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Will Deadlifts and Squats give bigger arms?
Old Wed, May 13th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #1
omartron
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Default Will Deadlifts and Squats give bigger arms?

I've been reading a lot and a lot of people say that deadlifts and squats will give bigger arms.
I've just made a new routine which envolves squats on leg day and deadlifts on back day.

I was wondering how it does this?

Thanx!
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Old Wed, May 13th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by omartron View Post
I've been reading a lot and a lot of people say that deadlifts and squats will give bigger arms.
I've just made a new routine which envolves squats on leg day and deadlifts on back day.

I was wondering how it does this?

Thanx!
I am no expert, so don't take my thoughts too seriously but...from what I have read on these forums I think this is possible because you work the biggest muscles in your body (Legs and back.) which in turn tells your body to release more HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which could lead to bigger arms if you work them.
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Old Wed, May 13th, 2009, 10:48 PM   #3
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It does.

But you may find yourself to be an exception and may need to throw in some extra arm work.

I myself have been doing squats, deads, rows, overhead press, bench, dips and pull ups for 9 months. My arms have grown. But mainly my tris and not all that much. Bigger, but I still want more! Dips definitly help them though.

I've thrown in extension triple dropsets at the end of my squat, bench, row, dip day.

I also do bb curl triple drop sets at the end of my squat, oh press, dl, pull up day.

I just started this last week to see if I can get things going in the armory. They still get a rest period of 3-4 days and i'm eating above maintenance now. So hopefully i'll see some growth without overtraining.
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Old Wed, May 13th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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If you do heavy deadlifts, you'll feel it in your forearms the next day. I'm not sure of the effects the two have on upper arms (biceps/triceps). I would think it would be minimal, because the only way you work these in a squat is by essentially balancing the bar on your back. In deadlifts, you arent "curling" the bar at all, just pulling it up (which is why your forearms are used, to stabalize the bar). I'm not sure because I work my arms in addition to using squats/deads.

My suggestion - supplement your big compounds which some isolated movements for the best results.

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Old Wed, May 13th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #5
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Deadlifting sets done correctly for the anabolic/hormonal effect should make your whole body grow......BUT.....if your diet is lacking in conjunction with this , you may have problems.

The problem being no growth because your diet doesn't support it.

Deadlifting alone will not make your arms grow big. Because to gain one-inch of muscle on your upper arms you are going to have to put on some serious weight, Deadlifting or not.

If you use a mixed grip it will hit the biceps a little more.

But it's my opinion that your arms aren't going to get gigantic from doing Deadlifts alone (or Squats for that matter).

Just about all the compo exes are good mass moves. But it's the diet that makes you grow.

So Deadlift away.....but don't expect 22"' guns from it....

On another note.....they say that Squats will make you grow all over......but I don't know a single lifter who does just Squats or Deads alone and nothing else.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 12:17 AM   #6
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If your goal is to develop strong legs and a strong back - squats and deadlifts will definitely get you there. If your goal is to get bigger arms - you will need to train your upper body. Your arms might get slightly bigger from the squats and deads, but I don't think you will see the kind of growth that you're looking for.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #7
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Bigger arms do Isolation and Upper body work. I really don't see how anybody can correlate growth on your biceps from growth from your legs but thats just me...
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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It's the release of growth hormone that most attribute this. I think you are reading a little too much into the statement. No one is really saying that squats and deads yield big arms directly. By doing them, your body (diet allowing) will release higher levels of GH, making your upper body exercises more effective than without. I'm not sure I agree with doing isolation moves vs. upper body compounds. I've seen great progress with BP, power cleans, pullups, chinups, and dips and very little direct bicep and tricep work.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by NCNBilly View Post
It's the release of growth hormone that most attribute this. I think you are reading a little too much into the statement. No one is really saying that squats and deads yield big arms directly. By doing them, your body (diet allowing) will release higher levels of GH, making your upper body exercises more effective than without. I'm not sure I agree with doing isolation moves vs. upper body compounds. I've seen great progress with BP, power cleans, pullups, chinups, and dips and very little direct bicep and tricep work.
Exactly! Look at the people in your gym - generally those that do deadlifts and squats will be bigger ALL OVER than those that skip them, and usually quite a bit bigger than the ones who do the machines.

