I've been lifting for 8 months. I'm 6'1, 194lbs.

I've been lifting for 8 months. I'm 6'1, 194lbs. I have made literally no progress on my arms for 3 months. Last month I tried eating more (roughly 2900cal) and gained 2lbs, but again no growth at all on my arms, which is the thing I care about most (waist measured higher and thigh/shoulders measured .5cm bigger).

I've been doing a workout based on AllPro's Beginner Routine, https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=155009423 - removed calf raises and bicep curl. Cable tricep pushdowns and cable curls added, along with cable crunch and oblique twists for my weak core and non-existent abs, added this past month. My workouts now are 1h40m, 3 days a week.

I thought the answer was more calories but that hasn't solved the problem. I want to retool my workout to effectively guarantee that my arms will grow but I don't know how to do it with any kind of efficiency (I'm sure ignoring the rest of my body/ dropping compound exercises is a bad idea).

I need to go on a cut now so I can't even try to grow arms for a couple of months, but I need a new approach come May. My motivation is dying a death without any gains in so long and I don't think I could do 6 days a week in the gym.

What do I do to get back to making gains and avoid falling off the wagon? I can't keep putting in all this work and not even get gains out of it.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    blablabla literal reddit post

    to grow bigger you have to lift heavier weights, curling pink dumbbells gets you so far homosexual

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      My understanding is that the hypertrophy range is 8-12 reps. I'm wondering if it would be a better idea to focus on the lower end of that rep range, increasing the weights more aggressively rather than the reps - and then do another set at a lower weight to take to failure again.

      I can certainly ditch AllPro's progression/ deloading aspects at the least.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >My understanding is that the hypertrophy range is 8-12 reps
        Assuming that you're going to actual failure, though it doesn't matter really as hypertrophy is equally effective all the way up to 30 reps, again so long as you're going to actual failure.

        You're likely not eating enough calories, not eating enough protein, not training hard enough (training to failure/understanding what failure actually feels like), or overtraining (junk volume/not resting enough).
        Basically not having things dialed in properly i.e overall nutrition, exercise form, sleep, etc etc.
        Growth occurs on rest days, not in the gym.

        Or you simply because you are new you are still developing strength gains, which usually come before hypertophy.

        The fact that you're worrying so much about bulking/cutting also screams noob trap. Figure out your maintenance and eat a few hundred kcal above it, get 1g protein/lb of body weight, come up with a solid routine and STICK TO IT without fricking around by mixing it up, track your progress in a journal and most importantly lift to fricking failure and recovery properly.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I'm not actually worrying too much about bulking/ cutting - I have something coming up in a couple months that I want to be in shape for and I'm a bit flabby at this point, so it was always the plan to cut now.

          Strictly sticking to the routine is a sticking point - the routine I'm doing is pretty fixed with its weight and rep progression and doesn't encourage lifting to failure, which is very important as you say. It increases the reps every week from 8 to 12 and then resets back to 8 and increases weight by 10%. Within each week, there's a heavy, light, and medium workout (weights reduced). It's very rigid. My concern is not pushing to failure, either because:
          >the weight is too low (since it's a medium/ light workout) or >because it's high reps and cardio is having a greater impact (even if I complete the reps, my muscles aren't really at failure, but I'm out of breath).

          So an alternative would be to aim for 3 sets (rather than 2) of 8 reps, pushing to failure each time (except the first set?) and lowering the weight on the third set if need be. This breaks the rule of sticking to a routine, but it actually engages in trying to solve the issue of no gains.

          could work. could not. i will say i definitely lost “size” rather than brute strength when i stopped doing isolations on my triceps delts and biceps.
          in my opinion and experience: volume in reps (at a weight you struggle to get 4x15 reps each set) = volume in muscle mass.

          15 rather than 8-12? I know it's not a magical number range but worth asking.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >I have something coming up in a couple months that I want to be in shape for and I'm a bit flabby at this point, so it was always the plan to cut now.
            The point is that bulking/cutting is a meme and always has been. If you're eating so much that you get fat and need to "cut" then you're eating too much. Figure out your maintenance and eat above it slightly. 500-100kcal surplusses are moronic and noob traps to get people fat and demotivated.

            >the routine I'm doing is pretty fixed with its weight and rep progression and doesn't encourage lifting to failure
            Then it is a trash routine.
            Pick a rep range that you can maintain proper form in, it doesn't matter if it's 6-10, 8-12, or 25-30 (1-5 will focus almost entirely on strength, above that is basically equally effective for hypertophy to the point it doesn't matter so long as you are hitting muscular failure) and lift within this rep range to failure.
            Say you pick 8-12, when you hit 13 reps you add enough weight to bring you back into 8-12. This is why a journal/record of weights and reps per day/exercise is so important.

