Triceps Of The Gods!
I don't know what caused this sickness, but for some reason
I caught the triceps disease. I became obsessed with
developing great triceps. I do remember a photo of John Grimek
that displayed some tremendous triceps, but my obsession with
developing freaky triceps was caused by two covers on Muscular
Development magazine: April 1964 cover of Larry Scott and the
November 1969 cover of Bill Pearl.
Larry Scott & Bill Pearl.
I dreamed night and day about having triceps like those
guys. I just loved the way Larry's triceps provided a balance
in his arms for those massive biceps. I stared with wonder at
the way Bill's triceps exploded out of his deltoid and with a
massive sweep slammed back into his elbow with a gap between
the elbow and beginning of the triceps that shouted out that
this guy was not a normal human being. Ah, how I dreamed of
becoming a god like these guys! But I didn't just dream. I
dedicated years to heavy, consistent, and persistent training.
It paid off. Not only was I listed in an article in the
October 1995 issue of Muscle & Fitness as having one of the
Top Ten Guns of all time, but the reigning god of bodybuilding
himself made a joke about my triceps. It was at the Zane
Invitational female bodybuilding contest held in Los Angeles
in 1981. Arnold Schwarzenegger (now Govenor Schwarzenegger)
and I were helping Frank Zane run the contest with Arnold as
the MC and myself the head expediter. Maria Shriver (later to
become Mrs. Schwarzenegger) was backstage with Arnold when I
was running around lining up contestants and Arnold shouted,
"Watch out Maria! Here comes Baldwin's triceps!" I laughed but
felt I had "arrived." The reigning Mr. Olympia had recognized
my triceps development.
|You may not want to
develop freaky triceps like Pearl or Scott like I did, but
you may want better-toned or bigger triceps than you have.
If so, here are some of my "secrets" to great triceps.
First realize that the triceps contain three different
muscles sharing a common tendon of insertion and are
referred to by bodybuilders as the outer, middle, and
inner heads. If your goal is just to tone and firm the
triceps just do three sets of triceps pushdowns 1-3 times
per week and stop reading this article now. If your goal
is to development impressive chunks of meat on the back of
your arm, continue reading.
Richard Baldwin not only dreamed about
triceps development, he trained until his own triceps
graced magazine covers.
Despite what some "experts" may say, from years of
experience on myself and other men I have trained for
competition and from talking to Mr. Olympia title holders (I
always went to the guys who developed freaky muscles rather
than a Ph.D. in human physiology whose arms were smaller than
my grandmother's), I believe certain exercises produce
specific results in triceps shape and size.
For incredible "hang" or "sweep" and just sheer mass, my
favorite exercise is
close-grip barbell benches, but I always did them with my
hands much closer (3"-4") than other men I have observed. When
I was having trouble with elbow pain I talked with Larry Scott
and he revealed that his special way of
kneeling triceps cable extensions contributed greatly to
his sweep (though at his peak he did many hours of close-grip
The second real mass builder is "nose-breakers
" (or "skull-crushers").
Outer head impressiveness, detailed separation on the
outside of the arm often referred to as the "horseshoe," is
best achieved through
dumbbell kickbacks and
reverse grip cable pushdowns. I think
barbell French presses and
single-arm dumbbell French presses are fabulous triceps
developers too, but they are also dangerous because the muscle
is stretched to the maximum in this position and any bouncing
with heavy weight is sure to result in injury. I have torn
both triceps doing these exercises. I still do dumbbell French
presses, but I only use 35-45 pounds instead of 55-60.
The number of sets and reps depends on your level of
training experience. Beginners should do two sets of 8-10
repetitions of two exercises two to three times a week. The
most productive triceps routine I ever used was a total of six
sets, 3 sets of close-grip benches and three sets of
skull-crushers in 10 minutes three times per week. But I had
started out that season doing 20 sets that took a half hour
doing 4 sets each of 5 different exercises. I just kept
intensity over several months by constantly raising the
weight while reducing the sets, exercises and time in between
sets to 10 seconds!
point is that it takes time to reach the level of
concentration and strength that allows maximum growth in so
few sets and reps. In addition, I am a firm believer in
periodization for maximum gains. The sets, reps and exercises
used should be changed at the first hint that the muscles
and/or your ability to enjoy and concentrate on a particular
exercise has waned. The goal in the gaining phase is to always
increase intensity, but that phase can only last 3-6 months
before you risk injury.
You must switch to a more modest phase and gradually
increase the sets and reps until you are doing up to twenty
sets with a minute rest between sets. Then increase the
intensity by gradually decreasing the rest between sets and
increasing the weight used while decreasing the number of
exercises and sets.
Now you have the basics exercises program for building
impressive triceps. Remember, though, the triceps can't grow
if you don't increase your food intake and sleep at least 8
hours per night.