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Old 08-31-2005, 02:04 PM   #1
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down2earth HB User
frustrated and wanna give up with arms

I have been working out consistently now for well over a year. I have noticed true benefits/rewards of working out, in most all of my body(I am a male btw). The only area I dread working are my arms as I dont feel like I am seeing any progress and my routine is rather boring. It might just be my lack of arm strength.
First of all, should I be trying to do hammer and dumb bell curls with as much weight as possible? I usually try and do three sets of both for 15-20lbs. I also do 21's with no weight and sometimes 5 lbs weights.
I guess what I am asking for is a good web site or book for arms that will somehow keep me motivated into working my arms. Signed, Gunless.

 
Old 08-31-2005, 03:52 PM   #2
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netle HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Hi,

I am sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time with arms. Have you been doing the same routine the entire year? You might have better progress if you try mixing up your routine. This will challenge your muscles and keep them from getting used to doing the same thing over and over again.

Unfortunately we're not allowed to post website urls. But my personal fav's are concentration curls and inclined seated curls. I also believe that lifting heavy is the way to go, sometimes I will lift a lighter weight at higher reps just to shock my body with something different.

Also, some people do not work out their arms directly. They can still get great results by doing push ups, pull ups and other chest/back/tricep exercises. Try challenging yourself more in these other areas and the arms might follow.

 
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Old 08-31-2005, 03:54 PM   #3
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Naxis HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Try doing some heavy eccentric sets every other week. Slow and controlled. And don't forget your triceps. They tend to be overlooked when looking for big arms, but getting more size in the triceps will make a big visual difference (as well as improving press lifts).
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:07 AM   #4
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Sixbells99 HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Hi
I had trouble with my arms until I changed my program. I can only speak from my own personal experience. My Bicep routine is as follows :

1 warm-up set normally 10-13 lbs and 15 to 20 reps. But I based this on the pump more than the reps.

One actual set currently at 40llbs per dumbbell. This set is made up of total positive failure. Then 2 to 3 forced reps. Followed by 1 to 2 negative reps. Right now I can do 6 positive reps or normal reps. I wonít train my biceps again for at least 8 days and try to avoid any upper body workouts for a min of 4 day, after all every upper body exercise uses the bicep to one degree or another. On every single bicep workout I expect to do better than my last. Iím currently on 6 reps positive with good form. On my next workout Iím aiming to do 7 or 8 reps. When I can reach 10 reps I move the weight up, which may bring me down to 4 or 5 reps and I repeat the whole process. But I regard my workout as a failure unless Iíve improved from the last workout. As the whole aim of HIT is that you improve on every session.

There are many ways to shock the body there are volume are period training methods. Where you vary intensity and workouts styles For example with this type of training a typical program would be

Workout One
Super sets
3 sets of 10 bicep curls & 3 sets of triceps twice a week. This is called super setting. Do your ten reps of dumbbell curls and then without resting go straight to triceps and do 10 reps. Then rest one min and do it again.
Do this workout twice a week for two weeks,

Workout Two
Dropped sets
3 sets of bicep curls but have 3 different weights. So do for example 10 reps at the most heavy weight. Then without resting pickup the 2nd most heavy weight and do another 10 reps and then the 3rd heaviest and do another 10. So in all youíve done 30 reps without resting.
Do this twice a week for two weeks

There are many more methods but thatís just an example above. I donít do this method HIT works best for me. However I donít think either one is better than the other, they are different thatís all and each person has to chose the best method for them. But no matter what method you use there are two musts. You have to train to failure or close to it and you MUST have good form or youíll get injured.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 11:37 AM   #5
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down2earth HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Thanks all. 2 questions:

Naxis-what exactly are eccentric sets?

SixBells-are you doing workout one and two the same week? or are you saying to alternate? what sort of improvements have you seen?

Thanks much. I am truly wanting to defy any genetics and see what, if anything I can do to work these bad boys.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 12:35 PM   #6
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Naxis HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Eccentrics are using a slightly heavier weight and instead of focusing on concentric contraction (bringing the weight up, as in a curl) you focus on resisting the weight as you bring it down, slowly. Then using the other hand, bring the weight back up. It's harder than it sounds and will help to add muscle.
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Old 09-01-2005, 01:31 PM   #7
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Sixbells99 HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Hi Downtoearth

