Supersets are one of the best bodybuilding training methods ever invented. Supersets work great for most body parts but in my experience they are especially effective for building big, strong triceps!
- Part 1: Origin-Insertion Tricep Supersets Routines
- Part 2: John Meadows Tricep Superset Routines
- Part 3: Tricep Supersets Plus Eccentric Training
- Part 4: High-Volume Tricep Superset Routines
In this comprehensive guide I want to teach you 8 of the most effective tricep superset routines of all time. Many of these routines were invented by world-class coaches like John Meadows and Charles Poliquin to help you build muscle mass as fast as possible.
A superset is a training method where you perform 2 exercises in a row with 10 seconds rest between exercises.
In my experience one of the best ways to use supersets is to perform 2 exercises in a row for the same muscle group. For example you could perform 2 different types of triceps exercises in a row with 10 seconds rest between exercises.
Here is John Meadows showing you how to superset rope cable pushdowns and rope overhead triceps extensions. Check it out:
Talk about an intense set!
Supersets are so effective because they double the time under tension of your set. Just think about it: if a regular set takes you about 20 seconds to complete then a superset will take you about 40 seconds to complete! This extra time under tension forces your muscles to work much harder than normal which is great for stimulating muscular hypertrophy.
Let’s look at some simple tricep routines to kick things off.
One of the best ways to design a triceps workout is to superset a compound exercise with an isolation exercise. For example you could perform a set of close grip bench presses, rest 10 seconds and perform a set of overhead triceps extensions.
This type of superset is called an “origin-insertion superset” because you are using exercises that overload different parts of the triceps. The compound exercise overloads the triceps more at the shoulder joint while the isolation exercise overloads the triceps more at the elbow joint. The bottom line is origin-insertion supersets are AWESOME for increasing the size of your triceps!
Here is a sample training routine:
Triceps Origin-Insertion Superset Routine #1
- A1: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 5 x 6-8, 4/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- A2: Ez-bar french press, 5 x 10-12, 3/0/3/0, 3 minutes rest
Fort his workout you are going to superset close grip bench presses with ez-bar french presses. This is a very simple but extremely effective triceps routine.
The close grip bench press is a great “meat and potatoes” exercise that overloads the long head and the lateral head of your triceps. The ez-bar french press is very different: it overloads the long head of the triceps and puts the triceps under a deep loaded stretch. Performing these 2 exercises back-to-back is a very simple but extremely effective way to stimulate triceps growth.
Here is another great origin-insertion superset routine that you may want to try. Check it out:
Triceps Origin-Insertion Superset Routine #2
- A1: V-bar dips (upright torso), 5 x 6-8, 3/1/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- A2: 60 degree DB triceps extension**, 5 x 10-12, 3/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
**Perform 1.25 reps in the bottom position. Lower the dumbbells to the bottom position over 3 seconds, raise them up a quarter of the way, lower them down to the bottom position and raise them up to the top position over 1 second. That counts as 1 rep, complete 10-12 reps per set.
This is another simple but extremely effective triceps superset workout.
Research shows that v-bar dips are actually one of THE best triceps exercises that you can perform. They recruit all three heads of the triceps including the long head, the lateral head and the medial head better than other “meat and potatoes” triceps exercises like the close grip bench press.
This is especially true if you perform your dips with an upright torso which really keeps the tension on your triceps.
I know some of you are thinking that this routine doesn’t have enough volume or isn’t complicated enough to stimulate growth. If that’s the case then you are DEAD WRONG! This superset routine works awesome for most intermediate level bodybuilders who are struggling to build bigger triceps.
If you are more of an advanced bodybuilder then you may need more exercises and volume per workout to build maximum size. Here is a more advanced triceps superset routine that you may want to try. Check it out:
Triceps Origin-Insertion Superset Routine #3
- A1: Watson triceps bar lying triceps extensions, 5 x 6, 3/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
- B1: Bench press with chains and fat gripz (shoulder-width grip), 4 x 6-9, 4/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- B2: Standing cable rope french press, 4 x 6-9, 3/2/1/0, 2 minutes rest
This routine was invented by Charles Poliquin for one of his advanced bodybuilding clients. This routine uses a post-exhaustion superset at the end of the routine after your triceps are already pre-fatigued with a lying triceps extension exercise.
This is a ridiculously effective way to train for bigger triceps muscles.
In my experience this type of routine works especially well for people who have a hard time feeling their triceps work with compound pressing exercises. The lying triceps extensions pre-fatigue your triceps so they have to work even harder than normal on the close grip bench presses.
If you have access to chains then I highly recommend you use them on your close grip bench presses. The chains make the top half of the exercise more challenging which forces your triceps to work even harder than normal.
