A Complete Triceps Workout

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You’ll find a neat little workout for triceps that makes all three heads work, and starts with a basic exercise with heavy weights.

A good workout of triceps starts with an exercise that uses the heaviest weights possible. These are compound exercises. Such exercises are: close-grip bench presses (keep your arms besides your torso, otherwise your pecs would take most of the load), dips (use close-grips here too with your elbows in the center, and your body vertical), or dips on a machine. Do a pyramidal increase of weights as far as you can do only 6 reps. Do 4 sets of one of the exercises above.

The second exercise will target the long head of the triceps. This is the muscle that, if developed right, looks like a huge chunk of meat hanging from the upper arm in back poses. The long head can be worked out with exercises that include full stretch. Such an exercise is triceps extension with dumbbells/EZ-bar/appropriate machine. Muscles can reach maximum contraction following a maximum stretch. 3 sets will be enough with a pyramidal increase of weights, but do not go below 8 reps.

The third exercise should be pushdown movement. This will target the lateral head primarily. This is the longest of the three heads, and it makes up the bulk of the horseshoe shape muscle group. Increase the weight in a pyramidal way again, but stick to higher rep counts than before, and focus on peak contraction at each rep. Do 3 sets. The exercise can be pushdowns with an Olympic bar, V-bar or rope. It is the rope that can help you to the largest range of motion and strongest peak contraction.

The fourth and last of the exercises should be some one-arm, or inverse grip exercise. One-arm execution allows for a maximum focus, so that the targeted muscle can reach total exhaustion. If you do pushdowns with a one-hand grip, you can also fire up the medial head too.

So here comes a complete triceps workout to load all heads:

Exercise Sets Reps
Weighted dips 4 10 ,8, 6, 6
Seated triceps extensions with dumbbell 3 12, 10, 8
Cable pushdowns 3 12, 10, 10
One-arm pushdown with inverse grip 3 12, 12, 12

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