The triceps are responsible for the majority of power and size in the upper arms, and so the three-headed muscle needs to be a priority to ensure maximum development! But, there’s a lot that goes into an effective triceps workout.
And we need to focus on exercises which target all three heads while performing an ideal number of sets/reps to exhaust the muscle.
So, today we’ll focus on getting you football-sized triceps and we’ll also prioritize the negatives for even more stimulus…
A Simple, Yet Brutal and Effective Tricep Workout
This triceps workout is modeled after Jeff Cavalier’s (Athlean-X) Brutal triceps workout which is a part of the “sore in 6 series”. And you bet it’s going to result in some gains…
For the workout, you’ll cycle through three movements for a total of 2 rounds. Now, these exercises may be different from what you’re used to doing but they are extremely effective for this quick tricep workout.
And it’s the perfect triceps workout with dumbbells since that’s all you need aside from an adjustable bench.
So, since little equipment is required, this can also be a perfect triceps workout at home too.
Now, you’ll want to use half the weight you usually do for 10-12 reps for the first two exercises (21’s and kickbacks). But, for the third exercise (Eccentric only) you’ll double the weight.
You should really be focusing on the negatives in this workout as well. So, going slow during the eccentric (Lengthening) phase is just as important as the concentric (Shortening) phase of a repetition.
Now, this is not a workout to do every time you train triceps as it’s meant to overcome a plateau and is very intense. So, use it when you’ve stopped progressing. However, you can still use these exercises.
Incline Dumbbell Extension 21’s
An ACE-sponsored study led by John Porcari, Ph.D., and Brittany Boehler, B.S., (University of Wisconsin/La Crosse Exercise and Health Program) compared many tricep exercises to see which were most effective. (1)
15 female subjects trained using these exercises and the overhead extension was the fourth most effective. But, it was the overhead extension rather than the inclined version. However, both movements are very similar and any differences would be minuscule.
And the incline bench is ideal here because it prevents too much elevation of the arms. This is much safer for the shoulder joints.
Use half the weight you would normally for 10-12 reps.
- Lie on a 45-degree incline bench and place arms overhead with a neutral grip.
- Now, perform extension through the top half of the movement for 7 reps.
- Then, do 7 reps for the bottom half.
- Finally, complete 7 reps with a full range of motion.
Tricep Kickbacks on an Incline Bench
In the same study mentioned previously, the tricep kickback was the second most effective movement. But, doing it on an incline will surely offer benefits.
Make sure to keep your arms behind your body during the exercise to maximize shortening of the Tricep heads. This increases isolation and keeps tension on the muscle.
Use the same dumbbells you used for the first exercise.
- Lie face down on the 45-degree incline bench and let the dumbbells hang down by your sides.
- Now, lift your elbows slightly up and back then contract your triceps by extending your forearms back and squeeze for 2 seconds.
- Repeat the movement.
Eccentric Only Reps on Flat Bench
Go Negative! And Double up on the weight while you’re at it! No, seriously… use double the weight you used for the previous two exercises since you’re focusing on resisting the negative reps.
Now, since muscle is a tension-producing tissue, it makes sense to train negatives in a slow and controlled manner, just as you would during the contraction. (2)
And studies do show benefits for eccentric training even in sports performance where strength and power are concerned. (3)
This eccentric only movement involves using your chest to assist in pushing the weight up until your arms are fully extended. Then, you’ll bend your elbows and let the dumbbell drop down on your front deltoids.
- Lie on a flat bench with dumbbells on each side of your chest with a neutral grip.
- Now, press both dumbbells straight up by allowing your chest to assist during the movement.
- Then, bend your elbows and let the dumbbells drop back down on your front deltoids.
- Repeat the movement by moving the dumbbells back to the starting position.
If you expect results from your intense training, you’ll need to eat right, sleep enough, and stay hydrated. Protein is important here as it repairs the muscle tissue after an intense workout. (4)
But, consuming enough carbohydrates is equally important to fuel your workouts. (5)
Complex carbs will store glycogen in our muscles and during intense training sessions, it’s utilized and broken down to supply us with enough energy. If you follow a keto diet, then fats will obviously be your main source of energy. (6)
Water makes up 79% of muscle tissue, according to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158. So, keep hydrated especially after an intense workout.
Sleep is also important for growth and recovery. In fact, during REM (Deep) sleep our bodies release Human Growth Hormone and blood flow increases to muscle where the recovery process begins. (7)
And getting at least 7-9+ hours of sleep per night is highly recommended. Although, it’s not always possible to get this much sleep.
Try This Effective Tricep Workout For Yourself!
You won’t get results not doing this triceps routine, so… you might as well do it to break that plateau you’ve had for a while now… But no, seriously, it’s a hardcore workout and it’s going to really stimulate those muscle fibers in all three heads.
It’s just two rounds of brutal tricep training but once you get through it you’ll be super sore and that’s when you know your efforts are not in vain.
Be sure to fuel up on quality nutrition too as it’s just as important for making any kind of progress.