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The Most Powerful Tricep Workout That You Will EVER Do

 

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Secret Training Tip #235 - The Most Powerful Tricep Workout That You Will EVER Do

Home -> BetterU News Archive -> Issue #42 -> Tricep Workout

By Nick Nilsson

Looking for a workout to shred your triceps from top to bottom? This workout features 3 unique exercises that take your triceps from a complete stretch to a mindblowing contraction.



FACT: To get big arms you need to work the triceps HARD.
FACT: I'm going to tell you how to work the triceps HARD and SMART.

If you've ever read articles on arm training, you've probably learned that the tricep muscle makes up about 2/3 of total arm mass. The bicep, while being a great "show" muscle, is actually relatively small!

That's all well and good, and just blindly doing tricep exercises without a plan may net you some results, but to really maximize your triceps (as I mentioned above) you need to work them SMART.

So if you really want to stretch your T-shirt sleeves to the max, take a crack at this workout. It contains three of THE most powerful tricep exercises I've ever used. Not only that, these exercises are arranged strategically to literally FORCE the activation of many more muscle fibers in the triceps, leading to greater muscle growth and strength FAST!

The best part is, this workout requires very little in the way of specialized equipment!

In the next section, I will tell you about the three exercises (with a link at the bottom to use for pictures of the exercises in action as well as more detailed instructions). Then, I'll tell you how the exercises work together to help you blast your triceps into next week!

EXERCISE #1 - Bodyweight Tricep Extensions - 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps

EXERCISE #2 - In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

EXERCISE #3 - Bench Dips - 2 sets of 10 to 12+ reps

Take 90 seconds rest in between each set.

---

EXERCISE #1 - Bodyweight Tricep Extensions

2 sets of 8 to 12 reps

For this exercise, you will need a horizontal bar/edge about 2 feet off the ground. You can use a Smith machine bar, Universal bench handles, a railing, the edge of a chair or table, or even an Olympic bar set in the power rack with the safety rails a few feet off the ground will work. Essentially, any horizontal bar that is 1 to 2 feet off the ground will do. It should have some clearance underneath it so you have somewhere to put your head.

This exercise has a demonstration video at the link below as well as more detailed instructions and pictures, including how to make this exercise easier or harder. It is HIGHLY recommended to see the pics and video before trying the exercise.

  • Stand in front of the bar, about a foot back from it. Place
    your hands about 6 inches apart with a thumbless (false) grip.
  • Step back a few feet, letting your body straighten out as you do so.
  • Keep your abs tight so that your body stays supported
  • Now lower your entire body forward, bending only at your elbows, so
    that your head ducks under the bar as though you are trying to
    do an overhead tricep stretch.
  • Keep your elbows tucked in close the whole way.
  • Keep your entire body tight and stiff. The only movement
    should occur at the elbows.
  • Extend back up using your triceps.
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions Start Bodyweight Tricep Extensions Finish

 
 
Video Demonstration
Windows AVI
111 kb
Quicktime Movie
269 kb
 
 

This exercise will build up the long head of the triceps (which runs along the undersides of the arm) as well as give your triceps a great stretch.

Exercises that move the body instead of the weight activate significantly more muscle fibers than exercises that just move the weight. This exercise is a prime example of just how effective a bodyweight exercise can be. In fact, it's one of the most effective triceps exercises I've ever found!


EXERCISE #2 - In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

** One rep of each exercise (1 extension and 1 press) counts as one total rep for our purposes here. **

This is a unique type of Superset where you basically mesh two different exercises into a single set - preferably one isolation exercise and one compound exercise.

For this Superset, we'll be using EZ Bar Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press (with the same EZ Bar). Use a weight you would normally be able to do about 12 reps with for Lying Extensions on their own.

In a nutshell, you will do one rep of extensions then one rep of close grip presses, alternating reps until you can no longer do any reps of the extensions. At that point, you finish with as many reps as you can do of the close grip presses. It's a very intense technique!

This type of Superset maximizes training intensity and allows you to work several different aspects of the muscle at the same time, dramatically increasing workout efficiency.

This exercise is best done lying on the floor (especially if you are training alone) rather than on a bench. If you have a spotter to hand you the weight at the start and grab the weight for you when you're done, you can do these on a flat bench.

