Over the past two months I’ve been focusing on increasing the weight on my main lifts in an effort to add a few pounds of muscle for when I step on stage again next year. One of my favorite movements of late has been tricep dips using a dip belt with plates attached to it. This is a great exercise to be able to overload the tricep muscles and work them hard, hitting all three heads.
I like to include this early on in the workout after a few warm up sets on tricep pushdowns. Over the past few weeks I’ve been hitting 6-7 reps with 2x45lb (20kg each) attached to the dip belt. Last week I managed 5 reps at 100lbs, which was a personal best of mine. Today I was determined to break that personal best, and working out at Gold’s Gym in Venice, California – the Mecca of Bodybuilding, I was feeling strong and motivated. After warming up with some body-weighted dips, a 45lb plate, and two 45lb plates, I chased after last weeks personal best and surprised myself with a fairly comfortable 9 reps. Things were looking good to break that record, and not wanting to jump to far ahead of myself I added a 5lb plate to the chain, taking the total up to 105lbs (2x45lbs, 1x10lb and 1x5lb plate).
With this small increment of 5% more weight I managed 6 clean reps, failing at the top of the 7th rep, taking each rep through a full range of movement, really engaging all the deep tricep fibers.
This is one of my favorite tricep exercises to overload and get them to grow. The next exercise I moved on to was lying tricep extensions, or skull crushers as their sometimes called, and continued to chase the heavy weights, using a spotter to help with the final rep or two once I reached my maximum poundage.