Many muscle constructors want to walk around with massive Rambo approved forearms because the muscle is considered a symbol of masculinity and is frequently in the viewing range of the humanoids around you. Big forearms are a way of saying ”I lift.” without relying on metrosexual antics such as tank tops and wife beater shirts.
But how can you get massive forearms? Is that even possible? Is there a secret routine that will make your forearms look like dragons ready to obliterate the enemy?
Method A: Do Nothing
As kids, we used to measure our muscles very often. There was a boy, a year or two older than the rest, who had a massive right forearm that he used to flex very often to showcase its size. I wasn’t old enough to realize what was the true force behind this asymmetry, but years later I finally got it – the guy’s forearm size was the result of chronic masturbation fueled by Playboy.
Many men get big forearms through daily activities and without specific workout regimes. This is usually the case for individuals who do physical jobs. Even with all the modern equipment out there, a strong grip is very important when you are doing manual labor. Consequently, some people develop large forearms without even lifting. However, this is the case only for individuals with favorable genetics for building muscle.
“Good forearm genetics”? Was ist das?
Long muscle bellies and consequently short tendons are considered favorable when it comes to muscle growth. Most people with impressive forearms fall in this category.
In that regard, the forearms are similar to the calves. Lifters with high calves (long tendons/short muscle bellies) have a really hard time filling their lower legs because there isn’t a lot of muscle at that location to begin with.
This is a big problem for many professional bodybuilders like Dennis Wolf. Unfortunately, or not, even drugs cannot change this phenomenon. You either have good calves or you don’t.
Another good example would be the forearms of Branch Warren. They are weak compared to the rest of him despite all the elixirs and lifting. His insertions are to blame.
Method B: Train them indirectly
I learned the hard way that sometimes being direct can deprive you of success in the fastest possible way. In high school, I decided to ask out a girl that I didn’t even know but liked. One day I just went to her and dropped the question. She said no and ran away. The girl obviously didn’t like me, but my approach did not help my case either.
In some situations, directness scares people away, and you end up losing the battle while indirect sleazy fuckers achieve their goals.
The same can be said about forearm training. Weird, right?
Some people don’t do so well with forearm isolation because it’s easy to overwork the area, especially if you have a physical job. That’s why sometimes it is better to rely on indirect methods.
If you are doing a lot of upper body exercises, your forearms will be working hard. Movements such as deadlifts (no straps), pull-ups, curls, hammer curls, rope climbing and bench pressing will hit your forearms even if you don’t want that to happen.
The main benefit of the ”indirect” method is that it saves your joints from extra stress. If you have favorable genetics, your forearms will grow even if you don’t do direct isolation.
Somewhat ironically, the people with the freakiest forearms fall in this category. They have good genetics and just lift. Meanwhile, many skinny boys do secret forearm routines taken from overpriced e-books, get a pump, look in the mirror with a horny look and think that it’s finally happening. Well, it’s not. It was never meant to happen for you, buddy.
Method C: Work On Your Forearms Only To Avoid An Imbalance
Another option is to work on your forearms minimally simply to avoid an imbalance or to fix a specific weakness that may hinder your performance. This works too although many bald fitness gurus wrongfully advise people to do too many correctional exercises without a legitimate reason. Every day there’s a new article telling noobs what’s the best way to do things.
Method D: Obliterate Your Forearms With Exercises
Finally, we arrive at the approach that many forearm fanatics are known for. A popular example would be Bruce Lee who used to train his forearms daily and even built unique training equipment specifically for the purpose. This self-produced torture is the reason why Bruce Lee’s forearms were overdeveloped compared to the rest of his physique.
Honestly, I don’t think that this is the best approach for most people because if you don’t have the right genetics, your forearms will not grow regardless of how much curls you do. You can make them really strong, resilient and durable, but size is a different game. Think of the incredible amount of people who destroy their calves only to get zero return on their investment. Meanwhile, there are fatsos who never lift and yet showcase huge lower legs. You have to pick your battles.
Also, daily forearm training is neither recommended nor needed. It’s too much in most cases.
Is there a difference between grip and wrist training?
Yes. For example, wrist curls and wrist rollers don’t develop your grip as much as dedicated finger training. The opposite is also true to a certain extent. Of course, you can’t completely isolate one from the other.
Can you give me a routine that will produce Rambo’s meaty forearms?
There are no special routines. The best way is to construct one yourself. If you are going to train your grip and/or forearms, it’s logical to do it at the end of your workouts as a finisher.
In general, you need only 2-3 exercises – one for the wrist extensors, one for the flexors and one for your grip.
I am a fan of wrist rollers that don’t require you to hold the device in front of you. You just grab the handle and roll. Wrist rollers will give you a sick pump if you care about that anyway. Before or after wrist rolling, you can do a grip exercise to work on your finger strength directly.
The most important thing is to add weight over time. You don’t have to follow a super specific cycle and max out on wrist curls or wrist rollers, but progression is always required.
Why are the forearms so stubborn?
All muscles are stubborn. Most naturals never experience otherworldly hypertrophy, to be honest. When it comes to forearms and calves it gets even worse.
The forearms are built for endurance and have mostly slow twitch fibers. This limits the potential for growth. When you couple that with short muscle bellies and long wrist tendons, you have a recipe for small forearms. In that case focusing solely on strength would be more beneficial for your mental state.