T Nation

I Want to Strengthen My Triceps


Which workout option do you think will be best suitable for strength development? I was thinking option #3 routine may be a more hypertrophy focused workout, than options #1 and #2. I'm looking for primarily strength increases in my triceps, although I wouldn't mind my triceps to hypertrophy.

Link to "Old-School Triceps" article: http://www.T-Nation.com/...article=264tri2

1 Option

Tuesday - Heavy Bench Press Work
Bench Press, 5 x 3 @ 80%
Throat Crushers, 4 x 8

Friday - Speed Bench Workout
Speed Bench, 9 x 3 @ 40%
Close Grip Declines, 5 x 5


Monday - Bench Workout
Bench Press, 3 x 8 @ 65%
Dips, 4 x 8 (with weight)

Thursday - Bench Press Assistance
3-Board Press, 2 x 2 @ 100% of bench press max
Dumbbell Triceps Extension, 4 x 6

3 Option

Bench Press, 4 x 8
Skull Crushers, 4 x 10

Speed Bench, 9 x 3
Rack Work, work up to heavy sets of 3
Triceps Pushdown, 3 x 12

Close Grip Decline, 4 x 8
Dips with weight, 3 x 6

(I forgot to put this)
I actually want to strengthen my triceps primarily for increased lifts in the Military press.


I've personally never had any success with triceps isolation work. Dips were all that really did it for me but I'm a beginner. Some of my much stronger friends use bench lockout work and mil pressing as their triceps work


Workout #2 looks good to me. From a powerlifting standpoint I like that one to increase the size and strength of you tris. But I would alter it a little. For example I would do the 3 board press on the first day instead of regular bench. Use the 3 board as a max effort movement not an assistance movement. Also you're going to be able to hit a 3 board for much higher than 100% of your regular bench max.

Other than that, DEF keep the weighted dips. On you assistance day instead of the board press, do some speed bench or even some close grip inclines or something.


For pure strength increase I think option 2 is your best bet.


shoulder width bench really got mine stronger and growing, mine are pretty stubborn, wieghted dips also did the trick to a lesser extent... i do isolation work but its just icing on the cake, i don't attribute any serious gains to doing it...


and why do you want to strengthen your tris specifically?


Are you doing heavy military presses? My overhead strength sucks, and I'm convinced most of it was because I never did heavy military presses. Now that I've been doing singles up to a max effort once a week or so, my strength is coming up. Buffalokilla on these boards suggested I do some overhead support work, and I'll probably do some partial lockouts too, just for good measure.

Hope that helps,



Thanks for the great replies. From taking the advice of everyone so far, it seems this is optimal:

Max Day

A. 3-Board Press
Sets: 2
Reps: 2 @ 100%+ of bench press max
Tempo: 10X
Rest: 2 minutes

B. Overhead dumbbell extension
Sets: 4
Reps: 6
Tempo: 10X
Rest: 90 seconds

Assistance Day

A. Explosive push-ups
Sets: 9
Reps: 3
Tempo: 10X
Rest: 2 minutes

B. Incline close-grip bench press
Sets: 5
Reps: 5
Tempo: 10X
Rest: 2 minutes

I was thinking of lowering the reps to 3 (higher intensity), on the Incline close-grip bench press, since my primary goal is triceps strength. Do you think I would overtrain if I did that, considering the 3-Board press workout on Monday?


Personally, I think my overhead pressing strength doesn't suck. What I mean is... I do move heavy weights (more than 6 reps) for the Military press, and I haven't plateau in strength either. I love the Military press, and I want to press even more weight over my head. To do so, I think the best course of action is to strengthen my triceps first, before I jump into my shoulder program.

Does that sound like a plan?

Thanks for the replies


If you are really going to rock your tris on monday with low reps and heavy weight then lighter loading parameters would be most beneficial for your CG Press. Just my 2 cents.


I know I may be the first person in the history of T-Nation to say this but, I never had great success with dips. The Close-grip bench press is much more effective exercise for the triceps (FOR ME THAT IS!).


I dunno about other people, but i NEVER just work arms, any part of them isolated.

If your lifting heavy and doing the basics, your tri's will get all kind of stimulation. Military presses, bench, dips, ect.


Do you have any reason to believe your triceps are the limiting factor in your overhead pressing? If so trying to bring them up before hand makes sense, if not I think your wasting your time.

Also if the goal is to strengthen the tri's for overhead pressing why not work them with a movement that mimics this?

I feel the triceps are worked much differently in overhead work. I know my triceps are a strong point in bench but get beat to shit with overhead presses. Basicly board presses and other bench oriented tricep work would be no help to me for overhead work.


Thank you JNeves

You made a great point. I dont feel my triceps are a limiting factor in the Military press. I think i'll just do my shoulder program, and while I do it find any imbalances holding me back.


Thib has an article on this...read it


The only thing dips have done for me is mess up my rotator cuffs. Thanks, but I'll pass on those.