T Nation

Why The Obsession With Arms?

The two body parts that I believe are the most overrated in the body are the arms.

Why? Because the second they become bigger than your chest, legs, shoulders, back, and/or forearms, it makes your body look disproportional and what I like to call, a “pussy physique”. And yet, people still look at them and think how “buff” they are all the while never seeing how underdeveloped all their other body parts are.

If you want to see any of these “pussy physiques”, take a look at a high school wrestling team and you’ll instantly understand what point I’m trying to make.

Which leads me to my next question, am I the only rare person in the crowd who believes that arms should COMPLEMENT the body, but not make it a focal point instead? Hence explains my gratitude towards Lee Haney; instead of building up mass in the arms, he directed most of his muscle around every other body part, which is what I believe everyone should do.

I’m sick of seeing these bodies with overly big arms and small, flat chests, baseball shoulders, and no back development. There’s this one kid in my high school who’s a junior (I’m a senior) who probably has the biggest arms I’ve ever seen in a teen EVER. I can say theyre at least 17-18 inches with tons of definition on them, but yet his shoulders r smaller than his tris. He also has very little chest development and carries a nice pair of chicken legs.

Needless to say, this kid is in wrestling. And the thing that pisses me off is that I have about 40 lbs of more muscle on him (hes only 135!) and yet I don’t get as much attention as people do to his body only because his arms are sickly huge and mine are average (15 inches).

Another place to look for overly big arms on small bodies is the baseball team, who apparently just lifts weights all day, every day. There was a guy on that team about two years ago who also had sick arms but with absolutely no back development and leg development. His chest was manageable (not as good as mine or other football players) but his shoulders were actually in proportion to his arms.

Just today I heard people on the baseball team talk about him saying things like, “oh man, that guys arms are like M—'s arms! He’s so buff!” And yet I have NEVER heard anyone compare the size of chests, or the size of backs, or even the size of legs to other people.

Sorry to leave you readers with a rant, but I just had to get it off my chest. And also, can someone agree with me on the fact that focusing on the large muscle groups, instead of mainly the arms, is a better way to achieve a beautiful, proportional physique? thank you.

Because to the non-lifter big arms give the effect of big upper body. It’s an optical illusion.

We have one in our Gym. His arms are huge and defined, but all he wears are tank tops so you can’t see the rest of his upper body. All the newbies flock to him, like he’s adonis, with questions of all sorts. His chest is ok, back non-existant and as for legs, he’s never even glanced sideways at the Leg Extension, let alone used the squat rack.

Unless you’re at a beach, arms are the easiest muscles to show off and pose.

You can’t show off that full thick chest or striated glutes walking down a mall, but you can display massive arms simply wearing a tight, short-sleeved shirt.

There is no way some guy who weighs 135lbs has 18" defined arms. Bullshit.

135 with 17-inch arms? What is he, lke 4 ft tall? If he’s not this has to be bullshit.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
There is no way some guy who weighs 135lbs has 18" defined arms. Bullshit.[/quote]

Doesn’t that depend on his height? He could be a midget.

Yes guys I forgot to add that he is very small. maybe like 5’2 or something. I’m 5’10 and he comes to like my chest. and yes I’m very sure that he uses roids; my friend told me (who is also in wrestling) that he is in the 135 lb weight class. I was just like, “yep hes on juice”

Before you say"I can DEFINITELY say his arms are at least 17-18 inches, you should get a tape measure.5’2" and 135 is still a short, chubby girl.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
Yes guys I forgot to add that he is very small. maybe like 5’2 or something. I’m 5’10 and he comes to like my chest. and yes I’m very sure that he uses roids; my friend told me (who is also in wrestling) that he is in the 135 lb weight class. I was just like, “yep hes on juice”[/quote]

Never mind hard work, both on the mat and off. If he’s built better, it must be juice.

He may also spend a lot of time holding an opponent in cradles, pushing and running wings and nelsons, bridging for reversals, and throwing.

That will do wonders for the body, but you probabably haven’t spent much time on a mat, huh?

Has he been wrestling long? I know that around here, we start them off in kindergarten, and some of the more exceptional programs start them before that. That would give him a good ten years by ninth grade, plus summer programs.

He might just have about a ten year head start on you.


Here’s your answer…

Before he came along, there wasn’t much emphasis on the arms. You can also blame him for the “Chest” too. He’s probably another reason the over-rated Bench Press is used so much to build the chest. Not for the fact that he used a Bench Press… but for the fact that he had a chest and it was one of his 5 basic exercises. I use neutral grip dumbbell presses in drop sets to build size… I would never use a Bench Press for nothing other than pure power and strength anyway.

Why the huge concern with what you deem as an “arm” obsession. Is insecurity really running this high nowadays? Arms are the most exposed body to those who know little about bodybuilding and human anatomy. No wonder they are the most noticed.

