I had to use this title because I knew otherwise you wouldn’t listen. Sorry, but I am not going to give you an exceptional routine that’s somehow going to make your triceps as big as those of the HodgeTwins or some other “natural bodybuilders” who are actually pinning their glutes in the shadows on a daily basis.
The best triceps exercises have always been close chained movements such as the close grip bench presses, weighted dips, weighted push-ups and overhead presses. Everything else you see bodybuilders in comical thongs and fitness models with questionable sexual orientation do, is just for the show and the pump. Triceps kickbacks, overhead triceps extensions, triceps pushdowns, reverse triceps pushdowns, cable extensions, skullcrushers….it’s all baloney. Most triceps isolation will just give you elbow pain, and that’s why you should be very careful when selecting single joint exercises. On the other hand, the big pushing movements are much more elbow friendly. Most people can do dips and close grip bench press without connective tissue pain. Ironically, many elbows go bankrupt during small isolation exercises. There are three main reasons for that – the nature of isolation exercises (open chain), too much weight and poor form.
Another big mistake with triceps training is overthinking. “Which head is this exercise working,” asked the noob reading the latest edition of FLEX magazine. It’s time to stop thinking about such nonsense. The big three triceps exercises (bench, dips, push-ups) work all three heads. If you want to focus more on the long head, which is usually the lagging one, you can do pull-ups and pull-overs instead of wacky cable exercise you saw Ronnie Coleman do to get a pump for the camera.
The final element of a decent triceps training for naturals is progression. Getting stronger is the best part of working out for most naturals. You will NOT be adding inch after inch to your arms as a natural, but you can definitely get exceptionally strong compared to the rest of the human population which thinks that lifting the water bottles in the office is hard work. The keys to getting stronger are progression and training cycles. You add weight, build up to a certain level and then you reduce the poundage in order to allow your mind and body to rest. Then, you build up again to something higher – a new personal record. That’s how you will keep on getting stronger month after month for many years. Of course, you also have to be realistic. You are not going add 50 lbs / 22 kg to your bench press every two months like the moronic mainstream media suggests. After the initial gains are over, you will be happy to add 10 lbs / 4 kg to your bench press in 2-3 months. That’s how things work in real life, and by the way I don’t care that you have found some underground high volume Russian secret training program. Those can work once in a while but are not sustainable for most people who are not professionals. Sorry, comrade!
As far as the shredded part is concerned, it all comes down to dieting and overall calories. Many bodybuilders wrongfully advise ordinary people to just up the reps in order to achieve “the cuts”, but that’s irrelevant. What matters is your overall body fat level, which is dependent primarily on food intake. I’ve seen garbage men with striations on their triceps. Those guys have very little food and walk all day. That’s why their body fat levels are so low. High reps? Special training? Not even once.
To summarize, the key to strong, biggER and ripped triceps is doing heavy compound exercises, getting stronger and avoiding heavy bulking. Still, don’t expect to get the shredded triceps of a fitness model. It’s not going to happen, but who cares anyway?