Building up a certain muscle group requires a plan, which is where many people have already failed. This plan must have a selection of exercises and a progressive overload element of either increased weight or increased volume. While most people just pick workouts at random instead of selecting a program that has a progressive plan to it. Looking up the latest routine on T-nation an hour before you lift isn't a plan. Training should be very simple, you should have a plan of the exercises your going to do, weight you are going to use and volume you will do. It only gets complicated when you are attempting to get to elite levels, such as Bench pressing 600 pounds. This requires a very detailed and thought out program that balances many different variables. With many training mistakes made daily, the one I see the most is trying to build muscle mass, which is also the reason most people are in the gym. Specifically, in this article I will discuss the correct way of building up the triceps.
To grow your triceps most people believe you need to do 1000’s of reps of triceps kickbacks and pushdowns, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. These workouts will give you the pump and you will look great when you leave the gym but 30 minutes later your arms will deflate like a balloon. These workouts are extremely easy to complete and you feel great because you really didn’t put much stress on your body. In comparison to using compound movements, which put a large demand on your body. You wouldn’t choose leg extensions over squats if you wanted to build big legs. Why then does everybody pick triceps extensions over heavy presses. Your arms are no different than the rest of your body, progressively heavier loads and increased volume will force the muscle to grow.
Look around your gym and the guy with the biggest bench probably has the biggest triceps. Look at strongman and powerlifters both use heavy maximal weights. These men are rarely ever seen on a cable machine doing triceps push-downs unless they are warming up. They also have massive triceps that anyone would be envious of. These triceps are cultivated through heavy presses while powerlifters bench press and strongmen use overhead work. One of the main reasons for their growth is because the long head of the triceps are only stimulated with heavy loads. Doing endless isolation exercises won’t give you the growth you’re looking for, because the long head will never be stimulated. The long head is also where most people are lacking on their triceps development. The true method of building triceps is going heavy on compound movements.
You will not a find a person who can close grip bench Press big weights in relation to their body weight and do heavy dips in relation to their body weight, that have small triceps. What’s Heavy weight? 1.5xbw close grip bench press for reps and weighted Dips using .5xBW for reps. These might sound like high numbers which they are, but you don’t need to do the new 1000 rep workout until you can reach these. Focus on building these two lifts and you will not be disappointed.
Dips- For building mass on the triceps dips should be done on a V-bar and your hand should be directly under your armpit. As you descend control the movements and stop when your biceps jams into your forearms. At this point pause and the triceps should be in a full stretch, then accelerate back up. The key is to get a full stretch of the triceps no half reps counted.
Close grip bench Press- Hands Should be 12-14 inches apart if you get much closer than this you will suffer wrist injuries. Control the weight down to the bottom of your sternum and pause on your chest no bouncing then explode back up,
In the next installment I will give you a program to progress on these two lifts.