T Nation

Why Do We Work Arms Separately?

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[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.[/quote]

Someone in their 20’s is still setting the stage for how their body is going to respond long term. They will see the most change physiologically not just because of muscle growth but also with their body adapting in its ability to recover and the time it takes.

Joints and tendons heal faster which means when you go all out, less injury is seen and more progress is seen as opposed to someone older.

That is why someone in that age range should be the most focused on all out strength because of how fast they will recover not just in muscles but in the tendons that support them.

The pros someone older may see would be related more to life stability or the slight reduction in metabolism that may help some gain more weight if they had problems before.

However, as a rule I would avoid going on some all out attempt at “bulking up” if past your mid 30’s. The body won’t recover from potential damage done as quickly.

The faster recovery time of tendons and even muscles (along with the rapid adaptation of metabolism) is why I believe that bulking up can add more muscle in the long run on someone in that younger age range.

I hope that answered your question.

Supposedly there are pros, such as a phenomenon called ‘dad strength’. Supposedly, you get a second growth spurt later on in life. Hence why your father is the strongest man alive as a child.

I work tris with chest/shoulders and bis with back

just like Dorian Yates and Stan Efferding

I work tris with chest/shoulders and bis with back

just like Dorian Yates and Stan Efferding

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[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]

That’s rich, all this talk about your hyooge back and I’m struggling to remember seeing anything other than the usual most-muscular-selfie.

I began training arms on their own day and they responded very well and outgrew all of my other body parts. Then I stopped training them directly altogether due to a bout of tendinitis, when I could train them again I added them in to other days ie. back/bi’s, chest/delts/tri’s, and they didn’t budge. I added an arm day back in again about a year ago and they are just now up to speed and on par with the rest of my development.

I need a specific arm day for sustained progress, I sure this isn’t the case for everyone. For example I NEVER isolate. Glutes or pay them any special attention and they are by far my most developed/genetically most responsive body part (could have been quads but noooo).

[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]

there are NUMEROUS bodybuilders bigger than you who train fullbody…

http://toptenfamous.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/John-Grimek.jpg - built via fullbody training
http://beyondstrong.typepad.com/photos/people/rp16.jpg - built via fullbody training

nice try though…

[quote]ryan.b_96 wrote:

[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]

there are NUMEROUS bodybuilders bigger than you who train fullbody…

http://toptenfamous.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/John-Grimek.jpg - built via fullbody training
http://beyondstrong.typepad.com/photos/people/rp16.jpg - built via fullbody training

nice try though…[/quote]

Be real guy. An exception could be found to anything. The percentage of lifters that have been able to transform their bodies from anything more than the swimmer/gymnast look to looking like they lift weights is very small. So small I would argue that it’s insignificant.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]ryan.b_96 wrote:

[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]

there are NUMEROUS bodybuilders bigger than you who train fullbody…

http://toptenfamous.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/John-Grimek.jpg - built via fullbody training
http://beyondstrong.typepad.com/photos/people/rp16.jpg - built via fullbody training

nice try though…[/quote]

Be real guy. An exception could be found to anything. The percentage of lifters that have been able to transform their bodies from anything more than the swimmer/gymnast look to looking like they lift weights is very small. So small I would argue that it’s insignificant.
[/quote]

cool! so hes aloud to get away with using himself as an example for everything… but when i post somebody as an example of proof, its just written off as an exception.

lol okay.

Actually, I believe the majority of the real old school guys trained that way; Eiferman, Tanny, Lurie, Reeves, and a good lot of those guys were larger than most trainers nowadays realize.

Colucci’s a big fan of bodybuilding history. I’m sure he could rattle off quite a list of names who trained with full body routines and built considerable size.

S

There are plenty of great physiques built by powerlifting and full body training. Many have gotten huge training 3 times per week. I think some people are just lucky in that they develop evenly from doing the basics. Some people may end up with lagging muscle groups and need more specialization.

All I know is, if you’re going to try and champion one approach over the other, you better not be showing up with a bunch of lagging muscle groups. It’s just comical when you see a guy with no calves saying there is no need to train them directly for growth… or on the other hand if someone saying you absolutely must train everything directly, then shows up with a shallow long head or no rear delts. lol

There is no need to train arms directly. I never really did it and my arms are better than Stu’s. Check my pics.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Actually, I believe the majority of the real old school guys trained that way; Eiferman, Tanny, Lurie, Reeves, and a good lot of those guys were larger than most trainers nowadays realize.

Colucci’s a big fan of bodybuilding history. I’m sure he could rattle off quite a list of names who trained with full body routines and built considerable size.

S[/quote]
Can anyone actually confirm that the “old guys” actually trained with the full body routines for the duration of their career (or at least a large portion of it)? I have a hard time believing they trained this way the entire time.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:

[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.[/quote]

…However, as a rule I would avoid going on some all out attempt at “bulking up” if past your mid 30’s. The body won’t recover from potential damage done as quickly.

The faster recovery time of tendons and even muscles (along with the rapid adaptation of metabolism) is why I believe that bulking up can add more muscle in the long run on someone in that younger age range.

I hope that answered your question.[/quote]

I’m glad you said that. As a 47yr old, I can tell you; gaining weight is no problem at all. My body is extremely efficient with food.

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Actually, I believe the majority of the real old school guys trained that way; Eiferman, Tanny, Lurie, Reeves, and a good lot of those guys were larger than most trainers nowadays realize.