If your gym doesn’t have chains then I highly recommend you pick up a pair. I really like the pair of weightlifting chains sold by “HappyBuy” – you can click right here to buy yourself a pair from amazon.
While you’re at it make sure you check out the following article on lifting chains:
In that article I teach the best tricks and strategies for using chains to build maximum muscle mass. I really like Charles Poliquin’s advanced triceps routine but he isn’t the only coach who knows how to design a good superset workout.
The bodybuilding coach John Meadows also really likes to program supersets into his triceps workouts. Let’s look at a couple of sample training routines. Here is a triceps routine that John performed with IFBB pro Luke Carroll. Check it out:
John Meadows Triceps Superset Routine #1
- A1: Pin press (shoulder-width grip)**, 4 x 5, 1/1/X/0, 2 minutes rest
- B1: Dual rope cable triceps pushdown, 3 x 8, 1/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- B2: Cable rope triceps extension (high-pulley), 3 x 8, 1/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
- C1: Lying dead stop DB triceps extension, 3 x 8-10, 1/1/1/0, 2 minutes rest
**Set the pins 6-8 inches above chest height.
Here is the training video for this workout:
This type of workout is absolutely phenomenal for building big, strong triceps. First John has you perform a few heavy sets of pin presses. John really likes pin presses over more traditional exercises like the close grip bench press.
Pin presses force you to focus on the top half of the bench press which is the part of the exercise where your triceps have to work the most. They are also VERY effective at recruiting the lateral head of your triceps.
After your triceps are nice and warmed up John moves onto a fantastic triceps superset using cables. John has you superset dual rope cable pushdowns with high-pulley overhead cable rope triceps extensions. John says that this superset is a brutal way to overload the long head of your triceps.
Finally John has you finish the workout with a few sets of dead stop dumbbell triceps extensions. Talk about a tough triceps workout!
Don’t worry, John Meadows designed a whole line of Granite Supplements to help you recover from this brutal triceps superset workout. Make sure you use the discount code “RPD20” to save 10% off your entire order at checkout!
Here is another one of John’s favorite high-volume triceps superset workouts. Check it out:
John Meadows Triceps Superset Routine #2
- A1: Triceps pushdown (spongey grips), 4 sets of 12 reps
- B1: Football bar lying triceps extensions (behind head), 4 sets of 6 reps
- B2: Football bar bench press (close grip), 4 sets of 6 reps**
- C1: Football bar french press, 4 sets of 10 reps****
**Perform immediately after the lying triceps extensions with the same weight
****Perform a 10-second extreme stretch in the bottom position of the french press immediately after your 10th rep
Here is the training video for this workout:
Once again John puts the triceps superset right in the middle of his workout. John has you perform 6 reps on the lying triceps extension, then IMMEDIATELY perform 6 reps on the close grip bench press with the exact same weight.
This is called a pre-exhaust superset because you are supersetting a triceps isolation exercise with a compound pressing exercise.
As a general rule of thumb post-exhaustion supersets will help you build muscle mass faster than pre-exhaustion supersets but pre-exhaust supersets are still a great way to train. The legendary bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman was also a big fan of supersetting lying triceps extensions with close grip bench presses.
As you can see there are many ways to design a high-volume triceps superset routine.
Now let’s look at a more moderate-volume, high-intensity triceps superset routine. This routine was invented by Charles Poliquin to boost functional hypertrophy on the triceps. Check it out:
Charles Poliquin Triceps Superset Routine With Eccentric Training
- A1: Low decline bench press (shoulder-width grip), 5 x 4-6, 3/1/X/0, 10 seconds rest
- A2: Lying ez-bar extension (to forehead), 5 x 6-8, 4/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
- B1: Eccentric-only v-bar dips (upright torso)**, 4 x 3, 8/0/1/0, 3 minutes rest
**Start in the top position and lower yourself down to the bottom position over 8 seconds. Then let your feet hit the ground, stand up on the platform to boost yourself up and perform your next eccentric-only rep. Repeat for 4 eccentric-only reps per set. If you cannot lower yourself down with an 8-second tempo on each rep then the weight is too heavy.
This routine is divided into two separate parts. The first part of the workout features an awesome post-exhaustion superset with the decline close grip bench press and lying ez-bar extensions. The second part of the workout is completely different: you are going to perform eccentric-only reps on V-bar dips.
You prop yourself up on the top of the dipping platform and then lower yourself back down over 8-10 seconds with perfect control. This process is repeated for 3 reps per set.
The triceps are a fast-twitch muscle and respond extremely well to different eccentric training protocols like this one. Charles Poliquin says that you won’t be able to slick back your hair for 5 days after performing this workout!
The past few tricep superset workouts have been very challenging and effective. Now let’s take things one step further by looking at some of the most advanced tricep superset workouts ever invented!
