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abett07 12-13-2011 01:40 AM

how to get big tricpes ?
If I could make one muscle group in my body grow at a faster rate it would be my triceps.I was just born with skinny arms

So I have a few questions about training the triceps

are compound shoulder exercises that target the chest and shoulders enough for maximum growth or are compounds that target the triceps more such as the close grip bench press required ?

should isolation exercises be used at all for extra work ?

will the triceps respond better with lower reps (5) or lighter reps (12) ?

If you had to pick one exercise to be the ultimate tricep builder what would it be ?

thanks for any feedback

LtL 12-13-2011 05:55 AM

My arms have grown around 1.5" in the last six months. Here's what I did:

1. Put on around 8-9kgs in bodyweight (97kgs to 106kgs) and then gradually worked down calories to maintain weight around 103kgs.
2. Did a lot of heavy pressing with regular grip.
3. Did a lot of heavy close grip bench, mostly from boards to allow higher weights.
4. Did a LOT of triceps volume after heavy max effort work. Normally doing 100rep's total of some form of isolation in as many sets as it took, normally between 5 and 10.

PS: I don't really train biceps so you know that most of that 1.5" is tri's :)


Shadowschmadow 12-13-2011 08:25 AM

Personally, I find my best response is when I utilize both high and low reps. I don't do CGB typically, but I bench heavy and my form places a lot of emphasis on my triceps to get me through the lift. I also do dips and tricep pull downs.

Pull downs have worked very well for me in the past, and I used 3-4 sets of 10 and go about as heavy as I can. Now a days, that's only about 70-80lbs and I do them after heavy presses, but back in my prime that was around 120+ on average. I found that heavy pull downs with high volume worked wonders for me. And I treated this movement like any other lift; I took it seriously and I aimed for progression.

Weighted dips is another exercise for the triceps that will be a money maker. I personally have issues with my wrists so I can't go strapping weight on them, but if I could, I would go heavy and for volume.

On bench, I recommend keeping your elbows close to your body all the way through the motions of the press. Not at your sides, but a 30-40 degree angle from your torso. This will leave a good amount of tension on your chest, and will really put your triceps to work. Combined with an arch and time learning the proper set up, makes for a big bench.

More importantaly though, I utilize all these movements weekly. Triceps, while being isolated muscles, are critical to a lot of other movements. If you strengthen them and help them grow, your other pressing lifts have no choice but to go up.

Soldier 12-13-2011 08:35 AM

Generally speaking, triceps respond well to lower reps and heavier weights. I like weighted dips and CG bench press for tris. I've also experimented with CG incline press and enjoyed that one as well.

My theory is that the triceps get plenty of higher rep work when I work my presses for shoulders and chest, so when I do a more tri-focussed movement I do it heavy. The key with any CG press is to not go too far in. Most people bring their hands almost all the way in. This limits how much weight you can handle which isn't good for the tris. I usually go either thumb from the smooth or middle thumb joint from the smooth. That lets me move fairly heavy weight but still puts the focus on tris.

BendtheBar 12-13-2011 08:46 AM


Originally Posted by abett07 (Post 197296)

If you had to pick one exercise to be the ultimate tricep builder what would it be ?

Presses...bench or overhead. Dips.

As far as exercise effectiveness, I don't look at things through the lens of compound/isolation. I look at which exercises have the greatest potential for progression. I also look at how easy they feel when I use them.

Dumbbell kickback? Not much room for progression. Also feels too easy. Close grip bench? A lot of room for progression, and difficult.

We each have a limited amount of time each week to workout. If I personally add in tricep work, which did happen in years past, I would add in difficult exercises...2 arm seated dumbbell extension, French press, close grips, dips.

For me the question is not...are isolations ok? For me the question is...what are the most brutal exercises that will give me the most bang for the buck?

MikeC 12-13-2011 09:49 AM

Dips are my staple. Pressdowns never feel right. I have to lean into them too much to get a good set from them.

Shadowschmadow 12-13-2011 10:07 AM


Originally Posted by MikeC (Post 197354)
Dips are my staple. Pressdowns never feel right. I have to lean into them too much to get a good set from them.

Same. Which is why I do pull downs.

LtL 12-13-2011 10:09 AM

It's also worth mentioning that there are two heads to the tricep. I don't know or care what they're called so I'm going for inner and outer. Your outer head is normally more prounounced and is easily worked through any kind of tricep extension. The inner head is typically under-developed and needs some form of (or ideally both of) the following: heavy pressing and heavy extension. Look at the arms of any lifter with a big bench and you will see huge thickness at the elbow from the inner head development. Big inner head = big looking arm when you do a front double bicep pose which, let's face it, is the king of poses. Great thing is though that with big triceps your arms will also look big just hanging down by your side. Good times.


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