Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forearm Specialization

As with the rest of the body, forearms like a variety of exercises, but like everything else there are some very good movements, and some movements which are simply a waste of time. So we are only interested in the very best result producing movements.

Training for the Rest of Your Body

It goes without saying that the rest of the body should not be neglected during a period of forearm specialization. In fact, you can still train fairly hard, because forearm training is not that energy draining.

Do the following on Tuesdays and Fridays:

1) Warmup with leg raises supersetted with situps for two supersets of 25 reps each. 

2) Regular squats - 3 sets of 12 reps.
Do a warmup set of 12 reps with a weight about 75% of your best 12 rep poundage.
Increase the weight and do an all out set of 12 reps or more, as many reps as possible. Let's pretend we're in the future and call this AMRAP! This set should leave you in a state of breathlessness for around a minute or two. 
Reduce the weight by 20-40 pounds and do it again.

3) Calf Raise- 3 sets of 20 reps. Rest only 30 seconds between each set.

4) Dumbbell incline press - 4 sets of 10 reps.
Lie on a low incline bench set at no more than a 30 degree angle. Use two dumbbells 20 pounds lighter than your best poundage for 10 reps, and do a nice slow warmup set.
Now, with the heaviest dumbbells you can use for 10 reps, go all out to get as many as you can.
Do two more sets with the same weight, AMRAP.

5) Chins to the front - 3 sets of 10 reps.
Using a grip 3" either side of your shoulders, do a warmup set with bodyweight only.
Now, attach enough weight to your body so that you can just do 8-10 reps before failing.
Do a final set with bodyweight only.

6) Seated front press - 3 sets of 10 reps.
Sit on a bench and take a bar from the racks weighing about 75% of your best 10 rep poundage and do a slow warmup set of 10 reps.
Now pile on the weight, using as much as you can for 10 reps.
After a short rest, reduce the weight by 10 pounds and do another set to failure. 

7) Barbell curl supersetted with dips - 3 sets of 8 reps.
After a warmup on each exercise do another two supersets with all the weight you can handle for 8 reps. 

Now, on to the forearm training: 

The forearms can take a lot of work so we can work them at least four days a week. Don't worry though, these will be very fast, short workouts that should not take longer than about 30 minutes to complete. Take the first week to get familiar with the routine and then go all out. 

Do the following on Mondays and Thursdays:

1) Barbell preacher bench curl - 5 sets of 10 reps.
Although the preacher curl is primarily a bicep exercise, it is also a very good upper forearm developer, and an ideal exercise to begin your routine with.
Do a nice slow warmup with about 70% of your best poundage for 10 reps.
Increase the weight and go all out to get 10 reps.
Resting only 30-40 seconds do another 3 sets using the same weight for AMRAP.

2) EZ Bar reverse curl on preacher bench supersetted with seated wrist curl - 6 supersets.
At the preacher bench hold an EZ curl bar with a reverse grip, knuckles to the front. Slowly curl the bar as far up as you can without letting your elbows leave the bench. Very slowly lower back to the start position.
Immediately go to the seated wrist curls. With a false (thumbs under) grip hold a straight bar in your hands. Now let your wrists drop down and then curl the bar up to the top, and contract hard.
Do a warmup set on each exercise.
Then, go all out to get 12 reps on the reverse curl and about 15 on the squeezing wrist curls. 
Rest only seconds to catch your breath, and do another four supersets, trying to get as many reps as you can. 

3) One arm dumbbell wrist curl - 4 sets of 12 reps each arm.
Sit on a low stool or box with the back of your arm resting along the top of your right thigh. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with your wrist hanging over your knee as in the regular wrist curl, but here is the difference. Try to 'drop' your right shoulder downward in the direction of the floor. This will create a twisting action of the forearm that really makes the muscles work with each repetition. As you raise the dumbbell your will see your forearm muscles strongly 'bunch up' and this is exactly what we are after. 
Use a dumbbell that is heavy enough for the completion of around 12 reps . . . do as many reps as you can, and then change arms. Alternate like this nonstop for a total of 4 sets each arm.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays do this workout:

1) Dumbbell preacher bench curl - 5 sets of 8 reps.
The same layout as the barbell version.

2) Wrist curl on bench supersetted with reverse wrist curl - 4 supersets.
This is similar to the wrist curl as previously described, minus the false grip but with a finger roll added at the bottom. Using a block of wood, set up a bench so that when your forearms are on it they are at a slight decline, which puts them under more resistance throughout the exercise.
Lay them flat along the bench and hold the bar with a narrow regular grip. As the weight descends, open up your hands and let the bar roll right down to your fingertips, until it almost falls out of your grip. Close your hands again, and curl up as far as you can. Squeeze the contraction and then repeat. 

The reverse wrist curl is best performed with your forearms lying along the top of your thighs. Using a narrow grip of approximately 6" lay your forearms along the top of your thighs and hold the bar in a direct opposite way to the regular wrist curl. That is, your knuckles should be on top, and your palms will be facing the floor. Lower the bar until you feel you are losing it, and then curl it up until you can't go any further. Hold and tense strongly for a 2-count, and then return to starting position.

Try to get 15 reps on each exercise on your first superset. Do another 3supersets using the same weights, and do as many reps as you possibly can. With forearms training, you can go quite a ways past what you think is your limit.

3) Reverse curl - 5 sets of 10 reps.
Hold onto a bar with a grip about 3" either side of your thighs. Your knuckles should be facing the front and your palms the rear. Slowly curl the bar up towards your neck, and as close to your body as you can. Return to the starting position and let the bar brush your body as it slowly lowers. 

Do 5 sets of about 10 reps with a 30 second rest between sets, reducing the weight by five pounds each set.

 Tuesday and Friday
1) Situps/Leg Raises - 2 supersets 25 reps.
2) Regular Squats - 2 x 12.
3) Calf Raises - 3 x 20.
4) Dumbbell Incline Presses - 4 x 10. 
5) Chins - 3 x 10.
6) Seated Front Press - 3 x 10.
7) Barbell Curl/Dips - 3 supersets 8 reps.

Monday and Thursday
1) Barbell Preacher Curl - 4 x 10.
2) EZ Bar Reverse Curl on Preacher Bench - 6 x 12 supersetted with -
3) Squeezing False Grip Wrist Curl - 6 x 15. 
4) Dumbbell Angled Wrist Curl - 4 x 12.

Wednesday and Saturday
1) Dumbbell Preacher Curl - 4 x 10.
2) Decline Rolling Wrist Curl - 4 x 15 supersetted with - 
3) Reverse Wrist Curl - 4 x 15.
4.) Reverse Barbell Curl - 5 x 10.

Be as progressive as you can during each workout, and try to do more reps, add more weight, contract harder, concentrate more strongly . . .


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