One of the most impressive bodybuilders I ever saw in person was Sergio Oliva, winner of the Mr. Olympia contest 3 times from 1967-1969. He defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger in his last Mr. Olympia victory, and many fans felt he should have beaten Arnold on several other occasions.

Sergio was impressive because of his outstanding proportions. He was so big, he almost looked like a cartoon character. Arms measuring 21 inches were accompanied by a massive chest, an expansive back, huge shoulders and thick traps. This incredible mass was topped off by a tiny 28 inch waist.

The first time I saw Sergio in person, I was blown away by his gigantic forearms. Although Sergio did not have big wrists, the thick muscles on his forearm looked like they were literally hanging off his arm. It made an immediate impression on me how important the forearm muscles are for creating a powerful looking physique.

Here are two exercises you can add to your workout to help build massive forearms:

Reverse Preacher Curls – Preacher Curls are performed on an angled bench and are great for building up the lower area of your biceps. However, taking a reverse grip on the bar will put the focus on the extensor muscles (located on the top of your forearms). Use a moderate weight and an overhand grip on the barbell. Extend your arms all the way down before slowly curling the bar back to the top position. Three sets of 10-12 reps should work well toward your goals.

Dumbbell Wrist Curls – Doing wrist curls one arm at a time with a dumbbell really lets you focus on forearm muscles. You can support your arm on a bench or on your thigh while seated. Hold the working arm steady with your free arm and slowly curl the wrist up, flexing the flexor muscles (the muscles on the bottom of the forearm) at the top of the movement. As you return to the starting position, let the dumbbell roll down to the end of the fingers before slowly curling the weight back up. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps to fully develop those forearms.


Turning Reverse Evolution Around

It’s only been during the last 100 years or so that humans started becoming less active. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, our hunter-gatherer predecessors were long-distance endurance athletes. The study goes on to suggest that the so-called high that many runners experience after training is one way the body motivates us to engage in intense effort. Technically, runner’s high is created by signaling in the brain’s reward center.

For their research, scientists tested two animals known for endurance, humans and dogs, against ferrets, a mammal not known for exerting lots of physical activity. Exercise in dogs and people produced the expected brain chemical response. This did not happen after scientists coaxed the ferrets to exercise.

True Strength Moment: If you haven’t been to the gym or out for a run in quite some time, don’t expect to experience pleasurable post-workout feelings right away. The study points out that inactive people have to build up a certain level of conditioning before that can happen. Once you cross that threshold, you’ll be a little more motivated to keep your progress on track. For some tips on building up conditioning, read today’s Performance Blog post at ABBperformance.com