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Here is a great question with some outstanding lessons to learn:

John,
I happen to have very small wrists. I currently weigh about 170 pounds but my wrists are very thin and small. Do you feel that a person with naturally larger wrists and forearms will progress further than someone with naturally small wrists and forearms, even if they train exactly the same? Is there a program that works better for someone in my situation with small wrists? Thanks for the information.
Sincerely,
Mike K.


Mike,

I don't know if you are familiar with George Jowett but he was an old-time strongman who wrote a bunch of great books and training courses back in the 20's and 30's. He was well known for his incredibly strong hands and his writings are filled with a boatload of great training information.

Before I answer your questions, I want you to read this passage from one of Jowett's books:
"...I want you to get the idea out of your head that you have to own a large wrist before you can own a better and larger forearm. It is the forearm that makes the wrist, rather than the wrist making the forearm. I have listened to the wails of scores of young men who lament that they will never have a decent forearm because their wrist is far too small; and that is the accepted idea. But it is wrong. You have to get the forearm first and in order to get the forearm you have to get the grip..."
Strong hands = strong wrists = strong forearms; notice how everything fits together?

Hmmm, now where have I heard that before? It just goes to show how important a balanced approach really is.

Remember, when it comes to functionality, it is not what your muscles look like; it is what they can do that counts. I know a guy with huuuuuge arms who is as weak as a kitten. I know another guy who is thin and wirey and not much to look at, but frighteningly strong.

Here is one of the most important concepts I can teach you: The only meaningful measurement occurs when comparing the "you" of some point in the past to the "you" of right now.

You simply cannot go around comparing yourself to other people and quite frankly, it should be a case of 'mind over matter.' If you don't mind, it don't matter. As far as a program that works better for someone with small wrists, I'll let you in on a secret: …it doesn't make a lick of difference!

With a willingness to work hard, mental toughness, the right tools for the job, and a program that addresses the requirements for muscle growth (and an understanding of why it works), you will improve, and that is all that matters. Whether a rep here or a pound there, phenomenal strength levels are just a matter of time, as long as you are moving forward every single time you train.

Even with gigantic wrists and mega-forearms, the "other guy" will still be wasting time and energy not knowing what to do, while you will be getting stronger every single day …and be laughing at him the whole time. But if you think it is going to be easy, quit fooling yourself. Nothing worth having ever is...

'Rome wasn't built in a day...but it can be built.'

Train hard,

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John Wood


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