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Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Triceps

Incline-Skullcrushers

Trainer Nick Tumminello shows you how to apply the Performance U FSB system to your triceps training so as to ensure constant muscle growth.

By Nick Tumminello

If you’re anything like me, you’re always interested in finding new and improved ways of training. In this article I’m going to show you how to apply the Performance U FSB system to your triceps training so as to ensure constant muscle growth.

3 Types of FSB Exercise Classifications for Triceps

To ensure every workout hits the target muscle group in the most effective way (and from every angle), the FSB training system focus on four exercise categories. Each category creates a different Point of Maximal loading on the muscle (PML). They are organized as such:

1. Exercises that create the most load (PML) on the muscle (or muscle group) in the lengthened position. These exercises create the most muscle damage. That’s a good thing!

2. Exercises that create the most load (PML) on the muscles in the mid-range position. These exercises aid in increasing motor unit-recruitment!

3. Exercises that create the most load (PML) on the muscle (or muscle group) in the shortened position. These exercises tend to create the best muscle pump!

4. Exercises performed on a CAM style Machine. Machines designed with a CAM system aren’t dependent on a single load vector like free weights or cables, so you don’t get a chance to rest at the bottom or top position. This is a unique benefit these machines offer, as they provide a more consistent resistance throughout the entire range of motion.

Put simply, since each type of training modality (free weights, cables and CAM machines) offer unique benefits that the other may miss. We utilize each in the FSB system to create more well-rounded and comprehensive workouts that train the muscle in a more through manner.

Here’s a list of the best TRICEPS exercises in each FSB category:

Exercises that create a PML on the Triceps in their lengthened position:

Plank Skull Crusher
Close-Grip (triceps) Push Ups
Skull Crushers (on Incline Bench)

Exercises that create a PML on the Triceps in their mid-range position:

Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
Skull Crushers
Parallel Bar Dips
Band Triceps Extensions (60/30 Protocol)

Exercises that create a PML on the Triceps in their shortened position:

Skull Crushers (on Decline Bench)
Middle Cable Triceps Extensions
Low Cable Triceps Kick Backs
High Cable Overhead Rope Triceps Extensions

CAM Machine:

Triceps Extension Machine

How to Perform the FSB Triceps Exercises

Since I’ve listed a few new moves (and some new variations on a few classic moves), here are the descriptions on how to perform the exercises you may not be familiar with safely and effectively:

3 Ways to Perform Inverted Skull Crushers

Not only are inverted skull crushers a great way to build your triceps, they engage your abs by forcing you to maintain good spinal alignment as you perform the move.

You can perform the inverted skull crusher from a bench, from the floor or using suspension straps as is demonstrated in this video.

3 Ways to do Dumbbell or EZ-Bar Skull Crushers

Skull crushers are traditionally done when lying on a flat bench, which is a very effective way to train the triceps. That said, simply by performing this exercise on either a decline or incline bench allows us two more effective triceps building options, each offering a unique benefit!

Middle Cable Triceps Extensions

Performing triceps cable extensions with the cable set at around your chest level drastically changes the force vector involved in the exercise. This gives us another effective method to add variety to our triceps training.

Band Triceps Extensions (60/30 protocol)

Grab a medium level resistance band in the same way you would grab a rope, and attempt to perform 60 repetitions of triceps extensions within the 30 seconds timeframe. No! That is not a typo.

As demonstrated in this video, to get 60 repetitions in 30 seconds is very possible. You may look a little silly doing it, but this protocol will give you one of the best triceps pumps of your life.

FSB Triceps Workouts

Below are four sample FSB triceps workouts showing you how to put the exercises and concepts I’ve provided into practice.

Before I give you the workouts, here are two things you need to know about how we design our FSB workouts:

  • 8-15 total sets per muscle per week is the benchmark we use in each FSB arm workout.
  • We’ll choose at least one exercise from each of the 4 categories above in each FSB workout.

Workout 1

  • PML in Mid – Parallel Bar Dips, 2-3 sets x max reps
  • PML in Stretch – Skull Crushers (on Incline Bench), 3-4 sets x 8-10 reps
  • PML in Short – Low Cable Triceps Kick Backs, 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • CAM Machine – Triceps Extension Machine, 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps

Workout 2

  • PML in Short – Skull Crushers (on Decline Bench), 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • PML in Stretch – Plank Skull Crusher, 2-3 sets x max reps
  • PML in Mid – Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions, 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps
  • CAM Machine – Triceps Extension Machine (slow eccentrics), 2-3 sets x 6-8 reps

Workout 3

  • PML in Stretch – Close Grip (triceps) Push Ups, 2-3 sets x max reps
  • PML in Mid – Skull Crushers, 3-4 sets x 8-10 reps
  • PML in Short – High Cable Overhead Rope Triceps Extensions, 3-4 sets x 8-10 reps
  • CAM Machine – Triceps Extension Machine, 2-3 sets x 12-15 reps

Workout 4

  • CAM Machine – Triceps Extension Machine (finish the last rep with a 10 second isometric hold at the bottom position), 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • PML in Stretch – Skull Crushers (on Incline Bench), 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps
  • PML in Short – Middle Cable Triceps Extensions, 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • PML in Mid – Band Triceps Extensions (60/30 Protocol) x 2 rounds

If you like this article, you’ll love these other Full Spectrum Bodybuilding articles!

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: 101

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Chest

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Quads

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Shoulders

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Hamstrings

Full Spectrum Bodybuilding: Biceps

Next Up…

As a compliment to this article, my next installment to this series will be cover FSB for LATS!!!


Nick Tumminello is known as “the trainer of trainers.” He’s the owner of Performance University International, which provides hybrid strength training & conditioning for athletes and educational programs for fitness professionals all over the world. Coach Nick lives in Fort Lauderdale Florida were he trains a select group of athletes and teaches mentorship. Check out his DVDs, seminar schedule and very popular fitness blog at NickTumminello.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nemisises Mac Gbt

    Thanks nick, fully appreciated great article


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