Triceps Training For True Natural Bodybuilders If you want bigger triceps, kickbacks ain't gonna be enough.

To this very day bodybuilders are trying to make fortunes out of training routines for building muscular arms. There are many professional bodybuilders promoting ‘arm training secrets‘ to naive teenagers who truly believe that the key to finding a girl is first getting bigger arms.

The main problem with the routines of professional bodybuilders is that those guys are using anabolic steroids, growth hormone and insulin to build size. Consequently, what they do as far as training is concerned rarely works for true natural bodybuilders.

As a result there are a lot of bodybuilding enthusiasts suffering from double thinness – thin wallets and thin arms.


Here are some tips that will help you in your quest for bigger triceps as a natural.

image via: fitnessinsane.com;

image via: fitnessinsane.com;

Choosing The Right Exercises For The Task

The best exercises for the triceps are dips, close grip bench presses, close grip push-ups and pull-overs. Everything else is either a derivative of those exercises or less effective.

Apart from the pull-overs all of the mentioned exercises are close chain movements that allow you to use a lot of weight.

They are also easy to program in a routine and have a great carry over to other pushing movements. The first three provide overall mass and strength while the pull-over focuses on building the long head of the triceps.

DIPS – Classics Never Die

 image via: forum.bodybuilding.com;

image via: forum.bodybuilding.com;

If we have to choose the best exercise for triceps, it would be the good old dip. The arguments for this choice are:

– dips work all three heads of the triceps;

– dips allow you to use a ton of weight;

– dips can be done without spotters and do not require a lot of equipment;

A good way to progress when doing dips is to first get strong enough to do 3 sets of 20 reps. This may sound like a lot to some but if you acquire similar strength and endurance, you will have a base that will prevent a lot on injuries by serving as joint preparation. You may feel strong enough to add weight to your dip long before you achieve 3 x 20 but there’s no need to hurry. As we’ve always said – nobody cares how much weight we’re lifting, so we might just as well do it right.

The main problem with dips is that they could be really hard on the shoulder joint. We recommend that you don’t go super low in order to avoid problems. Stop at parallel (elbows in line with your shoulders) or just a little bit deeper. Unfortunately, some people just can’t handle dips – especially weighted ones. This may put you in a position to either remove dips from your program altogether or use them as an assistance exercise with no or a little added weight.

Close Grip Bench Press – Another Classic Mass Builder

The close grip bench press is much kinder to the shoulders compared to the dip. Most people won’t experience shoulder pain if they do the exercise properly. When performing the close grip bench press avoid using a super close grip since it may cause elbow and/or wrist strains.

The close grip bench press is a solid choice as a main triceps builder. One of the ways to program it in your routine is to do close grip presses as back off sets after your main bench workout. Of course, you can also do it on another dedicated day.

Related article: Biceps Training Tips For Natural Bodybuilders

Close Grip Push-ups – Cheap And Effective

The close grip push-up does not require any equipment, although once you get stronger you may want to add additional weight. Out of the three BIG THREE triceps exercises for natural bodybuilders this one is the healthiest of them all. It allows the scapula to move freely and is not stressful to the shoulders when done correctly. Chances are that if you are suffering from shoulder pains, this one may be your savior.

Pull-overs for the Long Head of the Triceps

The long head of the triceps is sleeping unless you use really heavy weight or perform triceps exercises overhead. This is where the pull-over comes. While it’s mostly a lat exercise it also stresses the long head of the triceps. That’s why people often complain of sore triceps the day after pull-overs. It makes a valuable addition to the arsenal of triceps exercises for naturals by giving us opportunity to increase the workload of the lazy long head.

Reps & Sets – How much?

The triceps loves heavy weight since the muscle has higher concentration of fast twitch fibers and is designed for sprints rather than marathons. This means that you should focus mainly on sets of 6-8 reps. However, since nothing is set in stone don’t be afraid to also do high reps – 10+. You will still gain strength and size {as much as it’s possible naturally anyway}. Doing higher reps is particularly good when performing close grip push-ups and dips in order to build a base prior to adding weight.

Remove All Unnecessary Exercises

There is absolutely no need to waist your time with triceps kickbacks, all kinds of pulldowns, one arm cable extensions, overhead triceps extensions and similar movements part of the masturbation fiasco. Those exercises could only be used for warming-up with light weight prior to the BIG THREE. Other than that don’t count on isolation to build much strength and size – especially in the triceps which is a huge muscle group that loves big power movements.

Most people who focus mainly on triceps isolation rarely build bigger triceps naturally. The majority ends up with wrist and elbow pain. Isolation exercises may give you an insane pump in the triceps but they are taking away from the main movements. If you want to use isolation, limit it as much as you can and only do exercises from which you see results. Don’t feel obligated to satisfy the inner brainwashed bodybuilder in you. You are no longer a kid and you should know by now that all bodybuilding magazines have lied to you. Santa ain’t real.

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