Naxis used the right name for concentric contraction which I called negative reps. This kind of stuff is ideal for bicep curls as you can use the other hand. Basically there are three modes of resistance and itís best explained using the bench-press as an example-. Thereís the positive part of the rep. Thatís point where you push the barbell from your chest up, This is the weakest part and you will go to failure on this part first. The there is the static rep. Which is just holding the barbell above you in full positive position. Then thereís the negative rep which is lowering the barbell down to your chest in a controlled manner, which is the strongest part of the rep where you can handle the most weight and will go to failure last. By focusing on all these three areas you will exhaust and overload your entire muscle. However be warned such intensity must be done sparingly. I donít do negative reps that often, they can be also dangerous due to the massive weight involved and always do it with a partner. However as I said the curl is ideal for this and perfectly safe as you can use the other hand to help. But rest is also vitally important, if you do negative reps you will be putting a high intensity on your bicep muscle which means you will need to rest longer.

As for you question I didnít see such great results doing volume and period work. These are second examples I gave you. Basically do it twice a week for two weeks and then switch to the other example ( i.e. drop sets) and then do the same again 2 times a week for two weeks. Then look for some other forms such as pyramid or Russian style volume workouts. There plenty to chose from. Just keep changing them every two weeks so your always shocking the body.

However the method I used that got me the best results is HIT or High Intensity Training. Iíve seen amazing results and my biceps have literally grown in front of my eyes. Iíve always had problems with them in the past. But HIT works a treat with them. I use to get tendon issues when doing volume work. I now know I must have been overtraining them. As Iím lifting more weight than ever but touch wood Iíve had no problems at all.

Last edited by Sixbells99; 09-01-2005 at 01:32 PM.

 
Old 09-01-2005, 02:26 PM   #8
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Naxis HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

I usually call them 'negatives' too, but people seem to be more familiar witrh the term eccentric. And great point about needing more recovery time. A big reason I recommend doing it no more than every other week (or 2/2 week cycles will work).
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Old 09-02-2005, 11:55 AM   #9
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Jennita HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by down2earth
I have been working out consistently now for well over a year. I have noticed true benefits/rewards of working out, in most all of my body(I am a male btw). The only area I dread working are my arms as I dont feel like I am seeing any progress and my routine is rather boring. It might just be my lack of arm strength.
First of all, should I be trying to do hammer and dumb bell curls with as much weight as possible? I usually try and do three sets of both for 15-20lbs. I also do 21's with no weight and sometimes 5 lbs weights.
I guess what I am asking for is a good web site or book for arms that will somehow keep me motivated into working my arms. Signed, Gunless.
Hey, all the suggestions here are awesome but I even noticed the simple act of strict form really did some difference. I'm female and not into getting the same results as the guys but the strict form just made my biceps bigger it seems as I have gotten a few comments from people. I haven't done any weight increases or special techniques other than form. In fact, I reduced my weight in favor of form. So also give proper form consideration as it will target the actual bicep without help from other muscles and do the reps at a slower pace as well; I do lower the barbell a bit slower for some neg. resistance too.

Last edited by Jennita; 09-02-2005 at 11:57 AM.

 
Old 09-02-2005, 12:41 PM   #10
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Sixbells99 HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Hi Jennita,

Your dead right and great advice! Strict form is an absolute prerequisite for any of the routines or exercises I may suggest, I would never suggest anyone push out another rep by sacrificing form, thatís the sure fire to the ER. Iím sure naxis wasnít suggesting to sacrifice form either. But what you say is right. Itís also interesting that you say you drop your weight for form. I find many people in the gym always start off with two much weight and some carry on that way for months and months if not years. Then one day they lower the weight just to try something different, this lower weight allows them to do the exercise in the form they should have been doing all along to target the muscle and hey presto they see better results and get a better burn. I was a guilty as anybody in doing this when I first went to the gym. But now when ever I try out a new exercise or variation. I start very light. I want to get to know the exercise & the movement feels the light burn, play with the position a little, until I hit the sweet spot. In fact it can be anywhere up to 3 months before I would try any of the high intensity routines or a new exercise. To me form is vital.

Many people are sloppy in their form including me in the past. But using strict form also means using a lot of focus and focus is the key to getting the most out of what ever exercise you do.

Just focusing on the exercise and making sure you do it text book perfect will give you gains as your stimulating more of the muscle. If possible always have a partner as a spotter who can correct you. My personal view is strict form is not just important for gaining more muscle itís vital for gaining muscle period. As if youíre sloppy with your form you greatly increase the chances of injury and if your injured for 3 or 4 months you ainít gaining muscle therefore sloppy form equals no muscles. This is especially true for higher intensity exercises such as forced reps or negative reps or even partials, injury is a real risk if you donít know the exercise inside and out and always practice good form.

