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  1. #1

    Can't get bigger

    No matter how hard I workout my arms don't seem to be getting bigger... I see way more definition, I'm 5'4" 125lbs, and I workout lots, and I usually do 3 sets of each exercise, 8 rep burns... why won't they get bigger...

  2. #2
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    Try adjusting your diet. Look on the forums for suggestions.

  3. #3
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    Increase your daily calorie intake and watch your macro-nutrients (Protein, Carbs, Fat). Do some research at bodybuilding.com.
    Also, don't forget to get in plenty of protein through out the day, especially that very important post workout meal.

  4. #4
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    Unfocus, you have to remember there are MANY factors with some you are able to address and some you won't be able to.

    1. Genetics; huge factor in deciding how you will develop, or won't develop. Nothing you can do about it.

    2. Intensity; something you have direct control of. Are you working out with intensity each time?

    3. Smart; something you have direct control of. Are you working out smart? The right exercises? The right technique? Are you under working or over working the muscles?

    4. Nutrition; something you have direct control of. In order to grow you need to eat however you can also eat too much and gain unwanted weight. You will have to monitor this and find a balance.

    5. Water; something you have direct control of. This is very important for life and especially in a weight lifting world. You should be drinking plenty of water during the day and during and after your workout.

    6. REST; something you have direct control of. This is probably the most important thing. You don't grow from the lifting, you grow from when you rest and your body starts to repair itself. If you continually over work the same muscles and don't give adequate enough rest, 48 hours minimum, then you can't expect to grow.


    To further expand on over-training, here is somethings you should know.

    Overtraining can force the body into a weakened physical state, which, at best can produce a cold or the flu and, at worst, can tear muscles ligaments, and tendons once these body parts lose their structural integrity protein loss. The culprit is a built-in "survival" drug hormone called cortisol. Immediately following a high intensity effort, the body pumps out this hormone whose function is simple: It carries off the proteins to the liver, where they are converted into glucose, for energy use in the body.

    Why does this weaken our defense mechanisms? Because all our immune systems are based on proteins, and the influx of control in our biological mix steals the proteins that make up our immune system.

    Nieman, a researcher at Loma Linda University found that athletes who train twice as intensely as normally prescribed will wind up with twice as many colds, and viruses. Nieman investigated the athletes for cortisol. He found that astonishingly, after only ONE grueling strength training session, their bodies revealed a 60% increase in cortisol production.

    Among the first proteins to go were the T-cells that make up our front line of defense against viruses. This watchdog system was depleted by more than 30 percent. However, this shortfall lasted only 6-8 hrs.
    So you're probably thinking "What's the big deal? Is putting your body at risk for only 6-8 hours such a high price to pay?"

    Well, Nieman and other researchers found that after a few days of such exercising, the "at risk" time became longer and longer, until the T-cells stopped rejuvenation.

    In addition, the body's first line of defense against bacteria and viruses an antibody known as IgA, which is found in the saliva, was reduced to nearly non-protective levels.

    The conclusion of the researchers was that athletes can overtrain themselves into illness.

    Thus the logical conclusion would be that high intensity strength training should be limited to one hour or less to restrict the amount of protein destruction.

    Other ways to reduce the risk of overtraining:

    • Emphasize carbohydrates: make them 60-70% of your total diet.
    • Take carbohydrates two hours prior to exercising and immediately following exercise. Research has shown that your fatigued muscles seem most responsive to energy storage within the first 30 minutes following your workout. There is a lesser response for the next 10 hours.
    • Take protein one to two hours before and immediately following exercise. Again I use regular food, but I see no problem with supplementation to save time (at the expense of more money however). Research has also shown your body to be more receptive to protein immediately following a workout.
    • Continue eating high carbohydrate foods every 2 hours during the first 4 to 6 hours after hard training. During the first 6 hours post-exercise, simple sugars appear to replace muscle glycogen better than complex carbohydrates.
    • Post-exercise muscle glycogen storage can be enhanced with a combination carbohydrate-protein supplement as a result of the interaction of carbohydrate and protein on insulin secretion. The addition of protein with carbohydrates can allow for a more rapid return recovery.
    • Drink a rehydration beverage during and after exercise, for example, Gatorade.
    • Take periodic layoffs.
    • Use the best "miracle supplement" there is - WATER. You can't "overdose" on water. The worst side effect you can get as mentioned previously, is a few more trips to the washroom. Your body functions optimally when it is fully hydrated. A general recommendation is to consume at least 128 ounces (one gallon) of water a day. During hot weather you should double or triple this amount.
    • LEAVE YOUR WORKOUT IN THE GYM. Give your undivided attention to your training when you're in the gym. But when you're outside the gym, cast your attention to other things in life. Establish your other priorities, set goals, and keep busy. There are many athletes who fall into the trap of letting their mind continually dwell on training. Train hard when you're in the gym, but try and relax more when you're not. Stress has been shown to increase levels of CORTISOL in the body - the catabolic hormone, so try to find ways to manage stress in your life and relax, and your results will be improved.

    Here are some guidelines that can help you get better results from your training:

    1. Get 10 hours sleep each night if you are a teenager.
    2. Get 9 hours sleep a night if your are an adult.
    3. Schedule a 15-minute nap during the middle of the afternoon (if possible).
    4. Do NOT do any type of vigorous activity on the days you are not training.
    5. Take a 10-day layoff after each period of six months of steady training.

    - Robert E. Spector



    I hope that some of this helps you.

  5. #5
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    Unfocus, another question for you; do you work your legs sufficiently enough? The reason I pose that questions is many people will hit a plateau in their upper body because they limit or eliminate their legs. With the legs being the foundation of the body, if you don't work your legs you are limiting the growth of the rest of your body.

    Plus are you focusing a lot on the biceps and not enough on the triceps? The triceps are more important to work then the biceps. It is a larger muscle and a larger tricep will give you much more larger arms. And just like the legs, the triceps are the foundation for the arm muscles. The larger you grow your triceps the larger your biceps will be allowed to grow.

    Kind of think of this like a pyramid or building. Larger base the larger the top can be. Limit the base you limit the top.
    Last edited by decu68; 03-25-2011 at 09:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Member edoublep's Avatar
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    wow.

    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDeka View Post
    ...use bad form to get the weight where it needs to go, then use good form and control the weight back into the resting position as slowly as possible.
    For example, after 5 perfect hammer curls and you can't do more, don't quit. Throw your back into it, bring the weight up, and maintain good form on the way down for a few more.
    I am amazed day in and day out when I see and hear about people using bad form. If you can't lift the weight with good form, then it's too heavy. Plain and simple.

    It is irresponsible of you, as someone who has seen their way around a gym, to give potentially harmful advice to a relative beginner.

    BAD FORM = CHEATING and WILL eventually get you hurt.

  7. #7
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    I agree, good form and good technique are key HOWEVER "cheating" is a legit form of weight training; only to be used by very experienced lifters.

    Here are some points I've accumulated to explain this.

    "Trainees may choose to employee slight cheating techniques for the last repetition or two of a set. It has been suggested that very advanced trainees use cheating to increase training intensity, where as most other trainees use cheating as a means to decrease training intensity. Cheating should be considered an advanced training technique with inherent risks. Other safer and possibly more effective training techniques should be considered."

    AND

    "One way to cheat with your weight lifting is to do half reps. Some individuals find that this really kicks their training up a notch and helps them plough through a plateau when they experience one. What they will do is perform their usual set, using a full range of motion, then once fatigued, perform half reps (usually the second half of the concentric portion - so for example, the last half of a bicep curl.) This allows them to get a little extra muscle pump in there and push their body past the point of comfort.

    While you likely won't see an incredibly amount of strength gains from your half reps strictly speaking, what it can help is to make your usual reps feel slightly easier so then, over time, you are able to bump the weight up there quicker, thus translating into faster gains.

