Two-thirds of your upper arm’s mass is essentially your triceps, easily outgunning the more celebrated biceps muscle. However, these complex muscles do not grow and develop overnight. You need to stimulate growth with the right kind of training, but when you do, they can grow into massive attention grabbers.
Perhaps, some of you have heard or read that the muscle fibres in the triceps are so dense, they need to be trained with a lot of sets. Do not buy those. Your regular routine of back and chest exercises already bring your triceps into play, so you only need a few specialised exercises to lock in your gains. As a matter of fact, executing a barrage of sets may result in overtraining and succumb you to injuries.
Triceps Growth Hacks
The key to maximum triceps growth is hitting all three of its heads. you need to remember that the triceps is a two-joint muscle. Its connecting tendons cross the shoulders as well as the elbow, so different positions of the shoulder will create different fibre-recruitment patterns. While the short and medial heads benefit from almost all triceps moves, the long head requires specific movements to be fully recruited, such as the cable triceps extension and the decline dumbbell extension. These exercises, among others, place just enough stretch across the shoulders.
It is important to avoid blasting your triceps heads by means of utilising different hand positions. All that does is apply unnecessary pressure on your wrist rather than working the triceps to the fullest extent. Keep your wrist in a straight line with your forearm at all times.
In addition, muscle recovery is also essential for serious growth, so be sure to rest for at least a full minute or so before executing the next set. Fitness experts have suggested taking “active rests”, in which you train an unrelated muscle group like your abs or hairless thighs and calves in between triceps exercises. This will increase your rest period to about two minutes between the triceps movements and render your overall training programme more efficient. This pairing of exercises is typically called supersets.
Despite what you may have heard or read, you do not need to switch to new exercises every two or three weeks. On the contrary, you can stick with a movement for as long as you feel you are progressing and are mentally fresh enough to work hard on it. For some athletes, it takes a few workouts to find the right groove of the exercise, while others get the hang of it almost immediately. Many lifters sabotage their muscle gains by shifting from one exercise before they learn the proper technique of execution. Give your routine a chance to work. Once you have the technique clamped down, you will be able to lift more weight and it is the muscular adaptations to this increased resistance that will pack on good solid mass.
Most people tend to forget that the triceps take a beating when you do flat bench press, military press and incline bench press. The heavy weights that you are pushing on those chest and shoulder movements will cause significant growth for the triceps. Powerlifters, for instance, possess massive triceps but most of them never train with exercises that specifically target the triceps. As such, do not feel that you have to bang out 15 sets for your tris. You may end up with irritated elbow tendons and less-than-optimal strength and size gains.
Another common mistake is using momentum to complete your reps. Although you need relatively heavy weights to stimulate growth, the form is paramount. Flaring out the elbows and leaning forward during the movements are considered cheating, as your shoulders and chest end up doing most of the work. Do you know that you are bound to get better hypertrophy when you pay attention to the natural mechanics of your body? The overhead triceps extension is a perfect example. It is typically performed with both hands on a dumbbell that moves from behind the head to overhead. Forcing both hands to lift a single dumbbell, therefore, creates a shearing force against the elbows and forces your shoulders into a precarious position of external rotation. Training each arm separately with a dumbbell or cable is definitely a much better option.
Build Solid Triceps
Well-developed triceps are an important part of a balanced physique. These three-headed muscles are more complex than most of your other body parts, so you need to train them in a specific way that will fully recruit the short, medial and long heads. Do not try and attempt to blast them the Flintstones way with a large number of sets. Instead, practice perfect form during each and every single rep that you execute. In time, your strength will increase, and you will be able to lift heavier weights. The welcome result will be shirt-stretching triceps that will speak volumes about your commitment to having superior muscle mass.