When I started off my fitness journey, I weighed a mere 120 pounds whilst standing at 6 feet tall. In regards to my health, I was dangerously lanky, and in terms of my physical abilities, they were non-existent. When I finally started working out regularly, I started paying attention to how others lost & gained weight.
One thing I quickly noticed; some people seem to gain muscle & size with every rep & bite of food. And you bet I used to get jealous. At the time, it felt like I was working harder and still getting fewer results. This type of thinking eventually led to harmful drive-killing practices like negative self-talk & the doubting of my potential.
Comparing yourself to others in the gym or any area of fitness is one of the most self-defeating perspectives you can have.
However, there is one positive thing that came from the initial comparisons. It made me look at how I trained from a critical point of view. Was I only working hard? Or was I working hard and smart? They taught me that not everyone is the same & that if I wanted to fix my ‘problem areas,’ I had to train in the way that was optimized best for me.
Deadlifts: If you want big & strong forearms, utilize exercises that let you hold the most amount of weight. Exercises like the deadlift. It’s best to hold the bar with the knuckles on both your hands facing forwards but to extend past your limits you can switch to a reverse grip.
Pull Ups & Lat Pull Down: Not only are pull-ups the best back & full body exercise you can practice, but they have the potential to explode your forearms. For me, I feel the stress on my forearms after only 10 pull-ups.
If you can’t do pull-ups yet or want to do even more for your forearms, utilize your gym’s lat pulldown machine. This is where you can pack on the volume and test your grip strength, especially if you use fat grips.
Try this on the Lat Pulldown with some fat grips: 7 sets of 7 reps each. Each rep; hold at full contraction for 3 seconds, take 5 seconds to reach full extension, explode with power, repeat.
Hammer & Reverse Curls: A great way to add more dimension to your forearms is by targeting the brachialis. The brachialis is a muscle that runs from the top of your forearm, up through the outer arm between the biceps and triceps, to your shoulder cap.
Hammer curls are an amazing way of targeting this muscle. To perform a hammer curl; grab a pair of dumbbells, hold them by your waist with the face of the dumbbell facing forward, then curl them from your waist to your armpits.
Shrugs & Grip Strength: This one is simple. All you have to do is hold something heavy with a full grip for an extended period of time. Try performing 3 sets of 15 shrugs, but never putting the weight down in between sets. If you’re deadlifting or doing pull-ups, you can also try hanging for an extra 30 seconds after you are done the reps.
Get Some Fat Grips!
Fat grips are the ultimate investment you can make into the size of your arms. They are simple, yet so effective. All you have to do is place them around the barbells & dumbbells you use.
You don’t need to get any fancy or expensive fat grips either, in reality, a rag wrapped around the bar would even make a difference. But if you want to be safe, and have an even grip, I recommend getting a cheap pair of 2-inch fat grips.
Training right is crucial for targeting specific muscle groups, but without enough of the proper fuel, nothing will get done. Check out my post “How to Gain Vegan Muscle” & “Gaining Muscle 101” for a breakdown of how much you need to eat if you want to grow!
Until Next time, Strive to Thrive!
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