Work out my abs and arms
June 6, 2011 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I need some advice for exercises at the GYM that focus on Abs and Biceps/Triceps that don't duplicate or harm by other workout.

I'm currently 7 weeks in on Strong Lifts routine and I love it. Strongest I've been my entire life. I currently go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I want to start going Tuesday and Thursdays focusing on biceps/triceps and abs. Can you recommend 4-5 exercises that I can rotate every Tuesday and Thursdays that won't really mess up my other work out days, nor replicate the exact exercise?

Stronglifts includes: squats, bench press, dips, bent over rows, shoulder press, deadlift, and pull-ups

I get plenty of cardio and legs every day.... I also get plenty of rest too.

I read this and this but still thought I like to poll people.
posted by bleucube to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do more pullups. You don't need specific exercises. If you really want to smash biceps, look for my post on training for an iron cross.
posted by flutable at 8:46 AM on June 6, 2011

The thing about those big compound exercises used in strong lifts is that they utilize your smaller muscles. When you bench press you are using your tris. When you row you are using your bis.

I am on a similar routine now. Three days a week, big compound lifts. Occasionally I will add a quick three set superset to the end of my workout.

Your arms and abs are already damaged from your MWF routine. And they will be damaged going into that if you add TThr to it. Best just to tack it on, in my opinion though I am very interested in what more knowledgable litters have to say.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:49 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you focus on bi's and tri's which are hit by your other workouts your arms are not going to really get decent rest between workouts. Both of the two routines include exercises which hit your arms. If you want to get some extra arm work, I'd probably just hit arms on Fridays after your normal routine and take the weekend off.

Abs you can kind of do whenever, I'd do an ab workout on Tuesday and then do some lower back exercises (to complement abs) on Thursdays.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:49 AM on June 6, 2011

Stronglifts works because it isn't a body part split plan. If you have the juice left to dedicate a separate day to "arms" then chances are you're not going heavy enough on your press work or you're early enough in the Stronglifts program that you're recovering quickly (don't expect this to last).

Additional ab work can be done if desired at the end of normal workouts, but IMO you'll get the most benefit out of low-rep/medium-high weight exercises like weighted leg raises in the roman chair. I typically did weighted ab work following a squat- or deadlift-centric workout, though I wasn't using the Stronglifts program when I was most dedicated to lifting.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:52 AM on June 6, 2011

Oh one slight tweak you can make to this routine if you want extra arm work is to switch to using dumbells instead of bars (or alternate in dumbells). Because dumbells are less stable then bars it makes all the smaller stabilizer muscles work a bit harder.
posted by bitdamaged at 8:53 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah um, youre doing compound lifting three days so you are going to be duplicating.

If you just want to do something a bit different from my limited experience with lifting and crossfit (new to both) . kettlebell swings are a fun alternative to the bar.

I also really enjoy slamming a medicine ball into the floor and wallballing (throwing that sucker high at a wall) but I've only ever done that at a crossfit gym, your gym may not appreciate those particular exercises!

You could always do some flexibility work and foam rolling on your rest days, MobiltyWOD is aimed at people who lift (its very crossfitty).
posted by Ness at 8:56 AM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: bitdamaged do you mind listing ab / back exercises that you would recommend?

I agree with you. At 7 weeks in - each day is hard. I don't want to hinder by progress.
posted by bleucube at 8:58 AM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: Ness - We have one medicine ball at our place. I picked it up and threw down. It sounded like a small explosion. Several people dropped weights and I was warned not to do that again. Not crossfit friendly. No kettlebells either.
posted by bleucube at 9:02 AM on June 6, 2011

I don't really have anything special I do for abs, I'm on the old standby of different types of crunches and back extensions.

There's been a relatively recent trend towards a lot of Core Exercises which work both and are very beneficial to general body/muscle health.

Just be careful to make sure you're resting properly and good form.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:06 AM on June 6, 2011

Yeah, just add weight/volume to your pullups and dips and that should do all you reasonably can. You can also switch to chinups - palms facing you, rather than away from you - for a more bicep-focused movement (rather than lat-focused.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:07 AM on June 6, 2011

I am not a lifter, at all, but what about something like yoga/pilates on T/TH. Done properly, they are great for the core.
posted by dpx.mfx at 9:33 AM on June 6, 2011

Abs you can do every day. How about some cardio?

My personal trainer encourages me to do HIIT to cut fat (aka show abs) and better the cardio-vascular system (which helps my lifting)
I hit the elliptical for 5 minutes. For the first 40 seconds of each minute, I move my legs as fast as I can. For the last 20 seconds of each minute I jog. Sometimes I feel like I want to puke for 20 minutes following.
posted by jander03 at 1:18 PM on June 6, 2011

What munchingzombie said. These big compound exercises are quite enough to also hit your smaller muscle groups.

Though abs you can train more (or so a lot of people have claimed to me) -- there are lots and lots and lots of ab exercises that hit different of the many muscles in there -- honestly, probably the most interesting would be to take a pilates class. You'll be surprised how hard it is, and it'll give you good ideas for focusing on different sides than just "ok, let's do a bazillion crunches"
posted by paultopia at 3:57 PM on June 6, 2011

Response by poster: I do plenty of cardio. I do the Instantity DVD twice a week and go mountain biking for 3 hours 1 day a week.

Here's what I came up with:

* Ab Crunch smith machine 3 x failure
* Assisted Chin up 3 x failure
* Skull crushers 5 x5
* Preacher Curls 5x5

* Decline sit up 3 x failure
* Assisted Chin up 3 x failure
* Hammer Curls 5x5
* Pushdowns 5x5

Will see how it goes.
posted by bleucube at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2011

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