Jay Cutler's 7 Tips for Building Huge Triceps

Learn how to hammer those horseshoes from every angle

Tri Tip #1

I wasn’t blessed with the greatest genetics for triceps, but I learned to work with my body structure. You have to be open-minded with the exercises you choose. I learned very early that skull-crushers (lying triceps extensions) weren’t the only exercise for tris, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think. Cable movements can be very beneficial for size and shape. It’s just a matter of finding the right position for your body structure and really putting your mind into working the muscle.

Tri Tip #2

For pushdowns, I like to keep my elbow joints working like simple hinges and not put extra pressure on them. What’s great about doing rope pushdowns first is that they really warm up the elbow joints, which, after years of bodybuilding, become very fragile.

Tri Tip #3

Dips are the number-one mass builder for triceps. I don’t like to do them for chest, but that’s just a personal thing. I always feel them the most in my triceps. The muscular development of Olympic gymnasts, who work on rings and parallel bars, proves how effective a dipping movement is for triceps.

Tri Tip #4

I think onearm pushdowns have really added to my triceps detail and accentuated my horseshoes. I use an underhand grip and start with my hand near the opposite deltoid. Then I pull the handle down across my body. The effect is a cross between a pushdown and a kickback. Single-arm movements are always good for biceps and triceps because you can really focus on the contraction.

Trip Tip #5

One-arm dumbbell extensions hit the long head. This is a fill-in movement that really pumps the area with blood. When the arm is in the up position, only triceps can be used to move the weight. It eliminates the other bodyparts that can creep into lifts like pushdowns and dips.

Tri Tip #6

I stop just short of lockout when doing dumbbell or cambered-bar extensions because, unlike pushdowns, there isn’t as much tension at the lockout. When you’re pushing something down at contraction, there’s tension in your tris, but when you’re holding something up, the contraction is more of a resting point. Bodybuilding training is all about applying maximum tension to your muscles.

Tri Tip #7

The most important thing is to not emphasize lifting heavy. Remember that the elbows are fragile joints. Work the triceps instead of trying to work the weight. I know a lot of guys who try to ego lift and hoist heavy weights, but that’s not what bodybuilding is all about. What matters is how much stress you can apply to the muscles. - FLEX

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