Workout Routines

Freaky Forearms Built Fast

Try this old-school, high-frequency forearm routine with nearly a half century of proven results.

josh bryant thumbnail by CSCS, MFS, PES
Forearm exercises and workouts
Duration 15 Min
Exercises 2
Equipment Yes

Back in the day, forearm development was a badge of honor—it proved you weren’t camping your ass on the latest chrome machine and drinking soy milk. It was proof you had been throwing around some serious pig iron.

Outside of the weight room, big forearms establish respect right off the bat. Bullies know the difference between the pec and bi warrior, and the “old head” that can pull out your pancreas through your nose. Bottom line, regardless of social circle or socioeconomic status, big forearms scream power!

Anthony Ditillo Forearm Routine

Since forearm development is considered “old school”, let’s go back and look at one of the strongest and most powerfully built men of all-time—Anthony Ditillo. In 1969, Ditillo wrote a game-changing article titled, Developing the Lower Arms. Ditillo was on a mission to increase the size of his forearms.

“I train my forearms 4 times per week; twice at the end of my upper-body training days and again twice at the onset of my lower-body training days, said Ditillo. I perform the Reverse Curl first, doing 5 sets of 10-8-6-4-15 repetitions using progressively heavier weights each set (except the last). I then perform the seated wrist curl, palms up, for 5 additional sets of 20 repetitions using the same weight, increasing it whenever possible."

The results: Anthony put over a half inch on his forearms in less than two months. He deadlifted heavy and did strict curls with over 200 pounds prior to this, so he was no newbie. Anything that works so well on an advanced lifter is worth a shot.

Final Thoughts

In a training world paranoid about overtraining and reliant on shake weights and eight-minute abs, this workout may seem crazy, but crazy often produces results. Buck the establishment, give Ditillo’s forearm routine a shot and be on your way to building forearms that would make Popeye proud.

The Workout

Exercise 1

Reverse Grip Wrist Curl You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Reverse Grip Wrist Curl thumbnail
5 sets
10,8,6,4,15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Barbell Wrist Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Wrist Curl thumbnail
5 sets
20 reps
-- rest
Perform seated, using the same weight as first move and increasing whenever possible.
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