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3 Triceps Exercises For Skinny Guys / Hardgainers!


Posted by Scott_Herman - December 2nd, 2017

Today we’ll be covering the next muscle group in my STRETCH, FLEX, OVERLOAD SERIES and this time it’s TRICEPS! If you missed any of the muscle groups we’ve covered already like chest, back, shoulders & biceps, I will post the link to the entire playlist HERE. Remember, although this is an advanced training technique specifically designed to help you hardgainers build more muscle, but if you’re not a hardgainer you can still utilize this technique, and I will explain how at the end of the article.

The strategy behind stretch/flex/overload is simply utilizing 2 isolation exercises to work on your mind-muscle connection and then performing a 3rd compound exercise to completely annihilate the muscle group you’re trying to target to spark some serious growth. The first exercise, the Powerbomb, will place the majority of the resistance during the negative, when the triceps are fully stretched. The second exercise, the Rope Pushdown, will place the most resistance on the triceps when they are fully flexed. And then to OVRLOAD your triceps you’re going to do weighted dips or the Close-Grip Bench Press to completely destroy them with maximum weight.

As for the routine specifics, you’re going to perform 8 – 10 reps per exercise and complete 4 rounds of all three movements, ONLY resting 60 – 90 seconds after you complete 1 round of all three exercises. Remember it’s a TRISET, so there is no rest between exercises and you are going to complete 4 TOTAL ROUNDS.


Before you get started with this routine, I recommend you do some sort of elbow and shoulder warm-up. You’re not going to be putting your elbows in a compromised position, but some people do experience elbow pain while extending their arms on exercises like the Powerbomb or the Pushdown. All you have to do for your shoulders is a few sets of 12 – 15 reps of shoulder breakers, and before you start each exercise, perform a light set of each movement for 15 – 20 reps. That should be enough to get the blood going and loosen up the tendons and ligaments in your elbow joints. Now, let’s go over the routine.

Stretch: PowerBomb (Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension)

You’re going to utilize this exercise to focus on the stretch portion of the movement. When doing a powerbomb, you’re going to do it seated, and the reason for that is you’re not really trying to target your core at all. If you were to do the exercise standing up, you would have to flex your glutes and flex your core in order to be able to stabilize and lift the weight. Your focus here should be really feeling the stretch during the negative portion of the movement. By doing these seated, even though you’ll still have to flex your core, you take a lot of it out of the equation and that means you can funnel as much energy into your arms as possible to really focus on that negative.

Proper form for this exercise is going to see you seated, holding the weight above your head. Try to keep your wrists as straight as possible, and then as you bring the dumbbell down, control it all the way down as far as your arms can go. Really focus on that stretch by holding it for a second, come back to the top, and repeat for reps. If you didn’t warm-up before you started this exercise, going all the way down may hurt your elbows, so make sure you do your warm-ups so that you CAN go all the way down with this movement to maximize the stretch at the bottom. Don’t waste your time with half reps. You do the most amount of muscle damage in the stretch portion of any movement.

Now there is a little trick I like to use when getting in and out of position to lift heavier dumbbells with this movement. With a 100lb dumbbell, for example, you can hold it with two hands, thrust it between your legs and then use the momentum to toss it up (controlled) onto your shoulder. You can then hold it in place on your shoulder as you sit down, then once you have a nice firm grip on the dumbbell, you can pop it up using your hand and your shoulder at the same time. You can rest it slightly on your head as you then re-adjust yourself into the correct position on the seat, and then using the same form we covered before, you can complete your reps. To lower the weight, you can just put it on your shoulder, and then lower it to one side of your body.

Flex: Rope Pushdown

The reason why you’re going to use a rope instead of a V-Bar for the pushdown is because the focus here is not to overload the triceps, yet. With the V-Bar, you can overload the triceps as much as possible. Here, your focus should be on building a stronger mind-muscle connection. Utilizing the rope attachment will allow you to focus on a harder contraction at the bottom of the movement, and a better flex because you can get a little more shoulder extension at the bottom because the rope allows you to come out to the sides of your body. I actually have an entire video about this, which you can watch HERE.

The way you’re going to perform this movement, as usual, is by using proper form, which means all the way up and all the way down. You’re going to extend your arms, and even when you get to a full extension at the bottom, you’re going to pull back to get that flex and squeeze as hard as you can before coming back to the top of the movement. You have to make sure that on every single repetition, you focus on those two steps. Step one is elbow extension, and step two is shoulder extension. It’s not just a rope extension where you’re flinging the weight around, you should be doing the exercise with purpose.

Overload: Dips Or Close-Grip Bench Press

Remember you are focusing on the OVERLOAD here, so that means lifting as much weight as you can handle for every single round for all the repetitions. What that means is, by the time round two comes, maybe your triceps are feeling a bit fatigued so you might have to lower the weight a bit. It’s about lifting as much as you can handle for the entire rep range, not as much weight as you can handle on your first set and carrying that through every other set. If that were the case, you’re defeating the purpose of the entire workout, which is to fatigue the muscle as much as possible. Understand that it is 100% natural to have to lift a little lighter as you progress through the rounds.

Keep in mind, if you can handle doing dips or weighted dips, I would rather you did them first, and do them on every single round until you can’t possibly do them anymore, and then come over to the close-grip barbell bench press. The range of motion is essentially the same, I just know that not every single person can do a lot of dips. For this reason, my go-to exercise will be the close-grip bench press. If you’d like to see a video comparing the two exercises, you can check that out HERE.

Now when it comes to the form and purpose of this movement, you want to overload, and the only way you can overload your triceps is by pressing correctly. There are so many ways to mess up this exercise which I see all the time. The purpose of this movement is to target the TRICEPS. It’s not called a close-grip bench press because you have to have your hands as close together as possible. Performing the movement like this is a one-way ticket to hurting your wrists and elbows. The only width you need to use on this exercise is wide enough so that when you perform the movement, your arms are as close to your torso as possible. Having your hands super close is going to take power away from the movement.

Once you have that figured out (it’s usually about a shoulder width grip), when you perform the actual movement you need to press the weight over your TORSO. Don’t come down over your torso and then press up over your chest because you’ll feel right away a lot of resistance transferring from your triceps to your chest. Another thing you don’t want to do is hold the bar correctly but bench over your chest. That will place a lot of stress on your shoulders, and take a lot of tension out of the triceps. It should basically look like you’re trying to keep 90 degree angles with your elbows as you lower the weight, and as you press it back up. That is how you’re going to feel the exercise a lot more in your triceps, and target all three heads.

If you really think about it, comparing this to dips, it’s essentially the same range of motion. Even though you’re upright with dips, you’re still pressing more through your torso versus pressing through your chest.


Remember, the idea behind this series is to get you in and out of the gym as fast as possible while dealing maximum muscle damage for regrowth, because as a hardgainer you don’t want to be burning too many calories with long workouts. You need those calories to build MUSCLE!

Also, make sure you’re challenging yourselves with heavy weights. I get asked a lot, “how much weight should I be using?” The answer is that on every single set you should use the maximum weight you can handle for 8 – 10 reps. So, if you can go heavier on round 2, then increase the weight. But if your form is breaking down, then go a little lighter. It’s that simple. Lastly, if you’re not a hardgainer and still want to add this workout to your current triceps training, try adding 2 rounds as a FINISHER after your current triceps workout!

Related Videos:

3 Chest Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

3 Shoulder Exercises For Skinny Guys / HARDGAINERS!

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