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Question: Reverse-Grip Tricep Pulldowns


How much do you guys pull down on these? I'm doing 25Kg at 3x6, although I'm due an increase, but I suspect this is lagging considering I barbell curl 50Kg for the same range.

I look forward to your numbers gentlemen!


The only time I tried them, they hurt my wrists, so I avoid them.


60kg x8 on the machine at my gym, which is probably about 40kg on most others (ego booster gym for fat people).


Possibly varies from machine to machine due to differing pulley length/angles/friction etc, but even 40Kg is MUCH more than my

Rick, can I ask how much you can Barbell curl?


Did you do them with a straight bar or angled bar? I can only do them with an angled bar or they hurt my wrists.

To the OP, you're going to be weaker with reverse-grip pushdowns than regular pushdowns. I'm pretty sure that I reverse-grip pushdown less weight (on a single pulley) than I would do with say, EZ bar curls.

I like to do reverse and regular pushdowns as a double set. For example.

Reverse-grip pushdowns: 8-10 reps
rest 5-10 seconds, then
Regular-grip pushdowns: sameweight x failure (usually 5-8 reps)

I usually do this for three sets as my last tricep movement. I get a great burn and pump from doing this.


I don't know the value of having another person's weights, but if you find it informative, most recently I used 150 lb for 10. That would be an example of not being particularly strong.

I probably do them differently than you do: I do them what I call "Franco style." Well, except for grip: Franco used a pronated grip.

The difference is starting the movement with the elbows as high as possible while still having the elbows nearly as closed as possible, initiating the movement as if it were a pullover, and using the momentum to advantage.

Franco's reason for doing this likely was that it allows more weight. My reason for doing it is that the exercise is intended for the long head of the triceps, and the upper arm motion that is involved should recruit the long head more.

Also, as with AngryVader I also like supersetting reverse grip with normal grip. I keep the elbows still for normal grip. I probably only have about 3 seconds inbetween though.

Or another favorite is supersetting reverse curl, reverse grip pushdown, EZ curl, and normal grip pushdown, essentially no rest between.


Thanks Bill/Vader.

Bill, my end goal with all this is to bring my lagging arms up to scratch with the rest of me (16.4" arms yet 50" chest). I have a shoulder impingement/bursitis/whatever that I have to be careful about, so until it heals up or I find a shoulder specialist, I can't go as hell for leather on compound push work as I used to. I've often suspected I have undertrained, underdeveloped triceps but have never been able to prove it.

I tried this exercise a couple of weeks ago and found I could only do about 15Kgs. As I got to 20Kgs the next week I found my tri's ballooning, I've felt them merely pumped but this was utterly different. My arm went from 16.5" to 17.4", the kind of abrupt progress a beginner would make, and that's like-for-like.

This may sound freaky but I suspect this exercise has reactivated a long-dormant head. It's the only explanation that fits this crazy situation!


Ah, that makes sense, both on wishing values others are using and your theory on your arms. Outstanding sudden improvement for sure!

The even better thing is it sounds as if you have room, so to speak, for a lot more in this regard and thus even more gains will likely come pretty rapidly now that you have figured this out.


Always good to improve muscle stimulation ~ That exercise is the one I've brought up @ the gym the most with guys I've seen training for year+ or longer. I've never once seen one of them not find their training to improve after learning how to make this exercise work for them.

I'm training at 110+kgs for that though I don't think weight matters as much as your ability to make it work! Sounds like you've got it though.


I used a straight bar, I was just trying out some random machines during PE at school. It felt like it was ripping my hands off my arms.


Yeah, the straight bar can be pretty hard on the wrists. It is for me anyway. Give an angled bar a shot if you try them again.


Cheers chaps!! Hearing about people pushing down 100Kg + is extremely encouraging!!

Damn shame I'm cutting for the next few months though, this could have REALLY blown my arms up, but I hope the effects aren't wasted, just delayed until I bulk.

Has anyone ever gained size when cutting??


Why would one use a reverse grip on these? Activation of a usually sleepy head of the tris?




Just a bump, has anyone here increased the size of a lagging bodypart whilst cutting? I've got at least 30Ibs of surplus blubber so it's going to be a few months before I can start to make gains otherwise.


yup, hits the other head and likely your weight will be less than w/ tradition pressdowns.


dunno what a reverse grip tricep pulldown is, but if your talking about reverse grip cable tricep pushdowns (as opposed to rope cable pullovers) then I can do about 120 x 10. I like the movement, I think it gives a completely different feel than the regular version.

I have no idea what I barbell curl though. I've dumbbell hammer curled 100 lbs x 5 before (that was a while ago though), but I don't do much bicep work or keep up with curls.


If I hear one more powerlifter complain about how bodybuilders train their arms, then I'll just copy and paste your post here to demonstrate that you guys are much worse than us with them pussy-exercises :slight_smile:


These are in my routines one way or another for 20-26 weeks a year. I ALWAYS use the 'e-z' bar. Like many I sometimes superset them with overhand pushdowns. When they are a heavy station; I have done 180-200 lbs for 6-10 reps.