So you’ve got a bicep peak – that’s great! But why are my sleeves still baggy and the overall size of my arms are still under 15”? This is probably because your weak point in the arms is your tricep development.
How do we correct this, you ask? We make triceps training a focus point and attack it how you would with the enthusiasm of a biceps or chest day. Triceps make up about ¾ of your total upper arm musculature so declining to hit these hard will have an adverse impact on your arm development. Get to it!
Exercise #1: Triceps Pushdowns
To start off this weak point workout, we’ll pre-exhaust the muscle by doing an isolation movement to start. Many like to perform the heavy compound movements first when their energy is fresh and full, but what many fail to do is make the mind-muscle connection to correctly work the muscles through the heavy compound lift. Keep the rep tempo slow and be sure to keep constant tension on the muscle throughout the lift. After about 4 sets of these, you’ll already have a pump that’s worth peeling off that warm-up shirt and letting those guns pop in your stringer.
- Begin this movement by setting up the cable pulley machine at highest setting
- Take on a narrow grip on the bar and use just the triceps to press the weight down
- Ensure the triceps are only being activated by keeping the elbows tucked in and the shoulders back and down
- Squeeze for a 1-count at the bottom then slowly lower the weight back to the top
Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12 (4 second negatives)
Top Tip: Keep the hands and elbows locked into place throughout the movement to avoid putting strain on the front delt
Exercise #2: Superset Incline Skull Crushers/DB Incline Skull Crushers
After pre-exhausting the triceps from the pushdown movement, we’ve primed ourselves to hit a compound movement. Since the blood is already in the muscle as well, we can throw in a superset to shock the muscle a different way to keep it guessing and more importantly growing.
- Set up incline bench at a 45-degree angle and get EZ-Bar for the first exercise.
- With your shoulders and back flat against the bench, start with the weight directly overhead or slightly behind
- Slowly lower the weight to just a few inches above your eye line, then press the weight back up to the top
- After completing set of these skull crushers, grab a set of dumbbells and perform the exact same movement with the dumbbells and use a slightly slower cadence on the positive and negative portion of the movement to force more blood into the area
Sets and Reps: 4 x 10-12 (2-3 second negatives) BB skull crushers/ 4 x 12-15 (3-4 second negatives) DB skull crushers
Top Tip: Keeping your hands cocked forward on the BB skull crushers will force a lot more tension on the rear head of the triceps and create a deeper burn
Exercise #3: Tri-set Dips/DB Kickbacks/Close-grip Push-ups
With the triceps full of blood and your pump going strong now, we want to further shock and torture the triceps by ending with a tri-set. This final set of exercises will blend bodyweight, compound, and weighted movements to ensure the muscle is completely exhausted and pumped to the fullest potential. Keep your form tight but don’t worry about having to use a little body language to get the weight up toward the end – you’ll be on the verge of crying!
- Start with a triceps focused bodyweight dip by keeping the torso upright and the legs straight as possible
- Lower yourself down to parallel and then squeeze at the top of the movement
- Jump right into DB kickbacks – performing these will both hands at the same time to minimize rest and force more blood into the back of the arms
- After the kickbacks, finish strong with some close-grip push-ups to failure
- Keep shoulders peeled back during the pushups and the focus on the triceps, not the chest
Sets and Reps: 3 x AMRAP triceps dips/ 3 x 12-15 kickbacks/ 3 x AMRAP close-grip push-ups
If you find yourself wondering why you either can’t quite make the mind-muscle connection in your triceps that you can in the rest of your muscle groups, this workout is for you. If your triceps are just a weak area that you’d like to bring up to par, follow this workout maybe in addition to your current routine during the week. Whatever the case, this triceps workout will be tough, but it will be worth it when you feel the pump you’ll receive and know you’re doing everything you can to grow your triceps.