When it comes to weight training, forearms are easily the most neglected body part. Too often we think, “Well my forearms get worked as a secondary muscle while working biceps. That should be enough.” Granted, the forearms do get some work during bicep and triceps workouts, however such attitudes are a sign of complacency, which will only slow down your gains. Fact is there are numerous benefits that come from giving your forearms a workout of their own. One such benefit is that working your forearms will help give you that “Iron Grip.” After all, who wants to shake hands with someone who grips like a fish?
If you’ve been a fan of the classical or Iron Age period of bodybuilding, you no doubt remember a time when the forearms stood out like they just don’t do today. They started small at the wrist, and then worked their way out to a point where they almost peaked like the biceps. They were lean, striated with veins, and just looked incredible. Men like Casey Viator and Steve Brisbois come to mind. They had forearms the likes of which have been unseen on bodybuilding stages in the last 10 or 15 years!
The forearms are a tricky muscle group. If they lag behind the upper arms, you risk displaying poor symmetry at best, and failing your other body parts by virtue of a weak grip, at worst. In other words, you short-circuit your efforts on back, shoulder, and biceps days because your grip fails before the intended targeted larger muscle groups do. At the same time, overdeveloped forearms can also be a problem. They throw off your balance in many poses, and make your upper arms look small. Your forearm training will vary based upon whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced bodybuilder.
It’s very rare that you will see training routines designed for all three of the muscle groups of the arms. Sure, you’ve probably seen a million routines which challenge the trainer to jump from the biceps to the triceps and vice versa. These training routines are superb for delivering a fast pump to the upper arms, saving time while achieving muscle stimulation synergy on many levels. However, you will very rarely see a routine like this which includes forearm training.
Have you ever opened up a bodybuilding magazine and just felt frustration? You look at the level of development, particularly in the arms, and you cannot imagine how you will ever come close to that. Their upper arms – consisting of the biceps and triceps – are bigger than yours. They have better shape than yours. They are worlds more conditioned than yours. And they make it look easy. How is this possible?
When in the arena of competitive bodybuilding, the illusion of size usually matters more than the true size. Bodybuilders have often decided to neglect the training of specific muscle areas so that other muscle groups seem bigger. A lot of bodybuilders will not train their abs as much so that the shoulders can look bigger and wider. Another way bodybuilders use this illusion is by reducing the training of their quadriceps, which allows their calves to appear much larger than they would usually would look.
Are you an intermediate bodybuilder who just can’t seem to break the 200-pound mark? You eat everything in sight and take an hour nap each day, but something just seems to be lacking? Chances are, your body has become accustomed to your training patterns. You might be using the ever-popular 5-day training split (Chest, back, Shoulder, Arm, and Leg days). Or you might be using another. Whatever system you’ve been choosing, your body may no longer be responding. Without that need for response, the muscles stay their current size. Here are five routines that you should try for stunning the muscles into growing.
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The direct forearm grip training is something that is not all that common for the power lifters in the gym. It is nothing fancy, but what it is, is hard work. And yes, it does take away some time for the more viewable body parts and the training it takes to get the biggest and best results can be downright excruciating.