Do you need to train arms or not?
When you’re 16, it’s normally every session.
Let’s all cast our mind back to the first gym session and more precisely what the first session comprised of. This was mine;
Could you wipe your backside the next day? I couldn’t.
Wincing just taking a sip of water is a familiar feeling.
The first couple of visits to the weights room is a nerve shredding experience, you survey the landscape of experienced trainers pumping hard iron. It's intimidating.
Unfortunately our limited arsenal of exercises means typically only a few movements can be done.
We train arms. It’s always arms. Why?
1. The barrier to entry to an arms session is not high and pretty much most people can get the form right very quickly. Unless you try a single arm dumbbell curl with 50kg. That will end badly.
2. It is also the first priority, especially for the men. This scintillating article by the metro highlighting that women love biceps will be the predominate reason a lot of males head straight to the dumbbells.
But the question always remains – should we waste valuable gym time training muscles that only represent a small percentage of the entire physique?
As confidence grows as does our repertoire of exercises, we up skill into other areas and learn more movement patterns, techniques and variations for all areas of the body.
Feeling confident we create structured routines and advance further.
Is direct arm training necessary?
Well that begs the question. Do you want bigger arms
If the answer to that is yes, then yes you should train your arms.
How often? How many sets? How many reps?
Well if you’re lucky with genetics like a Greek God then you can likely do a lot less than the average Joe with stubborn arms.
So if you do aim to have biceps peaks like Arnie then apply the following principles to your arm routine;
So as you can see there are a few components to think about if you want absolute cannons hanging off your torso.
Let’s break it down into a simple 4 step application:
1. Train your arms directly
2. Train them as frequently as every other muscle group (ideally twice per week)
3. 2-3 exercises per muscle and be consistent with these exercises. Aim to get good at performing them. Varying the angle to hit different elements of the muscle.
4. Don’t train to failure. Leave 1 or 2 reps in the tank.
The next time we see you we expect to see bulging arms.
1. Heaselgrave, S.R., et al., Dose-Response of Weekly Resistance Training Volume and Frequency on Muscular Adaptations in Trained Males. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 2018. [Epub ahead of print]: p. 1–28.
2. Davies, T., et al., Erratum to: Effect of Training Leading to Repetition Failure on Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med, 2016. 46(4): p. 605–10.
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