What’s going on Nation! Today, I’m going to address two reasons why your arms have stopped growing.
More specifically though, we will be focusing on TRICEPS. The triceps make up two thirds of your arms, which means the bigger your triceps are, the bigger your arms will look in general.
Now, I know you have been searching the web for information on this topic and I know there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the exercise we will go over in a minute, the Triceps Cable Pushdown.
But before I show you how to utilize this exercise to build your arms, I want to emphasize the fact that I would never START my arm workout with this movement. As a general rule, you should always start your workouts with one or two compound movement. In the case of triceps, I’d start with the Close Grip Bench Press or the Dips, and THEN I’d move on to an exercise like the Triceps Pushdown.
Now, that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s focus on the two mistakes you are making in regard to this movement.
Mistake #1 – Leaning OVER The V-Bar & Turning The Movement From An EXTENSION Into A PRESS
A lot of people, when they incorporate this exercise into their workouts, they want to lift as much weight as possible. And don’t get me wrong…You should! If you want to build muscle, you will have to overload your muscles and more specifically, focus on overloading the negative portion of the movement.
BUT! If you are lifting so much weight that you have to go OVER the V-Bar and start pressing the weight down, then your form is not going to facilitate maximum growth. Why? Simply because, you may be lifting MORE WEIGHT, but you are doing it by bringing MORE MUSCLES into the equation. Now, you’re using chest, shoulders and a bit of triceps to press the weight down instead of simply isolating the triceps. And remember, this is an ISOLATION exercise, so it doesn’t make any sense to bring more muscles into the movement.
Here’s how you’re supposed to perform the triceps pushdown. Stand upright, stick your chest out and lower your shoulders. Now, take a step towards the cable apparatus and make sure the V-bar is very close to your body. Taking a step forward and holding the V-bar close to your body is of paramount importance. See if you can spot the difference in my form on the following images.
From here, all you have to do is simply keep your elbows in place and lift the weight by extending through your elbows. Make sure you get a nice stretch at the top of the range of motion and a tight contraction at the bottom. Fast and half reps do not go hand in hand with this exercise. Remember, that the negative is the most important part of any movement so focus on that and make sure you are not skipping it or going through it as fast as possible, simply to perform more repetitions.
Mistake #2 - Bring Fed MISINFORMATION About The Proper Use Of The Rope/V-Bar For YouTube CLICKBAIT Views
I know many of you have been told that when it comes to triceps pushdowns, the V-Bar is not the best bang for your muscles! In fact, you’ve been told that the rope attachment is superior because it allows you to increase the range of motion of the movement. I’m not going to argue that the rope pushdown is a superior or inferior exercise choice but I want you to understand the purpose of each variation of the triceps pushdown.
For your information, the Triceps are responsible for one main function and one secondary function:
- Main Function: Extending The Elbow
- Secondary Function: Extending The Shoulder
Since the rope is going to allow you to get a bit more shoulder extension, you would think that it is superior in terms of building muscle.
And while you will get a slight increase in range of motion, what are you actually sacrificing? The answer is the total amount of weight you can lift. By using the rope, you will be essentially forced to lower the weight by 10 – 15 lbs which is a problem as now your negatives are going to be lighter and you won’t be able to OVERLOAD your triceps with maximum weight.
On top of that, you cannot really use my Cheat & Recover style of training when using the rope attachment. It’s far from ideal. It will be very hard to control or focus on heavy negatives.
The only reason I would ever recommend the rope attachment would be if you were after a better Muscle-Mind Connection. In that case, go a bit lighter, use the rope attachment and focus on controlling and moving the weight with your triceps.
Applying ‘Cheat & Recover’ To The Triceps Pushdown
What I like to do to really OVERLOAD my triceps with this exercise is perform 8 repetitions with more weight than I can possible lift by using some momentum to “skip” the positive part of the movement. Then, I flex my triceps as hard as I can and hold the bottom position for 2 seconds and finally I slowly control the negative all the way up, tearing through the triceps and getting an amazing stretch at the top.
Remember, the way Cheat & Recover works is simply doing 8 heavy reps utilizing a bit of momentum and focusing on the negative and then lowering the weight considerably and focusing equally on the positive and negative part of the movement.
I hope after reading this article, you can now truly take advantage of this muscle-building movement, step in the gym and get those huge arms you’ve always wanted!
That’s it for today but remember…more good stuff coming soon!
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