I have been going to the gym since last seven years.

My friends at the gym do more than 15 repetitions per set.

I am not comparing with them, but I don't understand why can't I do more that 15 repetition of biceps, no matter what weight I take be it 20 or 25 lbs.

I normally use 50 lbs for my decline bench with 15 repetition per set and 20 repetitions with 40 or 45 pounds.

After 12 or 13 repetitions of biceps, I feel like I can't lift my hand.

I have also ensured that I am doing it in a right weight.

My trainer says I need to increase my diet.

I eat 2 chapatis with some vegetables in the breakfast, then at the lunch, at evening breakfast and at dinner.

chapatis has roughly 50 - 60 calories which is made of wheat.

Is it that my arms are weaker than the rest of the body ?


1 Answer 1


It sounds like you've been focusing too much on high repetitions. 15-20 is an extremely high rep range for weightlifting. High reps don't increase strength. You need to do much more weight at lower reps to increase strength. After doing a low rep routine for several months, you should be able to have enough strength to do more than 15 bicep curls.

Here are some useful tips on rep ranges from Bodybuilding.com. The 1-6 rep range is for strength increase, but won't subtantially increase muscle size. I think you'll want to stick to this range to strenghthen your biceps.

Trained Olympic lifters, for example, were shown over a two-year period to have significant strength increases with barely noticeable increases in muscle mass (Hakkinen et al, 1988). I had a similar experience when I used AST's Max-OT principals. My strength went up like crazy, but I gained very little size.

Obviously, traditional strength training with low volume and low sets (1-6 reps, 3 or less sets) is not the best approach [for size gains]. Strength training does cause hypertrophy (Hakkinen et al, 1985), but it won't cause maximum hypertrophy.

Also, your diet is completely wrong:

I eat 2 chapatis with some vegetables in the breakfast, then at the lunch , at evening break fast and at dinner.

  1. Firstly, chapatis (a wheat flatbread), has some protein, but not nearly as much protein weightlifters need.
  2. Most vegetables have negligible protein. There are only a few vegetables with good protein, such as quinoa. The easiest way to get protein is from animal meat or protein powders.
  3. You shouldn't be eating the same things for three meals a day. Most natural foods do not have the complete essential amino acid profile (the amino acids your body cannot synthesize). You need variety so that the amino acid profile of one meal can be grouped with that of another meal to fully utilize the protein.
  4. Weightlifters should not be eating only 3 meals a day. You need to split your food into 5-6 smaller meals spread evenly throughout the day so you always have a positive nitrogen balance.
  • Also looking at the number of calories you are eating per day, your trainer is right and you need to eat a lot more.
    – Nobody
    May 19, 2011 at 9:19
  • @JoJo - How many repetitions do you recommend for building muscle definition as well as strength? For example, i perform 4 sets with 10 repetitions.
    – Motivated
    Dec 24, 2015 at 6:33

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