    So next time your results in the gym are stagnating slightly, consider cheating with your lifting. It isn't something you want to be doing every session, but it is a way to mix things up a little, add more interest to your workouts and get your body moving along the road to your goals once again."


    AND

    "This is a legitimate method used in weight lifting, say you are doing hack squat leg presses with heavy weight. You get 4-5 reps and realize that it is too heavy to do more, but if you cheat and stray from doing strict reps, you can use your hands to help you do 3, 4, or even 5 more reps.

    In doing this, it helps to completely "shock" the muscle and you end up putting more stress on the muscle than if you have just stopped at 4 reps. The trick to this is not helping yourself out too much, just enough to finish the rep.

    Also do this on your last set. Works great with bicep curls, everyone has probably cheated on accident in the beginning, but now you can explain how this is good. Use you're shoulders / back muscles to help curl the weight up.

    Be creative and try it on other exercises. You will be surprised how this can take your training to the next level."


    There is a lot of information about this; again only to be used by advanced lifters. And it is not saying to cheat all of the time just at some points. Good technique and form should never be sacrificed otherwise you get into bad habits but as a specific training method it can help.

  8. #8
    Member edoublep's Avatar
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    nonsense. It's obvious this individual is not an experienced lifter. I see plenty of BIG guys lift with awful form..just because they're big doesnt mean they're injury free.



    Quote Originally Posted by decu68 View Post
    I agree, good form and good technique are key HOWEVER "cheating" is a legit form of weight training; only to be used by very experienced lifters.

    Here are some points I've accumulated to explain this.

    "Trainees may choose to employee slight cheating techniques for the last repetition or two of a set. It has been suggested that very advanced trainees use cheating to increase training intensity, where as most other trainees use cheating as a means to decrease training intensity. Cheating should be considered an advanced training technique with inherent risks. Other safer and possibly more effective training techniques should be considered."

    AND

    "One way to cheat with your weight lifting is to do half reps. Some individuals find that this really kicks their training up a notch and helps them plough through a plateau when they experience one. What they will do is perform their usual set, using a full range of motion, then once fatigued, perform half reps (usually the second half of the concentric portion - so for example, the last half of a bicep curl.) This allows them to get a little extra muscle pump in there and push their body past the point of comfort.

    While you likely won't see an incredibly amount of strength gains from your half reps strictly speaking, what it can help is to make your usual reps feel slightly easier so then, over time, you are able to bump the weight up there quicker, thus translating into faster gains.

    So next time your results in the gym are stagnating slightly, consider cheating with your lifting. It isn't something you want to be doing every session, but it is a way to mix things up a little, add more interest to your workouts and get your body moving along the road to your goals once again."


    AND

    "This is a legitimate method used in weight lifting, say you are doing hack squat leg presses with heavy weight. You get 4-5 reps and realize that it is too heavy to do more, but if you cheat and stray from doing strict reps, you can use your hands to help you do 3, 4, or even 5 more reps.

    In doing this, it helps to completely "shock" the muscle and you end up putting more stress on the muscle than if you have just stopped at 4 reps. The trick to this is not helping yourself out too much, just enough to finish the rep.

    Also do this on your last set. Works great with bicep curls, everyone has probably cheated on accident in the beginning, but now you can explain how this is good. Use you're shoulders / back muscles to help curl the weight up.

    Be creative and try it on other exercises. You will be surprised how this can take your training to the next level."


    There is a lot of information about this; again only to be used by advanced lifters. And it is not saying to cheat all of the time just at some points. Good technique and form should never be sacrificed otherwise you get into bad habits but as a specific training method it can help.

  9. #9
    More Experienced than a Senior decu68's Avatar
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    Hey, I never said the poster was an experienced lifter and why in my original response I never made mention of this. But when it was posted about "cheating", I wanted to bring up that this "is" a technique used in weight lifting.

    Let's also get something clear, the cheating their are discussing is not bad form, it is just another technique. Bad form is bad form, plain and simple. We all fall pray to this at times and have to correct ourselves but if you are doing it all of the time then that is a problem.

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