Fast & Effective Workout Tips: Triceps

I’m willing to bet that many of you think arm size has more to do with the biceps rather than the triceps. I’m also willing to bet that many of you put in more work with the biceps rather than the triceps. If you’re currently “damn-I’m-part-of-that-statistic-he’s-referring-too”, visit then shame on you.

Think about it for a second- when wearing a sleeveless or a short sleeve shirt, visit this site are you walking around flexing your biceps the entire time? On the contrary, your biceps are popping out but aren’t flexed.

On the other hand, in order to flex your triceps you’ll need to straighten your arms, in turn flattening or stretching your biceps. When walking around in a mall trying to attract the opposite sex (which you shouldn’t be doing) OR challenging other muscle bound douchebags (which is gay), your arms are hanging straight down showing more triceps cleavage.

See? Vin Diesel’s arms are more triceps than biceps

Weak Arms

Before jumping into the workout routine, it’s important to establish whether you have strong (big) or weak (small) arms. I have genetically weak arms, which means combining it with a large muscle won’t do my biceps or triceps any justice. I have to dedicate an entire day to ARMS ONLY.

Tackling a large muscle (chest, back or legs) with arms (biceps or triceps) strongly depletes energy and strength. By the time I finish killing the larger muscle, no energy will be left in order to hit arms. I’m also not a fan of refueling with carbohydrates mid-workout.

To recap:

  • Strong Arms: combine with larger muscle
  • Weak Arms: dedicate an entire day for arms

The Workout

In order to benefit from overall triceps thickness, I start with a heavy compound movement: Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extensions.

When performing this exercise, keep your back arched, your abs tight and your elbows tight. Do not flare out your elbows or you’ll transfer all that tension to your joints and shoulders. On your last set, drop (decrease) the weight by 20-30% and grind out as many reps as possible. Drop the weight one more time and go deeper with the extensions.

After hitting overall triceps angles, it’s time to pump blood into the upper portion with Free-weight or Machine dips. Dips will hit upper triceps thickness, complimenting shoulder to rear arm tie-ins. When performing this exercise, make sure you keep your elbows tight and close to your body. Flaring out your elbows and leaning forward too much will focus on your lower pectorals (chest).

Third in line is a favorite amongst all lifters: Cable Pushdowns. There are multiple attachments, so mix and match using a straight barbell, v-bar and ez-bar. To further mix things up, perform overhand and underhand grips to tackle all triceps angles.

With regards to form, stay close to the cable, and keep elbows tight and close to your body fully extending your arms down then going back up slightly above half-way. Drop the weigh 3 times (by 20-30%) on your last set.

To finalize your workout, end it with a BANG: Close Grip Bench Press. Use a cambered (EZ) barbell and not the large barbell situated on the bench press. You’ll be able to control the weight better. Keep your elbows tight and close to your body. In addition, lower the barbell slightly below the nipple or you’ll feel more pectoral (chest) activity.

7 Responses to “Fast & Effective Workout Tips: Triceps”

  1. Saud Says:

    the king of all muscle groups!! I just love training them..
    I always group my exercise cording to exercise movement, whether they are pressing movements, or extension movements..
    Mix and match, to heat all three heads, long medial, lateral.. (inner, outer) for some people..
    All exercises are coming in a full circle, some exercises and movements that have been forgotten in the 70′s 80’s and 90’s are coming back in vogue.. So… Yeah.. you got my idea Sir.

  2. FAHAD Says:

    Saud: very well articulated my friend :) I used to abide by your approach, but now I just go by feel.

    I sort of lead the blood flow around, until I feel I’ve struck a dead end, i.e when it takes the blood longer to shift from one head to the other. When that happens, I end up putting in more volume (sets & reps) than I’m supposed too.

    It’s effective, but wastes time when you’re trying to cut workout time short.

  3. Mohd Says:

    Weak Arms: dedicate an entire day for arms

    Thats biceps and triceps in the same day?

  4. Bo-Ya3gooob Says:

    I love training my triceps i love the workout… Nice post Fahad…

  5. FAHAD Says:

    Mohd: Correct :)

  6. Rob Says:

    I know this is a little off topic but Fahad, do you see any benefit in changing rep ranges every 4-6 weeks? I have been sticking to the 10-12 rep range for ages now and yeah, its been working quite well.

    I have stopped hitting plateaus ever since I started changing my exercises on a weekly basis( for example : week 1 incline dumbbell chest press, week 2 – incline hammer strenght etc)

    ATM, I’m contemplating increasing the weight and shooting for 6-8 reps for the next 4 weeks. Do you think it will help increase my mass gains?

    Cheers!

  7. FAHAD Says:

    Rob: I never stick to a rep range because I can’t tell my body what to do. I mainly focus on the amount of weight I push parallel to maximum muscle contraction. I might be strong one day and rep out 12 reps. I might be weak on another and rep out 6 reps.
    In my opinion, you should always try to reach failure. Don’t stick to a rep range, but put a cap on the lowest number of reps performed.
    For example, when I go above 12 reps it means the weight’s too light. When I go below 4 reps it means it’s too heavy. I’d increase the weight until I reach 4 reps. I work that weight until I can rep out an easy 6-8 reps. Once that happens, I increase 1.25-2.5 lbs.

    And yes- heavy weights and 6-8 strict reps will pack on more mass than 10-12 reps.

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