Arm/Shoulder Focus

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    Ryan Green

    First off I just wanted to say thank you for providing such great content!

    Due to local gyms being closed I wanted to take the time and focus on arm/shoulder development. This has always been a lagging body part hypertrophy wise for myself, along with the equipment I have (5-55lb DBs, Pull up bar, V-bar dips, adjustable bench) I thought it would be a good time for it. Would you recommend a higher frequency split or added volume to each session? or both? As you can see I am somewhat limited with exercise selection also. Thank you in advance for any help!


    • This topic was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Ryan Green.
    Jance Footit

    Very sorry it has taken so long to get to this question. Hope there is still time to apply this answer. The best thing to do is multiple sessions in a day, not longer sessions. Think of it like this. If you take a car to red line and throttle it, it is much harder to recover than to just go right below redline and then back off for a little. Especially for a lagging body part it is better to teach it to grow multiple times a day than to attack it very hard once. This also gives you multiple times a day to saturate the muscle with protein, amino acids, carbs, etc. For arms you can do 2x day twice in a row, take a day off, do a 1 session day, take a day off, then repeat.

    Ryan Faehnle

    First of all, change your mindset that you are limited with your equipment. If you take just one exercise, let's say a prone incline dumbbell spider curl as an example, you have many different options for variation. First you can change the grip. Pronated, supinated, neutral, zottman (supinated concentric / pronated eccentric), neutral to supinating, etc. Then with each of those variations, multiply by the number of degrees of bench angles you have available on your adjustable bench. Then from there, consider tempos and pauses. You can do super slow eccentrics, super slow concentric, isometric pauses at 30 degrees elbow flexion, 50 deg, 90 deg, 110 deg, etc. You can do 1 and 1/4 reps at the top or the bottom. You can do eccentric overloaded reps after you reach failure. You can do ISO dynamic reps where you hold for 15 seconds at a fixed joint angle and then perform your reps for the set. This is an entire year or more worth of variation for just for ONE exercise, the prone incline DB spider curl. You've got a lot of tools in your toolbox!

    When trying to get jacked, you have volume, frequency, and intensity. Two of these can be high at any given time while one needs to be low. This leaves you with lots of options to cycle through for you various hypertrophy training cycles:

    Low volume / low intensity / high frequency
    High frequency / High intensity / low volume
    High volume / High intensity / low frequency

    Etc you get the idea. Play with those ratios based on your needs and you will be good to go. Also, as Jance pointed out, do not overlook the impact of multiple elevations in muscle protein synthesis and the opportunity to bathe the muscles you are trying to grow in proteins, carbs, creatine, etc.

    Good luck!

    Ryan Green

    This is why the dojo is so good! Thank you so much for the detailed answer.

    Eric Falstrault

    Hey Ryan, If i can add something, one word, Failure. Trying to reach total muscle failure. I've played around a few things with everyone during this confinement and when limited, I use 1-2 principles. HEre is an example with mechanical drop sets using body angles.

    Let's use push ups.

    A1 legs elevated (incline 45') push ups
    A2 regular push ups
    A3 Upper body elevated push ups
    A4 Kneeling push ups
    Max out, as little rest as possible between each. If you want to add one more element, Once your totally done on A4, go back to do 20 sec. eccentrics on the regular pushups.

    Let's say you only have a pair of DB 20lbs DB and a swiss ball at home and you want to do Biceps and triceps.

    A1 Seated db frenchpress
    A2 db lying extension
    A3 Close grip tricep press as many reps as possible.
    B1 prone spider curls elbows on swiss ball
    B2 supine incline db curls on swiss ball
    B3 standing db curl as many reps as possible.


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