Start with a rep of the Lying Tricep Extension. Lower the bar to your forehead then extend back up. Now do a single rep of the Close Grip Press, lowering the bar to your lower rib cage area then pressing back up. Now do another extension, then another press. Repeat until you can no longer do any extensions with good form. Now finish with as many presses as you can do with good form. That's one set!

In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press
1

In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press
2
In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press
3
In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press
4
In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press
5
This is the sequence of an in-set superset - lying tricep extension then up to the start position, then close grip press, then to the start, then back down to lying tricep extension. When you can't do anymore extensions, finish with presses to failure.


EXERCISE #3 - Bench Dips

2 sets of 10 to 12+ reps
(the number of reps you're able to get will depend on the body position you use for the exercise)

You can use a bench (or even an ordinary chair) for this one. Start by sitting on the bench. Place your hands on the bench right beside your glutes with your fingers curled over the front edge. It will almost look as though you are sitting on your hands.

Where you set your feet will affect how hard this exercise is. The easiest position is with your feet flat on the floor a foot or two away from the bench. Your knees will be bent.

To make this exercise harder, move your feet further away from the bench (you can straighten your legs). This forces your triceps to take up more of your bodyweight. Your next position after that is with your feet up on a bench with your legs straight. You may even with to try it with your feet on a bench that is higher than the one you have your hands on.

But if you're REALLY looking for a challenge, move your bench so that it's facing a wall (about 2 or 3 feet away). Instead of resting your feet on the floor or on a bench, place your feet flat ON the wall. That way, the only thing holding you up is your legs pushing back HARD directly against your triceps as you do the exercise. The contraction you will feel in your triceps will be so strong and painful that it's almost cruel!

To start the exercise, move your butt forward off the bench a few inches. Now dip your upper body down as though scraping your back along the front edge of the bench. Push yourself back up, squeezing the triceps hard.

---

  • This is the easiest position to place your feet when doing bench dips.

  • Note how the knees are bent about 90 degrees and the feet are relatively close to the bench.

  • This position allows you to support much of your bodyweight with your legs during the movement.
Bench Dips For Triceps - Easiest Position
  • This position is next in difficulty.

  • Your legs are extended straight out in front of you. Your feet are far away from the bench.

  • Be sure to keep your back fairly close to the bench during the movement even though your legs are stretched further out.
Bench Dips For Triceps - Second Position
  • This position puts the greatest tension on your triceps without added weight.

  • You may even wish to place your feet even higher up than this.

  • After this point, you will need to add resistance either in the form of a partner pushing down on your shoulders as you push back up or with weight on your lap.
Bench Dips For Triceps - Hardest Position

The hardest position (not shown) is with your feet pushing onto the wall pushing back hard against your triceps as you do the exercise. Basically, use the bottom picture as a reference - instead of having your feet resting on top of the chair, they are pushing against a wall, not supported by anything. This is a very tough one!

---

Why This Workout Is So Effective:

As I said above, the key to building the triceps is to work them hard AND smart. If you're familiar with "Positions of Flexion" training by Steve Holman, you'll recognize these concepts.

We start the workout with an exercise that puts the triceps in a stretched position. The stretch position has two main benefits - the first is what is called the myotatic reflex (a.k.a. stretch reflex).

When the muscle is placed under tension in the stretched position, a quick change in direction causes more muscle fibers to activate than normally would. This change in direction should NOT be a bounce but almost a twitch. So when you get to the bottom of the Bodyweight Tricep Extension, get the stretch in your triceps then change direction quickly (but DON'T bounce!!)

The second benefit of the stretch position is in helping to stretch the fascia surrounding the muscle. Fascia is basically a connective tissue "pillowcase" that holds a muscle in place. Fascia is tough and restricts muscle growth. Stretching helps loosen the fascia and make room for the muscles to grow.

For information on fascial stretching, check out this article:

How Stretching Can Explode Your Muscle Growth

Now we move to the second exercise(s). The In-Set Superset combines two movements into one exercise. The Extensions provide another stretch-position exercise for the triceps (this stretch position is not as complete as the overhead position from the first exercise, though) and the press gives you a compound exercise that allows the shoulders and chest to help push the triceps harder.

Completing each set with a burn-out on the presses will REALLY light up your triceps.

Now we move to the coup-de-grace: the Bench Dip. With this exercise, we are looking for a MAXIMUM contraction. The position that your arms are in (behind your body) is the position where ALL the muscle fibers of the triceps are in optimal position for peak contraction. Just keeping your arms straight and trying to touch your hands behind your back will demonstrate that.

