn’t after “quite well”.

I agree…it can build a body “quite well”.

If you want to build the body “fucking huge-wise”…you may want to try something else.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Good thing he posted it in the BSL forum then :slight_smile:

S

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Full body exercises build the body quite well. [/quote]

I wasn’t after “quite well”.

I agree…it can build a body “quite well”.

If you want to build the body “fucking huge-wise”…you may want to try something else.[/quote]

So if I want to be as big as you, I must absolutely train with bodybuilding splits? I can’t train full body? It’s not about rep ranges or how much food I eat?

[quote]farm gorgon wrote:
If a muscle is optimally stimulated by working it through a range of rep ranges, and then left to recover until the next workout, why do most BB routines work arms separately?
[/quote]

I think you’re going to find routines that work arms separately (ie. on “arm day”) and more inclusive (relying a lot on work for larger muscle groups, with some direct work thrown in). You’re also going to find people that have made progress with both methods. I’ve seen instances where someone has lagging arm development, and so they dedicate an entire day to focusing on biceps and triceps.

This, coupled with all of the indirect work from back, chest and delt work, usually helps out. Other people (myself included) have never needed an ‘arm day’, as they developed proportionally (or sometimes exceptionally well) without needing to.

The point being, not every routine, even a “bodybuilding one” has to have a specific arm day. There are many different combinations you could try, and I’m fairly certain for anyone you think of, there’s someone out there who made gains from it.

S

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Full body exercises build the body quite well. [/quote]

I wasn’t after “quite well”.

I agree…it can build a body “quite well”.

If you want to build the body “fucking huge-wise”…you may want to try something else.[/quote]

So if I want to be as big as you, I must absolutely train with bodybuilding splits? I can’t train full body? It’s not about rep ranges or how much food I eat? [/quote]

I don’t know what you MUST do.

I just know I don’t see many people that big who do this or who did this to gain most of their muscle mass.

And no, it is NOT just about how much you eat and rep ranges.

I train the way I do because it allows me to train certain body parts the way they need to be hit.

My back workout can take an hour and a half. I also don’t see many people with backs bigger who do “full body workouts” primarily to gain most of that size…

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]howie424 wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Let me guess…you do full body workouts?[/quote]
Is this trying to be a knock on the OP or a knock on full body training? Plenty of “full body workouts” include direct arm, delt, and calf work.[/quote]

It was an all out unbridled attack on full body workouts.

I think they suck for bodybuilding purposes overall.

Sue me.[/quote]

Full body exercises build the body quite well. [/quote]

I wasn’t after “quite well”.

I agree…it can build a body “quite well”.

If you want to build the body “fucking huge-wise”…you may want to try something else.[/quote]

So if I want to be as big as you, I must absolutely train with bodybuilding splits? I can’t train full body? It’s not about rep ranges or how much food I eat? [/quote]

I don’t know what you MUST do.

I just know I don’t see many people that big who do this or who did this to gain most of their muscle mass.

And no, it is NOT just about how much you eat and rep ranges.

I train the way I do because it allows me to train certain body parts the way they need to be hit.

My back workout can take an hour and a half. I also don’t see many people with backs bigger who do “full body workouts” primarily to gain most of that size…[/quote]

Okay, I can agree with that.

My back is not as big as yours, but pretty much all of my back size has come from snatching and high pulling with very little bodybuilding type work. For me, it’s been about frequency, volume, intensity, and food intake.

Look, one thing that needs to be highlighted is that NO, you should not train certain ways if your goal is all out size and basic strength.

Bodybuilding isn’t just about doing exercises trying to incorporate as many muscles as possible. That is NOT what leads to them reaching their maximal potential as far as size.

…and my take on this is, you have very limited time to utilize your body’s full potential (different pro’s and cons at different ages and experience levels).

Wasting time doing a routine that leads to downplaying the importance of training certain body parts is not how you should do it if your goal is OPTIMAL GROWTH.

No one says it doesn’t build muscle at all.

I haven’t had a dedicated arm day in years. I do isolation work for tri’s on push day and bi’s on pull day and my arms aren’t lagging at all. Granted I’m arm dominant and they get blasted during the workout itself, either way I don’t think a whole workout is necessary but some isolation is.

I often do biceps on my chest day and keep triceps later in the week as they are usually fatigued from chest day. But I definitely think arm isolation days are important, if your goals are for size and looks. Every pro I have seen isolates arms. Just my 2 cents.

[quote]c.m.l. wrote:
I haven’t had a dedicated arm day in years. I do isolation work for tri’s on push day and bi’s on pull day and my arms aren’t lagging at all. Granted I’m arm dominant and they get blasted during the workout itself, either way I don’t think a whole workout is necessary but some isolation is.[/quote]

That all depends on how big your arms are.

Please show pictures.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I think you’re going to find routines that work arms separately (ie. on “arm day”) and more inclusive (relying a lot on work for larger muscle groups, with some direct work thrown in). You’re also going to find people that have made progress with both methods. I’ve seen instances where someone has lagging arm development, and so they dedicate an entire day to focusing on biceps and triceps.

This, coupled with all of the indirect work from back, chest and delt work, usually helps out. Other people (myself included) have never needed an ‘arm day’, as they developed proportionally (or sometimes exceptionally well) without needing to.

The point being, not every routine, even a “bodybuilding one” has to have a specific arm day. There are many different combinations you could try, and I’m fairly certain for anyone you think of, there’s someone out there who made gains from it. [/quote]
x2 all of this.

Not having an “arm day” is not the same as not training arms at all. There’s the classic idea that “the biceps get a bit of work with back exercises, so finish off the day with curls and some more bi work”. Back/bis, chest/shoulder/tris, legs (quads/hams/calves) is one of the most basic splits for a reason. You’re still giving arms direct attention to get them to grow, but you don’t have one particular arm day.

There are lots of ways to arrange things, and the “best” choice will be influenced by the lifter’s current development or lack thereof, their goal, available schedule, etc.

[quote]c.m.l. wrote:
I haven’t had a dedicated arm day in years. I do isolation work for tri’s on push day and bi’s on pull day and my arms aren’t lagging at all. Granted I’m arm dominant and they get blasted during the workout itself, either way I don’t think a whole workout is necessary but some isolation is.[/quote]

To be fair, you have an arm day then, you just split it into two parts and train it with different muscles. Not exactly what I think most are talking about when saying they don’t do dedicated arm training. I think splitting Bi’s and Tri’s is a fairly common thing for many to do that are purely physique oriented.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
…and my take on this is, you have very limited time to utilize your body’s full potential (different pro’s and cons at different ages and experience levels).
[/quote]

This might be asking a bit much, but could you elaborate on this?

What are the physiological pros/cons of somebody with 2-3 years under their belt in their mid-30s vs. somebody in their mid-20s? What should the two be doing differently to reach their body’s “full potential”? (I understand “potential” depends on goals)

I can think of some cons for the older guy(physiologically), but not many pros assuming the same training age.