Long before every other movie featured a muscle-bound DC Comics or Marvel superhero, there was Popeye the Sailor.

With his bulging, inked-up forearms and all-spinach diet, Popeye had superhuman strength—but not, apparently, much affect on future generations of gym rats who seem content to focus on other body parts.

After all, the forearms play a role in most every lift. Why bother targeting an area that’s already trained sufficiently in the gym—to say nothing if you spend any time swimming, paddling, or playing tennis and golf?

For one thing, you might want to improve your game in those areas. You also should want to address an area that plays a role in the lifting movements of everyday life. After all, those forearms provide hours of support if you spend most of your day on the computer. And you’ll want to boost muscles that give your arms a more balanced, symmetrical look, especially when you’re in short sleeves like Popeye.

Best of all, the forearms respond quickly to training, providing one of the better returns on investment of gym time. That’s why it’s worth doing a forearm-specific superset workout like this one on occasion. Spinach optional.

Two men with muscular forearms arm wrestling

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Pete Williams is a NASM-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.