            Any routine that says "add Xkg or X% ever X weeks or every Xth session" is moronic because it does not account for personal capacity and quickly reaches a moronic scale so that it is only effective for a few months before you reach hilariously silly numbers. You will gain muscle/strength/progress at a different rate to everyone else on the planet, based on your genetics, lifestyle, nutrition and recovery etc etc.

            >15 rather than 8-12? I know it's not a magical number range but worth asking.
            See above. 1-5 will give you predominantly strenght gains the lower in reps you go (again, to failure), but above that you're hitting hypertrophy so long as you are going to -failure-, so pick a range that your endurance can handle and that you can maintain proper form and fricking lift

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            there is no magic volume, just a rough rep range at a weight you struggle to get 15 reps with ( the more experience you get, the closer you’ll be able to get to actual failure without losing form ). 15 worked for me, you might be able to blow tf up at 3x12 if your 12 rep REALLY takes 110% effort. it just takes time anon.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >the more experience you get, the closer you’ll be able to get to actual failure without losing form

              can you elaborate on this? I'm a novice as well, and what I thought was failure meant I can no longer finish the rep without compromising form.
              Is it ok to sacrifice form at the end to overcome the mental barrier of "i can't finish this rep?"
              Or should I just put in the work until i experience the other kind of failure

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                my brainlet take on this:
                imagine you’ve just done rep 14, you’re drained and wobbly, and someone says “$100 if you can do the last rep”. if you can (good form ofc), then you haven’t hit failure.
                the hard part is knowing/feeling that. i’m by no means an expert btw, i just grug lift and used to be fat.
                5”11, 84kg, ~17% bodyfat myself

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                checked and I like this. I'll start imagining that $100(0) scenario. Thanks from another former fatty

                It depends on the lift, bench/squat/deadlift etc you eventually learn how to maintain position when grinding. This is crucial because "good form" mostly implies high biomechanical efficiency. Beginners just tend to completely collapse and fail to maintain position.
                On a curl, you're going to automatically pivot towards "bad form" when grinding because you'll do something like moving your elbows forward which involves front delts + shortens the lever arm. Nobody fricking cares though, just be self aware for performance tracking if you're lifting consistently or not. Just cleaning up the reps at the same weight for the same amount of reps can be a mode of progression.

                Thanks. It sounds like developing those supporting muscles should solve the problem, as the body adapts to a more efficient mode.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                It depends on the lift, bench/squat/deadlift etc you eventually learn how to maintain position when grinding. This is crucial because "good form" mostly implies high biomechanical efficiency. Beginners just tend to completely collapse and fail to maintain position.
                On a curl, you're going to automatically pivot towards "bad form" when grinding because you'll do something like moving your elbows forward which involves front delts + shortens the lever arm. Nobody fricking cares though, just be self aware for performance tracking if you're lifting consistently or not. Just cleaning up the reps at the same weight for the same amount of reps can be a mode of progression.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            p.s. you need to reach failure to encourage hypertrophy. BUT it seems you are a novice lifter so it is in fact good to do what you’re doing for a while to get a good idea. im also gonna assume you’re fairly young so dont even worry about it, just stick with it (putting in actual effort ofc) and gains will come

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          My 'ceps blew up when I started spamming partial chinups 3 times a week. Almost doubled my dbbell curls in just 2 months. Moved up from working with 30s directly to 50s. The huge leap felt insane.
          Also you could try incline bench dumbbell curls. They're much harder than regular curls and the stretch is insane.

          He's on the heavier side. A minicut wouldn't hurt if he wants to look presentable to the ladies.

          My arms don't carry fat and I'm (slowly) gaining weight.

          The main takeaway from this thread is that I need to be pushing to failure. I'm wondering a few things though:
          >Should I push to failure on the first set?
          >Should I do 3 sets instead of 2? When does it become junk volume?
          >Should I perhaps find a new routine? I don't trust myself to be motivated enough to do 6 days a week. Do I stick to the exercises from AllPro (my current routine) and just change the progression with the focus on training to failure?

