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Swole Arms Guaranteed

Bill Geiger, MA

Do 10 continuous minutes on the rope press-down to ignite the mother of all triceps pumps.

Sometimes all a simple exercise needs to turn it into an all-time favourite is a big kick in the ass. And the boot you’ll see here is one that’ll make the triceps rope press-down one of your favourite finishing moves that you’ve evertried! I guarantee it’ll give you the most incredible arm pump of your life!

You’ll do just one triceps exercise at the end of your chestroutine—yes, you read that right!What makes this work so exceptionally well is that you’re combining rest-pause technique and drop sets, going almost nonstop for a full 10 minutes. But, and here’s the catch, you get only a 20-second rest between sets and you’re right back doing your next set of press-downs again, meaning you’ll only partially recover between sets. As lactic acid quickly builds up and is unable to clear, each set becomes progressively more difficult.

As your arms become increasingly pumped, you’ll either start to do fewer reps on successive sets, or, when you can’t do more than 8, drop the weight onepin. Continue this fast-paced technique for a total of 10 minutes, meaning you may end up doing 12 to 15 total sets, but that total number is less important because here you’re training by feel.

Why do it after a heavy chest workout? Because the triceps are assisting in all those heavy chest presses, so they’re already highly fatigued from pushing heavy weights for low reps. (If you’ve ever noticed your triceps are often sorer after a chest workout than after one for triceps, you’ll know what I mean.) Hence, you’re just finishing the triceps off, so to speak, with a vigorous pump and burn in this 600-second blitz.

Finding your working weight is key. Choose one you can do for no more than 12 reps with good form. Be wary of working in with someone who’s using a slower pace, which will adversely affect your ability to move fast from one set to the next within the time frame. Keep an eye on the clock because it’s easy to get distracted and rest too long, which defeats the purpose. But it you’re searching for the ultimate triceps pump to finish off your arm workout, you’re about to strike gold.


Do as many reps as you can with good form, which should be no more than 12. Rest just 20 seconds—no longer—and immediately start your next set. Lengthening the rest interval allows you to recover more sufficiently, which is what you don’t want to happen, so pay attention to the clock.

Because you’re still somewhat fatigued from the previous set, you’ll by necessity be doing fewer reps on the next one. Do as many reps as you can, again resting only 20 seconds between sets. As fatigue builds up from one set to the next, eventually you won’t be able to complete 8, so it’s time to reduce the poundage by a single plate (usually 10 pounds). That by itself should push your rep count back higher, but again you’ll take each successive set to failure as cumulative fatigue builds up even greater, and your arms will definitely feel it! Continue this pattern of repping to failure, resting for only 20 seconds, and repping again to failure (with or without reducing the poundage) for a total of 10 minutes. Don’t count your total sets; you’re working to super-pump the triceps and you’ll feel the “good” pain and taking it to new limits.

 As you go, don’t be afraid to use a littlebody English or speed up the rep as you get fatigued to keep a set going. It’s all about pushing past failure.

Besides the press-down, this technique works well with other triceps moves such as the machine dip and leaning overhead rope extension, but feel free to try it with others—and even exercises for biceps on that training day.

You can use this technique with a training partner, but it’s critical that you move back and forth as quickly as possible. When he’s done with his set, immediately adjust the pin and do yours.

Key Press-Down Tip

Remember, this is a single-joint exercise, so your elbows must be locked by your sides and serve only as hinges. You can pronate your wrists by turning your hands down and out, but forego that peak contraction when you can no longer hold it.


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