After the stretch-position movement and the double-trouble of the In-Set Superset, you hit the triceps with the hardest contraction they are anatomically able to achieve.

Let me tell you right now...if you've not felt your triceps swell up like balloons before, this combination of exercises will do it! And, you'll acheive huge gains in tricep muscle development very quickly!


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BetterU News Issue #42
Home -> BetterU News Archive -> Issue #42 - March 20th, 2006


Secret Training Tip #235 - The Most Powerful Tricep Workout That You Will EVER Do

Looking for a workout to shred your triceps from top to bottom? This workout features 3 unique exercises that take your triceps from a complete stretch to a mindblowing contraction.


FACT: To get big arms you need to work the triceps HARD.
FACT: I'm going to tell you how to work the triceps HARD and SMART.

If you've ever read articles on arm training, you've probably learned that the tricep muscle makes up about 2/3 of total arm mass. The bicep, while being a great "show" muscle, is actually relatively small!

That's all well and good, and just blindly doing tricep exercises without a plan may net you some results, but to really maximize your triceps (as I mentioned above) you need to work them SMART.

So if you really want to stretch your T-shirt sleeves to the max, take a crack at this workout. It contains three of THE most powerful tricep exercises I've ever used. Not only that, these exercises are arranged strategically to literally FORCE the activation of many more muscle fibers in the triceps, leading to greater muscle growth and strength FAST!

The best part is, this workout requires very little in the way of specialized equipment!

In the next section, I will tell you about the three exercises (with a link at the bottom to use for pictures of the exercises in action as well as more detailed instructions). Then, I'll tell you how the exercises work together to help you blast your triceps into next week!

EXERCISE #1 - Bodyweight Tricep Extensions - 2 sets of 8 to 12 reps

EXERCISE #2 - In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press - 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

EXERCISE #3 - Bench Dips - 2 sets of 10 to 12+ reps

Take 90 seconds rest in between each set.

---

EXERCISE #1 - Bodyweight Tricep Extensions

2 sets of 8 to 12 reps

For this exercise, you will need a horizontal bar/edge about 2 feet off the ground. You can use a Smith machine bar, Universal bench handles, a railing, the edge of a chair or table, or even an Olympic bar set in the power rack with the safety rails a few feet off the ground will work. Essentially, any horizontal bar that is 1 to 2 feet off the ground will do. It should have some clearance underneath it so you have somewhere to put your head.

This exercise has a demonstration video at the link below as well as more detailed instructions and pictures, including how to make this exercise easier or harder. It is HIGHLY recommended to see the pics and video before trying the exercise.

-Stand in front of the bar, about a foot back from it. Place
your hands about 6 inches apart with a thumbless (false) grip.
-Step back a few feet, letting your body straighten out as you do so.
-Keep your abs tight so that your body stays supported
-Now lower your entire body forward, bending only at your elbows, so
that your head ducks under the bar as though you are trying to
do an overhead tricep stretch.
-Keep your elbows tucked in close the whole way.
-Keep your entire body tight and stiff. The only movement
should occur at the elbows.
-Extend back up using your triceps.

This exercise will build up the long head of the triceps (which runs along the undersides of the arm) as well as give your triceps a great stretch.


EXERCISE #2 - In-Set Superset of Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 6 to 8 reps

** One rep of each exercise (1 extension and 1 press) counts as one total rep for our purposes here. **

This is a unique type of Superset where you basically mesh two different exercises into a single set - preferably one isolation exercise and one compound exercise.

For this Superset, we'll be using EZ Bar Lying Tricep Extensions and Close Grip Bench Press (with the same EZ Bar). Use a weight you would normally be able to do about 12 reps with for Lying Extensions on their own.

In a nutshell, you will do one rep of extensions then one rep of close grip presses, alternating reps until you can no longer do any reps of the extensions. At that point, you finish with as many reps as you can do of the close grip presses. It's a very intense technique!

This type of Superset maximizes training intensity and allows you to work several different aspects of the muscle at the same time, dramatically increasing workout efficiency.

This exercise is best done lying on the floor (especially if you are training alone) rather than on a bench. If you have a spotter to hand you the weight at the start and grab the weight for you when you're done, you can do these on a flat bench.

Start with a rep of the Lying Tricep Extension. Lower the bar to your forehead then extend back up. Now do a single rep of the Close Grip Press, lowering the bar to your lower rib cage area then pressing back up. Now do another extension, then another press. Repeat until you can no longer do any extensions with good form. Now finish with as many presses as you can do with good form. That's one set!


