Workout Routines

Straight Up Triceps for Bigger Arms

Trouble filling out your T-shirts? Add some beef to your arms with this punishing triceps routine.

close-grip bench press
Duration 35 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

One of the many trends in fitness these days is for every workout to have a clearly stated “functional” purpose. For example, Monday is lower-body pure strength and core stability, Tuesday is upper-body pull and gymnastics skill work, and so on. Fine. Even though we historically set trends at M&F, we’ll play along and follow one for a change.

Today, the objectives are upper-body push strength, triceps hypertrophy, and carving out a badass pair of horseshoes. Clear enough? How about functional? Those who say no have probably never had a decent set of triceps.

This workout will get you headed in that direction with classic no-nonsense exercises and an equitable blend of heavy weight/low reps and light weight/high reps, plus intensity-boosting dropsets and rest-pauses that will leave your triceps with no option but to grow.

bench dip

Note: For the bench dip exercise in the following workout, use this formula for maximum gains:

  • 1st set (straight set): With two weight plates on your lap, do as many reps as possible (to failure).
  • 2nd set (dropset): Go to failure with two plates on your lap, then immediately take one plate off and rep out to failure again. Do one more dropset by taking the other plate off your lap and repping to failure.
  • 3rd set (rest-pause): Using body weight only, rep out to failure, then rest 10 to 20 seconds and go to failure again. Rest 10 to 20 seconds, and rep out to failure one last time.

The Workout

Exercise 1

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
6 reps
2 min rest

Exercise 2

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
Bench Dip thumbnail
3 sets
-- reps
2 min rest
Straight set / Drop set / Rest Pause

Exercise 3

Overhead Triceps Extension
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8 reps
1-2 min rest

Exercise 4

Cable Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
Cable Pressdown thumbnail
2 sets
15-20 reps
1-2 min rest
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