As much as we love training biceps, a little more than half of our overall arm size comes from the triceps, especially when all three heads are consistently trained.
Effective triceps training involves:
- A deep stretched position
- An emphasis on the much neglected long head
- Constant tension
- No elbow pain (or else you'll cut your sets short)
- Abundant intensity and volume
One of the best ways to accomplish this is the overhead cable triceps extension performed in a rest-pause fashion.
- Pick a weight you can do for about 15 reps. Do as many reps as possible.
- When you can't do anymore, lower the rope and hang the cable over your shoulders without letting go. This stretched position is brutal. You'll be able recover a bit, but you'll still have some tension in your triceps. It also forces you to take only a brief pause instead of a long break which would completely defeat the purpose of the rest-pause method.
- After pausing in this position for no longer than 5 seconds, repeat the set 2-4 more times, going to failure each time.
- You can do these 1-2 times a week after some heavy compound work like benching or at the very end of any workout as a finisher.
The overhead position is crucial. It allows the often-neglected long head to be fully stimulated. If you train the triceps while the shoulder is adducted or extended, you're leaving gains on the table. The overhead position will also keep you in a stretched position, great for hypertrophy.
Using a cable will provide constant tension and is more optimal than free weights for those who have chronic elbow pain.