In this post, I will present a few triceps training tips for naturals that actually work.
First, adjust your expectations.
The bodybuilding industry has been using the effect of muscular arms on people as a brainwashing tool and a money printer. Every day bodybuilders on anabolic steroids, growth hormone and insulin receive a “revelation” and come up with a new “secret” arm routine. However, the true naturals who subscribe to the programs never get the promised rewards. As a result, there are a lot of bodybuilding enthusiasts suffering from double thinness – thin wallets and thin arms. I am sorry, but you will have to adjust your expectations. The natural potential is not as high as the gurus say.
Choosing The Right Exercises For The Task
The best exercises for the triceps are dips, close grip bench presses, close grip push-ups, and pullovers. Those movements are scalable and have a great carryover to other pushing exercises. The first three provide overall mass and strength whereas the pullover focuses on the long head of the triceps.
Dips – Classics Never Die
If I have to choose one triceps exercise, it would be the dip.
The arguments for this choice are:
– dips work all three heads of the triceps
– dips allow you to lift heavy weights
– dips don’t require spotters or expensive equipment
A good way to progress is to first reach 3 sets of 20 reps and then add weight. This may sound like a lot to some, but it really isn’t that much unless you are a sumo wrestler. The goal is to build a base and condition the joints. You may feel strong enough to add weight long before you achieve 3×20, but there’s no need to hurry.
The main downside of dips is that they place a lot of stress on the shoulder and the sternum. Don’t go super low to avoid extra stress on the joints. Stop at parallel (elbows in line with your shoulders) or just a little bit deeper. Unfortunately, some people just can’t handle dips – especially the weighted version. You may have to remove them from your routine or limit them to an assistance exercise done for higher reps.
P.S. If you want to make the dip your main pressing exercise, check out this post.
Close Grip Bench Press – Another Classic Mass Builder
The close grip bench press is much kinder to the shoulders than the dip. Most people won’t experience shoulder pain if they do the exercise properly. When performing the close grip bench press, don’t use an unnecessarily close grip because it may cause elbow and/or wrist pain.
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 day dedicated to the triceps.
Close Grip Push-ups – Cheap And Effective
The close grip push-up does not require any equipment, but once you get stronger, you will have to add additional weight or bands. The push-up is a shoulder-friendly exercise because It allows the scapula to move freely. If you are suffering from shoulder pain, this may be your savior.
The push-up is a shoulder-friendly exercise because It allows the scapula to move freely. If you are suffering from shoulder pain, this may be your savior.
Pull-overs for the Long Head of the Triceps
The long head of the triceps is sleeping unless you lift heavy weights or perform triceps exercises overhead. This is where the pull-over comes. It hits the long head of the triceps pretty hard.
Reps & Sets?
The triceps love lifting heavy since they have a higher concentration of fast twitch fibers and are designed for sprints rather than marathons. This means that you should focus mainly on sets of 6-8 reps.
Remove All Unnecessary Exercises
There is absolutely no need to waste your time with triceps kickbacks, all kinds of pulldowns, one arm cable extensions and other similar movements.
If you are going to do isolation exercises, limit them to 1 or 2. Don’t feel obligated to satisfy the brainwashed bodybuilder in you. I am sorry that I have to say it again but… they lied to you, boy.