Why would you even care though? I think most of us here know the answer. If you had small calves, would we have to see a “What’s everyone’s obsession with calves, I have a more proportional body damn it, how come no one looks at me.”


…need I say more?

…even T-Naion has a fascination with just one of Arnold’s biceps. No need to show two, one’ll do.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
Needless to say, this kid is in wrestling. And the thing that pisses me off is that I have about 40 lbs of more muscle on him (hes only 135!) and yet I don’t get as much attention as people do to his body only because his arms are sickly huge and mine are average (15 inches).
[/quote]

Who is the attention from that you crave? If it is chicks, they are hardly your bodybuilding peers. They don’t get excited by symetry and etc.

In the non gayest way possible…
If I go to a nightclub, I’d prefer to get a bodybuilding compliment off a bouncer at the door than chicks on the dance floor.

Thinking back to High School, most people thought somebody was huge if they had abs!

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
Yes guys I forgot to add that he is very small. maybe like 5’2 or something. I’m 5’10 and he comes to like my chest. and yes I’m very sure that he uses roids; my friend told me (who is also in wrestling) that he is in the 135 lb weight class. I was just like, “yep hes on juice”[/quote]

Why would you be jealous of someone who is 5’2"? He works out and has big arms. It just sounds like you envy the attention he gets. I still doubt his arms are over 17" like you wrote. If you have small arms, you probably are very poor at estimating the actual size of anyone else’s, especially someone that short. Any muscle on someone who is only 5’2" is going to stand out. 15" arms on a 5’2" person will look huge. They would look small on someone of average height.

Very brokeback statement. Realize what your angry at here and deal with it. You are brokenhearted because you aren’t getting as much attention. Deal with your insecurities and train how you see fit and if your deal is body sculpting, refine 'til you are content.

B.b

I agree that the arm size is over-rated. I must say it annoys me to see weedy guys in the gym pumping thier guns and paying little attention to thhier scrawny legs, non-existant back and chest and shoulders the size of golfballs.

But then when Im smashing out deadlifts that would triple most of thier body weights and push pressing more than they could ever hope to even bench it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know I have more functional strength than old matey with the pretty boy muscles!

[quote]Professor X wrote:
B.b. in stress! wrote:
Yes guys I forgot to add that he is very small. maybe like 5’2 or something. I’m 5’10 and he comes to like my chest. and yes I’m very sure that he uses roids; my friend told me (who is also in wrestling) that he is in the 135 lb weight class. I was just like, “yep hes on juice”

Why would you be jealous of someone who is 5’2"? He works out and has big arms. It just sounds like you envy the attention he gets. I still doubt his arms are over 17" like you wrote. If you have small arms, you probably are very poor at estimating the actual size of anyone else’s, especially someone that short. Any muscle on someone who is only 5’2" is going to stand out. 15" arms on a 5’2" person will look huge. They would look small on someone of average height.[/quote]

Aren’t Lee Preists arms something like 17-18 inches? I mean, his arms look ginormus and I doubt this guys are that big.

[quote]Man O’ War wrote:

Who is the attention from that you crave? If it is chicks, they are hardly your bodybuilding peers. They don’t get excited by symetry and etc.

In the non gayest way possible…
If I go to a nightclub, I’d prefer to get a bodybuilding compliment off a bouncer at the door than chicks on the dance floor.

[/quote]

You sound just as insecure as the OP, why would you need affirmation from a fucking bouncer when YOU know the work you’ve put in the gym, etc.

I would take a chick in a heartbeat instead! (for different reasons, obviously). Now, if you are busting your ass at the gym and your ACTUAL peers there recognize your efforts, that’s a different story…

[quote]m1sf1t wrote:
You sound just as insecure as the OP, why would you need affirmation from a fucking bouncer when YOU know the work you’ve put in the gym, etc. I would take a chick in a heartbeat! Now, if you are busting your ass at the gym and your ACTUAL peers there recognize your efforts, that’s a different story…
[/quote]

Nah not at all.

I was just saying if you are after bodybuilding cred, the bouncer would have more idea than the chick on the dance floor.

I was merely making a point to the OP that the attention he may be craving is from the least informed.

It’s like when you go to a ball game. There are the flashy AND1 style players who make the alley-oops, highlight reel dunks, crazy handles and score 10 points and do fuck all else around the court.

Then you get a Ben Wallace style player who boxes out, screens, rebounds, makes assists, and scores plain old jumpers.

The flashy ‘AND1 style’ player comes off and the cheerleaders tell him how awesome he was where the ‘Ben Wallace’ style player has the coach tell him how awesome he was. I’d rather the coaches praise any day of the week.

That’s how I view the chicks in the night club and the bouncers.

I don’t personally give a shit about attention, but the OP seems to and I was just trying to put it into some context.