Lets face it, everyone wants big guns, no doubt about it!
When I first started training it was almost an obsession to have big arms, I would train my arms 3-4 days a week until I couldn’t lift them, little did I know I was over training!
Although I was over training I still made reasonable gains, reason being my muscles have never received such stimulation, I gained half an inch and I was pretty proud of 12 1/2 inch guns (I had straw arms).
But all these gains come to a staggering halt, as I mentioned in my previous article Platoe (sticking point) yh well I hit it!
But my lagging arms wasn’t only due to this and neither was it entirely due to my overtraining, (although I would never recommend anyone to train there arms more than once every 7-10 days) my problem was due to my neglect on my triceps, to this day I still see typical bodybuilders neglect the triceps 75% of the arms.
Now when I say neglect doesn’t mean I didn’t train them, believe me I trained them 3 days a week as well!
My problem was a variable not spoken a lot about but extremely important witch is LOAD!
Lets start by a quick anatomy lesson, the triceps has three heads, two of witch are small and one large.
Now imagine the body being lazy, in other words wanting to save energy, if you was to lift a at moderate intensity for instance 75% 1RM (10reps) your body will think, can I lift the load using the small heads of my triceps and save energy by not using the larger head as much and then it will only recruit the smaller heads! Make sense?
Now if you was to lift a heavier load 85% 1RM (6 reps) now your body will recruit a larger muscle to cope with the load, (would have to recruit the larger head of your triceps). So in order to recruit the larger head you would have to lift higher load, but there is a twist, how much load can you add on to a isolated triceps exercise? Not a lot relative to how much you can do with compound movements that recruit more muscle groups! So the key is to use your compound movements to use loads that you cant use on a isolation exercise on the specific muscle. Make sense?
Instead of doing 70kg skull crushers you can do 100kg shoulder press, at one point in that shoulder press your triceps will be recruited and your body will fire up the larger head to cope with the load! Then after completing your compound movements you can isolate your triceps. I believe in using compound before any isolation simply because when you train your body releases Growth hormones, what is going to release more, a compound movement or isolation? After releasing the growth hormone you can then isolate it to areas you lag on, for example, you can bench press then shoulder press and then do some push downs to isolate the growth hormone to the areas you want and then to make things even better you can spike your insulin levels to transport it even faster! Your triceps workout should look something like this.
Begging with some compound movements
Close grip bench press 85% intensity (6reps)
Skull crushers 85% intensity (6reps)
Push downs 75% intensity (10reps)
With this workout your exhausting you larger head of the triceps with the first two exercises and partially exhausting the smaller two heads, then with the final exercise your exhausting the smaller heads.
Note: Higher intensity requires longer rest, lower intensity requires less rest (between sets)
Train hard and train smart
Until next time
By Anthony Chander