One of the best ways to design a triceps superset routine is to use three different supersets in a single workout. I call this the “triple threat supersets” method. At least it’s better than calling your fitness website “Revolutionary Program Design!”
The first superset targets the medial head of the triceps, the second superset targets the medial and lateral heads of the triceps, the second superset targets the lateral and long heads of the triceps while the final superset puts the triceps in a deep loaded stretch. Check it out:
Triceps Triple Threat Supersets Routine
- A1: Decline DB extension, 3 x 8-10, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- A2: Decline ez-bar extension (to forehead), 3 x 8-10, 2/0/2/0, 2 minutes rest
- B1: Hammer strength dips, 3 x 10-12, 3/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
- B2: PJR pullover, 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 2 minutes rest
- C1: Cable rope overhead extension (high pulley), 3 x 12-15, 3/0/1/1, 10 seconds rest
- C2: Cable rope overhead extension (low pulley), 3 x 12-15, 2/2/1/0, 2 minutes rest
Here are the training videos for this workout: exercise A1, exercise A2, exercise B1, exercise B2, exercise C1, exercise C2.
For this routine you perform 3 different supersets for three sets each. In total you are performing 18 hard sets for the triceps. Now THAT is a lot of volume! If this routine doesn’t shock your muscles into growth then nothing will!
Ok, I’ve saved the best for last! If you are looking for a mega high-volume triceps superset routine to shock your triceps into growth then this routine is for you. John Meadows calls this his “mega pump arm workout.”
It features 4 separate supersets for your biceps and triceps. It also includes three separate extreme stretches that you perform in between your supersets for your biceps and triceps. Check it out:
John Meadows Mega Pump Arm Workout
- A1: Standing DB curl (supinated grip), 3 x 10, no rest
- A2: Standing DB curl (hammer grip) 3 x AMRAP**, 30 seconds rest
- A3: Standing cable pushdown (pronated grip / D-handles), 3 x 10, no rest
- A4: Standing overhead cable extension (D-handles), 3 x AMRAP**, 30 seconds rest
Extreme Stretch #1
- B1: Unilateral bicep stretch (arm abducted), 1 x 30 seconds, no rest
- B2: Unilateral tricep stretch (arm overhead), 1 x 30 seconds, 30 seconds rest
- C1: Dual rope cable pushdown (elbows at sides), 3 x 10, no rest
- C2: Dual rope cable pushdown (elbows in front), 3 x AMRAP**, 30 seconds rest
- C3: Preacher ez-bar curl (wide / supinated grip), 3 x 10***, 30 seconds rest
Extreme Stretch #2
- D1: Unilateral bicep stretch (arm abducted), 1 x 45 seconds, no rest
- D2: Unilateral tricep stretch (arm overhead), 1 x 45 seconds, 30 seconds rest
- E1: Standing barbell curl, 3 x 10-12****, 30 seconds rest
- E2: Lying dead-stop kettlebell extension, 3 x 15-20, 30 seconds rest
Extreme Stretch #3
- F1: Unilateral bicep stretch (arm abducted), 1 x 60 seconds, no rest
- F2: Unilateral tricep stretch (arm overhead), 1 x 60 seconds, 30 seconds rest
- G1: Pinwheel spider DB curl, 2 x 10-15, 30 seconds rest
- G2: Incline diamond push up, 2 x 10-15, 30 seconds rest
**Perform as many reps as possible with the same weight as the previous exercise
***perform a 10-second negative on the last rep
****Train to failure, then perform 5 partial reps in the bottom position
Here is the training video for this workout:
OK, I’m cheating a little bit by including this superset routine in this article. Some of these supersets involve performing a triceps exercise followed by another biceps exercise rather than two triceps exercises in a row. Only the first two supersets involve true triceps supersets where you use two triceps exercises in a row.
Still, if you are looking for an ultra-high-volume triceps superset routine to blast through a triceps hypertrophy plateau then this routine is for you. Just make sure you nail your nutrition around your workout.
If you want to support John Meadows then consider using a Granite Supplements intra-workout drink like “Recovery” to help you recover from this brutal workout. You can use the discount code “RPD20” to get 10% off your entire order at checkout!
Supersets are one of the most effective bodybuilding training methods ever invented. They work incredibly well for building bigger, stronger triceps.
In this comprehensive guide you learned 8 of the most effective triceps superset workouts ever invented. These superset routines have been used by some of the best coaches in the world including John Meadows and Charles Poliquin to help advanced bodybuilders blast through plateaus in arm size.
If you have the guts to perform any one of these routines then you will be rewarded with some of the fastest arm growth of your entire life! So what are you waiting for? Get back in the gym and start supersetting your way to bigger, stronger triceps!
Here is one more quote by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger to pump you up even more:
“The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!
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