Somewhat Disappointed


On September 29, 2020, I posted an article on T-Nation with the title: “Triceps So Big You’d Have to Rest Them on a Desk or Chair.” I’m surprised no one on the Forum has made any comments on the article and the suggested routine.

Did you guys read the article? Have you tried heavy, negative-only dips? Anybody on the Forum like to have really huge triceps?


I am 69 years old and just had my first week one workout last night. My triceps are sore this morning. When it comes to week two I am not sure I will be able to complete any negative dips after the second set of overhead triceps presses. If that is the case what alternate would you suggest. I am 6’5" 238 lbs and can perform eight negative 8 second dips, full stretch with 50 lbs.

I didn’t realize there would be homework assignments!

I’d love to have really huge triceps, big biceps, cannon ball delts. But there is your point #3 to consider: Genetics Dictate Reality… Deal With It, and Enjoy Your Life.

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It’s kind of funny and sad that most people looking to add size to their arms will ignore the triceps as a muscle group on their own. Though I have to wonder about that since many folks at the gym will do some triceps exercises at the gym as a point of showing off.

Personally I’m not doing a lot of lifting right now, or for a while. I’m pending an abdomen reconstruction surgery due to “issues”. These arm exercises those are a great way to get some good exercise in without me having the strain my core too much (albeit, using much lighter weights then I would like). The important thing for me here is to get some exercise in so that I don’t become a pile of flab before surgery.

I have been trying to introduce my wife into HIT so that she doesn’t have to spend so much time doing “this or that” exercises like her friends do, and these triceps routines were a great way of getting her to forget about the dreaded “Grand Ma Arms Folds” that she worries about.

So for getting my arms bigger, I have to wait on that. Using the information provided in the article for maintaining what I have (or at least reducing the risks of atrophy. My fear). Both the 30-10-30 routine and being able to hit these smaller groups are important since they can be targeted without as much risk to my core.

Thank you for continuing to develop and provide us with these data sets and routines.

Enjoyed that article very much and I’ve been doing negative dips after a variety of triceps exercises beforehand for a very long time. Recently I’m focused on my triceps a bit so I’ve been doing negative dips twice a week, after flat-bench EZ-bar French Presses on the first workout day of the week, and after Standing Cable Pressdowns on the second workout day of the week. Negative dips are also quite effective for the chest (and triceps) after doing a serious set of dumbbell (flat bench, decline, or incline) flyes.

Talking about negative-focused exercise, I had a “fun time” in 1972-1973 after Arthur wrote an article about doing negative-only movements. So my training partner and I engaged another member in a Nautilus-equipped gym to help each other in doing negative-only workouts. After a couple of such workouts, we were hurting and we immediately lost our “interim” training partner, who by the way was a 550+# bench presser! As you might imagine, it took a LOT of “positive” work for my regular training partner and me to assist our “interim” training partner!

I never saw the article or would have read it . From the start on this forum I’ve had problems finding articles I’ve heard about and trouble just navigating the site so gave up on it and tune into this board only.

How / where do I find this article ?

The T Nation main site is linked in the banner at the top of each page.

Triceps so big I need to rest them on a chair as they pull my shoulders down , ha ha. To be perfectly honest there’s a ton of different ways to work those muscles ( many that you’ve shared with us) so they can get so sore you can’t move them but after having tried tons of negative dips and a host of other routines I never found it made much difference how hard I worked or what routine I did in the end it didn’t make much difference. I know the first thing out of someone’s mouth is that’s your limit, that’s your genetics but is it really? How do we really know when we have got as big as we can or if we have been doing something else wrong all this time that’s hindering gains?

Dr. Darden,
Actually your presence in this forum induced me to start negative only workouts. I’ve been inteigued by Jones’s work and your articles posted previously here on T-nation, but never actually tried it training wise.
Unfortunatelly, after nearly 2 weeks I got pretty rough injury (not related to training) and I am still recovering.
Can’t wait to start training again.
I will keep you posted.

If you can’t do negative-only dips, try negative-only pushups on the floor. Start at the top and lower your body slowly to the floor. Use your knees to return to the top position and repeat for 6 to 8 reps.

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I very much enjoyed that article, but of course I always enjoy reading your work, Dr. Darden - as a young trainee, I strongly believe that many of the answers lie in the past, and it’s important not to lose that knowledge.

Reading the Gold School Triceps article inspired me to try HIT techniques in my routine, like negative-only dips and 30-10-30 barbell curls. I haven’t run the routine yet but I plan to try it as soon as I start a mass gaining phase. I will of course be sure to let you know how that goes!

Same for me as well. When I venture to the main page to see new articles it’s a mish mash of new and some that are very old and I can’t easily see just new content. As a web designer myself I would create 2 categories on the homepage one that lists new articles in order and one that lists those old articles they want to push up instead of mixing them up. But it’s not my website I manage.


I read it and tried it the next day, my triceps were sore for about 3 days after. Super appreciative of your articles I even read them when I need motivation before a workout, I almost treat them like a pre-workout! Negative dips have been my favorite exercise for years, keep the articles coming! Side note, the routine reminded me of a routine a good friend of mine came up with for arm specialization,

1.Neg chin
2.Barbell curl
3.Neg chin
4.Barbell curl
5.Neg dip
6.Push up
7.Neg dip
8.Push up
9.Leg press

Would love to hear your thoughts on it? Your books and articles are a huge reason that I’m currently in college for exercise science, thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!

This is there. If I go to the homepage, I get the mixed list. If I click on articles, it list them in order of newest first. You could also filter and search by author, because many authors will likely be of no interest to you.

I don’t have a dip station currently where I workout. Once I get my weights for my home gym, they will be shipping here at some point, I will definitely give the workout a go from the article. Now that I’ve seen negative only pushups as a recommendation I will likely sub those in for the negative only dips for the time being. I will be embarking on the Killing Fat diet and workout plan for 6 weeks starting Monday so I will be logging that somewhere on the forum.

Is 3.5 weeks really enough time to evaluate the effectiveness of the program? I would figure a bit more time would be needed, which may explain the lack of commentary.



I’m interested in your arm routine. It sounds like it might work. Have you tried it for several workouts? Tell me more?

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I still have it open in my browser with 2 other articles…I have got to them yet! Takes me 3 weeks to get around to reading them! (I did look at the pictures though…)

I haven’t read it, amazing article!

I have read the article, 3 times, and have been using 30-10-30 in my routines. Love the concept.