Joe Pietaro

Beginner, intermediate or experienced, all of us have basic chest exercises that we need to do. While we can implement variety by using dumbbells or machines instead of a barbell, the bottom line is that there are certain compound movements that quite simply give your pecs the best workout.

Here are the ‘Staple Four,’ if you will, for chest:

Before getting into what you should be doing for your forearms, let’s take a look at the major muscles that make up this body part:

*Pronator teres – the middle and thickest part of the forearm located on the inside

*Brachialis – the short part of the outer section of the forearm that is connected to the bicep

*Brachioradialis – the top inner part of the forearm that runs all the way down from your bicep to the wrist

You look forward to training your biceps and triceps and getting that insane pump that makes it difficult to steer the car on the ride home from the gym. However, there is a third muscle that makes up your arm, and that is the forearm.

It’s not as if you have to invest a ton of time into working your forearms, either. Four sets of a particular exercise at the end of your workout, twice a week will do the trick because you are using them as secondary muscles on a lot of other movements. Mix the movements up so that you’re hitting them from different angles.

When you hear the expression, “It looks like this guy has no neck,” that is a backward compliment. By growing your trapezius muscles to the point where they begin shrouding your neck, you have given off the appearance sought by many – but gone about it the wrong way.

We all fondly recall Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron” about having no fear of throwing up or fainting in the gym. To put everything into that set, rep after rep, “no matter what happens.”

The old school train of thought was to frequently switch things up in the gym to “shock your muscles” in order for them to grow. If you did the same group of exercises for a particular body part – and in the same order, no less – that you would hit a plateau and stop growing, but does that have any validity to it?

Everybody reacts differently to training and what it takes to live the so-called bodybuilding lifestyle. Some people can grow like weeds by doing the basics, while others can train as hard as anyone, take gear, eat a clean diet…and still not look good.

During the World Cup championships, practically everyone on the planet is a soccer fan. But how about the ones who play this sport? Training to excel at soccer is different from many other sports in that the lower body comes into play a lot more than the upper, but preparation needs to include everything. It is true that the goalkeeper is the only player who can touch the ball with his hands in the actual field of play, but the other 10 on the ‘pitch’ use their upper bodies a lot more than you think.