OK I know that title is ridiculously corny and lame, but bear with me for a second and I’m sure you’ll find out why it’s totally worth reading the rest of this article.
So many people like working on the arms, but oftentimes when they say arms what they really mean is biceps.
Now a flashy pair of bulging biceps does look attractive to many, and certainly is nothing to be ashamed of. By all means, it’s something to show off and be totally proud of.
But the thing is that biceps are only half of the story when it comes to the arms. The other half is the triceps.
And if you think that just simply working those big muscle exercises like bench and shoulder press is enough to make them bigger well then you are wrong. They will help and won’t be useless by any means, but they won’t be enough in and of themselves.
And that’s exactly why I’m giving you the following workouts for Triceps.
Triceps Basic Tips
Before we begin let’s first go over some pointers to help you get started off on the right foot here.
- Take as many warm-up sets as you, but never take your warm-up sets to failure. That wouldn’t really be a warm-up set anymore.
- Make sure that you choose a weight that allows you to reach muscle failure by the time you get to the target rep. Too little and it’s not going to help you all that much. Too heavy and you’ll be working in a rep range that might not be beneficial with the number of sets we are doing. Remember, Goldilocks rule here…not too hot, not too cold. Not too much, not too little; just perfect!
- Begin your workout by making the first two sets of the first two exercises pretty heavy and then lighten the weight for higher reps on the rest of the sets and exercises.
- Definitely do forced reps on your heavy sets if you have one…their benefits just simply can’t be replicated otherwise.
- If you don’t have a partner then you can get sort of close to the idea of ‘forced reps’ by doing a dropset on your last set of each exercise.
OK, now that we have our foundation set. Let’s move onto the ‘meat’ of this article.
Triceps Workout Program
Alright first up we have a ‘mass’-oriented routine going.
- Close grip barbell bench press – 4x sets of 6 – 10 reps
- Dips – 3x sets to failure
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3x sets of 8 – 12 reps
- Cable Triceps Pushdown – 3x sets of 8 – 12 reps
- Lying barbell Skullcrushers – 3x sets of 8 – 12 reps.
As you can see, the idea here is to keep everything within the hypertrophy range as much as possible.
The only possible exceptions to this rule is the Close grip barbell bench press and the Dips.
For the Close grip bench some people may argue that 6 reps is considered the hypertrophy range while others will say that it’s the strength range. Opinions will vary.
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As for the dips, it’s best to stick to failure with bodyweight exercises generally speaking! Now if you are really adamant about not doing so then you can certainly put on a weight belt and start tying those weights to you. That ought to help keep your sets within the target rep range.
Alright, next we have a High Volume Focused Day.
- Dips – 4x sets to failure
- EZ bar Skullcrusher – 4x sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Close grip barbell bench press – 4x sets of 10 – 12 reps
- Cable Triceps pushdown – 4x sets of 10 -12 reps
- Cable Triceps overhead extension with a rope – 4x sets of 10 – 12 reps
You’ve probably noticed that today’s workout is kind of solely targeting the Triceps and nothing else. Unlike the first one we are not going to be doing any of those big muscle exercises that only target the Triceps as a secondary muscle.
Well, I guess actually both the Close grip bench and the Dips could count as that, but they could also count as more of isolation exercises. Another matter of opinion here once more.
Beginner Friendly Triceps Routine:
- Machine Triceps extension – 3x sets of 12 reps
- Dips – 3x sets to failure
- Cable Triceps pushdown with a V-Bar – 3x sets of 12 reps
Not a whole lot of volume today. It is called a BEGINNER routine right?
Nothing really to note except that you should be careful exceeding too far beyond 12 reps, because 12 reps is generally considered to be the upper limit for the hypertrophy range. Anything beyond 12 reps is usually what would be considered the muscular endurance range.
Obviously, 1 – 2 reps past it may not be all that big of a deal, but since this is meant for beginners and since you probably are a beginner let’s just stick to the details strictly OK?
Alright those three days ought to be enough to get you on your feet in the short run.
For long run though you will have to consider several things.
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that there are three distinct sub-groups of the Triceps muscle. The Lateral Head, the Long Head, and the Medial Head.
They can be thought of in this way:
- The lateral head is the biggest and it’s also the one on the outermost part of your arm.
- The Long head is just above the Medial head and attaches just above the shoulder joint.
- And the Medial head stabilizes the elbow joint and contribute towards elbow extension. It’s the smallest of the three, and it’s also the hardest to work by itself. This one takes extra attention to really target and hammer home.
Anything more in-depth and it will largely be a matter of scientific debate or education as opposed to practical knowledge. At least for beginners, and at least for the purposes of our article.
Right now, the workouts you have the foundational knowledge that you’ve just learned should be more than enough for you to understand why these workouts are effective and how best to go about maximizing their efficacy.
Now off you go then!