Here’s a question I received about arm and calf work. My comments are below…
“Mehdi, I’ve been at it for a month now and seen alot of improvements, my question is, I feel some muscles are neglected, biceps, tris, calves to name a few, yes I’ ve read that certain exercise does accommodate those muscles, but I feel I’m not targeting them and giving them a good workout, is it wise to have them separate on a off day for a good hammering?? Thanks looking forward to your reply chur!! jimi”
Hah, I’ve been there – it’s all in your head man!
When I switched to the 5×5 routine, the same thing happened to me.
I trained one muscle a day for five years. Dedicating each Sunday to “arms” – barbell curls, alternated db curls, ez curls, preacher curls, cable curls. Then five more exercises for triceps.
I hammered my calves on “leg day” – seated, standing, donkey calf raises for high reps until failure so they got “pumped”.
I even remember calling my friend the next day – “are you sore?!?”
We thought you should be to get stronger…
So when I stumbled upon this 5×5 routine from Reg park, I couldn’t help but think – wtf? Where’s the arm and calf work on this thing?!?
The first months felt weird – I wasn’t getting “pumped”.
I wasn’t doing any any direct work for my arms or calves.
And I was getting scared that’d I’d lose the physique I had built the previous five years.
But that didn’t happen – I actually ended up looking better than before, more balanced, while getting stronger.
And training only half the time, lol.
Here’s why – and a lot of guys don’t get this – you don’t *need* to hit a muscle directly for it to grow.
So just keep doing StrongLIfts 5×5. In a few months you’ll be used to training this way, your mind will have “adapted”, and you’ll look back at that old way of training and laugh.
P.S. But hey, if you’re going to add stuff for your arms anyway, don’t do it it on your off days. Your body needs those to recover and get stronger.
Instead, do heavy pullups or dips at the end of your workout. Two-three sets max. And stay focused on increasing your Squat. Because that will lead to the biggest overall strength gains.