In a previous article, I provided you with some really great yet very subtle tips on how to train the biceps just a little more effectively during your workouts. And, as mentioned before, the devil really is in the details and it all comes down to how precise and finite you can become with your training that will give you a decisive edge over your competitors and even better yet, your own last workout.
When it comes to building arms, the vast majority of us always think of the biceps first. That’s because the biceps really are the showcase body part and it’s also the second pose you have to hit while performing your mandatories on stage (first if you don’t count the front relaxed). That said, if you really want massive arms, your focus should shift to building the triceps to their full extent as this area of the upper arm accounts for about two-thirds of the total size. So to help you up your triceps training game, here again, are a few very subtle yet highly effective training tips to put you on the right track to newfound triceps growth.
#1: Train Triceps First
When you decide to put an emphasis on bringing up a certain body part, then all of your immediate energy and focus needs to be applied to that area as soon as you hit the gym floor.
In the case of arm training, if you have devoted one full day to just training arms, which by the way I highly suggest, then you should begin with the prioritized muscle group; in this case, it would be triceps.
Take the necessary time to warm up properly and prepare the elbow joint for extreme training to avoid injury and then get right to it. Select three to four exercises for the workout and work your way through those exercises using the Max-OT approach. What you’ll eventually find is that by working your triceps first, you’ll see a huge increase in strength within the triceps itself coupled with significant new growth which will then all transfer into your other pressing movements for muscles such as chest and shoulders creating an even better scenario for overall growth.
#2: Concentric Focused Movements First
I will be the first to say that when it comes to training triceps, my favorite feeling from any of the exercises performed is that stretch you get when your elbows are up and tight to your head while the weight descends down behind your head to the base of your neck. The stretch and feeling I get deep within the belly of the triceps is what I chase every single workout. It gives me awesome pumps and great results.
Performing movements that provide this feeling for me first in the workout would be disastrous for me simply because my elbows would not be able to handle any significant weight in that position without flaring up while leaving me in lots of pain.
Therefore, what I have found best is to put the concentric focused movements such as pushdowns, triceps dips, and close grip bench presses at the beginning of the workout and then finish up with the more eccentric focused movements such as overhead dumbbell extensions, skull crushers and overhead cable extensions to the end of the workout. This way, my elbows stay safe, are thoroughly warmed up and there’s no need to go super heavy with the extension stuff because you’ve already done so with the first exercises. So, a lighter weight (relatively speaking of course) that allows you to really accentuate that stretch is all you need.
#3: Wrist Roll/Elbow Tilt
Now this final tip that I’ll provide for you is a little secret of mine that I’ve shared with quite a few people so it isn’t really a secret anymore, however you’ll be very happy that you know about it once you start using it.
How you position your wrist during the concentric focused movements and the eccentric focused movements along with the biomechanical position of your elbows will do a lot with respect to how much you feel the triceps working while you rep out your sets.
Here’s what I mean. For exercises such as close grip bench press, when at the bottom of the rep, allow your wrists to break (meaning roll back so that your knuckles are closer to the top of your forearm) all while tilting your elbows just slightly forward. Doing this will add a nice little stretch to the triceps during a more concentric focused exercise.
Then, for exercises such as the overhead triceps extension using both arms and holding onto one dumbbell, when in the full eccentric, roll your wrists forward and tilt your elbows up and back towards the ceiling behind you. This, again, adds a significant stretch right in the belly of the muscle.
If you can master these little biomechanical tweaks to your movement pattern, you’ll see great results from doing so.
While being very subtle in nature, these three tips that I have just provided you with will be very significant once put into play on a consistent basis. You’ll most likely notice a difference in how your triceps feel right away, however, the additional growth that will come by virtue of using these tips will take time to show of course. Couple this by always utilizing the quality ingredients found in our products such as VP2 Whey Isolate and Micronized Creatine Monohydrate and like I said before, there will be nothing subtle about the size of your arms.