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Triceps Program for the Intermediate Bodybuilder Articles Database Articles by Writer Articles Written by Matt Canning Triceps Program for the Intermediate Bodybuilder

Triceps Program for the Intermediate Bodybuilder

triceps are a much neglected muscle for many bodybuilders. A lot of people, especially beginners, tend to neglect some of the lesser noticed muscles in lieu of training the more easily noticeable ones - biceps, chest, and abs. What some bodybuilders fail to realize though, is that triceps take up 60-70% of overall arm mass. So to have big arms, it is paramount to have well developed triceps. They may not be as impressive while flexing (Where's the beach?), but while the arm remains relaxed, large triceps will make for quite the presentation.

Like biceps, triceps are not a large muscle, so high number of sets isn't particularly important. Of course, that is the last thing some hard gainers want to hear - and they will stay in the gym for hours pumping out set after set. But remember - more is not always better and be sure to utilize the law of diminishing returns. After a point, more effort will not bring you more reward (muscle size), and may even hinder productivity.

Jay Cutler and Dexter Jackson displaying phenomenal triceps development!

Photograph © Reproduced with permission.

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I personally like to begin all of my triceps exercises with either cable pressdowns or overhead extensions with dumbbells. You can use a straight bar of a V-Bar for this exercise, although you may find the V-Bar to be more comfortable and easy to control. You will want to pyramid your reps for the purposes of safety - start with 15 reps, then use a pyramid going to 12, 10, 8. At your heaviest set you should go no lower than six reps, and eight will usually be low enough. Your goal isn't to develop maximum strength (powerlifing), but to develop maximum muscle size (hypertrophy - bodybuilding). You should note how you feel during each workout and try to adjust so that you get an optimal pump during each workout. Listen to your body and apply the instinctive principle.

Below is a two day split for triceps. In other words - triceps will be worked during two full workouts throughout the week, ideally with a minimum of 72 hours rest between each workout. For example, you can go Monday / Thursday, or Tuesday / Friday.

The Workouts!

Workout #1:
Exercise Sets Reps
Lying E-Z Bar Extensions 5 15, 12, 10, 8, 8
Cable Pressdowns with V-Bar 4 15, 12, 10, 8

Workout #2
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Pressdowns with V-Bar 5 15, 12, 10, 8, 8
One-Arm Dumbbell Extensions 4 15, 12, 10, 8
Lying E-Z Bar Extensions 4 15, 12, 10, 8

Once again, this workout is mainly meant for intermediate or advanced level bodybuilders. Those just beginning to train should stick with just one workout a week for individual muscle groups. Once you find that you have adapted to that level of training, you can pick up the pace a little. But never do more than you have to in order to make good gains. It's not necessary and you can spend that time focussing on other aspects of health / fitness / bodybuilding as well as other aspects of your life in general. Bodybuilding is supposed to be about balance, so keep that in mind as you assess your gains and re-evaluate your goals.

Take care,

Matt Canning

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