Danny’s Guide to "The Swole": The Triceps

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Ah, the good ol’ triceps. These bad boys make up about 2/3rds of your arm’s total mass. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are lots of reasons to have bulging biceps, but your arm’s size and general appearance are largely attributed to the tricep group. As such, it is one of the most important muscles out there, and would be detrimental to any body builder’s success.

Building huge triceps really is quite simple compared to any other muscle group. Anything that pushes, punches, or presses is using the tris. When you deliver a knockout punch to some dude at the bar, you are using the force from your triceps (and some chest) to knock that sucker to the ground. You will find out that the dhest muscles are largely related to the motions and exercises of the triceps.

Exercise #1: Skull Crushers [Click Here for Example]

You are going to learn to hate this exercise. Basically, you will need to lie down with your back on a bench. Find a good weight (don’t try 80’s or 100’s just yet, sport) that you can easily lift. When you are lying down on that bench, you are going to press that weight up (as if doing a bench press), but then, instead of repeating the process, you will bend your elbows and drop the weight down to your face. Now, make sure you have control, a lot of people have been hurt by dropping the weight to their head and not having the strength to pull it back up. Note: You might want to have a partner help you lift the weight off your body, etc. This can be dangerous if attempted alone.

So to summarize:

1. Lay down on bench, push the weight up

2. Bend it down to your face in a 90 degree angle (without losing control)

3. Straighten out your arms back into a 180 degree angle.

4. Repeat (for about 6 – 10 times), starting from step 2.

Exercise #2: Bench Press [Click Here for Example]

Yup. It’s that famous line everyone can’t seem to get out of their mouth: “How much do you bench?” is a common question you will hear at the gym. Well, now you will know just how much you “bench”. This exercise is simple enough: lie down on the bench, lift up the weight, bring it down to your chest, and push it back up again. Rinse and repeat for about 6 – 10 times, depending on how worn out you feel. To find out your desired weight, try benching the bar at first. This will probably be too easy, and at that point you can add little by little on to your bar.


1. Select an appropriate weight

2. Lay down on the bench, and press the weight up

3. SLOWLY lower the weight to your chest.

4. SLOWLY lift it back up to a 180 degree angle.

5. Repeat (for about 6 – 10 times), starting from step 3.

Exercise #3: Bench Dips [Click Here for Example]

I like to save my favorite for last, so here we go. This one is a little more fun than the last two. “Bench Dips” are essentially regular “Dips” only you are supporting yourself from behind with a bench. Go up to a bench, turn your back towards it, squat down, lean back and grip the bench with your hands for support. Extend your feet outwards, and begin dipping. In the down position, your elbows should be at a 90 degree angle for maximum efficiency. Do not lean too much forward or else you will start working out your shoulders quite a bit.

Here’s a wrap up:

1. Turn your back towards the long-side of a bench.

2. Bend down and grab the bench behind you.

3. Extend your feet. Make sure you don’t lean too far forward.

4. Dip down to a 90 degree angle.

5. Push yourself back up.

6. Repeat (it may take up to 20 repetitions) steps 4 and 5.


Like most muscles, the triceps won’t grow huge without proper rest, protein, and carbs after your workout. Many people say the key to gaining mass is Exercise, Rest, and Diet. The same applies for gains in the triceps, you must ALWAYS make sure you follow your workouts with at least 25-50 grams of protein, a nice meal full of healthy carbs, and 8 hours of sleep. Do this, and you are on your way to some sculpted guns, my friend.


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