Here is all the information you need to know about training triceps!

And if you dont want to read, you can just check out this video!


Exercises and movement patterns

There are 2 types of exercises that you need to include in your triceps workout:


1. Lateral head isolation

2. Long head isolation


Lateral head exercises

Here, i would highly recommend some kind of cable pushdown variation.

You can use any attachement that you want, just pick the one you like the most.

But if you dont have access to a cable machine or you just simply want to do a different exercise - then you can try exercises like pushups or diamond pushups.

You can also try dips or the close grip bench press, but you have to be careful with these, more on that later.

Long head exercises

To target the long head of the triceps, you need to do some type of overhead extension.

Like for example the skull crusher, cable overhead extension, leaning cable overhead extension, or the dumbbell extension.



What about the medial head?

The medial head is very, very small.

Which means there is not really a way to hit JUST the medial head alone.

So stop stressing about it, you will hit the medial head with all the other triceps exercises that you are already doing.

But if you really wanted to emphasize the medial head, you can try exercises like the pin press, or the floor press.


These exercises focus only on the „lock out“ portion of the movement, thus hitting the medial head.

Because the main purpose of the medial head, is to help you lock out the weight on exercises like the bench press.

But the issue is, that the pin press or the floor press are way too specific in what they do.

Which means, that if you are relatively new to the gym, you will simply not find a place in your workout, where you could fit something like the pin or floor press.

As a newcomer, you would never do the pin or floor press instead of something like the bench press.

Because you are not getting the bottom stretch, that you would get on the bench press, because on the pin press and the floor press, the elbows typically dont go past the body.


So unless you are very experienced, just completely forget about trying to target the medial head specifically.

Dips/close grip bench - good or not?

Because our main focus is on isolating the triceps, and exercises like the close grip bench press or dips are not your typical isolation exercises, because they hit more muscles than just triceps.

Apart from the triceps, you will also use your chest and shoulders to a certain extent.

Which means that these exercises will create a bigger amount of fatigue than for example the triceps pushdown, or any over head extension.


And that could easily bleed into your chest or shoulder volume, which could theoretically lead to some overtraining slash recovery issues.

And if you are already doing like 20 sets of chest per week, and then you suddenly add like 6sets of heavy dips into the mix, then it can easily reach the point, where it just becomes way too much for you.

Which would not have happened, if you used isolation exercises that dont create that much overall fatigue.

Imagine that you do a workout, where you do 3 sets of heavy bench press, followed by another 3 sets of heavy incline bench press, and then you add 3 more sets of heavy dips or the close grip bench press – as an „isolation exercise“.

If you are training hard, your chest and triceps are going to be really beat up just from the bench press and incline bench press alone.

So the last thing you want to do after that, is add EVEN MORE heavy pressing, in the form of dips or the close grip bench press.

What you want to do in that situation, is to just finish your triceps with exercises that focus on lighter weight, in the higher rep range.


Im not saying that the close grip bench press and dips are bad exercises, thats not the takeaway here.

I just want you to realize, that doing the close grip benchpress or dips with heavy weight in the lower rep ranges like 5-8, is not really qualifying as an „isolation exercise“ anymore.

It starts to become more of a „compound lift“.

If you want to do these exercises as if they are a „compound lift“, then you should count them as volume for the chest, or at least adjust your workout accordingly, so your workout isnt consisted of just heavy low rep pressing.

Because you still need some higher rep work.

You can still use these exercises, as isolation exercises, but you need to approach them in a different way.

So if you want to for example do dips as your triceps isolation exercise, then instead of going for the weighted variation with the lower repetitions, go for just bodyweight dips in higher repetitions.

That will fullfil the role of an isolation exercise in a much better way.


Number of workouts

If we are talking about just the triceps isolation alone, the number of workouts that i would recommend is between 2-4 workouts per week.

You just have to be careful that you dont negatively impact your upcoming pressing exercises.

For example, if you know that you will be doing a heavy bench press tomorrow, its probably not a good idea to completely hammer your triceps the day before that.

Thats pretty much the only thing you have to look out for, because the isolation exercises dont really create that much overall fatigue, so you can get away with doing more of them.

Number of sets

I recommend something between 9-15 sets per week.

The number of sets can go a little bit higher than 15, but that all comes back to the fact that you dont want to negatively impact your pressing exercises by completely annhilating your triceps the day before that.


Rep ranges

Remember, we have 2 different types of isolation exercises!


1. Lateral head isolation

2. Long head isolation


Because these are isolation exercises, definitely dont go below 8 reps.

I would recommend to do at least 12reps in each set.

So you can pretty much choose any rep range between 12 and 30 reps.


Example triceps routine

And this is how it could look like if you wanted to add dips/pushups into the mix:



And lastly, this is how it could look like if you wanted to add the close grip bench press as your isolation exercise:



You can choose any of these variations that i mentioned, based on what seems the most appealing to you!



Very important thing that you need to keep in mind, is that you should really focus on fully stretching your triceps when you do the isolation exercises.

Because its all about that contraction, its not about mindlessly throwing the weight up and down.

Thats all you need to know about training triceps!


Try applying all of this knowledge to your training plan, and im sure that you will see much better results..or you can just try one of my training plans!

And if you still have any questions about this topic, or about anything else that is related to bodybuilding, join my Patreon, and i will answer all of your questions!

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