I had to use this title because I know that otherwise you wouldn’t listen. 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 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 (e.g., close grip bench presses, weighted dips, weighted push-ups and overhead presses). Everything else that 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, skull crushers….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 more elbow friendly. Most people can do dips and close grip bench presses without elbow pain.
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 similar 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-overs instead of wacky cable extensions.
The final element of decent triceps training for naturals is progression. Getting stronger is the best part of natty training. You will not be adding inch after inch to your arms as a natural, but you can 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 reduce the poundage so that the mind and body can recover. Then, you build up again to something higher – a new personal record. That’s how you keep getting stronger month after month for many years.
Of course, you also have to be realistic. You are not going add 50lbs/22kg to your bench press every two months like the moronic mainstream media suggest. After the initial gains, you will be lucky to add 10lbs/4kg 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 an underground high volume Russian secret training program. Those can work once in a while but are not sustainable when you are an amateur. 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 “get cut”, but that method doesn’t work. What matters the most is your body fat percentage which is dependent primarily on food intake. I’ve seen garbage men with striations on their triceps. Those guys consume very little food and walk all day. That’s why their body fat levels are so low. High reps? Special training? Not even once.
The keys to stronger, bigger and ripped triceps are 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?