Adebayo Akinfenwa's insane biceps workout proves why he's called 'The Beast'


"My arms are probably the same size as John Terry's legs" - those are the words of Adebayo Akinfenwa, whose rise to football stardom is due in no small part to his biceps.

Aptly named 'The Beast', Akinfenwa is a 5ft 11in, 16-stone striker who currently plays for Wycombe Wanderers in League Two and loves to bully defenders.

The 35-year-old has never had the chance to tussle with the big boys in the Premier League, but he's confident he would be more than a handful.

"The Prem is a bit more graceful, but the so-called hard ones, the [Nemanja] Vidics, the Terrys, they're the ones I want," he told the Guardian in 2013. "I am probably stronger than them.

"That's one reason fans take to me. They like the battle side of it. They look at me and think this guy shouldn't be on the pitch, he's just bulldozing his way through. Sometimes it's nice to be a bit different."

Akinfenwa's career might have panned out very differently had he not spent so much time in the gym - not that he had a choice in the matter.

Akinfenwa prides himself in being the world's strongest football player - according to EA Sports' FIFA anyway - which was always going to be the case given his genetic makeup.

His two brothers, Yeme and Dele, are just as big as he is - natural strength and size clearly runs in the family - but Akinfenwa strived for better and began working out in his early 20s to make the most of his gift.

"I was always a big guy," he said. "You see my family - my brothers are the same size. I think if I didn't stay big I wouldn't be able to eat at dinner times.

"It wasn't like, can I be the biggest I can be, it was, can I be the best I can be. I started to enjoy the gym at Swansea [City] and as you get older you have to work harder to maintain it. I am what I am."


Akinfenwa is a rare example of someone who combines professional football with body building, though Dr. Duncan French believes athletes with Akinfenwa's genetic composition are becoming more and more common in sport.

Speaking in The Winning Formula - a GIVEMESPORT series based on the wide-ranging impact of analytics in sport - Dr. French said: "Human beings are becoming bigger, more muscular, more athletic and the genetic pool of the world is showing that there are some freaks of nature out there."

It's Akinfenwa's brutal gym programme that allows him to maintain size and strength, especially so his biceps routine.

Last year, the 35-year-old revealed on his YouTube channel how he trains biceps and given the intensity, it's no wonder his arms are so big. Check it out below:


Warm up: Five sets of 20 reps on barbell curls

Exercise one/two:

  • 10 reps of 30kg hammer curls followed by 10 reps of 15kg dumbbell curls
  • 10 reps of 35kg hammer curls followed by 10 reps of 15kg dumbbell curls
  • 10 reps of 37.5kg hammer curls followed by 10 reps of 15kg dumbbell curls
  • 10 reps of 40kg hammer curls followed by 10 reps of 15kg dumbbell curls

Exercise three: Three sets of 15-20 reps on light-weight preacher curls

Finisher: Pyramids

No professional footballer should be able to hammer curl 40kg dumbbells, but that’s exactly what makes Akinfenwa so unique.

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