EXERCISE #3 - Bench Dips

2 sets of 10 to 12+ reps
(the number of reps you're able to get will depend on the body position you use for the exercise)

You can use a bench (or even an ordinary chair) for this one. Start by sitting on the bench. Place your hands on the bench right beside your glutes with your fingers curled over the front edge. It will almost look as though you are sitting on your hands.

Where you set your feet will affect how hard this exercise is. The easiest position is with your feet flat on the floor a foot or two away from the bench. Your knees will be bent.

To make this exercise harder, move your feet further away from the bench (you can straighten your legs). This forces your triceps to take up more of your bodyweight. Your next position after that is with your feet up on a bench with your legs straight. You may even with to try it with your feet on a bench that is higher than the one you have your hands on.

But if you're REALLY looking for a challenge, move your bench so that it's facing a wall (about 2 or 3 feet away). Instead of resting your feet on the floor or on a bench, place your feet flat ON the wall. That way, the only thing holding you up is your legs pushing back HARD directly against your triceps as you do the exercise. The contraction you will feel in your triceps will be so strong and painful that it's almost cruel!

To start the exercise, move your butt forward off the bench a few inches. Now dip your upper body down as though scraping your back along the front edge of the bench. Push yourself back up, squeezing the triceps hard.

EXERCISE PICTURES

http://www.fitstep.com/Misc/Newsletter-archives/issue42/triceps.htm

---

Why This Workout Is So Effective:

As I said above, the key to building the triceps is to work them hard AND smart. If you're familiar with "Positions of Flexion" training by Steve Holman, you'll recognize these concepts.

We start the workout with an exercise that puts the triceps in a stretched position. The stretch position has two main benefits - the first is what is called the myotatic reflex (a.k.a. stretch reflex).

When the muscle is placed under tension in the stretched position, a quick change in direction causes more muscle fibers to activate than normally would. This change in direction should NOT be a bounce but almost a twitch. So when you get to the bottom of the Bodyweight Tricep Extension, get the stretch in your triceps then change direction quickly (but DON'T bounce!!)

The second benefit of the stretch position is in helping to stretch the fascia surrounding the muscle. Fascia is basically a connective tissue "pillowcase" that holds a muscle in place. Fascia is tough and restricts muscle growth. Stretching helps loosen the fascia and make room for the muscles to grow.

For information on fascial stretching, check out this article:

How Stretching Can Explode Your Muscle Growth
http://www.fitstep.com/Misc/Newsletter-archives/issue10.htm

Now we move to the second exercise(s). The In-Set Superset combines two movements into one exercise. The Extensions provide another stretch-position exercise for the triceps (this stretch position is not as complete as the overhead position from the first exercise, though) and the press gives you a compound exercise that allows the shoulders and chest to help push the triceps harder.

Completing each set with a burn-out on the presses will REALLY light up your triceps.

Now we move to the coup-de-grace: the Bench Dip. With this exercise, we are looking for a MAXIMUM contraction. The position that your arms are in (behind your body) is the position where ALL the muscle fibers of the triceps are in optimal position for peak contraction. Just keeping your arms straight and trying to touch your hands behind your back will demonstrate that.

After the stretch-position movement and the double-trouble of the In-Set Superset, you hit the triceps with the hardest contraction they are anatomically able to achieve.

Let me tell you right now...if you've not felt your triceps swell up like balloons before, this combination of exercises will do it! And, you'll acheive huge gains in tricep muscle development very quickly!

Once again, here is the link for pictures of the exercises in action:

http://www.fitstep.com/Misc/Newsletter-archives/issue42/triceps2.htm



Grab My BEST Body Transformation Program FREE...

Subscribe to BetterU News now and get a copy of "My Dirty Little Secret Program For Building Muscle and Losing Fat FAST!" for FREE!

This complete 30 day training and eating program reveals my single most powerful physique transformation secret...sign up now and it's yours!


: 




Want More Powerful Fitness Information?

Read another issue of BetterU News now!

 

FREE Fitness Articles For Your Website!
Increase your site traffic now! Get professionally-written fat loss, muscle-building and exercise articles FREE for use on your website.
Click here for details

df BetterU, Inc.
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ph#/fax#: Toll Free (888) 361-6023
Copyright 2009 BetterU, Inc. ©

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