The Key To Bigger Arms Is To Build Bigger Triceps

Although most of the time when we want to get big arms the last thing on our mind is to build bigger triceps and instead give biceps workouts 100 percent of our effort.  Think back to the last time you did an arms workout and chances are you spent more time on your biceps than the rest of your arm.

For most of us working on our triceps is not as exciting as grabbing a pair of dumbbells and curling them for several sets and several repetitions.  It is hard to stay away from placing so much emphasis on biceps when we see guys flexing them on magazines and envying this particular muscle group.  But why should we place more emphasis on triceps?

Work On Your Triceps and You Are Two Thirds Closer To Bigger Arms

Although this may sound hard to believe the triceps compose two thirds (2/3rd) of the thickness of the arms.  The other one third (1/3rd) is composed of your biceps muscles.  Think about that for a second.  Even though the muscle that stands out visually when we flex our arms is the biceps this does not mean it is what creates a thicker arm.

Triceps are thicker, slightly more complex and are made to carry heavier loads.  When you do pushing exercises like shoulder presses, pushups, and bench presses the triceps is a secondary muscle group that is involved.  The majority of the time pushing movements requires us to push heavier weight thus requiring more triceps strength.

Biceps muscles are secondary muscle groups involved not only in biceps curls but also in pulling exercises like pull downs, rowing and pull ups and chin ups exercises.  The demand that is placed on pulling exercises is much less than pushing movements.

Biceps Are Mostly Show Muscles

Yes, that may sound like an unpopular thing to say but biceps are mostly to show off and are commonly referred to as “beach muscles.”  Getting biceps development does not require as much effort as you may think.  Because of their role in pulling movements this muscle group gets a good workout from exercises like rowing or pull-ups/ chin-ups.  In fact, you can build big biceps with a short workout is often enough to get some growth in this muscle group.

If You Want To Get A Stronger Upper Body You Need To Build Bigger Triceps

As mentioned earlier, the role triceps play in pushing exercises is very important.  Because this muscle group is involved in shoulders and chest exercises and absence of bigger triceps will keep you from lifting heavier weight.

Think of the times you wanted to bench press heavier weight but you just could not.  Maybe you did the right things and avoided a plateau effect yet your gains were small.  I have found that a lack of adequate triceps training keeps someone from making gains in exercises like bench presses and shoulder or military presses.

(Check Out More From Reuben Bajada’s Permanent Muscle Program)

So Is It Best To Work Triceps On The Same Day As Pushing Exercises

Although a lot of people like to pair triceps with chest and/ or shoulders I am of the opinion that in order to trigger growth in this muscle it is best to work it on separate days as pressing movements.  This approach is best if you are trying to add mass to this muscle group and want to build triceps muscles.  However, there should be a break of at least 2-3 days between chest and triceps workouts.

The demand that is placed on the triceps is great if you perform exercises like bench press and other variations like incline or decline pushups or bench presses.  If you add shoulder presses the stress placed is now even greater on the triceps and you will tax the muscle so much that you will not give the triceps muscles your best effort.

Which Exercises Are Best To Build Bigger Triceps?

For triceps development my personal favorites include

  • Dips: performed with bodyweight
  • Bench Dips: performed with bodyweight
  • Close Grip Push Ups: performed with bodyweight
  • Overhead Triceps Extension: can be performed with barbells, dumbbells or a plate
  • Triceps Pull Downs: can be performed with a bar or rope on a cable pulley
  • Skull crushers: performed with barbells or dumbbells

There are other exercises but these are some of my personal favorites for getting bigger triceps .

Note: Do not perform all of these exercises in one workout.  Simply choose 2 or 3 of these triceps exercises for 3 or 4 sets each.  Doing more than necessary is counterproductive and will likely set your progress behind.

Every two weeks you can choose a different pair of exercises in order to change it up.

How many repetitions get the best results to build triceps?

Stick with 8 to 10 repetitions in order to get some growth if you are aiming to add mass to this muscle group.

As you can see in order to gain muscle it does not take much effort and a lot of exercises.  Because this is a smaller muscle group, compared to chest and shoulders, you simply have to do only a couple of exercises if you want to build bigger triceps.

Try them and you will see results sooner than you think.

Comments

  1. A lot of guys are guilty of ignoring triceps, not realising just how important they are. I’m a big fan of supersetting biceps and triceps work. The pump is incredible, and you save time too!

    Michael

    • Agree! Doing triceps is very important and doing supersets is also a good way of getting two things done in one workout. Often times I see guys start with biceps and then skip triceps because the motivation is gone in the same workout. So why not just superset once in a while.

      -Sam

  2. Excellent point ..I have small biceps they tend to lag behind the rest of my other parts but when I work the triceps I do feel they have a very big impact on the look and size.
    I probably should do more to focus on them
    Thanks
    Raymond

    • Raymond,
      Giving the triceps an equal amount of time as the biceps is the easiest approach to follow. Because the arms are split in to these two muscle groups you simply can not totally ignore either. It is true that these muscles get secondary stress placed on them with other exercises but it is best to also dedicate a workout independently as well.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      -Sam

  3. Nice group of exercises to blast the triceps. Glad someone is focused on developing the other side of those bicep beach muscles. Improving triceps strength should serve to improve overall pushing strength as well. So stronger triceps can improve chest and shoulder exercises.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      It’s always important to work on both muscle groups. I won’t knock biceps workouts as they are definitely necessary but unfortunately too much attention is sometimes given to only one part of the arm.
      Thanks for stopping by Dave.
      -Sam

  4. Solid advice… Triceps really give the arm some nice size and balance. I’ve always liked the tricep pull downs and dips for building size and definition.

    • Sam Munoz says:

      Hi Kevin,
      Providing balance to the arm is very important.
      I’m with you on both exercises- pull downs and dips are favorites for me as well.

      -Sam