Do you know any guys who don’t want bigger arms? No? Neither do we. Every guy is looking for ways to make his arms bigger and usually that involves a bunch of different curl variations trying to get a pump. However, the most overlooked way of building arms is definitely the triceps. Did you know that ⅔ of your arm is actually triceps? Yet for some reason guys give them almost 0 attention. How often do you see guys doing dips, skullcrushers or close grip bench press? Rarely. How often do you see guys doing some sort of curl variation? Every single time you go to the gym.
Look, we aren’t saying training biceps is bad. Building nice bicep peaks will definitely increase the size of your arms and make them look more aesthetic. However, since ⅔ of your arm is triceps, you should be devoting ⅔ of your arm training time on them. Another benefit of training triceps is that they will actually improve your strength on the bicep exercises, which means you can expect to make faster gains for that part of your arm.
Where Exactly are the Triceps
Triceps (tri) represents the three heads of the upper arm – the medial, long and lateral triceps. The triceps are responsible for straightening your arm and also helps with bringing arms down towards the body (along with the lats). In order to build a great set of triceps you need to make sure you are working each head. Like with any exercise, using good form is important to make sure you are emphasizing the targeted muscle.
Are they a chest exercise or a tricep exercise? Depends how you do them (or who you ask). Whatever they are, they are one of the best ways to build massive triceps. The easiest way to perform these to emphasize the arms is to try to remain as upright as possible throughout the movement. As soon as you start learning forward you begin to incorporate the lower chest into the exercise. While it makes for a great chest pump, we’re trying to emphasize the arms here.
If you are not strong enough to perform a dip, don’t jump on one of those assisted dip machines. In our opinion they do not prepare you for the real thing as they don’t develop the supporting muscles needed to perform parallel bar dips. Instead, use momentum to jump up to the top of the movement and lower yourself slowly. Do this a few times to get used to the movement and build up some strength. After a few workouts you should have enough strength to do at least 1 dip properly.
Another way you can perform the bench is by doing them on the side of a bench. This method is a bit easier than the parallel bar dips however it takes the chest out of the exercise completely. You can make it easier or harder by moving your feet further away or closer to your body. Feel free to add a plate or two on your lap to make the exercise more difficult. If you want to train past failure, have your training partner remove one of the plates when you are not able to do another rep. This will allow you to train for longer and really fire up those triceps. If you are holding multiple plates on your lap you can actually do this for a while until you are doing bodyweight dips to failure.
There are a number of ways you can do this exercise but we prefer to do them with the EZ bar. Simply lie on your back and bend your arms toward you while holding the bar, then extend the arms upwards. Remember to perform the exercise slowly and really emphasize the triceps.
This exercise can also be performed while sitting or standing with some minor adjustments. In order to mix things up you can also perform this exercise on an incline or decline bench. It’s important to make sure you don’t settle on doing the same exercise for too long otherwise your body will adapt to the movement. You can also superset skullcrushers rather easily with close grip bench press.
This is a popular choice among bodybuilders as it is very effective and easy to perform. In terms of which attachment you should use, it really comes down to your preference – v-bar, straight bar, rope or ez bar. The important thing is to focus on hitting the triceps, performing the reps in a slow, controlled manner and contracting the triceps on each exercise. Keep your back as straight as possible in order to keep the pressure on the triceps. Just like with the dips, you can easily superset these or do drop sets by decreasing the weight each time you hit failure.
Close Grip Bench Press
By performing the traditional bench press exercise with your hands a bit closer together you can shift the emphasis from the chest to the arms. Always perform this exercise with a spotter as it carries the same risk as the bench press. To mix things up, feel free to do these on a decline bench or you can even superset them with skullcrushers.
Cut Fat for Better Definition
You’ve probably seen a lot of really big dudes who also happen to be carrying a lot of fat – do they have big arms? Yes. Do they look impressive? No. Think offensive linemen in the NFL – big guys, huge arms, but not the type of arms we want. In order to really show off those muscular arms you need to drop the fat that is covering them up. In fact, some guys look more muscular after a cut, even if they lost a few pounds of muscle, simply because they are showing off more definition.
One of the best ways of burning fat without losing muscle is to use a fat burning supplement. These products use natural ingredients that are proven to boost metabolism, increase energy levels (so you can continue to work those arms hard), and keep your appetite down. We recommend taking a high quality product for optimal results. Click here for our dedicated fat burners page and to learn more about the best products currently on the market.