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Triceps Trial (12 week workout)

Do you want greater upper body gains? Give this workout by Aidan Bricker a 'tri' to boost your arms and torso

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When people think of developing a large and muscular set of arms, they concentrate almost solely on their biceps. They are the muscle group most visible, and when you flex, your biceps are what everyone is looking at. It is, however, your triceps that will make the most difference to the size of your arms. They account for two thirds of your arms, and so have greater potential for growth than your biceps, which are a smaller muscle group Your triceps are also key for any movement where you press a weight above you. So adding strength and size to your triceps will have a positive effect on your bench press and your shoulder press.


The Exercises


DIPS

The single move that you must include in your training program if you want to boost the size of your triceps. Dips will also boost your chest and your shoulders.

1.Stand in a dip machine, holding a handle in each hand.


2.Looking forwards and keeping your elbows tucked in, slowly lower yourself down until your arms form a right angle and are parallel to the floor.


3.Pause, and in a smooth and controlled motion push up through your palms until your arms are just short of being locked out


4.Repeat for reps.



TOP TIP


Always look forward and remain upright throughout the movement to ensure that the tension remains on your triceps throughout the move.



SKULLCRUSHER



1.A great exercise to target the long head of the triceps.


2.Lie down on a bench holding a bar up above your chest.


3.Keeping your elbows tucked in, slowly lower the bar until it is just above your head and your arms are bent at 90 degrees.


4.Pause, and then press the bar back up to the starting position.


5.Repeat for reps.



TOP TIP


Form is very important here, so make sure that you keep your elbows tucked in and control the bar on the negative portion of the repetition.



OVERHEAD DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSION

Another exercise to target the long head of the triceps, adding mass to your arms and building that impressive 'horseshoe' look.

1.sit on an exercise bench with an upright back.


2.Hold a dumbbell above your head, with your arms straight


3.Keeping your elbows tucked in, slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head until your arms are bent just past 90 degrees.


4.Pause, and then press the dumbbell back up to the starting point.


5.Repeat for reps.


TOP TIP


Keep your lower back pressed into the bench so the tension remains on your triceps and you eliminate momentum.



TRICEP PUSHDOWN

This is a great isolation exercise to target the lateral head of the triceps.

1.Stand in front of a cable machine holding a straight bar with an overhand grip.


2.Keeping your elbows tucked in, press the bar down until your arms are straight and your triceps are flexed.


3.Pause, and then slowly allow the bar to return to the starting point.


4.Repeat for reps.


TOP TIP

Allow your arms to come right up past 90 degrees at the top of the movement. This will ensure that you are working through the entire rep range, which will stimulate more muscle growth.




TRICEP KICKBACKS

Not an easy move, but one of the absolute best for your outer triceps.

1.Place your left knee and left hand on a bench with a dumbbell in your right hand.


2.With your right upper arm parallel to the ground, extend your arm until it's straight


3.Pause, and then in a smooth and controlled motion, bring it back in to the starting point


4.Repeat for reps, then switch sides.


TOP TIP

Keep your working elbow still at all times, do not raise or lower throughout the exercise.




12 Week Workout Plan


Using these exercises, we can create a program designed for packing as much size onto your triceps as possible. Over the next 12 weeks the exercises that you perform in each workout will change, as will the number of reps and sets. This will enhance your potential for growth, as your muscles are worked across different angles, and with different rep schemes. Throughout the plan, the focus is on progressive overload. Take a logbook to the gym with you,and record the amount of weight you are lifting for each move. Aim to beat this every time you are in the gym. If you are adding weight to the bar - even just one kilogram at a time - then you will be getting bigger



WEEKS 1-4


Dips

4 sets of 6-8 reps


Tricep Kickbacks

3 sets of 8-10 reps


Skullcrusher

3 sets of 10-12 reps


REST 2 minutes between sets


To begin, the reps are low and the weight is heavy, to build strength and a solid foundation for the rest of this program.



WEEKS 5-8


Dips

3 sets of 8-10 reps


Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension

3 sets of 10-12 reps


Tricep Pushdown

3 sets of 12-15 reps


REST 90 seconds between reps.


In the next four weeks of training, the reps in each set will increase, and the rest periods will decrease



WEEKS 9-12


Tricep Kickbacks

3 sets of 10-12 reps


Skullcrusher

3 sets of 12-15 reps


Tricep Pushdown

3 sets of 15-20 reps


REST 60 seconds between reps


The final month is about forcing stress through the muscle and keeping as much tension on your triceps as possible.