A Secret Weapon for Challenging your Muscles

My triceps were so sore from my workout last week that I wanted to share what I did differently. I usually work shoulders first and I did so last Monday too. So what gave my triceps such a workout?

First I did dumbbell one-armed triceps extensions. These are incredibly challenging if you use enough weight. I could only do 8 reps for 3 sets.

Second I did triceps pushdowns at the cable station. I think this is where I really burned up my triceps: I did one set of fairly light weight followed immediately followed by a set of a heavier weight (15 pounds heavier). It was essentially a very short pyramid. I could do 12 reps of the lighter weight and only 6-8 reps with the heavier weight.

Third I did the lying triceps extension with a barbell, again with a fairly heavy weight for me. By now I could only do 8 reps even with a weight I normally do 10-12 reps. My tri’s were fried!

Lesson? Just doing one little thing differently can stimulate your muscles a great deal. It’s so simple and it doesn’t have to be an advanced, time-consuming, full-on technique. I’m going to use a little imagination in my workouts from now on.

P.S. – I knew what I did last Monday at the gym because I keep a workout journal. It’s invaluable in helping you prevent injury and making progress.

12 thoughts on “A Secret Weapon for Challenging your Muscles

  1. So, so true, Suzanne! Our muscles love a new challenge and work hard to adapt to the stress!

    Nice little triceps workout you have there. I love all standing overhead exercises – they work so much more then the muscles doing the moving. Core gets hit hard! Awesome bonus!


  2. I like to say that the only routine in the routine is to walk through they gyms doors. After that, it’s full-on improvisational body-jazz.

    And nothing, NOTHING feels as good as sore triceps. Yes, I said “nothing” and I’m sticking with it. Those who have had them know..


  3. Isn’t it fun to do something completely different? Do you ever begin with multijoint movements (e.g., bench press, dips, shoulder press)?

    I like what you say about keeping a workout journal. I just blogged about the same thing.

    Love your blog!



    • Hi Mary! I’ll have to check out your journal post. I do shoulders before tri’s, and compound movements are the bulk of what I do. (So logically I should change that up!) So much fun, the variety is endless.


  4. A workout journal is a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration. Will start one today. Hope to finally make it back to the gym this afternoon after being cooped up since Sunday – we’ve been trapped in our homes following the ice/snow storm in Atlanta and lack of city removal equipment. 🙂


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