Follow the pump. I remind myself to do this whenever I train my triceps. It’s also my reasoning for working tri’s right after chest—to take full advantage of the ample blood flow already in that area.
The triceps make up two-thirds of your arm mass, which is why they deserve more time and focus than their counterpart, the biceps.
SEE ALSO: Frank Zane’s Chest Training Tips
Three of my favorite exercises for tri’s include the close-grip bench press, pushdown, and overhead dumbbell extension. Close-grip bench is the only bench pressing I do anymore. It also happens to be the first exercise in my routine, and I usually go heavy and employ slow negatives—a great way to add size to the triceps.
HEADS UP: The triceps are composed of three heads: long (upper inside), medial (lower inside), and lateral (outside).
Once you home in on a good routine, perform it twice a week with targeted focus on achieving a good pump. That’s what will build a classic horseshoe look.
Train Like Zane
1. CLOSE-GRIP BENCH PRESS: I recommend three sets of 12, 10, and eight reps. For an extra challenge, superset these with pushdowns or overhead extensions, both of which will isolate the triceps.
2. TRICEPS PUSHDOWN: I complete sets of 12, 10, and eight reps, increasing the weight for each set. I do an arms-back stretch to tense the tri’s after my first set, and I make sure to hold each contraction for one second.
3. MACHINE DIP: I fix a band around the weight stack for added tension. The rep range is between 12 and 15, and I use lighter weight so I can focus on achieving a quality lockout.
4. ONE-ARM DB OVERHEAD TRICEPS EXTENSION: The one-arm version allows for a better stretch. I execute three sets of 12, 10, and eight reps, upping the weight for each set.
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