The triceps may not be as popular in a muscle group as the biceps, but hitting the back of the upper arms hard will add significant size and play a huge role in developing a full body. They are also involved in large pressure movements. So a set of triceps that looks strong and is strong cannot be emphasized enough.
That's why Muscle & Fitness, Flex and M & F Hers have always taken triceps training seriously. It is for this reason that we have spoken to many bodybuilding and physique champions over the years. We found tips from four such champions that can help you push the envelope and stretch the tape measure.
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David Henry – Resting the Rope Pressdown
The 2008 Olympic 202 champion (yes, it was 202 pounds back then) wasted no time when it came to triceps work. After two warm-up sets of 20-25 reps on his first exercise of the day, in this case pushing down ropes, he'd give it all in one set to failure. To make sure it was a complete failure, he added rest periods to the equation.
"I then go straight to my max weight and do as many reps as possible to absolute failure, which takes me over the pain threshold and into another area of intensity," he says. "At this point I pause 15 breaths, fail again, pause another 15 breaths, and repeat a third time. That's it."
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Chris Lund / M + F magazine
Gustavo Badell – Use the lever with the two-armed overhead extension
Badell was a mainstay on the Olympic stage in the early to mid-2000s. He was one of the most popular athletes in the IFBB Pro League and one reason for that was his phenomenal poor development. The movement he recognized for his amazing triceps was overhead extensions using an arched bar instead of a dumbbell. He shared his argument with Flex.
"I think overhead triceps extension with an arched bar is one of the best exercises for adding bulk to the triceps," he says. "The upright position allows you to stretch your long head better in the triceps and gives you more leverage than flat extensions."
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Camala Rodriguez-McClure – Stay in control with Bentover Dumbbell Kickbacks
Bikini athletes also need well-developed arms. It is for this reason that Camala Rodriguez-McClure usually participates in the first few stakes in the competition in which she participates. She likes to use the kickback that is bent over the barbell for the back of her upper arms, but she doesn't attack the weights with reckless abandon.
"I love this exercise because you really isolate your triceps, but it's crucial to be in proper shape," she says. “Make sure you move slowly and in a controlled manner. I like to use a moderate weight for this. "
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Ian Spanier / M + F Magazine
Candice Lewis-Carter – Doomed with flat arm pushups
Former Figure International champion and Olympic runner-up Candice Lewis-Carter showed some serious muscle in her division. She left no stone unturned or no repetition unfinished when it came to training. She would end her triceps sessions with flat arm pushups.
"When it comes to triceps workouts, I tend to focus more on exercises that build muscle mass than I do," says Carter. "To help define these muscles, I do the last set of each exercise to failure." Carter would actually fail all three sets of this exercise. "Start in a full push-up position with your hands close together, then drop onto your forearms and return to a push-up position."
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Ultimate Champions Triceps Workout
w is the time to apply what you have learned so you can take steps on your own championship journey. Use this session as part of an overall arm workout or add it to a different push muscle group like your chest or triceps. Do not rest for more than 60 seconds between sets unless otherwise noted.
Rope Pushdown – 2 warm-up sets of 20-25 reps. 1 work set with two 15-second pauses set for errors.
Overhead Extension with Cambered Bar – 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps
Bentover Dumbbell Kickback – 3 sets of 15 reps
Flat-Arm Pushup – 3 sets of mistakes