T Nation

Forearms, Neck, and Calves


As winter comes these muscle groups (excluding calves) will be the few directly visible. Besides they are epic looking and I want to max them out.

Coach do you have any advice/special training or is it just a matter of throwing extra freq on these after the workouts?

I know your stance on calves. But how about neck & forearms (Thor hammer? Thick grip? hanging for time?)

How can we get these to HYPERTROPHY!



I’ve been following a 6 day push/pull “best damn” template and have been doing 3 sets of wrist rollers every pull day. I would love some guidance on this too!


I’ve had some experience with neck/forearm work, especially neck for my boxing training. Here’s what I found to work best:


  1. Neck bridge. Get yourself in a bridge position resting on your head. Hold. If you get stronger at it, you can roll head front to back.
  2. neck harness. moderate weight for higher reps. I don’t go over 50 lbs attached to harness.
  3. Front neck raises (place towel over forehead, then weight plate. Lay on bench with head slightly over the back, and then nod up and down).


  1. Towel hangs. Put towels over pull up bars and hang from them. As you improve, move to one are towel hangs. Also, towel pull ups.
  2. Fat Grip reverse curls. These are awesome for building forearm strength.


My neck has grown quite a bit by doing high rep neck curls,starting with bodyweight and working my way up to a 20 kg plate for 50

Take a look at this before you consider neck bridges


Farmers walk works calves and forearm, hammer curls, fat grip curls. Some bodybuilding purest dont train neck is take away from shoulder width.


I’ve never trained calves and probably had only one person train them in my whole career. But I believe that heavy prowler pushing, olympic lifts and any loaded carries can build the calves. The only person I remember having do calves work was Daryl Gee… we would superset standing calf raises with prowler pushing.

I don’t train the neck if someone is only training for aesthetic, as strongmanjoe mentioned, it makes you look narrower. If you are someone with a wide clavicle, sure, but if you are not naturally wide I would not do neck work.

Forearm work is fairly useful and I do it from time to time. That’s the only “muscle” I train with the occlusion method. In fact I did this before occlusion training was a “thing”…an old school bodybuilder worked at the supplement store at the gym I used to have my offices in. He had huge forearms and told me that he always did wrist curls while cutting blood flow to the forearms by wrapping powerlifting wraps around the upper part of his forearms… that was about 10 years ago and he has doing it for 20+ years.

Other that that when I do wrist curls or extensions it is with a very slow tempo and for fairly high reps (15-30). I also do the rolling exercise Thor’s hammer and farmer’s walk.

Thick bad curls also work pretty well.


Good stuff thanks all & coach

A jacked neck helps accentuate your jawline and gives overall masculine look. Probably one of the few “wow that guy lifts” features when fully clothed…


I don’t have a big neck and that has never been a problem. You like to ask how physique athletes train… well I know that pretty much no bodybuilder or physique competitor train their neck… but it’s your body you can train it anyway you want.


Not a big fan of training the neck (traps YES). I am a big fan of calves and forearms because that is typically all that people see unless you walk around shirtless all the time. That said, my favorite punk rocker Henry Rollins had a legit neck and it made him look like a badass! http://www.nyrock.com/img/2000/rollins_3.jpg