How Do I Build Bigger Triceps?

horseshoe triceps

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Would you recommend doing flat bench, close-grip bench, and triceps all on the same day, or would you say that splitting those exercises up might be more effective? Any advice you could pass along would be greatly appreciated by my students and I. Thank you for the articles and your time.”


Personally, I've trained chest and arms on the same day for years. Here's one of my sample routines:


bench press
Incline dumbbell press
Incline fly

Superset biceps and triceps

Close grip bench press superset with standing barbell curls

Standing cable press downs superset with standing alternate curls

Overhead french press superset with preacher curls

I've had plenty of success with this type of routine. For me, chest and arms go along perfectly. However, you may find training chest and triceps on the same day to taxing on your triceps. Personally, most of these exercises are pushing movements so they fit well with each other.

You see, triceps can easily get overtrained. I'd rather train triceps no more than 2 times per week for direct and indirect movements. Anymore than 2 times and you increase your chances of overtraining your triceps. I've tried a bunch of combinations for split training and the best one (for me) is chest and arms. I like to train my triceps hard on day one and hit them once more, two to three days afterwards for indirect movements such as with shoulder press'

You see, by the time day 4 comes along, which is my shoulder day, my triceps are stronger, and well rested. This is what I want because my shoulder strength is very dependant on my triceps strength. Weak and sore triceps means weak pressing movements which means no muscle improvements.

Of course everyone is different. My shoulders are much stronger than my triceps are and can take much more punishment but my triceps are easily overtrained. Once my triceps go, everything goes.

Here's what it all boils down to - Recuperation times.

You don't build muscle in the gym, you actually tear down your muscle tissue in the gym. The muscle repairs itself while it's resting, and that process starts as soon as you hit the showers after your training session. Want to know what the true muscle builder is? It's your recuperation time.

If you can find the right rest combination, you'll have a true muscle building routine. I've tried training my triceps on different days and for some reason, they are always sore and tired. I have found that if I train my triceps hard on day one with chest, they are well rested and stronger by the time shoulders come around which is usually on day 4. I indirectly train my triceps on day 4 and by the time day one comes around, which is usually the following Monday, my triceps are ready for heavy training again.

Basically, I will hit my triceps directly, once per week, and indirectly, once per week.

My suggestion is to play around with the routine and find the best rest periods for optimal growth. The thing you have to remember is that everyone is different. What may work for me, might not work for you so you have to do a little bit of experimenting to find your optimal rest times.

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All the best,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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