 
Old 09-03-2005, 09:02 PM   #11
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Jennita HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixbells99
Hi Jennita,

Your dead right and great advice! Strict form is an absolute prerequisite for any of the routines or exercises I may suggest, I would never suggest anyone push out another rep by sacrificing form, thatís the sure fire to the ER. Iím sure naxis wasnít suggesting to sacrifice form either. But what you say is right. Itís also interesting that you say you drop your weight for form. I find many people in the gym always start off with two much weight and some carry on that way for months and months if not years. Then one day they lower the weight just to try something different, this lower weight allows them to do the exercise in the form they should have been doing all along to target the muscle and hey presto they see better results and get a better burn. I was a guilty as anybody in doing this when I first went to the gym. But now when ever I try out a new exercise or variation. I start very light. I want to get to know the exercise & the movement feels the light burn, play with the position a little, until I hit the sweet spot. In fact it can be anywhere up to 3 months before I would try any of the high intensity routines or a new exercise. To me form is vital.

Many people are sloppy in their form including me in the past. But using strict form also means using a lot of focus and focus is the key to getting the most out of what ever exercise you do.

Just focusing on the exercise and making sure you do it text book perfect will give you gains as your stimulating more of the muscle. If possible always have a partner as a spotter who can correct you. My personal view is strict form is not just important for gaining more muscle itís vital for gaining muscle period. As if youíre sloppy with your form you greatly increase the chances of injury and if your injured for 3 or 4 months you ainít gaining muscle therefore sloppy form equals no muscles. This is especially true for higher intensity exercises such as forced reps or negative reps or even partials, injury is a real risk if you donít know the exercise inside and out and always practice good form.
Well, thanks for the acknowledgement, I'm not an expert and I guess I wasn't into form all that much either in the past. BUt I started noticing a manager at my gym (yeah, a cutie alright) and while looking at him I started to notice what he actually was doing when he worked out so I got interested in working out the right way. I bought Arnold Schwarzeneggers' new book and it had alot of emphasis on form so I started to learn the proper way which I really did not know before. Now I watch all the mistakes people make on their form and just cringe....plus I'm really glad to know my chances of injury are next to nothing now!

 
Old 09-04-2005, 11:27 AM   #12
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Sixbells99 HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Hi Jennita,

I didnít know Arnold had a new book out, what is it called, is it just a workout book or semi biography like the one he made in the 70ís?

Itís amazing how much you can learn from others in the gym. Unfortunately normally itís how not to do it, because 90% of people in the gym do it wrong including myself for many years. You tend to get two types, the Mister Atlas and the thinker. The Mr Atlas types try and pile on as much weight as humanly possible then their heads go red and almost explodes as they slither and move like a dying fish trying to the lift the weight in the worlds worst form. The thinker types are the guys who lift a set and then just walk around the gym for 15 minutes before they do another set. You know the types they just constantly seem to be either recovering from doing a set or warming up waiting to do a set but you never seem to actually see them do a set! They always seem to be holding a towel and normally have a weight training belt and gloves. In fact thats the third type Mr. Accessory the guys who have all the gear the gold gym T-Shirt, the gloves, the belt and to top it off they wear a Bandera. But apart form the gear you would never tell they ever went to a gym!
In fact you could start a whole new thread of the habbits of people in the gym.

Last edited by Sixbells99; 09-04-2005 at 11:33 AM.

 
Old 09-04-2005, 11:33 AM   #13
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Jennita HB User
Re: frustrated and wanna give up with arms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixbells99
Hi Jennita,

I didnít know Arnold had a new book out, what is it called, is it just a workout book or semi biography like the one he made in the 70ís?

Itís amazing how much you can learn from others in the gym. Unfortunately normally itís how not to do it, because 90% of people in the gym do it wrong including myself for many years. You tend to get two types, the Mister Atlas and the thinker. The Mr Atlas types try and pile on as much weight as humanly possible then their heads go red and almost explodes as they and slither and move like a fish to try and life the weight. The thinker types are the guys who lift a set and then just walk around the gym for 15 minutes before they do another set. You know the types they just constantly seem to be either recovering from doing a set or warming up waiting to do a set but you never seem to actually see them do a set! In fact you could start a whole new thread of the habbits of people in the gym.
Ha ah ha, yeah, people at the gym are sometimes really funny at times. I love the cell phone chatty kathys' too I mean come on can't that phone call wait intil after the workout?

Yes, Arnold's book is very instructive on the exercises and routines, although it does have alot of the history of bodybuilding too...the book is huge. It's called THe New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding.

 
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