Arm Exercises

Plateau-Busting Arm Routine

Give lockout and pre-exhaust techniques a try for building bigger triceps.

seated overhead triceps extension
Duration 2 days
Exercises 8
Equipment Yes

If your arms are slow to grow, try these routines that incorporate a couple of techniques normally reserved for larger muscle groups: lockouts and pre-exhaust training.

With lockouts, you work over only the top third of the range of motion (ROM). After you complete three sets of full-range close-grip bench presses (hands shoulder-width apart), do partial reps with a weight that's 10%-–20% more than your one-rep max. Use a power rack with the safeties set about 4 inches below the point at which your arms are fully extended, or you may be able to use a Smith machine with the stops similarly set. Do one last back-off set in which you remove the extra 10%-–20% and do as many reps as you can.

The pre-exhaust routine flip-flops the single-joint and multijoint exercises: Whereas you typically might do a triceps movement in which you'’re strongest and can lift the most weight first in your workout, now you'’ll do it last. Multijoint exercises allow secondary muscle groups to kick in; in this case, the pecs and front delts help you push out more reps as your tri'’s get toasted.

For both workouts, choose your weights to approach muscle faulure by the rep listed.

Lockout Triceps Workout

Exercise 1

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Doesn'’t include warm-up sets.

Exercise 2

Close-Gip Barbell Bench Press Lockout
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4 sets
6,6,6,15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Cable Kickback You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Kickback thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

One-Arm Overhead Cable Extension
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3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Pre-Exhaust Triceps Workout

Exercise 1

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension
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3 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Doesn'’t include warm-up sets.

Exercise 2

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Pressdown thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

45-Degree Lying Triceps Extension
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3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Machine Dip
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3 sets
10 reps
-- rest
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