T Nation

Triceps Will Not Grow

Looking for feedback from Coach Thib or anyone else who has the same problem. Can’t seem to get my triceps to grow but other body parts are responding relatively well. chest and shoulders could use work too, just not a very good presser in general.

6’1, 185-190
22 years old, working out since age 14 probably only seriously for 2-3 years though

day 1
OH press or push press ramp to 5rm
Bench ramp to 3rm or 5rm
Db bench slight inclince 3-4 sets 6-8 reps, every 3rd week higher reps
Weighted dips or slight decline CGBP 4 sets 6-10 reps
DB skull crushers or Monster mini band tricep kickbacks 3x20

day 2
SGHP ramp to 3-5 rm
Deadlift ramp to 5rm leave some in the tank
upper back and biceps work accordingly, usually 4-6 sets of biceps 4-8 sets upper back

Day 3
Squat ramp to 3-5 rm
more squats

Day 4
OH press ramp to 3-5 rm
db bench slight incline same reps as before
Lateral raises 3-4 x 20
Db skull crushers 3x 8-12
Oh rope Ext 3 x 10-12

day 5
repeat day 2, without the deadlifting or light deadlifts

Any tips or suggestions. Is there too much tricep volume or not enough. More reps or more weight? Long limb lifter and always tend to see more development in the pulling muscles, just cant seem to get the pressing muscle to respond as well. I can always feel a muscle working and its never that i don’t feel like im recruiting them enough, just wont grow. Any tips from anyone would be welcomed.

Check John Meadows’s forum. He posted an exercise for someone who was having trouble building triceps as well. I believe it was something about using the smith machine and doing an incline and I can’t remember the rest from there but check his forum and you will find it.

Try putting an isolation movement immediately after the OHP so that the tris will contract more strongly/pre-exhausted when doing the remaining compound moves.
Also keep the rest to 20-30s on stuff like rope pressdowns so you get as pumped as possible.

My triceps are stubborn too. I found that heavy dips or CGBP from pins really helped. I basically focused on strength, using things like clusters, doing singles and 3RM. Then I would do another day where I would do 2 overhead movements, 6 total sets, 8-12 reps focusing on hard contraction. And then I would do a day of bands with sets of 20+ reps. This really helped with recovery, staying far away from failure, focusing again on contraction.

If you are eating the proper nutrition, this can be effective. It’s probably due to you having long arms too (if you do). I would deload every 4th week also.

*And when focusing on triceps, you will have to lower the volume on chest/shoulders exercises a little too.

thanks guys im really appreciating all of the feedback and suggestions.

"just not a very good presser in general"
Rather than thinking about how you can get your triceps to grow, I’d worry about becoming a better presser (drop the extras and press more)

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
"just not a very good presser in general"
Rather than thinking about how you can get your triceps to grow, I’d worry about becoming a better presser (drop the extras and press more) [/quote]

I second this. There are pressing variations that are more tri-focused, like top-half bench from pins, top-half military from pins, close-grip bench, push press, etc, bench w/ chains, bench w/ bands, board-presses, etc. These will still use the chest and shoulders but will place more emphasis on the tris. CT has recommended in the past using partials and lifts from pins less often than the full lift, so perhaps CGBP or bands/chains might work as well.

Hand position on the bar also contributes to muscle involvement…wider uses more chest, closer more tris. Angle of press impacts shoulder involvement: the steeper the angle, the more the shoulders are used. Simply put, press more to get better at the press…

[quote]defenderofTruth wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
"just not a very good presser in general"
Rather than thinking about how you can get your triceps to grow, I’d worry about becoming a better presser (drop the extras and press more) [/quote]

I second this. There are pressing variations that are more tri-focused, like top-half bench from pins, top-half military from pins, close-grip bench, push press, etc, bench w/ chains, bench w/ bands, board-presses, etc. These will still use the chest and shoulders but will place more emphasis on the tris. CT has recommended in the past using partials and lifts from pins less often than the full lift, so perhaps CGBP or bands/chains might work as well.

Hand position on the bar also contributes to muscle involvement…wider uses more chest, closer more tris. Angle of press impacts shoulder involvement: the steeper the angle, the more the shoulders are used. Simply put, press more to get better at the press…[/quote]

Good points but how about going the other direction; a day of just arms starting with triceps. The problem is getting that day away from the other movements to avoid over training. It’s like trying to keep your D.L. away from your squat so you don’t blow your back out.

Just a thought.

[quote]doublelung84 wrote:

[quote]defenderofTruth wrote:

[quote]cubuff2028 wrote:
"just not a very good presser in general"
Rather than thinking about how you can get your triceps to grow, I’d worry about becoming a better presser (drop the extras and press more) [/quote]

I second this. There are pressing variations that are more tri-focused, like top-half bench from pins, top-half military from pins, close-grip bench, push press, etc, bench w/ chains, bench w/ bands, board-presses, etc. These will still use the chest and shoulders but will place more emphasis on the tris. CT has recommended in the past using partials and lifts from pins less often than the full lift, so perhaps CGBP or bands/chains might work as well.

Hand position on the bar also contributes to muscle involvement…wider uses more chest, closer more tris. Angle of press impacts shoulder involvement: the steeper the angle, the more the shoulders are used. Simply put, press more to get better at the press…[/quote]

Good points but how about going the other direction; a day of just arms starting with triceps. The problem is getting that day away from the other movements to avoid over training. It’s like trying to keep your D.L. away from your squat so you don’t blow your back out.

Just a thought.
[/quote]

Could do that. The OP said he was a poor presser in general, so I suggested things that would meet both goals: hit the triceps while getting some good pressing in and thus hitting the shoulders and chest as well. Someone else mentioned doing some isolation work to pre-fatigue the tris before pressing, which would work, too. It all depends what the OP’s real goal is: work on their pressing or work on their triceps. Obviously if its getting the triceps “up to par” moreso than getting the pressing up to par, your approach is a good one. Putting the Pressing days early and the arms day last would work…sort of like the original HP Mass, in which the major pressing was done on Mon/Tues and the Lats/Bis would be done on Sat.

Hey guys im appreciating everyone’s different suggestions and responses. The reason my original post was specifically for the triceps and not for pressing in general is that, while yes i am lacking in pressing in general, i have been seeing increases in pressing strength and overall progress in my presses in general.

shoulders and chest are getting stronger and developing, just not on par with the posterior chain (back, hams, deadlifts, pulling strength in general and biceps) but progressing none the less. The problem is specifically that my triceps just are not on pace with everything else i feel. And its not a triceps strength issue either, which is weird to me. they are a relatively strong body part in terms of moving weight.

if i can get a press past half way, i have no problem in locking the weight out. I just have trouble putting size on them. i dont seem to feel any kind of close grip excercises, UNLESS it is on a smith machine where i can really focus on the triceps. i dont know if it just looks that way to me because of bad insertion points for the muscles or what.

My arms have grown about a quarter of an inch in the past 4-5 months, but it seems to me its all biceps or maybe just glycogen, water retention, all the jazz.

i just want honey glazed hams hanging from the back of my arms…

t-tyme

in this thread Coach Thib addresses my question regarding my Triceps and it was worked tremendously well.

I have added 1/4 inch in size (at least), added strength, conditioning and density over the last 7 weeks. The look of my arm has changed quite dramatically.

Thanks man sounds great really appreciate the link!

@ IAM

What kind of programing are you running with this tricep set up? are you doing the layers?