          Man you're overthinking this shit.
          1. If you're slinging heavy weights it's never gonna be 'junk' volume. On the contrary, you will be working beyond your capacity to recover in a timely fashion and overreaching ("overtraining" in redditspeak).
          2. Gymbro custom is to take the last set to failure but it's up to you really.
          3. Your routine seems alright. Maybe add neutral grip pullups or hammer curls to work your brachialis a bit more.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Stop looking for advice here, go to the RP Youtube channel and look at the playlist on making a hypertrophy program, or the arm specialisation video

          There's like three posts in this thread with correct advice, even then they're missing parts

          >I have something coming up in a couple months that I want to be in shape for and I'm a bit flabby at this point, so it was always the plan to cut now.
          The point is that bulking/cutting is a meme and always has been. If you're eating so much that you get fat and need to "cut" then you're eating too much. Figure out your maintenance and eat above it slightly. 500-100kcal surplusses are moronic and noob traps to get people fat and demotivated.

          >the routine I'm doing is pretty fixed with its weight and rep progression and doesn't encourage lifting to failure
          Then it is a trash routine.
          Pick a rep range that you can maintain proper form in, it doesn't matter if it's 6-10, 8-12, or 25-30 (1-5 will focus almost entirely on strength, above that is basically equally effective for hypertophy to the point it doesn't matter so long as you are hitting muscular failure) and lift within this rep range to failure.
          Say you pick 8-12, when you hit 13 reps you add enough weight to bring you back into 8-12. This is why a journal/record of weights and reps per day/exercise is so important.

          Any routine that says "add Xkg or X% ever X weeks or every Xth session" is moronic because it does not account for personal capacity and quickly reaches a moronic scale so that it is only effective for a few months before you reach hilariously silly numbers. You will gain muscle/strength/progress at a different rate to everyone else on the planet, based on your genetics, lifestyle, nutrition and recovery etc etc.

          >15 rather than 8-12? I know it's not a magical number range but worth asking.
          See above. 1-5 will give you predominantly strenght gains the lower in reps you go (again, to failure), but above that you're hitting hypertrophy so long as you are going to -failure-, so pick a range that your endurance can handle and that you can maintain proper form and fricking lift

          after you hit arms do you get doms in your biceps and triceps? like does it hurt to touch your muscle? when you train are you contracting so much that your arms feel like ballons and you can barely curl a 5lb weight after? are you feeling the burn? are you getting the pump? can you flex your bi and make it cramp up as you sit at your desk?
          Maybe you are just doing the movements without engaging your muscles, very possible and easily done. Also easy to lack intensity. You should be red in the face, veins bulging in your forehead, sweat dripping from your nose.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        could work. could not. i will say i definitely lost “size” rather than brute strength when i stopped doing isolations on my triceps delts and biceps.
        in my opinion and experience: volume in reps (at a weight you struggle to get 4x15 reps each set) = volume in muscle mass.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Just do 4x10-25 for curls. Only go to the next weight when you get at least 15 reps in each set. If you do one extra rep in just the top set then you’re making progress

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >deloading
        moron meme shit. just do at minimum 12 hard sets of curls per week at or above 8 reps. at least half of those sets should be taken 1 or 2 reps to failure and a few sets should be absolute grinders.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you want to focus on arms more than anything then you should be doing a lot more direct work for your arms. Compound exercises won't give you big arms unless you're a turbomanlet. This meme won't die for some reason. Switch to full body on Monday and Thursday, and for arms, have dedicated arm days on Tuesday and Friday full of isolations. Your arms will blow up. Don't do any arm exercises on your full body days.
    His progression scheme is also moronic. If you're actually pushing yourself then you'll progress however fast your body wants to progress. There's no need to sandbag yourself. Set a rep range that you enjoy for a lift instead, like 6-10, 8-12, or 10-15. It's an arbitrary choice so do whichever one you like the most. Aim to get all your sets within that range. Once your top set hits the top of the range and all your other sets are within the range, increase the weight.
    >Neither squats nor regular deadlifts address the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors complex) properly
    This is a genuinely stupid take but not an unusual one for 2013

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >I'm 6'1, 194lbs.
    I assume you're losing weight? Is the fact that you're arms are losing fat while gaining muscle perhaps contributing to your veiw that your arm aren't growing?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      My arms don't carry fat and I'm (slowly) gaining weight.

      The main takeaway from this thread is that I need to be pushing to failure. I'm wondering a few things though:
      >Should I push to failure on the first set?
      >Should I do 3 sets instead of 2? When does it become junk volume?
      >Should I perhaps find a new routine? I don't trust myself to be motivated enough to do 6 days a week. Do I stick to the exercises from AllPro (my current routine) and just change the progression with the focus on training to failure?

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >muh size
    all that matters is your strength
    if your twig arms can curl 50kg why would you care about anything else

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I don't see how strength is even relevant to lifting

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Show me a jacked natty that cant lift 1/2/3/4? Yeah. Strength = size for natural lifters. And dont come up with literal one in a billion borderline cases of some chinese freak who has absurd pound for pound strength. For 99,999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the people if you bench 3pl8, your chest muscles are bigger than if you bench 2pl8. If you can curl 30kg your biceps are bigger than someone who can only curl 12kg. Its literally that simple.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I can't believe I was led to believe this wasn't the case for so long even though it's so obvious... tons of time wasted on light weights to failure getting me nowhere.

          maybe doing high reps with light weights induce hypertrophy, but the only way to increase the weight you can do for high reps over time is by doing low reps

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Frick these beginner routines. If you want to get your arms to grow give them more volume. Do an arm day 3 bicep exercises, 3 Tricep exercises. Compounds grow arms is utter bullshit unless you have good genetics for it. Hit your arms hard if you want to grow them, it’s the most obvious shit in the world, and the one thing the internet tells you not to do lol.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Last month I tried eating more (roughly 2900cal) and gained 2lbs
    2lbs is fricking nothing you noodle armed lanklet homosexual. 90% of that is water weight and almost no muscle.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    after you hit arms do you get doms in your biceps and triceps? like does it hurt to touch your muscle? when you train are you contracting so much that your arms feel like ballons and you can barely curl a 5lb weight after? are you feeling the burn? are you getting the pump? can you flex your bi and make it cramp up as you sit at your desk?
    Maybe you are just doing the movements without engaging your muscles, very possible and easily done. Also easy to lack intensity. You should be red in the face, veins bulging in your forehead, sweat dripping from your nose.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      No - so I'm not going hard enough.

      What are your stats on bench / pullups / strict barbell or dumbbell curl

      Bench is about 10x2 60kg
      Bent row is about 12x2 75kg

      With curls/ triceps, I was using machine for a long while and switched to cables last month - the machine weight was way higher than cable but I feel like cables are hitting better (curl machine works my forearms more than cables for sure).

      My deadlifts are the best progressing lift I do and my legs are certainly my strongest suit, hence why I dropped calf raises. I feel like squat and stiff-legged deadlifts are strong compound exercises so I haven't dropped them even if they don't really advance my priority bodyparts yet

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Sorry can you confirm, that's 60kg barbell bench, and 75kg barbell row?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          ye

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            You are simply too weak to put sufficient stress on your muscles to make them grow
            Get stronger
            Follow a strength program, put 100% effort into your top set(s), really try to make progress, eat more if you can (if you can't, drink your calories), beat PRs and get stronger
            I am sorry, it's as simple as that. You have no business worrying about different programs when you are as weak as you are.
            Volume will not help you, unless it makes you stronger.
            When you have added 40 or more kg to your bench, you will be more muscular
            When you hit a 120kg bench, you will be more muscular still
            When you hit a 140kg bench, you will laugh at the memory of when you were small
            Same goes for row, for your pullups and dips and curls
            >more weight = more stress = more intensity = more growth = repeat

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              >You are simply too weak to put sufficient stress on your muscles to make them grow
              one of the stupidest things i've read all week
              If that were the case, he wouldn't be able to get stronger, moron

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        If you're not grunting, you're not growing. Don't force it but you should be exerting enough effort that your body can't help but let out grunts for the last like 5 reps of your set. Give it your all and contract. Can you even flex your bicep and tricep in isolation? If you can't, learn how, then do that when you lift.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Underrated post. This should be part of the sticky. It's easy to forget there's a subset of the population who are completley allergic to effort.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Assuming OP is a newb, mind muscle connection is super overrated. You can't do a bicep curl without using biceps, feeling a pump is something that comes with time

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        My shit went from noob to intermediate in a month doing barbell exclusively. Dumbbells are like rehab pt shit for everything, they are good for supersets in a limited homegym otherwise id have to suggest hogging equipment for maximum gains and jumping switch kicking anyone in a commercial gym who questions your usage of weight lifting equipment.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        One thing that stood out to me last night at the gym doing cable curls was how my forearms were fatigueing before my biceps. I try to keep my wrists curled forwards to reduce the forearm work but they still got hit more than biceps. Right forearm was bulging with a vein so I was 100% pushing myself. Just don't know how to take forearms out of it.

