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Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
by Anthony Millar of dotfitness.co.uk

We are all well aware that close attention to diet and supplementation as well as adequate rest and recuperation can

The triceps, situated at the back of the arm are one of the bodies more attractive muscles. It is a fact of life that if you want big arms you need big triceps, as they constitute 2/3 of the arm as a whole. They need only be directly broken down once a week, due to their significant role in the pressing movements of the chest and shoulders. Well-developed triceps increase the aesthetic appearance of most people’s arms as they tend to be overshadowed on the whole as a result of prioritising biceps’ training. 10 effective working sets is all that is generally needed along with perfect technique and a healthy dose of intensity.

The triceps, situated at the back of the arm are one of the bodies more attractive muscles. It is a fact of life that if you want big arms you need big triceps, as they constitute 2/3 of the arm as a whole. They need only be directly broken down once a week, due to their significant role in the pressing movements of the chest and shoulders. Well-developed triceps increase the aesthetic appearance of most people’s arms as they tend to be overshadowed on the whole as a result of prioritising biceps’ training. 10 effective working sets is all that is generally needed along with perfect technique and a healthy dose of intensity.

1. Triceps Curls. 1 Warm-up Set. 4 Working Sets. 15 repetitions of 20% of 1 rep max. (warm up)
1. 8 repetitions of 50% of 1 rep max.
2. 8 repetitions of 60% of 1 rep max.
3. 7 repetitions of 60% of 1 rep max.
4. 6 repetitions of 65% of 1 rep max.

Description: This is the exercise responsible for the breaking down of the bulk head of the triceps. This makes its inclusion absolutely essential if thickness and mass are to be achieved in this area. Basically, this is the triceps equivalent to the basic curl for the biceps and it is for this reason that most workouts are best started with this exercise (3 in every 4).

Technique: As with all ‘free weight’ movements there is a strict emphasis on technique. For this exercise you will also need a bench. Lay on the bench the opposite way from doing a bench press. Have the weight raised above the shoulders with the elbows locked. Your grip should be shoulder width apart in order to keep your elbows in. Breathe in as you slowly lower the weight to your forehead. Whilst doing this you should restrict all movement to the forearms only. The elbows must be kept high and inward, in other words they should remain in the same position. This will enable you to get a fantastic stretch on the triceps and a much fuller contraction. Then slowly curl the weight back to the original starting position as you exhale. This exercise can be tricky to perform on your own. So take extra care in assembling yourself in the starting position and releasing the weight at the end of each set. Ideally try to get somebody to help with these issues, although the exercise is far from impossible on your own. Finally very few people experience stabbing pains down the forearms when doing this movement. If you are one of these unfortunates simply substitute this exercise for the close hand press-ups, which target the same area of the muscle. Do this the same designated amounts of sets and reps.

Intensity: Once again, during the first 3 weeks concentrate on mastering the correct form whilst reducing resting times from 3 minutes to only two. If done correctly this alone will produce an immense amount of intensity. It is not generally accepted on practical grounds, unless you have someone watching over you to include any form of intensifying technique. Correct technique is much more important at this stage so that the muscle can be significantly broken down in the safest possible way.

2. Dips. 4 Working Sets.
1. 10 repetitions of 50% of 1 rep max.
2. 8 repetitions of 60% of 1 rep max.
3. 8 repetitions of 65% of 1 rep max.
4. 6 repetitions of 70% of 1 rep max.

Description: Again another mass builder, which represents a very natural movement for the triceps and is a guaranteed muscle burner. Dips can be performed in a variety of ways; for example you do not need a set of parallel bars to complete this exercise. A simple bench and two breezeblocks will suffice.

Technique: Start this exercise with your back toward the bench with your palms holding on to the side where you back lays for a bench press. Have this grip no wider than shoulder width apart (keeping the elbows in) as any more will start to prioritise chest development, as the chest is worked secondary. Place the breezeblocks roughly 3 feet away so that you can rest your feet on them, with your knees fully extended and in an elevated position. Take a deep breath in as you slowly lower yourself to the point where your bottom almost touches the floor. Your elbows should be high and tight and fully stretched at this point. Then exhale as you press yourself back upward in a controlled manner assuring a full contraction of the working muscles. When the point comes where the completion of reps is no longer a problem, this technique allows someone to place a plate across your thighs to increase resistance.



Intensity: To begin with, as with all exercises take the first 3 weeks to concentrate on mastering the correct form whilst reducing resting times from 3 minutes to only two. This should provide ample intensity and should really encourage new growth. As your muscles adapt you can increase the resistance (introduce a plate across the thighs) or implement rest-pause. Either strategy will breakdown the muscle to a greater extent.

3. Kickbacks. 2 Working sets.
1. 10 repetitions of 60% of 1 rep max.
2. 10 repetitions of 60% of 1 rep max.

Description: The Kickbacks are an absolute fantastic exercise for adding great shape and quality to the triceps. This movement brings out the definition and directly hits the long head of the triceps, which flows down the outer arm. An exercise such as this is ideal to complete a triceps workout, as it is isolating by nature and requires only moderate amounts of energy. This should come as quite a relief as a lot of heavy lifting has preceded this exercise and if done as instructed should have you fatigued at this point.

Technique: The success of this exercise relies heavily on the completion of its correct technique. The best way to illustrate this is to look at the example of a snooker players’ cue technique. We acknowledge that on the face of it this sounds absurd, but in reality to replace the snooker cue with a dumbbell is the ideal technique for such an exercise. To start then, lean over placing your hand on a wall/bench that is roughly 3 feet high. Assume the classic pose of a snooker player by having one foot about 2 feet behind the other. The foot at the back should be directly next to the triceps that are being worked. Keep the elbows in and keep them high so that the upper arm is parallel with the floor. This position should never change. Only the forearm should be brought back as you breathe out. On the eccentric phase (the returning of the weight) breathe in and strive for a worthwhile stretch.

Intensity: This is the final exercise of the entire workout, so as much as you would like to finish with a bang, just getting through the workout with 2-3 minute rests will be a challenge for the first 3 weeks. Although as you do adapt, try to swap the weight over immediately from one hand to the other upon completion of the set. This denies the muscles sufficient rest to fully recover before their next set. This will intensify the muscles pump and assure the muscles have been fully broken down.

In conclusion then this workout is aimed at anyone wishing to add size and shape to the back of the arm. Please note that over time the triceps will adapt to the various stimuli so therefore it is essential that both the weights and movements are constantly changed. The weights for example should be slightly increased when the final set can be performed with perfect technique for more than the designated number of repetitions. Remember to make each workout slightly different to the previous one ensuring constant stimulation to the working muscles.

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