Q & A – Ask Charles Glass-

Q. Do you think it’s better to train arms on their own day, or should you pair them up with another body part, like chest, shoulders or back? When you’ve had clients who needed to bring their arms up, were there any other ways you’d arrange their arm training for better results?

There is no single best way to bring up the arms. What I do is mix things up so the arms are always getting a slightly different form of stress placed on them. At times, we will indeed work arms by themselves. At other times, we will shock them by training biceps with chest, or triceps with back. One thing I don’t like to do is to train biceps after back, or triceps after either chest or shoulders. I feel they are so fatigued already from assisting with the compound movements for those large torso muscle groups that they can’t possibly be worked properly afterward.

I do feel that working arms on their own day is probably the most effective method for getting them to grow, but not everyone has time to devote an entire training day to arms. A lot of busy people can only get in the gym three times a week at most, so that leaves them to train legs on another day and the entire torso on the third day— which is a lot of exercise for one workout. If you do have the time, train arms on a special day devoted to them, but don’t keep that up forever. Eventually, they will adapt to that and you will need to start shuffling them in with other muscle groups. For now, assuming you have the time, try this arm workout for four to six weeks:

Barbell curls 4 x 10-12

Rope Pushdowns 4 x 8-10

Incline dumbbell curls 4 x 10-12

Skull crushers 4 x 10-12

Hammer curls 4 x 8-10

Rope cable kickbacks 4 x 8-10 (each arm)

Q. I have a very bad injury to one of my rotator cuffs. I figured out how to work around it on chest and shoulder days, using mostly machines and cables instead of my usual free weights. The injury doesn’t really bother me on anything else. I’m just wondering, will this injury heal itself? It’s been two months since I hurt it and it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any better.

A. It doesn’t sound like you have been doing anything to try and rehabilitate the injury, which is why the pain persists. The problem stemmed from a weakness in the rotator cuff muscles and until that situation is resolved, you will continue to have problems with your cuff. You should know the simple cable or dumbbell exercises used to strengthen those small muscles. If not, do a Google search on “exercises to rehabilitate the rotator cuff” and a few hundred links will appear. 

You should consult someone that does soft tissue, fascial release therapy. You most likely have adhesions in your rotator cuff that cause the sharp pains you feel. Additionally, you most likely have tight pecs or tight lats. When this happens, it will cause you to slouch, which causes your rotator cuff muscles to be strained. They get strained because they are in a constantly stretched state as your pecs and lats pull your shoulder region forward. Thus, it is crucial you ensure structural balance and ensure you do not get too developed up front vs your back.

Q. What do you think about nighttime eating to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance while asleep? A lot of guys have a protein shake in the middle of the night and I have even heard of a few bodybuilders who will eat a whole solid-food meal at three or four in the morning. Do you think this is a good idea or a waste of time?

A. Personally, I would never do this because I only average about four and half hours of sleep a night. I’m in bed by 10:30 p.m. and usually get up at 2:30 a.m. to be in the gym training my first client of the day at 4 a.m. So, I certainly wouldn’t waste any of that precious time getting up and eating, but then again, I’m not trying to gain muscle these days. 

Your situation is probably quite different. You probably sleep eight or nine hours a night and are still in the process of trying to grow. In that case, a shake would be a great idea. A slow releasing protein is a great option. Drinking egg whites in a blender with spinach is a quick, easy method that comes to mind. It gives you time-released protein so your muscles have a steady supply of nutrients while you sleep, keeping your nitrogen in a positive balance and helping you avoid slipping into that dreaded catabolic state. I wouldn’t get up and have a whole meal, because that would certainly have a negative impact on the duration and quality of your sleep. Who do you know that can wake up, sit down and eat a meal, then get right back to sleep? Good luck with that. Go with a shake so you can get back to sleep and grow.

8 thoughts on “Q & A – Ask Charles Glass-”

  1. Good afternoon Mr Glass the question i have is how you lose my stomach and tone up. I,m 42 years old 6,3 in and currently 265 i have a stomach not a beer gut lol. But i have muscle ever other place on my body . What do you recommend me to do to lose the stomach and keep some muscle with out looking sick. And how do i get my muscle hard again. My testosterone level are over 330..

    1. Your testosterone levels sound low. How is your diet? I think you should visit a TRT doctor and get a hormonal profile. Also, your diet needs to get dialed in. Cardio 3-4 times a week, too

  2. I am fifty and diabetic for ten years. I am 172 and 63kg. May I take protein supplements. If yes what kind I should take.what to avoid. I do workout one hour in the evening and walking in the morning 30min.

    1. Protein supplements are only something to have post workout or if you are unable to get a meal in. I suggest you just eat balanced meals throughout the day

  3. Hi Charles; Happy New year.

    I was in a car accident a few years ago and I have ultimately had to have limb reconstruction surgery on my right femur. I am blessed to be able to walk again after these difficult years. I am not able to do the standard weighted squats etc. Can you recommend anything to build the lower body without me exacerbating this injury.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Many Thanks for taking your time out to read these comments.

    1. Are you able to use any of the various machines? Charles often does not even prescribe squats to his clients. His favorite is the freemotion squat machine and pendulum squat.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *