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Old 10-15-2014, 09:19 AM   #1
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Default A Powerlifter’s Approach To Training Arms

A Powerlifter’s Approach To Training Arms is an article that highlights similarities and differences between powerlifters and bodybuilders and how they train arms.

Bonus minimalist powerlifting workout included.

How do you guys hit arms?

If you don't do any direct arm training, would you be willing to add in some direct arm training and let me know how your lifts increase?

I personally noticed a great increase in my bench press noticeably when I started incorporating hammer curls into my routine.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:32 AM   #2
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I agree on the Hammers - they also seemed to help my deadlift. I have been on JB's programming for some time now, and the only direct arm work he had me doing was CGBP and Hammer Curls, along with some blood flow work like band pushdowns.

I personally find direct bicep work to be boring, other than chins. It's tough, as a powerlifter, to get motivated to do it, just like ab work, when all you can think about is squats, bench, and deads.

I do not find direct tricep work to be boring tho.

I have been saying for years I need to do more bicep work - and instead I always end up doing heavier rows lol. A few extra curls it will be on assistance day and I will let you know!
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Old 10-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #3
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In my experience, direct tricep work is unnecessary. If you are benching enough, close grips, etc, your triceps get hit plenty hard from pressing work. Biceps on the other hand, I think are helpful. They balance the arm out and keep your elbows healthy. Having said that, I am completely lazy with it and barely do any, so shame on me.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:06 PM   #4
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Cutty,

In some instances I think that direct arm work is in conflict with powerlifting. Case in point - I actually started curling in NASA to add to the lifting arsonal. I know - take your shots. I've heard them all. But I digress. The standard for a huge curl was 220 lbs. Only two guys had done it. No one under 50. So I decided I would take that on. Last November I accomplished the task. And six attempts later in the day I detached my right distal biceps tendon trying to pull 700.

I am completely convinced that my heavy curls was a direct cause of the tendon.
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Old 10-15-2014, 07:51 PM   #5
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I have to say that a very informative, and I like it from a power lifter perspective, as a bodybuilder I think that both styles can benifit both powerlifter and bodybuilders. When I started lifting I used all three basic lifts to get big, the powerlifting routine can be useful for building mass for bodybuilding, and I still use close grip bench presses for triceps to keep size, just cut down on the sets, since my other major lifts hits the triceps in-directly. I also believe the the powerlifting style of arm exercise also improve overall strengtht in other compound lifts which can help with building mass, I believe a bigger muscle=a stronger muscle.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:06 PM   #6
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You're right, Grizzly.

Sandbox, would you agree that some direct arm work compared to none at all would benefit pressing at all?

I can see how going for broke on strength and doing heavy curls could pop a bicep, but would you suggest completely skipping direct arm work?

Arm work is usually skipped with me, but when I started implementing hammer curls specifically into my training, I noticed my bench press go up and feeling more "stable."

Thoughts?
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:22 PM   #7
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These are great conversations and one's I truly love having. Seeing different points of views opens up the ole' mind.

I do agree Cutty that some form of direct work on the bi's and tri's can be beneficial yet may not be necessary depending on the workload and your expected outcome. A powerlifter wants to make sure that the range of motion through his three lifts is maintained regardless. A bodybuilder wouldn't be all that disappointed if he traded muscle range for peak and size.

And I absolutely agree with Grizzly. Big muscle=strong muscle. Most if not all big ass bbers are strong dudes. Always have been. The myth that they are not has always been just that - a myth.

But....some isolation movements are prohibitive to effective powerlifting. Heavy curls, heavy strict flys, and lat pulldowns are three that come to mind.

Here's the ultimate example: I could effectively train a successful powerlifter with four movements: squat, bench, deadlift & BB rows. However, that would be one blocky, uncompetitive bodybuilder.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:47 PM   #8
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I think it also comes back to what your "goal" with assistance work is. It is about keeping the body balanced enough to make progress with the big 3. Unless you are competing in the curl, if you are a powerlifter, you have no business doing heavy curls, low rep curls. Its assistance/support work, treat it as such.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:16 AM   #9
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That being said, with arm work they are a smaller muscle that when worked either as powerlifter or bodybuilder you work them heavy enough to stimulate for muscle growth as a bodybuilder,and for powerlifting for functional use as with other sports. It just bodybuilder trains more for cosmetic looks and powerlifter trains more functional that help with overall performance and Sandbox you are correct with bodybuilders are strong, a lot of bodybuilder, including myself do use power moves in off season to get big and a lot of bodybuilder start out as powerlifters and any bodybuilder that worth anything will tell of you want to get big power lift.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:53 AM   #10
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I dont think guys with "t-rex arms" will benefit as much as a longlimbed person from direct armwork, when it comes to carryover to the press.

Sandbox - You dont believe lat pulldowns has its place in the assistance exercise artillery? Would love to hear your thought regarding this.
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