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Old 02-15-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
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Should each muscle group get the same amount of sets? Or should I add more to say my arms since I want them really big? What does everyone else do?
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
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I'm going to play with numbers here a bit for you, but first, the big message.

Your arms don't need anywhere near the number of sets that your legs, back, and chest do. The hierarchy goes sort of like this: Legs->Back->Chest->Shoulders->Arms. Core work should be in there somewhere, but someone else should address that.

So, big arms. Man, I want arms like Arnold to be honest. I would be kidding myself if I said otherwise. Big adding in set after set of curls and triceps extensions isn't going to give you the sort of return you want. You need to get STRONG before trying to get big.

The reason for the hierarchy above is that the bigger the muscle, the harder you need to work it. The arms are small compared to everything else. Their function is to latch on to things and move small objects around. The legs and back are where strength is.

Your arms get hit a lot with indirect work too. So, lets say we do 3 sets of barbell curls 3 x a week. Only 9 sets. Not really very exciting. But lets be honest. The curls are probably under 135 pounds.

Now, lets get some back work in. Some good rows, maybe 5 or 6 working sets at 225. Deadlifts, 8 sets at 405, maybe some shrugs, power cleans, chinups.

We've now got the arms getting hit with an extra 20+ sets that it first looked like, each time with WAY more weight that we could ever hope to curl. They assist the movement, and its not direct stimulation, but its more stimulation that just curls.

The triceps shouldn't be neglected. They make up 2/3 of your arm mass and are going to make your arm look bigger when they lay at your side. So lets throw in some extensions or something similar. Cool. But the triceps are also big movers in all pushing lifts. So now we have 10 sets of bench at 315, some dips with an extra 90 pounds, and military press at 185. An extra 30 sets each with hundreds more pounds than we could use by themselves.

So, the arms are always taking a beating. If we beat them down too hard, they don't grow as fast as they could. So its not to say don't do curls, I'm saying get your big lifts up and your arms will grow faster because you are using weights you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:17 PM   #3
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More sets doesn't always mean more growth. Big arms are good, but nobody wants disproportionate tree trunks off their shoulders. That would just look awful.

Arms are used in most lifts, so they are always getting worked, all week long. I wouldn't do direct arm work more than 2x a week. I currently do a basic pairing, chest with tri's, back with bi's. I'll do about 4-6 sets, upto 15 reps including warm ups. I prefer using a slower, fuller motion with constant tension and peak contraction holds.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:22 PM   #4
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Adding more work for your arms MAY actually slow down their growth. Think about that...
And read what Brute wrote about a dozen times until you fully understand what he's saying.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
Adding more work for your arms MAY actually slow down their growth. Think about that...
And read what Brute wrote about a dozen times until you fully understand what he's saying.
lol

I concur.
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