The Arm Forum!

Legendary bodybuilder Dave Draper is letting republish some of his greatest articles. Learn from one of the greatest bodybuilders in the world!
Republished with permission from Publication date - 1967

Weight training devotees are constantly looking for a "secret exercise" or (even more exciting), a "secret routine" that is used by a famous star. It's impossible to convince the average man that champions simply were born with ideal potentials and then worked very hard to develop those natural gifts to the limit.

He's much happier believing that he, too, would be great IF…. If only he could learn that secret method used by his idol! To partially please those dreamers, here is the unusual favorite exercise Dave Draper used in building his tremendous forearms.

Making A Difference

Modestly, Dave doesn't claim credit for the movement, saying Chuck Sipes originated and taught it to him. It is a variation of the old-fashioned wrist curl, using a dumbbell, but one little change makes all the difference.

The starting position is the same -- the forearm is laid along the top of the thigh, with the hand and lower part of the wrist extending off the end of the wrist extending off the end of the knee.

The torso is now twisted a bit, to bring the shoulder of the working side closer to the wrist. Continue leaning forward and to the outside until the upper arm of the curling hand is parallel to the floor, or as near as you can make it. Remain in this position while you perform the regular dumbbell curl, concentrating strongly. Dropping the shoulder and upper arm forward in this manner puts the forearm in an unusual position, too.

You'll notice a much stronger effect on the inner part of the arm and a quick improvement in the "gooseneck" formation when you flex the forearm. Give this "secret movement" a trial -- it had evidently worked well for both Draper and Sipes!

The Big Dogs

One of the top arms today -- ranking with those of Ortiz, Scott and Pearl -- is that of Dave Draper. In that group, Dave's arm is most similar to Ortiz's, with his high peaked biceps. He also displays a remarkable criss-cross effect in that muscle and you'll see what I mean if you study the accompanying pose.

Although Draper doesn't possess abnormal definition, he has terrific muscle separation, resulting in this criss-cross. Tremendous size is his, naturally, but he has real muscle hardness, as well. I asked the blond giant if his arm really was 20 1/2" as reported in other magazines.

No Need For Measuring

He stated he HAS NOT MEASURED HIS ARM IN THREE YEARS! Still, at his height of 6'1", I feel his girth is at least an inch more than my own and must be 20," plus. The first thing you notice about Dave is his huge forearm; it is easily in a class with that of Scott, Pearl and Sipes.

He is a believer in working on the forearms as a separate body part and has made them outstanding. But how does he train his arms? Does he really follow "space age methods"?

Draper trains biceps, triceps and forearms three times a week. He works very fast and averages 15 sets per arm part. He concentrates and adjusts each movement so he is getting the proper feeling or pump, as he believes this is vital. He admits he has trouble with the triceps and notes that he has a hard time getting a pump in it. Here is one of Dave Draper's routines:

Click Here For A Printable Version Of Draper's Arm Routine


Lat machine pushdown - 5 sets x 8-10 reps
French curls, lying - 5 sets x 8-10 reps
Tiger bend pushups - 5 sets x 8-10 reps


DB curls, lying - 5 sets x 6 reps
DB curls, sitting - 5 sets x 6 reps
DB curls on incline - 5 sets x 6 reps


Supersetted 5 series - Enough reps for a burn
Reverse curl with barbell - Same as above
DB wrist curl with upper arm parallel - Same as above

Click Here For A Printable Version Of Draper's Arm Routine

So you can see it does not take magic to have terrific arms. Hard work and a dedication has been the pattern followed by Dave Draper and he's reaping big results!