Colucci’s a big fan of bodybuilding history. I’m sure he could rattle off quite a list of names who trained with full body routines and built considerable size.

S[/quote]
Can anyone actually confirm that the “old guys” actually trained with the full body routines for the duration of their career (or at least a large portion of it)? I have a hard time believing they trained this way the entire time.[/quote]

I’ve read a lot of the autobiographies, and of course you can only go by what they attest to. Certain guys from that era stayed active through the introduction of PEDs, so of course that can change things a bit. Gotta go home and run through my old books to double check.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Actually, I believe the majority of the real old school guys trained that way; Eiferman, Tanny, Lurie, Reeves, and a good lot of those guys were larger than most trainers nowadays realize.

Colucci’s a big fan of bodybuilding history. I’m sure he could rattle off quite a list of names who trained with full body routines and built considerable size.[/quote]
Ha, no pressure, thanks. :slight_smile:

While it is always tough to say “exactly” how pros do, or did, train, there’s a bunch of evidence that full body training can clearly make people much bigger, much stronger, and much leaner. :wink:

Yep, Bob Gajda was known for “PHA training”, a type of full body circuit training, and he trained Sergio Oliva in that style when he was new to the US. Steve Reeves used and recommended full body training (which included tons of work for every bodypart).

Dan Lurie, who worked with Joe Weider in some of his early businesses, also does appear to have built his foundation with full body free weight training combined with basic gymnastic work.

Reg Park (one of Arnold’s greatest inspirations) wrote about one of the first 5x5 routines, where he recommended benching, squatting, and deadlifting 3 days a week for the first three months of a lifter’s training to build a good base. He didn’t recommend any direct arm training until 6 months of compound exercise-only lifting. Not sure if he followed his own advice (he was 170 as a 6’2" teen and a lean 220ish as a competitor), but that’s what he was confident in suggesting to others.

John Grimek was on the US Olympic weightlifting team in the mid-1930s (when he was in his mid 20s), before becoming “just” a bodybuilder in the '40s and '50s. It’s unrealistic to think that top-level competitive weightlifters used bodypart splits.

At 5’8", Grimek was a pretty lean 195 at the Olympics and trained with Mark Berry (an early advocate of full body training as well as ‘squats and milk’) to get up to 250 before cutting down to compete in the low to mid 200s. Remember though, that 21st century bodybuilding expects a much higher level of leanness than early-to-mid 20th century bodybuilding. If I had to guess, I’d say, in terms of bodyfat, 4-8 weeks out today is comparable to stage-ready back then, so adjust the numbers as appropriate.

And relevant to the actual OP, Grimek was reported to curl upwards to 200 pounds. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that wasn’t from avoiding some specific curl training.

Arnold himself started off in an Olympic weightlifting gym as a teen in Austria, and won several Olympic weightlifting contests in the mid to late '60s. Back then, it wasn’t at all uncommon for bodybuilders to compete in Olympic lifting (Steve Stanko, Tommy Kono, Roy Hilligen, etc ) or at least practice the O lifts since they were actually part of the “Athletic Points” scoring for bodybuilding shows in the early and late '50s, and could easily decide a show’s winner. And again, I’d say it’s unrealistic to expect a bodypart split to encourage success in Olympic lifting. Maybe that’s a stretch, but the fact is, bodypart splits only really “caught on” in the late 1950s.

(Edited)

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]flch95 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Actually, I believe the majority of the real old school guys trained that way; Eiferman, Tanny, Lurie, Reeves, and a good lot of those guys were larger than most trainers nowadays realize.

Colucci’s a big fan of bodybuilding history. I’m sure he could rattle off quite a list of names who trained with full body routines and built considerable size.

S[/quote]
Can anyone actually confirm that the “old guys” actually trained with the full body routines for the duration of their career (or at least a large portion of it)? I have a hard time believing they trained this way the entire time.[/quote]

I’ve read a lot of the autobiographies, and of course you can only go by what they attest to. [/quote]
Pretty much, yep. We’re often going by what they say, which is as reliable (or not) as the person doing the talking. Also, like most successful bodybuilders, they don’t really train exactly the same from year one until they retire. Aren’t there like a dozen different “Dorian Yates routines”? :wink:

Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors. Volume 1 goes into a big part of the history of the sport of bodybuilding. It has a ton of cited sources/references and is regarded as pretty balanced and unbiased. Give it a read and you’ll see that there was a huge influence of Olympic weightlifting in the beginning (like I just mentioned) and a lot of the most successful bodybuilders made the transition to “just” bodybuilding at some point. So the emphasis, for many, was on performance (which often meant movement-based routines rather than bodypart-based splits), but they still ended up very well-developed.

The trick, though, is to decide for ourselves how much influence a few years of mostly cleans, jerks, and snatches have on building a body compared to a few years of mostly “traditional” bodybuilding training. That’s probably food for another thread though. This one’s getting far enough off-track. :slight_smile:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
The trick, though, is to decide for ourselves how much influence a few years of mostly cleans, jerks, and snatches have on building a body compared to a few years of mostly “traditional” bodybuilding training. That’s probably food for another thread though. This one’s getting far enough off-track. :)[/quote]

You’re missing the most important lift of them all… the press.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
…a lot of the most successful bodybuilders made the transition to “just” bodybuilding at some point. So the emphasis, for many, was on performance (which often meant movement-based routines rather than bodypart-based splits), but they still ended up very well-developed.
[/quote]

yes…

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[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]

I have some on my profile