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Old 07-14-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Arm Training - Yes or No?

Got this in the e-mail yesterday from Andy Bolton's strength training news letter. Thought it was interesting and wanted to share...

Quote:
Today I wanna talk to you about ARMS.
As a strength athlete, should you bother with direct arm
training - or is it a massive waste of time?
Here's your answer...


Let's deal with the biceps first...

If you're doing plenty of Pull Ups (or Pull Downs)
and Rows, I don't feel there is much need for heavy
direct arm work.

The one thing I believe some bicep work may do is
protect the biceps when deadlifting.

Remember, if you use a mixed grip when deadlifting -
your supinated arm (the one with your palm facing
AWAY from your body) is in a weak position.

Ever noticed that when someone tears a bicep when
deadlifting - that's usually the arm that tears?

Exactly.

So here's what I recommend:

3-4 sets of 10-12 reps on any curl movement you like,
performed once a week. Avoid failure and rest 60
seconds between sets. No big deal.

Anymore bicep work than that is probably a waste of
time for the strength athlete.


Now let's talk about the triceps...

Some powerlifters will tell you that you have to do all
manner of tricep isolation exercises in order to have a
big press...

Skullcrushers, Push Downs with every grip imaginable -
you name it, they'll want you to do them.

But here's what I found out the HARD way...

- Those exercises can really mess up your elbows

- Your energy is almost certainly better put into more PRESSING (the thing you want to be good at)

Remember the S.A.I.D principle?

Specific Adaptation To Imposed Demands

In other words - you get good at what you practice!

So if you want to be a tricep push down world champion,
then great - go ahead and do 85 sets of push downs a
week and another 50 sets of Skullcrushers just for good
measure LOL

But if you want a big Bench, do what Bill Crawford (one of
the best benchers and bench coaches OF ALL TIME) told
me to do...

Do more pressing because that's what you want to get good
at and therefore... that's where you should put your energy.
The result - I added over 60 pounds to my bench in 6 months.
Not bad for a guy who was already ELITE.

Here is the only direct tricep work I really do these days:

- A few light push downs as a WARM UP before pressing

That's it.

Nothing more. Give that approach a try and see how much
better your elbows feel and how much bigger your bench ends
up.

Talk soon,

Andy Bolton
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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I don't know if I agree 100% with what he says about triceps, I would agree that you dont need a gazillion sets of a bagillion reps or neet to max them out with weight either but they play such integral part in locking out both the bench and overhead presses I think they deserve some direct work each week, even if it's just some dips. On the curls, a pro-strongman/elite powerlifter friend of mine by the name of Dan Harrison advocates curls for the same reason as Mr. Bolton (injury prevention) but he specifically swears by inluding preachers on a regular basis because he says those strengthen the tendons more than any other curl.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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I do direct bicep and tricep work. The obvious tricep work for pressing. I do my main pressing lift plus two to three additional lifts for tris. I also do direct bicep work twice a week, DBs, BBs and reverse or hammers. I feel that these have helped stabilize my bench while in the hole.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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Weak as shit and very inexperienced here, but I have to agree with Gasp. Since adding triceps isolation my bench press and overhead progress is continuing forward at a much quicker pace.

Without the extra attention to triceps and increase in body weight, for the most part bp was only crawling along after reaching bw for (hypertrophy range) reps. Speaking as an early intermediate this might be an illusion though.

Also I must add that recently my arch is rapidly growing larger and that is my best weapon for this exercise.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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Default

If you look at the last thing he said.
Quote:
Not bad for a guy who was already ELITE
I'm sure before he became Elite he did Direct Bicep and tricep work, but as time went on and he grew and got much stronger. He became an Elite Lifter. So at this point in his training. The direct work isn't needed near as much. So of course.. more pressing would be better.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #6
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Like the article said, a little arm training can be of a benefit. I like to keep it pretty basic; Dips and Barbell Curls for 2 or 3 sets each.

I've tried to do more than that for a period of time, but I never saw a return on the investment beyond what I normally do.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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A long time ago I used to superset curls and tri ext or tri press downs....not anymore...I got to the point where my elbows would be in extreme pain even with 30lb db ( coming down from doing hammer curls with 105 db ) now when I remember to do curls its very moderate weight...I get a good pump on the Bis from pulling movements and switching the grips
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:13 PM   #8
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I agree with gaspers about the stability. I have found both not enough and doing to much direct work leads to elbow pain.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:33 AM   #9
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I am certainly not the most qualified lifter here but IMHO - I seem to see better results all arouund if I keeep some direct arm work in my routine. I do a whole body routine so I have a dedicated arm movement in every work out.
Additionally, I will do an " arm day " about once evry two weeks...... I haven't been able to lift recently ( medical issue) and I noticed that my arms seem to lose mass first. I may have to do some dedicated arm work when I get back ... ( this week, baby!!!)
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CODY_SNIDER View Post
I agree with gaspers about the stability. I have found both not enough and doing to much direct work leads to elbow pain.
Exactly the same for me. I need to do some but not too much.
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