Forearms are one body part that do not get nearly enough love from the fitness community. They are often an afterthought when it comes to training.
I’m always confused (and sad) when people tell me that they don’t devote any time to training forearms on their own. “I work them during every other lift that I do, why do them alone?” they usually protest.
While it’s true that you use your forearms during the vast majority of weightlifting exercises, I don’t believe it’s enough to build an imposing set of forearms. Just look at everyone around you the next time you go to the gym.
Most people I see in the gym do not have impressive or big forearms. Even the people I see throwing around big weights rarely have exceptional forearms. Forearms get used to training overtime and need specific work to grow big.
Think of all the work your legs get just walking around and living life. Yet you still devote time to training them on their own, don’t you?
Take a look at the athletes in sports that require a strong grip. Wrestling. Arm wrestling. Powerlifting. Those who compete in these sports are often doing heavy grip and forearm work, particularly arm wrestling. The most impressive forearms I see are almost always on arm wrestlers.
When it comes down to it, I don’t think people realize the benefits of building a powerful set of forearms. It’s not important to them for whatever reason. If it were, they would be training them as often as they train biceps and chest.
If you don’t have the motivation or desire to build some hulking forearms, relax and take notes while I give you the 4 reasons to train forearms like a savage.
# 1- They are usually visible
All bullshit aside, the reason most of us workout and lift weights is to look good. You want people to notice and admire the results you’re getting from the gym. While it may not be your primary motivation, I know you’re not complaining if people admire your hard work.
It feels good when someone notices that you’re losing weight or getting more muscular in certain areas. It can even become addicting. Just look at all the selfies people put up on Instagram hunting for compliments. People like other people to notice them.
With that being said, your forearms are going to be visible a large amount of the time unless you live in the North Pole where you’re bundled up all year.
If you live somewhere where it’s warm all or part of the time, which is almost everywhere, you are going to be wearing short sleeves a lot.
What’s one muscle completely visible with short sleeves? Forearms! Not biceps, not chest, not quads. Forearms are probably the most seen body part along with neck and calves, and most people aren’t training those either but one thing at a time.
People immediately begin to judge you in their mind the second they see you. Do you want them to lay their eyes on a scrawny pair of forearms that look like they can’t lift a sack of potatoes? Or, do you want someone to see a hulking pair of forearms that look like they can lift a Buick?
# 2- They represent power
When you see someone with a diesel set of forearms, you know they have some power behind them. People who work with their hands a lot such as stone masons and construction workers, often have big forearms and a strong grip.
You can’t fake the funk with forearms like you can with other body parts. I’ve seen many people with large biceps that were not particularly strong however, I have yet to meet someone with large and muscular forearms that did not have crushing grip strength.
(Check out this monsters forearms)
Even if you are not into weightlifting and bodybuilding, the second you see someone with large forearms, something inside of you tells you that they are strong and powerful.
One nice side effect of being muscular is that people usually don’t want to start any problems with you. Once in a rare while, you’ll find the idiot that tries to mess with someone bigger than them to prove a point.
The easiest way to avoid a situation with an idiot like this is to convince said idiot that it’s not in his best interest to even try it. Once he lays eyes on the pair of cannons you’re sporting for forearms, he’s going to realize that he doesn’t want to get his face crushed and will want nothing to do with you.
Big forearms are intimidating to someone looking for trouble. They have a ton of command presence. People don’t want to start problems with powerful people that look like they can bend a barbell with their bare hands.
# 3 They are used in most lifts
The one reason most people give for not training forearms is ironically one of the reasons I believe they should be trained on their own.
Like I discuss in the introduction, most people tell me that they don’t need to train forearms, as they get worked when they train all their other body parts in the gym.
There are not many muscles that get used in nearly every single lift. Your legs aren’t actively involved in every single lift. Your chest isn’t actively involved in every single lift. Your biceps aren’t actively involved in every single lift.
In almost every single type of lift or exercise on the face of the earth, you’re gripping something. Whether it’s a barbell, dumbbell or handle, your grip and therefore your forearms, are actively involved.
Squats? Grabbing a bar. Bench press? Grabbing a bar. Curls? Grabbing a bar. Deadlift? You’re definitely grabbing a bar. Hell, even doing cardio machines you’re usually holding onto something.
Since your hands, grip and forearms are involved in almost every single exercise you do, wouldn’t it make sense to make your grip and forearms as strong as possible?
There were many times in the gym when I knew I could do a heavier weight on something however; my grip just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight. I realized that my grip was too weak.
I used to use lifting straps but decided years ago that they were doing me more harm than good because they were giving me a reason to avoid training my forearms.
No matter what lift you can think of, having strong and powerful forearms is going to help you out a ton. With strong forearms, you are going to be able to use heavier weight than you could otherwise handle.
# 4- They help you stand out
Bodybuilding and lifting weights are about standing out. You don’t want to look like or be like everyone else. The average person is not muscular.
If you are muscular, you are going to stand out in the crowd. How do you stand out even more? By having impressive forearms.
When you do my suggested experiment of looking around the gym the next time you go, you will see for yourself that almost nobody has a set of forearms to write home about.
Those that do, definitely stand out. Most guys can get a respectful chest, legs and arms with some hard work and dedication, but few will put the work in to grow a giant, powerful set of forearms.
Forearms aren’t one of the cool muscles that most people are after, so they don’t even bother with them. Someone who wants to be different and stand out is going to put the hard work in to train their forearms like an animal and distance themselves from every other gym rat.
Savage training leads to savage results
Now that you know the benefits of training your forearms and why you should want to build a powerful pair of them, I hope you’re ready to get in there and tear it up.
Before you go hit the wrist roller, I have a little more advice before we part. Forearms usually need to be trained harder than most other body parts to grow as I noted above.
Unless you’re a genetic specimen, you are going to have to put in hard work to blow your forearms up. If you have been lifting for some time, they are well conditioned and can take a lot of abuse.
They need to be trained with intensity and they need to be trained often. Most forearm training is a bit outside of the box however, I find it to be some of the most exciting training you can do.
If you go out there and train your forearms the way they need to be trained, you are going to be happy that you did, and you are going to reap the benefits I listed above.
Do you invest the time into training your forearms on their own? I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions and comments below!
Until next time,