Are your triceps lagging? Wanting to increase the size of the largest muscle group on your arms?
In this post, I go over what I’ve learnt that has really helped me take may Triceps to the next level.
My Triceps Story…
As my arms don’t really respond to training that well compared to some of my other body parts, I’ve had to really take my triceps training very seriously to get results.
Although one of the most important aspects of training is persistence - training hard week after week, month after month and year after year…there are some exercises/techniques that just make a huge difference and if you don’t do them, you’ll find it hard to get decent gains no matter how persistent you are. I know this as I have tried a lot of different exercises for triceps over the years and put a lot of effort in to them, however only until a year or so ago (I’ve been training for around 10 years) when I added in a few new exercises did my triceps really respond! For me, the main exercise that made the difference was adding in hammer strength machine pushdowns…I would have done these years ago, but no gym I went to ever had the machine unfortunately. Anyway, after years of training I thought I just had to get used to having mediocre triceps, however after trying a few 'new things' as I’ve touched upon…they grew a LOT in just a few months …now I’m fairly happy with them to be honest! :-)
So here, I’m going to give you a few tips and tricks to try out over time to help you get results.
First of All, Are You Doing The Basics?
If you’re working legs, doing the basics such as squats, leg presses and lunges, for example, are what you should be focusing on - these are what will get you the serious results, not like a workout comprised of 100% leg extensions…sure they have their place, but they shouldn’t be the focus.
Triceps are similar, they’re a fairly decent sized muscle group - they do take up two thirds of the arm after all! So, whilst exercises like rope pushdowns will get you so far…you need to be doing big movements too that will really make the triceps work HARD.
These are essentially dips that allow you to focus on the triceps. Personally I love dips, but they can sometimes be difficult to get right and if you’re a bit fatigued they’re very tough! With a machine however, you can focus on moving the weight, rather than stabilising yourself. This exercise allows a lot of weight to be used and steady progression over time, they also feel great and don’t take too long to get ‘right’ unlike some exercises which take a while to get to a good standard. Ultimately, this exercise is fairly low skill, meaning you can put more mental energy into exerting pure force to overload the triceps over time.
Overhead Triceps Movements
The triceps long head (the biggest of the three heads of the ‘tri-ceps’) is best focused on when doing overhead triceps work - meaning your arms are above your head. Many people I’ve worked with have noticed significant results in just a few months (even though they’ve been training for years) after adding in consistent overhead triceps work.
For this reason, ensure that you’re doing some overhead exercises such as:
• Single arm dumbbell overhead extensions
• Rope overhead extensions
• Overhead EZ bar extensions
When doing these exercises, as they’re overhead, chances are the weights you’ll be using aren't huge…however, if you do these right and really focus on the triceps doing the work you’ll get some decent results.
Whether you’re using a rope or a cable attachment, cable pushdowns are an excellent movement for the triceps. Constant tension and easy on the joints, cable pushdowns are a great exercise to throw into your workout program. Ensure that your triceps are doing the work, you’re not using your bodyweight to get the weight moving, the attachment is comfortable for you and aim to progress each week and you’ll be progressing to heavier weights on the weight stack in no time .
Although we can go into a lot more detail when it comes to triceps training, these are some good actionable points that you can get started on right away!
If your gym doesn’t have decent equipment, then check out other gyms in your local area…as even if you’re super motivated, if you don’t have the tools you’re going to find it hard to get the best results...
Is there something you’d like to be discussed in greater detail or something else you’d like to know about Triceps Training?
If so, let us know in the comments section below!