Want to get massive triceps? Then it’s time to put down those heavy weights!
Doesn’t sound like it makes sense does it? But actually there are a number of great reasons that this works wonders. The first and foremost among these is quite simply that lifting lighter weights allows you to use stricter form – and this is what it’s all about when it comes to triggering serious growth.
At the same time, lifting lighter makes more sense for other reasons. In particular, it lets you reach higher rep ranges which according to many bodybuilders is actually the secret to getting size. Look at huge bodybuilders and you’ll find they don’t lift anywhere near as much weight as say a powerlifter – they lift lighter but they lift longer.
So put down the heavy weights for your tricep kickbacks and your pushdowns and look at how you can start using this move in the right way.
The Tricep Push Down
To demonstrate what correct tricep training looks like, we’ll start by focusing on the lat pull down. The first thing to know here is that you need to ensure you get all the way to full extension – that means your arms should be completely straight so you’re maximally contracting the triceps and it means pointing your arms slightly backwards (as this is part of the job of the triceps).
To use this full range of motion, you will need to set yourself up correctly. If you’re using a bar for your tricep push downs, then you need to ensure you’re leaning forward slightly with your waist away from the bar. This way, you’ll be able to straighten your arm completely. The other option is to use rope attached to the cables.
You also need to ensure that you’re using the right control all the way through the movement – don’t try to speed through the motion and use momentum and make sure you feel the triceps contracting as you go. Meanwhile, keep your chin neutral and try to lift your chin up into the neutral position.
What you’ll find is that by fully stretching the triceps and contracting them all the way, you begin involving new muscle fiber that you won’t have used before. Now, even with lighter weight, you will challenge the muscle more and stimulate more growth. Don’t increase the resistance until you can really do no more.
Making it Work
You can apply these same principles to your tricep kickbacks and overhead extensions. In fact, you can apply similar logic to your bicep workouts and your press ups too. Make sure you move all the way through the ROM and you really feel the right muscles working as you do them.
Now remember: if you’re using lighter weights this way, you need to be using higher rep ranges to increase the overall volume. This means reps of 12-15 or even higher, followed by lots of rest and lots of protein.
Resist the urge to increase the weight and you might just be surprised at what happens!