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  1. #1
    Registered User FrozenMayhem's Avatar
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    How to get bigger arms and chest at home?

    I only have a pair of dumbbells (can change the weight on them though), and a pull up bar. I've started to try getting bigger arms (biceps mainly, tri's and forearms would be nice too). The thing is I have heard I have to use as heavy dumbbells as I can lift in order to increase muscle size, but when I did this I strained one of my arms pretty bad. Anyway, can you guys advise me on what weight to use, and how to prevent injuries, eg some stretches for me to do?

    And what exercises are there to get my biceps bigger apart from regular bicep curls and hammer curls and chin ups? (note I only have dumbells and chin up bar).

    Also, how do I stretch the muscles used during chin ups in order to prevent me straining those as well?

    One other thing, is creatine going to boost muscle size increases if I take it on work out days? How often should I work out my arms and chest?
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  2. #2
    Registered User GuyJin's Avatar
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    You really should be working your whole body as opposed to doing just chest and arms. If you check craigslist they might have something in the way of a cheap bench and bar. Having said that, here's a basic full-body routine as a suggestion for you to try:

    Chest--pushups and dips between chairs. If you have a bench, do d'bell benches.
    Back--Pullups, one-arm rows, pullovers.
    Shoulders--Presses and laterals.
    Legs--Lunges, d'bell squats (I guess you'll have to do high reps) 1-legged calf raises.
    Arms--Curls for bis, hammer curls, and lying or standing 1-arm tri extensions and close-grip pushups.

    I'm sure someone else will recommend other exercises--these are just some of the basics. Rep and set-wise, I'd start with three sets of the compound exercises, and two sets of each isolation exercise i.e. three sets of benches or pushups (high reps if you do these) and three sets of lunges and squats, and two sets of 1-legged calf raises...and so on. Start out slow, and gradually build up your tolerance.

    I'd also check the Stickies for other routines. For stretches, you can just hang at arms length from the bar and gradually stretch things out. YouTube also has some good vids on stretching.
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  3. #3
    Registered User FrozenMayhem's Avatar
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    Thank you, what an informative post. Which exercises are compound and which are isolation? And what sort of weight would you suggest I use for bicep curls? I used to do 4kg / 8.8lbs curls fairly easily, but I really need to learn the appropriate stretches before attempting any heavier.

    Thanks.
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  4. #4
    Registered User GuyJin's Avatar
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    Compound is anything that uses multiple joints to push/pull the weight. Example: Bench press or pushups--uses the elbow and shoulder joints.

    Isolation means that the weight is moved by one joint i.e. d'bell curl uses only the elbow joint.

    So, compound moves would be benches/pushups, chins of all sorts, lunges, squats, rows of all sorts. Isolation would be calf raises, curls and extensions, and shoulder laterals.

    As for weight, I'd suggest using something that lets you do 8-12 reps for most exercises. Anything free-weight, such as pushups, should get higher reps if you can manage it, but you'll probably get bored of that, so that's why I suggested buying a bench and a bar and some plates--in the long run, you'll be better off.

    As for stretching, you don't need to stretch the biceps before you work them; not really. You should warm up with a light weight, say, for 10-12 reps, then add a bit of weight and do 9-10 reps, then add more weight and do 8 reps if you can.

    Once again, I suggest you read the Stickies for a good full-body workout; they'll give you much more info on what you need to do. Good luck!
    "Don't call me Miss Kitty. Just...don't."--Catnip

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  5. #5
    Registered User FrozenMayhem's Avatar
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    Ok thanks for that. Well the problem is when I used to do my 4kg dumbells, I would do a ton of reps in one go and then do another set after a rest, and my arms would feel tired, but the next day I would always feel a stretch on the inside of my arm at the elbow joint, which I guess is a slight strain.
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  6. #6
    Registered User GuyJin's Avatar
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    Well, doing a ton of reps is NOT going to build you more muscle; by doing all those reps, you probably DID strain something.

    Seriously, pick up some plates, get a bench and bar if you can, and start doing a reasonable full-body programme with reasonable reps. And eat. A lot.
    "Don't call me Miss Kitty. Just...don't."--Catnip

    "Chivalry isn't dead. It just wears a skirt."--Twisted

    "Love doesn't always come around, and when it does, it isn't always from around here." --Lindsay Versus the Marauders

    Check out my links to Catnip and Death Bytes at DevineDestinies.com/Amazon.com and The Tower at Untreedreads.com/Amazon.com. Twisted and Lindsay Versus the Marauders are available from RegalCrest.biz/Amazon.com.
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