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High-yield techniques for a Popeye-like set of forearms

Goal: Size
Bodyparts: Forearms

If someone says that you have great biceps and triceps, they might as well say that you have arms without finish. Because without an equally striking set of forearms, you are limiting how good you can look in your undersized tees.

Forearms, like calves, are a bit whimsical sometimes. For some, high-rep training has proven most effective while for others, heavier reps have been the difference-maker. But everyone can benefit, to a degree, by keeping the weight loads within proven, muscle-building ranges. The wrist joint is small and very fragile, so going too heavy can put you at heightened risk of injury. Lighter weight loads, on the other hand, may not be providing the stimulus you need, especially if you only train your forearms periodically. This workout challenges your forearms through some familiar rep ranges while also adding an hint of variety to spice things up, all at a higher-than-usual level of intensity.

Exercise Sets/Reps (or distance)
Farmer Walk
4/50 feet (1)
Hammer Curl
3/12 (2)
Reverse Curl 3/12 (2)
Wrist Curl 3/12 (3)
Plate Pinch 3/to failure (4)

For each exercise, select a weight that brings you to near failure at the rep range listed.

(1) Select a heavy set of dumbbells and simply walk for 50 feet, as long as you can in the gym space provided, or to failure. If you are unable to take more than 20 steps without losing your grip, use a lighter set of dumbbells.

(2) Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.

(3) After reaching failure on the last set, grab a lighter barbell - a drop of 20-30% is optimal - and continue performing reps to failure again.

(4) Hold two 5- or 10-pound weight plates together in each hand using only your fingers for as long as you can.


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If your forearms are a lagging bodypart, train them alone and after back and biceps in your regular weekly split. If you're just in need of a jumpstart, you can perform this workout following your biceps training.

There's nothing quite like the lingering soreness from a crushing forearms workout. To minimize this effect - and to promote and maintain wrist mobility - perform a few sets of static stretches every few hours following your workout. This will also maximize recovery and may assist in growth.

If you're not training your forearms regularly, this workout will be an awakening.

4] USE N.O.
It's a smaller body part, so you may not think it necessary to take your usual pre-workout supplements but by taking your nitric oxide product before your forearms routine, you'll get a much better (and much more visible) pump than normal, allowing maximum blood flow to working muscles.

If forearm strength is a concern for you, then avoid using straps on all but your heaviest sets on back day.