A new study was done in Brazil that will be published soon in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
The researchers were trying to determine how to increase arm strength and subsequently arm size. Typically people do total body workouts, and train the big muscles first. Putting bench, squats, and rows first and arm training at the end. I myself trained like that for 16 years and as a result I have a big back and chest and small arms!
In this study untrained men were tested to see which weight training protocol would increase arm strength. There were 3 groups. All participants were Untrained; ‘men’ who don’t lift weights like…. ever.
Group G1 is the traditional group who works the trunk muscles before the appendage muscles.
Group G2 Is the experimental group training arms BEFORE the rest of the body.
The control group did not train, they just came in for the 1 rep max attempts to show that no lifting doesn’t really increase strength.
The study consisted of a standard total body routine 3 times a week for 8 weeks.
The Graph above shows the relative strength increase between the two protocols. In the Black you have the 1st Group, the one that used the exercises on the left of the graph first and the right second. In the White you have the Experimental group, the group that trained arms first.
It’s Clear with traditional training you get a relatively equal amount of strength development. With arms first training you get a TON of arm development but very little truncal development.
The take away point is if your balanced or just starting out use traditional training, If your deficient in arms or shoulders and you lift total body style then Use the arm exercises first to get your arms caught up with the rest of you. If your a Bodybuilder you likely train arms on a different day and none of this applies to you:) Remember, this was done on untrained people, just click on the table to the right to see how little weight they were using.
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