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!

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  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..

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  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!

    Mary

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    • 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.

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  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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