DENNIS JAMES: “When something doesn’t work or I hit a plateau in my training, I always implement very, very slow reps. I’m talking super slow, as in 5–10 seconds up and 5–10 seconds down on every rep using 30%–50% of the weight you’d normally use. And you don’t have to limit this to just one exercise in your workout; you can do it for every exercise. It takes you much longer to get through the set, but I guarantee one set will make up for 5–6 regular sets.

You can either do slow reps for, say, a month, or you can do slow reps one week and go back to normal reps the next. Doing your reps very slowly is much more intense, creates more of a burn and the chance of injury while doing it is almost zero. And even though you’re going a lot lighter, it feels heavier. Because you’re going so slow, you can make one plate feel like it’s four, so I typically keep the reps between 3 and 6. And I guarantee you, if you try it, you will walk away with the best pump you ever had.”

Dennis james triceps pushdowns


  • Pushdowns | SETS: 3-4 | REPS: 3-6 reps*
  • Lying Extensions | SETS: 3-4 | REPS: 3-6 reps*
  • One-Arm Reverse-Grip Pushdowns | SETS: 3-4 | REPS: 3-6 reps*

*Perform every rep with a speed of 5–10 seconds on the concentric portion and 5–10 seconds on the eccentric.

Training Tip #1: Rep counts can vary somewhat, but James says that if you’re able to do more than eight reps in any set increase the weight.

Training Tip #2: For lying extensions, James recommends lowering the bar to your nose, not behind you or to your forehead.

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