T Nation

Forearms Like Steel Cables?

I have really thin wrists. My thumb and pinky touch each other when I wrap my hand around my wrist. Back when I was a kid, I never won a single armwrestling match. Ever.

Yet, while my forearms are terribly thin, my grip has never failed me on deadlifts. I use chalk and a hook grip, and last week I reached a PR of 185 @ 130.

Does there exist a relationship between forearm strength and grip strength? Will working on grip strength make my forearms stronger?

I figure I can’t make my forearms significantly “bigger,” but I can make them stronger. Kind of like a steel cable.

[quote]erik-the-red wrote:
I have really thin wrists. My thumb and pinky touch each other when I wrap my hand around my wrist. Back when I was a kid, I never won a single forearm wrestling match. Ever.

Yet, while my forearms are terribly thin, my grip has never failed me on deadlifts. I use chalk and a hook grip, and last week I reached a PR of 185 @ 130.

Does there exist a relationship between forearm strength and grip strength? Will working on grip strength make my forearms stronger?

I figure I can’t make my forearms significantly “bigger,” but I can make them stronger. Kind of like a steel cable.[/quote]

I am confused as to why you think you can’t make your forearms bigger AND stronger. If you weigh 130lbs, that is probably why they are skinny as fuck.

[quote]erik-the-red wrote:
Yet, while my forearms are terribly thin, my grip has never failed me on deadlifts. I use chalk and a hook grip, and last week I reached a PR of 185 @ 130.
[/quote]

Unless you are using kilograms, at 130 pounds I wouldn’t expect you to have size anywhere. Holding 185 for a deadlift is hardly an incredible feat of grip strength, most people start having problems north of 400.

Are you a woman?

Are you talking about your wrists or your forearms? Your wrists are all bones, tendons and cartiledge. They will not get significantly larger no matter how big your forearm muscles grow. Your forearms are mostly muscle and can grow a lot. Wrist roller, wrist curls, grippers, etc. will affect them directly, any type of curls or extensions and any heavy compound exercise will affect them indirectly.

ProfessorX,

I think it’s genes. I’ve seen guys who don’t weigh much more than I do, but their wrists are like 3/2 the size of mine.

Donut62,

Yeah, that’s in pounds (~60 kilos). Of course 185 isn’t an impressive feat of strength (considering that Bolton deadlifted over 1,000 a month ago). But, isn’t it relative and not absolute? What would be a good feat of grip strength at my weight?

chrisrodx,

No, I am not a woman, although my weight might have confused you.

Anyway, do you guys recommend me to eat more and keep pulling heavy (for my weight) and fast?

[quote]dswithers wrote:
Are you talking about your wrists or your forearms? Your wrists are all bones, tendons and cartiledge. They will not get significantly larger no matter how big your forearm muscles grow. Your forearms are mostly muscle and can grow a lot. Wrist roller, wrist curls, grippers, etc. will affect them directly, any type of curls or extensions and any heavy compound exercise will affect them indirectly.[/quote]

OK, thanks for clearing that (wrist vs. forearm) up.

[quote]erik-the-red wrote:
ProfessorX,

I think it’s genes. I’ve seen guys who don’t weigh much more than I do, but their wrists are like 3/2 the size of mine.
[/quote]

Who cares how big your wrists are? What does that have to do with anything?

[quote]
Anyway, do you guys recommend me to eat more and keep pulling heavy (for my weight) and fast?[/quote]

I am truly worried that someone on this board feels they would need to ask that question. I am even more worried that you don’t already know the answer and aren’t already working towards it.

Yeah, that’s in pounds (~60 kilos). Of course 185 isn’t an impressive feat of strength (considering that Bolton deadlifted over 1,000 a month ago). But, isn’t it relative and not absolute? What would be a good feat of grip strength at my weight?

Both relative and absolute strength are very valuable. However, in the world of sports and bodybuilding absolute strength is often more valuable. For example, imagine a guy who weighs 130(you) and could squat 2.5 times bodyweight. Relatively strong, but not that strong compared to other guys. Then imagine a guy who weighs 210 and can squat only twice his bodyweight. Although the guy at 130 has a better power to weight ratio, or relative strength, the guy at 210 is going to be way more formidable on the rugby/ amearican football field etc

I think too many people use “relative strength” as an excuse to undereat and stay 140 pounds forever. And 185 on the deadlift aint very impressive for a guy who trains, whether your 130 or not! If you honestly think it is you must train in an all female gym and not read anything of value. Get eating and lifting

Who cares how big your wrists are? What does that have to do with anything?

Extremely good point. More people need to look at what they do have in a situation instead of what they dont! Flex Wheeler had small bone structure, but thats no bad thing. Small bone stucture and huge full muscles make the most impressive physiques as he proves.

[quote]erik-the-red wrote:

Anyway, do you guys recommend me to eat more and keep pulling heavy (for my weight) and fast?[/quote]

Thats the key to getting stronger and gaining any sort of size.

If your goal is to get bigger and stronger your main priotiry right now should be nutrition, if you arn’t eating enough your time in the gym will be ill-spent.

I suggest you read the
7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs by Dr. John Berardi.

I’m betting you read somewhere that wrist size is indicative of something more than uh… wrist size.

Yes, you can make your forearms bigger and stronger and yes you need lots of good food for it to happen. More importantly though, you need to jettison this preoccupation with forearms and start thinking of getting bigger and stronger everywhere.

Erik,

I have small wrists as well. I wouldn’t worry about wrist size during a deadlift. I’ve found small wrists pose a problem during pressing movements. In that case I use wrist wraps. Even then, I only use them on the last couple sets.

If you want to work on gripping strength, hang on a bar as long as you can for 5 sets to start. (if you only last a couple minutes do more sets) When 5 sets (each set lasting 7 minutes) becomes easy add some weight.

I appreciate all the helpful responses.