increasing arm size

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by luciobrazil007, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. luciobrazil007

    luciobrazil007 Valued Member

    hi , i am currently doing full body routines using kbells , weights and bw. i have seen improvements in legs , chest , back , abs ect but my arms remain quite small and arent growing compared to everything else.

    so i was thinking of doing an arm workout as well as the full body workouts.
    does anyone know a good arm workout? (biceps , triceps and forearms).
  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Pull/Chin ups and dips.
  3. seiken steve

    seiken steve golden member

    BB curls, CGBP, hammer curls and skull crushers should see you right.

    how big/strong are you? skinny dudes have skinny arms, nothing will change that.
  4. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    A quick video on Skull Crushers, just in case you're not familiar with the exercise.

    Note how still his upper arms are during the exercise.

    [ame=""]How To: Skull Crushers - YouTube[/ame]

    I also second the DB curls. A really great exercise for getting every bit of squeeze out of the movement.

    Can be done standing or seated and I like to do alternate arms. Palm down to palm up is my prefered option, but as shown here that isn't necessary.

    [ame=""]How To: Alternating Dumbbell Curl - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    God I hate you. :D
  6. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    As mentioned curls, but a better use of your time for biceps would be the supplementary effect from pull ups and chin ups, t bar rows etc, at least you gain some functional strength from it. Triceps as you mentioned KB and Bodyweight, do some different variations with press ups, close gripped, one armed etc, should help your triceps, with KB and weights, skull crushers, are win. Forearms are quite difficult, deads help them as a supplementary but it's a long drawn out process, I would suggest VERY HEAVY farmers walks, in zig zags, I farmers walk at the moment I try for 30 seconds, with 60kg dumbbells in each hand.

    Please don't become one of those curling guys looking in a mirror with no functional strength whatsoever. Skinny legs, skinny shoulders and chest small triceps and massive biceps are a very bad look!
  7. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I don't altogether agree. T-Bar rows are a great exercise, but as a back exercise they are just a pre-exhaust to a bicep workout.

    As the OP has been making gains, I find your "curling guys" statement strange.

    Farmers walksa are great, but you didn't even ask what equipment the OP had access to.

    A case of a coach recommending what he does, rather than what the client needs?
  8. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    He says he does a full body workout with kettle bells and body weight, I mentioned this, did you miss it twice? You recommended him Skull Crushers and DB Bicep curls, and I'm some how far fetched for recommending Farmers walks which require the same apparatus? Lol.

    Key words here Simon "please don't become" it's Ok if you find it strange.

    It's not something I do, I never curl. I don't need to because my arms are big already, and I don't care about the size of my arms. :)
  9. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    What is functional strength?

    Size gains = strength gains.

    All strength gains are useful.
  10. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    Functional strength, something you can use to help you in some part of daily life or a specific activity or sport. That's what it is to me. Most compound exercises to me are in some form functional and useful to me. Bicep curling to achieve hypertrophy to me does not result in functional strength.
  11. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I would disagree, just because the bicep and associated joints only move in one plane of motion. It matters not what exercise you choose, DB curls, ez bar or other, as long as you are making gains then that is functional, isn't it?
  12. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    I disagree, this is why I suggested doing exercises like pull up or rows, you use your Biceps, but in a manner which they are functional and make use of more compound muscles.

    Also it's the same with say a punch. Benching 200kg won't somehow make me a better striker, but practicing punching itself will because of the motor units and the cns.

    Same with functional strength. For example, if I were to ask you what is better, leg pushes (I'm filling a blank on the name of the machines you push with your legs) or squats? Squats are more functional. Someone might use the machines for hams and quads, but I bet you squats will be more functional.
  13. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Just a query here Zaad but where did you pull that from?

    Body builders often work at lower weights and do more reps to increase hypertrophy. Gymnasts and power lifters might be stronger but not bigger because of the difference in their training methods. Yes heavier people can be stronger than lighter people but getting a big muscle does not necessarily mean you will get the strength as well AFAIK. I know these are generalizations but it would be interesting to see how you came to your conclusion. I wonder if it is more of an endurance thing or is it that simple. Have to go back and look at my ex physiology books :' S

    Any S & C specialists here to clarify?

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  14. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    Every time you use that phrase, a baby panda dies a long slow agonizing death.

    For God's sake, think of the baby pandas!
  15. CrowZer0

    CrowZer0 Assume formlessness.

    Strength that is functional, what's wrong with it? :p
  16. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    one technical explanation....

    ''Two Types of Muscular Hypertrophy

    There are two types of muscular hypertrophy; sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar. Lets explore both.

    Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

    Sarcoplasmic muscular hypertrophy involves an increase in the sarcoplasmic volume of a muscle cell with no corresponding increase in muscular strength. A strength increase is something you normally expect with an increase in muscular hypertophy, however sarcoplasmic volume increases serve very little to no functional purpose in terms of strength development.

    Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is a response to hard training at relatively high volumes. In order for muscles to increase in size as a result of an increase in sarcoplasmic volume, they have to be trained within a higher repetition range. This is generally in the range of 8-12 and even beyond. This causes sufficient micro-trauma for the muscle to respond.

    Endurance athletes also experience a small level of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy in response to high volumes of training.

    Obviously this form of muscular hypertrophy is not desirable for anyone aiming to increase strength or sports performance. Bodybuilders and those wanting beach muscles are likely the only ones concerned with sarcoplasmic muscular hypertrophy. This form or muscle size increase is the main reason you see strength to weight ratio decrease as a person gets larger, even with no evidence of excess body fat. It can seem a mystery to some as to why bodybuilders can be huge but not always as strong as they look (not all, but some).

    Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

    Myofibrillar muscular hypertrophy is what most people want. This is an increase in the size of the actual contractile proteins, resulting in more available muscle for contraction applied to resistance. This form of muscle increase is commonly seen in athletes that perform dynamic sports or strength and power. Weightlifters experience myofibrillar hypertrophy as a result of their training. When a load is lifted that is beyond 75% of maximum a corresponding increase in contractile proteins occurs in order to adapt and lift a heavier load next time.

    Myofibrillar muscular hypertrophy is attained through high intensity, lower volume training. However this is not always the case, it is just ideal. A muscle will not increase in strength to any great amount through repetitive lifting until fatigue. It doesn't make sense that lifting something 12 times will increase the amount you are able to lift in one-off efforts that are close to maximum strength. This is why myofibrillar hypertrophy occurs most notably as a result of training in the range of 3-7 repetitions. It's not ideal for a bodybuilder but it will build actual functional strength you can use and not unnecessary bodyweight. The size of the muscle will increase at a slower rate because the hypertrophy involves growth of functional units of muscular tissue as opposed to just volume.''

    So the first example is an increase in size without an increase in strength...

    Hope that clarifies things a bit (well hope it doesn't complicate things too much)

  17. Lad_Gorg

    Lad_Gorg Valued Member

    Well it depends on why your trying to build bigger arms. Since you're on a martial arts website, I'm guessing that maybe you want to increase arm size for improving your power when punching. If this is your purpose, you should realize that having big arms is not the same thing as having powerful punches.
    And in some cases big arms may restrict the power of your punch.

    Give this a read:

    A simple summary would be that proper punching technique is way more important than muscle mass. And that lifting weights doesn't particularly add anything to a punch.

    Of course you could be trying to build aesthetic muscles, which is of course totally alright, it's a free world and a lot of ladies like the look. Then as others have said, you should look into hypertrophy exercises, these are exercises that are aimed specifically at building muscle tissue. However hypertrophy may not actually improve your overall strength.

    Some more reading material: (this is more a biochemical explanation of hypertrophy, if you're a science nut like myself, you may enjoy it)

    Hope this helps.
  18. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Right well. Guess I better post clearer considering the can of worms I opened!

    As L4D posted, there are two types of hypertrophy HOWEVER they are not mutually exclusive or independent. Increases in one will trigger a small increase in the other. Hence why there are body builders are bloody strong and gymnasts have a higher percentage LeAn mass than regular folk.

    There are also neural strength gains, the nervous system adapting to a stimuli, which people experiencehowever as long as adequate nutrition and rest is provided they will experience hypertrophy.

    Check out Mcardle, katch & katch for more info.

    Size gains = strength gains but they may not be equal.

    My point on functional strength - its bullcrap as a broad term. Functional strength is specific to a specific goal of a function. And form should follow function so if your goal is to curl new like a curl bro then the strength gains from that are functional strength gains.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  19. evva

    evva Valued Member

    Size certainly doesnt equal strength, i know several thai boxers who are extremely strong yet small in size.One i know i have 4 kilos on but his strength is far more than my strength yet i have the bigger arms.

    Meet a few welders or scaffolders and they mostly arent bulked like bodybuilders but have a lot of strength from constantly throwing the metal about.
  20. SHAD0W

    SHAD0W Valued Member

    I've been doing this exercise lark for about 3 months and I must say, I'm having the same problem as the OP. Big gains in all areas but my arms. I'm especially having trouble doing shrugs, my fingers give out and I can no longer hold the dumbells, even though I can manage the 25kg shrugs. What's going on?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012

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