Arm Exercises

Straight Up Triceps-Blasting Routine

Build thick, braided horseshoes with this man-making routine that is both heavy and high-volume.

by CSCS
close-grip-pushup
Duration 45 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

Take a look in the mirror. Now, hit a gnarly side triceps pose like nobody’s looking. Do you love—really love— what you see? If you answered anything but yes, we now challenge you to look at your triceps training routine. If it is just plain dominated by single-joint moves, then you’re in good company. Most of us have been conditioned to bring up this upper arm muscle by isolating it with direct, focused work, week after week. Growth via attrition. This can work for a time but as some heads of state eventually discover, isolationism has its limitations.

To truly build behemoth-like tri’s, you have to amass a coalition. The triceps’ main job is to help you push stuff. So push—don’t just “extend.” Using movements such as dips and close-grip pushups helps to train your triceps do what they were intended to do. The modification to pressdowns can really help you pile on the poundages to give your triceps routine the primal test that leads to bigger arms. 

Exercise 1

Weighted Dip You'll need: Dip Station, Ankle Weights How to
Weighted Dip thumbnail
4 sets
10, 8, 8, 6 reps
-- rest
Use a weight that brings you to near failure at the rep count listed.

Exercise 2

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Pressdown thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest
The “TNT” version looks 
more like a downward vertical press—like you’re pressing down on a dynamite detonator. Allow your elbows to flare out and keep your head to one side of the cable. Maintain a narrow grip and press to full extension.

Exercise 3

Band Pressdown
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Hook the bands over a pullup bar or high anchor point with sufficient tension to keep you in the 12-rep range.

Exercise 4

Close-Grip Pushup
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
100 reps
30 sec rest
Keeping your hands narrowly spaced, right under the chest, simply do as many sets as necessary, to failure, to reach 100. Rest no longer than 30 seconds between work segments.
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