Gym Mistake: Training Legs with Arms Blunts Arm Growth

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Gym Mistake

Gym Mistake: Will training legs with arms hurt arm growth?

Are you making a gym mistake? A few years ago, many books and magazines were recommending whole body training which the entire body was exercised on one day, three days a week. A sample workout would be deadlifts, squats, bench press, military press, and arm training all in one workout. Some researchers have proposed that the excessive volume of training when both aerobic exercise and resistance training are employed together causes this interference effect. The anabolic responses of one single training session seemed to be less favorable in the training group starting with cardio. The latest article published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that combining leg and arms training on the same day will kill your arm gains. Researchers examine whether or not lower limb sprint interval training following arm resistance training influences training response of arm muscle strength and hypertrophy.

Twenty men participated in this study. The subjects were divided into two groups:

-resistance training group and

-concurrent training group. Arm training followed by sprints group.

The resistance training program was designed to induce muscular hypertrophy (3 sets x 10 repetitions (reps) at 80% 1 repetition maximum [1RM] of arm curl exercise), and was performed in an 8-week training schedule carried out 3 times per week on nonconsecutive days. Subjects assigned to the Arm training followed by sprints group group performed identical protocols as strength training and modified sprint interval training (4 sets of 30-s maximal effort, separated in 4m 30-s rest intervals) on the same day. At the end of the study, the Arm training group alone results in increases in muscle mass whereas the arm training followed by sprints group group. Significant increase in 1RM strength from pre- to post-test was observed in the resistance training group, but not in the Arm training followed by sprints group group. In conclusion, the data indicate that concurrent lower limb sprint interval training interfere with arm muscle hypertrophy and strength.


 Kikuchi et al. "The effect of high-intensity interval cycling sprints subsequent to arm-carl exercise on muscle strength and hypertrophy in untrained men: A pilot study." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Publish (2015): Ahead of Print

Babcock, L, Escano, M, D’Lugos, A, Todd, K, Murach, K, and Luden, N. Concurrent aerobic exercise interferes with the satellite cell response to acute resistance exercise. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 302: 2012.

Wilson JM, Marin PJ, Rhea MR, Wilson SM, Loenneke JP, Anderson JC. Concurrent training: a meta-analysis examining interference of aerobic and resistance exercises. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Aug;26(8):2293-307.