Q: I’ve learned a lot from the X-traordinary Arms e-book I received with Anabolic After-40; however, I’m a hardgainer with limited recovery ability, so I’m looking for the single best exercise for triceps, one that hits all three heads. I also have your Ultimate Mass Workout e-book, in which you discuss the single best exercise for each bodypart. For triceps you list close-grip decline bench presses, but those don’t work for me. I just don’t feel my triceps. Any other suggestions?
A: Usually when someone doesn’t feel an exercise it’s because another muscle group is taking more of the stress, like chest and delts on close-grip bench presses. Also, neuromuscular efficiency may be deficient in the target muscle—your triceps are low in nerve-to-muscle connections.
First, we suggest you try the X Arms specialization routines as they are listed, but just use one work set for each exercise instead of two. That shouldn’t drain your recovery ability, and you’ll get the three key components of muscle growth—max force, stretch overload and continuous tension/occlusion. Plus, if you alternate those arm programs as we outline, you will get fuller, more complete arms—from biceps peak and width to triceps sweep and width. Those programs are specially designed POF programs for specific size effects in the bi’s and tri’s. If you still feel that’s too much and you need to get the most development from one set of one exercise, we have a few suggestions…
When you get to triceps, you may have already done some type of bench press for chest, so you’re better off with a more isolated exercise for your triceps rather than going back to another pressing move. MRI studies show that decline extensions light up all three triceps heads to the max; that is, skull crushers with your head lower than your legs on a decline bench. It’s a great efficiency-of-effort triceps exercise, placing them at the ideal ergonomic angle to fire—but we have a divide-and-conquer solution too…
This is a combo move. First, do your extensions on a flat bench. Why flat instead of decline? As we discuss in the X Arms e-book, that focuses on the long head, putting the most stress on that sweeping section, the beefiest part of the triceps mass. Go for around nine reps, and when you reach exhaustion, immediately launch into a set of close-grip bench presses with the same weight. (If you can, use an EZ-curl bar for less wrist stress.)
Close-grip bench presses on a flat bench focus on the other two triceps heads—lateral and medial—so it’s the perfect complement to lying extensions, a long-head move. If the poundage is too light on the close-grips, you can rack your extension weight and immediately grab heavier dumbbells to rep out on bench presses with your arms in close to your torso. Just try to mimic close-grip bench presses. You’ll get the same full-blown effect! This is a killer combo that will fully engorge your triceps, as all three heads are hit hard with plenty of critical-mass tension time.
NOTE: The X-traordinary Arms e-books is now available only as a FREE bonus with the new Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual which contains new mass-building XRX workouts featuring Pure Positions of Flexion mass training with moderate-weight 3X density sequences plus rest/pause X-Reps. You get 3 FREE bonuses—“20 Pounds in 10 Weeks Blueprint,” “Anabolic After-40 Bodyweight Edition” and “X-traordinary Arms.” Add them all to your mass-building library for a limited-time price ($100 value) of ONLY $15 HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson