If you diligently follow the recommendations outlined in this article, you will be amazed at the pace at which your body increases muscle size and strength. If you have been at a plateau and thought adding muscle was no longer possible, then rejoice in the knowledge that you have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal that can allow you to naturally maximize your muscle building physiology. More...
By dotFIT experts
on October 10, 2008
The athlete’s goal is to have their stomachs relatively empty while energy stores are full at the start of training or competition. Following a specific eating pattern can maximize the storage and production of energy. By properly loading your energy systems (phosphocreatine and glycogen) that are rapidly depleted during exercise, you can delay fatigue and optimize performance during activity. More...

I am constantly working my arms VERY hard (four exercises for 4-5 sets). Do I need to add more sets or to work them more often?

I am constantly working my arms VERY hard (four exercises for 4-5 sets). Do I need to add more sets or to work them more often?

Answer: At this point it's very unlikely that more of anything is going to solve the problem. Muscles need at least 48 hours of rest following high-intensity resistance training, and likely require even longer with the volume of sets that you are doing. By vigorously training the same muscle group each day with weights, you end up in an over-training cycle where the body spends more time damaging and repairing muscles than building them to a bigger, stronger level.  Therefore, you want to minimize the necessary exercise damage while maximizing the repair/building process so at the end of the day you’ve increased muscle size as opposed to simply maintaining it.

Proper progressive training is defined as the least amount of specific work (e.g. weight training) that continues to initiate the desired outcome, which in your case is adding muscle to your arms each week.

Try cutting your total sets down to around 6-10 and make each set count by doing your repetitions in a controlled manner (no swinging or speed records). Make sure to keep your workouts unaccustomed by consistently varying repetition ranges, tempo, etc... We recommend working these muscles only twice a week. Keep in mind that the biceps and triceps are considerably smaller muscles than chest, back or legs and they receive a beating when doing chest and back exercises. It becomes quite easy to overtrain these muscles which of course will stall your progress.

The last factor to consider is your nutrition. No workout, no matter how effective, will yield results if the proper calories and nutrients are not provided to the muscles. Check out Xtreme Muscle Stack: Creating the Perfect Anabolic Storm for more info.

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