Bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest learned from the best during a career lasting decades. In a recent IFBB AMA video, Priest walked fans through Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s favorite tricep-building techniques that he’s kept in his arsenal.
Even though Priest didn’t boast a tall stature, he proved himself against some of the biggest names in the sport. Having claimed multiple Pro titles, Priest’s huge arms and dry conditioning made him an imposing challenger at any contest. During his illustrious career, Priest pushed names like Dexter Jackson, Kevin Levrone, and Ronnie Coleman.
With regular appearances at the Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic contests, Priest developed a reputation as a giant killer. Priest made a successful return to the stage in 2006, when he won first prizes at the NOC New York and PDI Night of Champions event. His final appearance came in 2013 at the NABBA Mr. Universe, a show that saw him exit the sport on top.
Priest, who remains a fixture in the bodybuilding community, continues to give back and never shies away from controversy. With fitness still a top priority for the Australian native, Priest laid out a useful pushing exercise Schwarzenegger utilized during the prime years of his tenure.
“Stop Overthinking It” – Lee Priest Talks Growing Triceps and Arnold Schwarzenegger-Inspired Movement
Instead of trying to tax the long head and outer head of the tricep, Priest says to focus on building the muscle as a whole and results will follow.
“People always say, ‘Lee what’s the best exercise for this, the long head of the triceps and the outer head of the triceps?’ And to me, I say, and to you I say, stop overthinking it. Just train your tricep. Don’t get so specific because some people can’t really build an outer head. Or to put the bicep up here and triceps hang some, the people never get that, so just train your triceps hard.
If you’re doing close-grip bench presses, push-downs with a bar, rope overhead, whatever, you’re going to work the entire triceps. A lot of beginners want to get specific on little body parts. Like, oh the little bit of inner chest here, don’t worry about that shit just work the whole chest. After years of training, when you develop a big chest, then you get specific. Sometimes, it’s like how can I work this little bit of shoulder back here? Just train your whole shoulder, do everything and it will grow,” said Lee Priest.
Priest offered his best tips for performing the weighted push technique that Schwarzenegger often used. He said to proceed with caution because he’s seen people faceplant after pushing their triceps to failure.
“This exercise here, the triceps, this was one of Arnold’s favorites. And when Arnold asked me to do a lot of the photos in his encyclopedia when he did it, this is one that he did, and I liked it, I stuck with it. I did it a lot in my videos and other people copied it.”
“Instead of going barbell to the head, you’re going under the bar. You put your arms here like this and as you go down you going under the bar and you’re pushing back out. Don’t let your elbows go out,” added Priest.
“I’ve seen people faceplant because their triceps give out and they fall on the floor. Try and – I wouldn’t say go to failure until you faceplant the floor, but you’ll know when you can’t push yourself back out. Little bit wider than shorter. Elbows in.”
This wasn’t Lee Priest’s first time looking back on training techniques learned from a golden era Pro. In July, Priest detailed a leg day workout with Tom Platz, who was revered for his lower body strength. After training with Platz, Priest admitted the night after, he woke up feeling like he was having a heart attack.
With triceps especially, Lee Priest believes it’s most important to focus on growing the muscle as a whole instead of targeting certain heads. He is a firm believer in Schwarzenegger’s technique and encourages anyone watching to try it out.