Jeff Anderson

How To Build Big Triceps!

Want to know how to build big triceps?

Good question since the quickest way to build big arms is to build big triceps.

Your triceps take up the vast majority of your upper arm, yet frustrated hardgainers everywhere are knocking out bazillions of curls to try to get bigger arms.

Well I asked one of my friends to give me his very best exercise to build big triceps.

His answer was…

…“do dips”!

How To Build Big Triceps And Get Bigger Arms!

Guest Article By Jason Ferruggia of

That’s right.  If you want to know how to build big triceps you gotta do dips…and lots of ’em!

Why, you may ask?

Well, have you seen the size of the triceps on male gymnasts in the Olympics?  They got that big from body weight excises like the dip.

In fact, dips are basically the only true triceps male gymnasts do and they are absolutely jacked with huge, thick, horseshoe triceps.

Here’s Why Dips Work So Well To Build Big Triceps…

Whenever you use your bodyweight exercises for your triceps, especially when you can add additional weight with a chin/dip belt or weight vest, you actually activate a much greater number of muscle fibers than you would if you simply used a machine.

Machines exercises for triceps don’t recruit the smaller stabilizer muscles and don’t force the muscles to contract naturally as they would in real life.

Whenever possible you want to try to move your body instead of simply moving the arm or attachment on a machine.

But What About Free Weight Exercises
To Build Big Triceps?

Although free weight exercises are very effective and a much better option than training on a machine, moving your own body will always reign supreme when it comes to building muscle and to build big triceps.

And dips are the “squat” of your upper body so they’re just as powerful as squats are for your legs.

Click Here For More Muscle Now!How To Perform Dips To Build Big Triceps:

  • Dips can be performed on parallel bars or, if you are really strong, gymnastics rings.
  • Be sure to squeeze the bars tightly, brace your abs as if you were about to be punched and lower yourself no lower than the point where your triceps are parallel with the ground. Going lower than that puts too much stress on the shoulders and getting the extra stretch is not worth the risk of an injury.

How Often To Train Dips To Build Big Triceps:

  • Dips can be performed three times per week as a beginner. After a few months of that I don’t think you will be confused about how to build big triceps anymore.
  • When you get more advanced it is recommended to cut your dips down to twice per week.

How To Use Weighted Dips To Build Big Triceps:

Although I used to love weighted dips and routinely had many of my clients perform them with numerous 45 pound plates strapped to their waists I have found, over the years, that there is simply too great a risk of injury with heavy weighted dips and now do not allow anyone in my gym to do dips with more than just one 45 pound plate.

Anything beyond that seems to get too risky.

For intermediate lifters you could do one day heavy, where you add resistance to your weight belt, and one day light where you simply rep out with bodyweight.

The two days should be about 72 hours apart.

Once you get strong enough to do a 45 pound plate you will probably only want to use weighted dips as a rep exercise and not a heavy strength movement anymore.

Advanced Exercise Techniques To
Build Big Triceps Using Dips

To make dips more difficult without adding more weight, try doing them on gymnastics rings or on straps.

You can also try holding your legs straight out directly in front of you as well.

Either option will be very challenging and are great muscle builders.

Give these muscle-building strategies a try and I promise you’ll never again wonder how to build big triceps!

Train hard,

Jason Ferruggia

20 Responses to “How To Build Big Triceps!”

  1. mike says:

    While I am noting close to being huge I really agree with you here. My triceps were virtualy non existent until I started doing dips.

    I think that gymnasts have some of the most aesthetically pleasing as well as functional physiques. I also really like all variations of the pullup and chins. Using the rest pause method outlined in your HPX program with bodyweight exercises has worked really well for me.

  2. George says:

    I have been training for almost 32yrs now
    and i can tell you that dips are the best for triceps mass
    however i don’t think they should be directly trained more than once per week
    unless you just started training basically the stronger and biger you get the less
    often you should train period unless you are on something..

    another thing watvh out for the elbows you do not have to do a 100% rom
    and lock out any joint that is just asking for serious pain later in life
    so stick to a 70-80% range of motion especially on triceps work save those elbows
    or you will be very sorry later trust me….

  3. peter lomax says:

    ive always favoured dips for the triceps, and feel the dip is by far the best chest developer too, i look at the gymnasts and think they all have one thing in common , great upper bodies, mainly through the dip and pull up

  4. Charles says:

    I started my triceps with … pushups. I didn’t have anything to use as a dip station and it hurt my shoulders too much to use the edge of the couch from the floor (arms behind). It wasn’t until I got my pullup bar and a rope that I was able to do dips. Full-suspension dips, whether from straps or rope and rings are NOT an advanced dip; they simply utilize additional muscles in the shoulder and chest. I encourage you to never use a stabilized dip station (bars). If you can’t do full dips from a suspension rig (ropes, rings or straps), start with negative reps to train the stabilizers. When your bodyfat drops low enough to expose your sixpack, those stabilizers will really help accentuate your shoulders and chest, as well.

