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Thread: Overtraining?

  1. #1
    Registered User DBBarbarian's Avatar
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    Overtraining?

    Hey guys. I'm currently 42 years of age and have been an avid weightlifter for most of my life. Not quite a bodybuilder, but I certainly lived the lifestyle at times until age and injuries began to take their toll. My arms have almost always been a lagging body part for me, stemming from improper training techniques when I was a teenager, overtraining, and stupidly thinking (as a teenager) that having big arms was all about the biceps.

    It took years of hard work and ditching my ego to bring my arms into better proportion with the rest of me, which experienced gains like a mesomorph. I still think they're undersized (17") compared to my chest (51") although they have regressed from my all time high of 18" thanks to injuries, surgeries, and some lengthy layoffs. At 18" they looked about perfectly proportioned with the rest of me and I'm trying to get back there, but it's been a struggle.

    With all of that said, it's been difficult for me to really instinctively figure out the right training volume and frequency for my arms, especially because all of my other muscle groups respond well no matter what I do. What has worked best for me in the past flies in the face of all research, YouTube videos, etc and that's a very low volume (3-4 sets each for bis and tris) twice per week. When I increase to that "sweet spot" of 10+ sets per week that is advocated on popular YT channels like Jeff Nippard's I can go a month without making any strength gains for my triceps (biceps respond better).

    My current training split is Sat: Back and chest (low volume, maintenance), bis and tris (6-8 sets each), Sun: Legs, Mon: Rest, Tues: Traps and Delts (primarily maintenance + rotator cuff rehab), Wed: Back and chest (low volume, maintenance), bis and tris (4 sets each), Thursday and Friday: Rest.

    I know that's a big info dump, but I'm just trying to be thorough. Why is it that my triceps do better with less sets? Can such a low volume (10-12 sets per week) actually be overtraining? What else might be going on?

    *Final note: I don't do any pressing movements for my delts so I'm not working the tris on shoulder day as well.
    Last edited by DBBarbarian; 11-13-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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  2. #2
    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    Different body parts like different things. Some like tut, some like intensity, some like speed work. My guess is the extra volume isn't working but cause your triceps already get hit hard enough via compounds.

    For me I only do isolation for arms as therapy (light tut stuff). Mine are about as big as yours and I don't work them at all. I only say that because I crush them with my anterior posterior crap. Look at the total volume your triceps are involved in, direct and indirect, then reassess.
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    if someone put a gun to my head and said "you must get bigger arms" then i'd back off of some other stuff and do higher volume for my arms.

    you mention size first, then you are mentioning "going a month without any strength gains". Do u want strength or size? a lot of size training tends to be fatiguing and in the process u might not be making consistent strength gains..especially if u been training forever.

    do u do deloads? Id push the volume on my arms for maybe 4-5 weeks, then deload, then repeat

    are u eating to make gains or are u just maintaining? hard to gain much if only maintaining
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    As Dru said, different body parts respond to different things. I have not done any direct bicep or tricep work for over a year as I now primary train CrossFit.

    This photo was taken last week in Mexico, I'm 203Lbs and around 12% bodyfat with just under 18 inch upper arms. For me at this stage I think the only way I would get my arms any bigger is if I accepted FATCEPS which I'm not going to do lol..

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    Bored drudixon's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    As Dru said, different body parts respond to different things. I have not done any direct bicep or tricep work for over a year as I now primary train CrossFit.

    This photo was taken last week in Mexico, I'm 203Lbs and around 12% bodyfat with just under 18 inch upper arms. For me at this stage I think the only way I would get my arms any bigger is if I accepted FATCEPS which I'm not going to do lol..

    Do you still have the split? Love that sht
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    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Do you still have the split? Love that sht
    I do, its probably genetic and looks better the lower my bodyfat!
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    I do 3 sets of bicep curls and 3 sets of tricep push downs per week, and my arms are and always have been my best body part.

    I don't know if that means I'm overtraining everything else; or I'm undertraining my arms but am just lucky they're well developed anyway; or my arms take the brunt of all compound movements at the expense of my other body parts.

    Sorry, I know they doesn't really answer your question.
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    Registered User KidFreeze's Avatar
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    Super set everything for arms. High Volume. Look at the old school bodybuilders doing arms, most rarely went over 70lbs for barbell curls. High reps, the biceps respond well with blood flow and a pump.
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