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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:47 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Hi

Does anyone know how you can target specific tricep heads? More specifically, the lateral and medial heads?

Thanks

KP


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:02 am 
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n00b
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I usually do close-grip bench, cable pushdowns and cable rope-splits. The rope splits I do with lighter weight to isolate the medial head.

I'm pretty sure that's overkill, so I do all three of those together only twice a month. Your elbow is a simple hinge that moves in one plane of motion, so any extension will work all three sufficiently.

If I had to do one tricep exercise, it would be close-grip bench. Overloading weight and doing partial reps has really increased my overall arm strength, and allowed me to increase my benchpress 1RM significantly.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:13 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Thanks for the response.

Im really looking to bring out the lateral head. I know the Long head should be bigger anyway but my left arm lateral head is bigger than my right arm lateral head - and im right handed. I also keep a close eye on form, and when I do single arm tri exercises, my right arm is a tad stronger, lol, so I know it must be down to genetics.

I'm also a big fan of close grips. I have never done partial reps but when I do them, I only bring the bar down far enough so that my upper arms are by my sides as opposed to touching my chest with the bar. I do this for the sake of my wrists.

I have always focused on exercises like close grips, skull crushers, and weighted dips and I am happy with the size on the long head and the top of my arm in general. If i were to switch my focus to pull downs, would it build them in a different way? i.e. bring out the lateral and medial heads more...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:12 am 
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Exalted Seer
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KPj wrote:
Does anyone know how you can target specific tricep heads? More specifically, the lateral and medial heads?


Maybe this post will be helpful. Actually, read the whole thread


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:23 am 
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Cable pushdowns letting the bar go up only till your arms are 90 degrees. My lateral triceps are (relatively) huge.

I do incline and decline bench, so a little cable pushdown now and then really does a job on the lateral head. This week I decline benched 185 ten reps and also managed 190 twelve reps on the cable pushdown. Of course, there's no comparison because it's freeweight vs. cable. But you get the idea that really focusing on those cable pushdowns will do the job. Just make sure you have enough in the tank to do them. I wasn't succeeding as much as I liked in pushdowns until i reduced my benching to three sets of decline + two sets incline on the day I perform the pushdowns. I always had trouble developing my biceps until I messed around with my routine to leave them more rested for DB incline curls. I changed my grip on a few back exercises so my brachioradialis takes the punishment instead (early in my workout) and magically I started developing my biceps.

Then of course there is genetics. I have always had huge lateral triceps. I took a lot of time off of the gym, and when I left I was decline benching 210 ten reps and pushdown 190 twelve reps. As you can see bench dropped but pushdown did not. so maybe you'll have to do it more often than I do, three times a month.

As a side note, I use the power-V bar for pushdowns.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:12 am 
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You might want to check out your machine, but I would venture a guess that the pushdown machine is on a double pulley. Usually this means there is some kind of pulley disk on the stack where the cable loops around and then goes through another system of disks. Although the disks are likely irrelevant the fact that there are two cables pulling on the stack is relevant and essentially means you are lifting hear half the weight on the stack.

I am not positive this is the case, but it is something to look into.

The reason I guess this to be true is that most guys that can do a 190 pushdown for 10 reps could easily bench in the 300's since the triceps are the prime movers for the bench press


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:10 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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Thanks for the replys.

Obviously, there are lots of variations of pushdowns. Can anyone recommend any?

For example, to focus on the lateral head, what would be better between V-bar push downs and Rope push downs (bending wrists at full extension)?

I'm just trying to get my head round tri's. Im not sure of the above exercises (v-bar, rope) because the rope push downs feel more focused to the lateral head, where as, the V-bar I can use more weight, but it doesn't feel as focused on the lateral head, feels like more of a general tri exercise.

But theres that whole "feel" theory again, lol. I know the best way to find out would be doing one execise for 4-6 weeks and the other for 4-6 weeks and compare results but was hoping that someone could speak from experience.

Also, another thing I don't understand with tri's - in the dumbel overhead extension, which you can do with one or 2 arms, why is it supposed to be more effective for size when you use 2 arms, as opposed to 1 arm? I can see that with 2 arms you use more weight, but you also use double the strength (because u have 2 arms instead of one) so why the big difference ?

Thanks

KP


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:54 pm 
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I'm pretty sure you're right Ryan, I didn't mean to confuse anyone; I assumed most people do them from such a standing cable system, as opposed to, say, a lat pulldown machine.

KPj, I prefer the power V-bar a lot. The closer the grip, the better for lateral head. The rope instead allows for maximal contraction of the triceps and helps with the long head, especially if you let your arms extend to the point where they end up behind your body. Underhand grip favors the medial head. I would love to do dips, but my back surgery makes hanging weight from a belt unappetizing. I can't twist my body enough to comfortably do kickbacks either, plus I just hate them. But they are great for lateral head also, or so I hear. Close grip bench presses are also good, but they are majorly for the long head.

Cardinal rule: Keep those elbows tight in near the body to stress the lateral head during pushdowns.

1 arm DB tri extensions are better for your body because you have to stabilize yourself (and besides, you can spot yourself). But 2 hands allow you to lift more (contract harder), which builds size.


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