  5. Justin Bethune says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Just wanted to say that i love the new HARDCORE Look!!! You need to keep it!

    Agree with you on the dips…

    But my favorite exercises for Triceps are…
    1. Close Grip Bench (best exercise for triceps size)
    2. Lying Behind the Head French Curls (Not skull crushers)
    3. Cable pressdowns with the rope (completely Straighten the rope at the bottom)

    Then go into some dips or other extensions to finish it off!

    Great advice Jeff Keep it coming!

  6. Mark says:

    I’ve been partly training my whole life and have never taken it seriously until I hit 40 this year.

    Because of my huge gut and a rugby induced shoulder injury when I do dips I just collapse!

    BUT …

    Anyway. Jeff, the new banner looks very very good. I’ll try reply to the email to get in contact on a possible JV.

    Mark Jones

  7. Pete says:

    Over the many, many years of training with weights I could never really get a good tricep workout using parallel bar dips or any upright dips. No matter how strong I got [adding weight] my shoulders always kicked in first.

    The only time I can benefit from doing dips is with my feet out in front on a bench and my hands behind my body on another bench. I’ve been able to use an incredible amount of weight laying across my upper thighs/ lower abdomen.

    I’ve been able to do this by using a smith machine and a training partner. Smith machine for stability and the amount of weight being used, and for obvious reasons a training partner to spot and lift the smith machine bar on and off my lap. [I also use a small pad/ cushion for the bar to sit on or the bar will cut into your upper thighs/ hip area]

    Now doing dips this way, trust me when I say you feel it directly on the triceps, and you feel extra muscle fibers kicking in.

  8. I have lifted for almost 33 years now, and competed and coached for most of that time. Dips are great as a compound heavy lift, but not everybody can do them for various reasons. Personally, I wind up with a shoulder injury if I do them for more than 5 weeks. Something about the angle aggravates an old injury… As a substitute, I have been very successful with close grip bench presses. I can still go heavy without crushing my elbows and also don’t wind up with a should injury. As a side note, they also REALLY help my bench press. Just take a shoulder width grip and keep the elbows next to the body during the execution of the lift. This works for me, perhaps it will for someone else too.

    I love the new look and the work that you do. Keep it up!


  9. Ashvin says:

    shaaaaweeeeeeeeeeeeet!! jus what i been lookin for who the man… jeff de man! keep up the gd work

  10. Steve says:

    Hey I like the pump I get while doing dips … I try and put my legs out in front of me when dipping while doing chest … and leg behind me while doing tri’s … I also keep my chin to chest while doing chest and tilt my chin up while doing tri’s … any comments welcome.

  11. Chuck S says:

    I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t know what dips are. A lot of us aren’t experts. I can try to google, but “dips” will probably have many invalid hits. I’m grateful for the advise you give, but it would be better with a description, picture , video, or web site.

  12. I am getting numbness in my right hand on my thumb pointer finger and middle finger. I feel is on the top side of my elbow down to my fingers . How do I fix this one?

    • sunny singh says:

      Did you check your Blood sugar levels?? That can be a cause.

    • Pete says:

      If you feel these symptoms particularly when doing pressing or pushing movements with or without heavy weights you may be experiencing a “trapped” nerve or nerves that run through the palm. If this is the case you could feel that numbness throughout the arm

      Try using elbow support bandages/ wraps and hand sponges/ pads, or padded gloves for a good few weeks. It also wouldn’t hurt running this by your GP or Physio.

  13. James says:

    I used to do dips on bars but they wrecked both my elbows. These days the only tricep work I can do are close grip bench, skullcrushers etc. If anyone knows how to cure tennis elbow…………

    • sunny singh says:

      Dear James, Have you tried doing some YOGA Strechings???? You can find on the net. Give it a try.

    • Edgars says:

      Hi James,
      I used to have such about 10 years ago, but now I am pain free. I really understand you, this pain is annoying. What really helped:
      1) Use equipment that allows 3-dimentional movements: dumbells instead of barbells, rings instead of dip and bars
      2) Balance pulling and pushing movements
      3) Exercise wrist and finger extensors – it is very crucial: exercises like finger extention in sand (especially wet) or with rubber, static extentions inside pipe.

      Good luck

  14. sunny singh says:

    You’re right. Dips are the most effective for Triceps.

  15. noel says:

    ne gative skull cruhers work great but dips are d daddy keep up the good advice it helps to mix up workouts that have gone stale cheerrrrrssss

  16. Tim says:

    i have been doing your optimum anabolics routine for the last 11 weeks or so. Do you suggest the dips more than once a week while incorporating it into this program. I have been using them but only once a week like you suggested in that program. Thanks man. Been really happy with the results from the AO program.

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