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    What are your stats on bench / pullups / strict barbell or dumbbell curl

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Want to grow your arms? Grow your triceps. They’re the biggest part. So do at least three isolated exercises after your compounds (pushdowns need to be one). Biceps are tiny muscles. So hit them every workout day. Regular ass curls on non-back/bicep days. Then do at least three isos on the actual bicep days. I’ve been enjoying triple 7’s and really focusing on squeezing them during.
    Three things to do every single workout:
    Biceps
    Lat raises
    Abs
    >>next level
    Going to sound like utter bullshit, but carry resistance bands with you. Pounding out a couple different grip curls with them while you’re working or whatever really helps. The tension is the most at the top with a band, gives a great bicep squeeze

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Isometrics to build neuromuscular efficiency, then do heavy sets

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Didn't read your shitty lebbitor blather, but arms are 90% genetics for natties, if they're not big by now they will never be.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Tldr you have a tiny dick.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The answer to why your arms haven’t grown is so simple. What were you curling and Tricep extending 8 months ago, and what are you curling and Tricep extending now? If the answer is the same then you have been fricking around spinning your tires doing meme bullshit when you could have been growing.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >muh program, muh routines, muh specific methods, muh calculations, muh studies, muh I do word by word what the heckin' experts said
    you're forever bound to be a dyel homosexual bro. you want big arms? grab the heavy stick, train them with anything that hits them until their complete and utter obliteration until you can feel them throbbing for hours after workout, grow your reps from 3-5 to 10, then add some weight and repeat, keep training until hitting the desired size. But muh specific sets muh rest muh reps muh muh söy latte- IT IS THAT FRICKING EASY HOLY SHIT GET A GRIP.

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Are you getting sore the next day?
    If yes then you are growing.
    If no, then you need to train harder.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >sore
      You hit that shit once every 2 weeks.
      >-20iq
      Makimg gains keep up the good work.

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I just went for my workout and made notes. While there are a couple of exercises that I'm failing due to lack of strength (bench, bent over row, OHP) many other exercises I don't go to muscle failure on - I'm gassed. Panting hard, heart pounding.

    Given that I'm about to start a cut, is it perhaps a good idea to do more cardio in place of some exercises (on a rotation)? I don't know much about cardio or cuts but it sounds nice in my head. I've always been more out of breath exercising than I should be (as a kid I did lots of cardio related sports yet lagged behind even non-sports kids on endurance runs) - but I don't feel like my throat is really closing up or anything like that either.

    Makes sense to me that if there's a way to get exercises to muscle failure rather than cardio failure, that might be a good thing to strike for now (?)

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      yes you should do cardio, no you shouldn't cut yet, you should still be eating at a slight surplus in order to gain strength and build muscle, cutting now is pointless
      it will be much easier to cut when you have a solid muscle base, you will burn more calories just be existing, if you cut now you will be disappointed, you will cease your gains, you will be more tired, more prone to injury
      but yes do cardio on rest days, 30 mins to 1 hour on the recumbant bike, try to get your heart rate up to 150-180 at times and then let it drop down to 130 and keep it there, it's like a game, just change our heart rate

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    you're eating at maintenance anon. eat 3400/day you will grow. use tdeecalculator to plan your macros. you also don't "need to go on a cut" for a few months, you're choosing to. also all this bullshit about perfecting your program to target specific muscles shouldn't happen until you're significantly more advanced than you are. train to failure every set, do compound moves first, try to hit each muscle group 2x per week. upper/lower will probably be your best bet atp.

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Literally not gonna read.
    I'm a noob, pretty much, but have had to force reps in the 15-20 range to actually start feeling a pump.
    I had my first literal pump a week ago, well never forget now.
    No joke. Just dig deep, breath, keep mind clear, and push your muscles. You'll start to feel the burn, push through it.
    You just might need to increase reps to force your muscles out of conservation/slow twitch mode.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Preachers are beat and ~10rm failure is best. Just bend over more or your upper back will be weak, same with not bent over pushdowns shit helps shoulders for bench.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >I'm a noob
      Then there's no need to share your opinion
      >increase reps to force your muscles out of conservation/slow twitch mode
      this does not exist nor make logical sense
      It's sad to see OP is grasping around the correct methods but having to trudge through the shit of the average IST poster's knowledge
      if your best advice comes down to 'train hard' perhaps lurk more and ask questions rather than posting (you and about 90% of the thread)

  19. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Do 4-6 based on how you feel and hit:
    >bb curls and forearm grip
    >1db skullcrushers 5-10rm 1db 2 hands tiny chair not the tall incline
    >lots of tricep pushdowns twist and push outwards with the rope
    >close grip bench
    >underhamd cable rows

    Guaranteed +1inch in 2 months if you eat 2h before and 30min before. Bb triceps and db curls are for chumps.

  20. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    reduce squat to 1 day a week, reduce DL to 1 day a week, hit arms every workout as priority 1 and obliterate them. gains are a zero sum game and large muscles suck up more, what you prioritize sucks up more to a lesser extent than muscle size. if you don't see minor arm gains doing this for 4 weeks you got shit genetics and a money back guarantee

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