Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Triceratops! aka Triceps are Tops!

I’ve been doing a three day split this last week. Saturday was chest, triceps, and abs, Sunday was off, Monday was legs and glutes, Tuesday was shoulders, back, and biceps, and today was back to chest, triceps, and abs. Are you detecting a pattern here? =)

I’m not biased when it comes to grouping body parts, so next week I might do chest and back together and biceps, triceps and shoulders together with abs on leg day. You get the idea. You can change it up a 3 day split invariably. Beyond that combination you can change up what you’re doing to work each muscle group invariably. This will keep your body guessing and your muscles growing.

Triceps really exemplify the variety principle. They’re the one muscle I don’t find myself getting bored with =) I’m a big fan of various triceps moves you can do on a cable station: rope pushdowns, a single arm variation of the former, straight bar pushdowns, single arm with a D handle, dips on the assisted pull-up machine. There are more, but those come to mind at the moment. There are various machines that hit your triceps, although personally I’m not a big fan of machine weights for biceps, triceps, or abs, but I’ll mix in some for chest, back, shoulders, and legs. To each their own =) When it comes to triceps I’m a big free weights fan.

Today I managed chest, triceps, and abs as follows:


15 minutes Stepmill
Triple Set repeated three times with no rest:
20 dumbbell pushups
30 medicine ball wood chopper squats
40 second side planks – 1 each side

2)Flat Bench Press in a Smith Machine
(best substitute if your BF is unavailable to spot you ;)
Set 1: 75 lbs x 12 reps
Set 2: 95 lbs x 7 reps
Set 3: 95 lbs x 6 reps
Set 4: 85 lbs x 8 reps

My bench weight is not something I’m a fan of disclosing. It’s embarrassing! I’ve just started doing chest 2x week instead of only 1x. That and always including classic bench should help me build up my numbers. I’ve made a bad habit of subbing dumbbell benching too often. DB benching should ideally be used to augment classic bench, not replace it. My goal is to be able to bench 135 lbs on a free bench (not smith). Why that number? So I can have a 45 lb plate on each side and consequently actually look semi-buff. No, really. That’s my reason! =)

3)Triceps Time! Circuit Style
– circuit repeated 3 times
1. Overhead Triceps Extension – 20 lb DB (sometimes I do 25, as in the video, but I’m not always feeling strong enough) x 8-10 reps
2. DB Triceps Kickbacks – 15 lb DB x 10-12 reps each arm
3. Skull Crushers – 30 lb BB x 10-12 reps
4. Bench Dips with Plates (45 lbs + body weight) x 8-12 reps
5. Single Arm Overhead Triceps Extensions – 10 lb DB to failure 4-5.5 reps per arm per set today)

The skull crushers aren’t a regular part of my routine. I used to do them a lot as they’re a primary move in most Body Pump triceps tracks, but I’ve done them little since I took up with free weights. I’m doing them now to shake things up a bit. Kickbacks make my triceps feel really swollen in a good way; they seem to pump blood in most effectively and make the skin feel really tight. The extensions are a classic standby and the bench dips with plates are my favorite because they’re fun. I also love doing the same move, no plates, just body weight. That way you can go to failure which always puts a smile on my face. I just love it when a muscle gets stuck at a half rep and you literally can’t budge it without an assist from your other arm, another person, or just quitting at the partial rep. That’s why I do single arm overhead extensions to finish the 5 exercise set. My triceps always fail early at that point and it is easy to take down the little 10 lb DB with your free arm when the active arm gets stuck =)

4)Abs Circuit – repeated 3 times

1. Shoulder Crunches x 30 reps
2. Reverse Vertical Leg Crunches x 15, 15, 25 reps
3. Mini Crunches x 15 reps


20 min Elliptical

I don’t know what will be up next, but I think I will make a point of doing a video for each muscle and a corresponding post. In case you were wondering from tonight’s video…..yes I belong to 3 gyms. If you’re thinking of pointing out my gym “problem” it’s a little late, everyone already knows about that =)

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