Stubborn Arms

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by Coyote, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Coyote

    Coyote New Member

    I have had great success with HST, however as I have been doing primarily compound movements, or perhaps in spite of this, my arms in relation to my torso musculature are rather "small" (17 inches at 210 lbs. 5'11'' ) , lats delts, forearms, traps. pecs. are great, biceps especialy weak (110 lb BBl max curls) 380 lb bench.
    And so is it possible.. well... what do you think of the idea of an arms only cycle, or perhaps maintenance on everything else and a focus on arms only, to "shock them" or whatever.
    Could I for example work them isolated every day for a few weeks, while just doing maintenance on the compound lifts, so as to avoid SYSTEMIC overtraining?
     
  2. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    Dear Coyote,

    First and foremost, how has your arm growth been prior to this problem?

    Was it a real drag to get them 17 inches? Or did they grow quite well until they hit 17 inches?

    We could increase frequency of loading - this provides increase stimulus for growth. Don't take them to failure though. Why don't we try this? On you non-workout days, simply perform two sets each for biceps and triceps with the weight used for the last workout. This really should be no strain whatsoever and would allow you train as you normally would. There's no point sacrificing progress in the other parts just because of one weak part, don't you think? It makes better sense to reap as much muscular reward as you can, and at the same time, try to remedy one problem area.

    Alternatively, you might wish to slip in two high-rep sets for bicpes and triceps on your off days, and with a skin-busting pump, proceed to stretch them without hyperextending your joints. The pump will increase stretch, and the stretch itself can help stretch the fascia around your muscles - this could lead to more growth since hitting the fascia ceiling is one factor theorized to limit muscle growth and stretching the fascia raises this ceiling thereby permitting more growth to occur.

    Then again, for a natural, about 17-18 inches appears to be the limit. Breaching this requires injectable assistance, if you get my drift ;) Then again, just try slipping-in two sets each for biceps and triceps like I suggested. See how that pans out for you.

    Godspeed, and happy HSTing :)
     
  3. savagebeast

    savagebeast New Member

    I'm intrigued. Could you please elaborate a little more on fascia stretching? What is the best way to do it for biceps and triceps? Does it matter if this is done as part of your workout or between workout days?
     
  4. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    Dear Savagebeast,

    1. "I'm intrigued. Could you please elaborate a little more on fascia stretching? What is the best way to do it for biceps and triceps? Does it matter if this is done as part of your workout or between workout days?"

    >>>> Fascia stretching entails the stretching of the fascia around the muscle. The premise is that the fascia provides neurological feedback to the brain, and once the muscle within the fascia hits the fascia, the fascia signals the brain to inhibit growth in that muscle. This probably stems from an evolutionary mechanism that prevented over-growth of muscle since more muscle = higher metabolism = less chance of survival in lean times.

    To stretch the fascia, this entails hyperextending one's joints in order to elicit this. But I feel hyperextension should be avoided. Instead, I'd recommend getting as large a pump as possible, then stretching the muscle without hyperextending. The ballooned muscle from the pump will do well in stretching the fascia, much better than going into hyperextension with a non-pumped muscle.

    For biceps, I'd do EZ curls and hammer curls or dumbbell curls as work sets. After that, a high rep warm down set quickly follows suit, and this would give me a pump 9/10 times. With the pump in biceps, I might sit on an incline bench, and with light dumbbells, allow my elbows to straighted without hyperextending. My whole arm would perpendicular to the floor. This gives the biceps a good yet safe stretch. Triceps is a little easier. I do close grip bench presses, skull-crushers and warm down with kickbacks. This never fails to get a good pump. I'd then bring my wrists to my shoulders, then proceed point my elbows upwards, such that my upper arm is at least perpendicular to the floor, with my elbows touching my head if possible. This gives the triceps region a good stretch.

    And no, this need not be done on non-workout days. You can do this during your workout days. In fact, I usually do them after I finish my warm-down set, which is done immediately after my working set. You can do the same to chest - a set of high-rep dumbbell presses will give a good pump. We'd immediately switch to very light dumbbells, and with these dumbbells we'd do a weighted stretch using a dumbbell flye movement, dropping our arms to the sides as far as we comfortably can, then holding that stretch for 30 seconds or so. Increase stretch in the chest by taking deep breaths, expanding the rib-cage.

    Coyote might wish to add the pump-stretch protocol to his workout days and also, slip-in the extra work-sets and pump sets on non-workout days just for his arms.
     
  5. savagebeast

    savagebeast New Member

    dianabol, thanks for the great info. One more question: should fascia stretching be done throughout the entire cycle, or should it be reserved for during the heavier portions?
     
  6. Dianabol

    Dianabol Guest

    Dear Savagebeast,

    1. dianabol, thanks for the great info. One more question: should fascia stretching be done throughout the entire cycle, or should it be reserved for during the heavier portions?

    >>> You are welcome :)

    From what I've read, fascia stretching should be reserved for the heavier phases of training where growth can be expected to be the most. Still, pushing this ceiling up is a good thing anytime, to me, except during SD. I'd do the fascia stretching during the 15s to make way for the growth in the 10s, 5s and Negs. Even during the 10s, 5s and Negs, I'd partake in some stretching too after the workout just to alleviate spasm. Since I'm doing drop-sets after my work sets in the 10s-Negs, I might was well cash-in the pump and have a stretch there which coincidentally, ties in nicely with this whole concept of fascia stretching. Does it really work? I can't say for sure, but a good pump gives a good stretch without hyperextending - this itself sounds good to me.

    Godspeed, and happy HSTing :)
     

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