It's not that deads and squats DIRECTLY blast your arms all over. It's has a pronounced indirect effect, through hormone release and a general mass boost, provided your diet is up to it. You wouldn't just do deads and squats for bigger arms, but you'd be crazy to ignore them as a foundation. Also - you'd be surprised how little you really need to do for your arms. You can usually get the same results with far fewer isolation lifts than you might think. People tend to curl themselves into a stupor. Don't fall for it!
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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when I said deadlifts and squats making my arms grow, I didn't mean JUST squats and deadlifts... most people seem to be thinking that I meant JUST squats and deadlifts :P

Ofcourse I'll do upper body exercises, it's my fault for not wording it correctly, but I was wondering if squatting and deadlifting can make your arms grow faster WITH training the upper body too.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #11
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Then the answer is yes. Your entire body will grow at a faster pace if you incorporate squats and deadlifts into your program than if you don't. For myself I saw my overall gains nearly double by adding deadlifts and squats. I seemed to get thicker and harder all over. It works.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 12:33 PM   #12
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So what about the Starting Strength routine then? No direct arm work in that... I'm doing a variation of that routine at the moment:

Workout A:
Squat, 3x5
Bench Press, 3x5
Rack Chinups, 3xF (not strong enough for regular chins yet)

Workout B:
Squat, 3x5
Press, 3x5
Deadlift, 1x5

Week 1: A/B/A
Week 2: B/A/B
etc

I'm really weak and look it too. Naturally I want to add size all over, including my arms. The triceps get hit every workout via bench and press, but what about biceps? Will the rack chins/chins be enough? Should I add some curls (say 2x8 every friday)? I'm really into this routine, and plan to keep doing it for many months, increasing weights almost every workout (I eat for it too). I just don't want to wake up one year from now with a nice build but still rocking 12.7" arms...
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamsarn View Post
So what about the Starting Strength routine then? No direct arm work in that... I'm doing a variation of that routine at the moment:

Workout A:
Squat, 3x5
Bench Press, 3x5
Rack Chinups, 3xF (not strong enough for regular chins yet)

Workout B:
Squat, 3x5
Press, 3x5
Deadlift, 1x5

Week 1: A/B/A
Week 2: B/A/B
etc

I'm really weak and look it too. Naturally I want to add size all over, including my arms. The triceps get hit every workout via bench and press, but what about biceps? Will the rack chins/chins be enough? Should I add some curls (say 2x8 every friday)? I'm really into this routine, and plan to keep doing it for many months, increasing weights almost every workout (I eat for it too). I just don't want to wake up one year from now with a nice build but still rocking 12.7" arms...
That's not the SS workout. Where did you get that from?

A:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

B:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Overhead Press
3x5 Power clean or Pendlay rows
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optheta View Post
Bigger arms do Isolation and Upper body work. I really don't see how anybody can correlate growth on your biceps from growth from your legs but thats just me...
Its all because of the release of growth hormones like many here have already said.

Mine have grown just fine without doing an isolation work, but there is nothing wrong with a few sets of curls at the end of every workout.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tensdanny View Post
That's not the SS workout. Where did you get that from?

A:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Bench Press
1x5 Deadlift

B:
3x5 Squat
3x5 Overhead Press
3x5 Power clean or Pendlay rows
I never claimed to be doing SS, I do a variation of it (basically the Practical Programming Novice Program, but I do a A/B/A variation of that because I really want to up my deadlift). And it should be 5x3 Power Cleans for SS, not 3x5...
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
Its all because of the release of growth hormones like many here have already said.

Mine have grown just fine without doing an isolation work, but there is nothing wrong with a few sets of curls at the end of every workout.
Im pretty sure there was a study done that showed that there was a Negligent amount GH released that it quickly subsides after a few minutes of exercising. Let me look for it...
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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The whole idea about squats and deadlifts causing your body to release extra growth hormone is way overrated. When that concept originally came up, it was thought that if a person were to do a 20 rep set of squats in the morning shortly after rising - and before any type of food comsumption, you could force your body to release extra GH. The theory was that your body was in a catabolic state, and to try to protect itself it would trigger a sudden GH release. I'm really not sure if this works or not, but I think too many people are under the false assumption that doing squats are going to trigger some massive GH release for them. The reality is that squats probably won't do anymore for GH release than any other compound movement would do.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #18
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I'd love to see a link to study backing up some of the GH release opinions in here! Most of it seems like repeated internet knowledge.

No clue whether folks are right or wrong, but I've been doing this long enough to know that MY arms don't grow if I don't work them directly - no matter how heavy I go on deadlifts and/or squats. I do deadlifts/squats because they work a lot of muscles very well.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 05:01 PM   #19
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If you want bigger arms do direct arm work. But don't neglect your deads and squats because they rule.

I've barely done any direct arm work and you can tell when you look at me. My arms have grown, but only proportionally to the rest of my body. I want to look like I have big arms so I'm changing that now. Two upper body workouts a week with an antagonistic superset for arms in each. I'll let you know how that works out.
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Old Thu, May 14th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #20
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I'd love to see a link to study backing up some of the GH release opinions in here! Most of it seems like repeated internet knowledge.
You're exactly right. Most of the B.S. about GH release is just opinions that get passed around on bodybuilding forums. I highly doubt that anyone will find a credible study supporting this theory about squats and deads and GH release.
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