Jason Poston is going to take you through a 15-minute triceps workout made up of just three exercises. Before you start wondering what you'll do with the gym time you save, just know that you probably won't want to do anything but stand there with your arms hanging down your sides like water balloons.
These exercises are performed with cables because they offer more muscle control. There's a time and a place for compound exercises, Poston says. But for working the triceps, a small muscle group, cables enable you to better isolate the target muscle.
"What's crazy," Poston says, "is that because you lower the rest intervals, you're going to get a better pump with three exercises than if you were doing six." You'll rest only 20 seconds between sets and exercises.
It takes more than short rest intervals, though, to achieve amazing results. Poston executes a set's 15 reps much more slowly than normal, accentuating what's called "time under tension" (TUT). For each triceps exercise, he does 25-30 seconds of work per set.
Triceps Push-down with Rope Attachment
Increase the TUT on this exercise by making sure to get a good squeeze at the bottom of the movement, then taking your time to get back up. At the top, Poston says, give your triceps a nice, long stretch.
"Your first set is going to feel a little bit lighter," he says. "Remember, your first two sets are going to be almost like warm-up sets. But prepare: Your third, fourth, and fifth sets are really going to burn."
Reverse-Grip Triceps Push-down
Jump right into this next exercise to keep the blood flowing through your triceps. Swap out the ropes for a curl bar and change to an underhand grip to emphasize the long head of the triceps.
As with the push-downs, give your triceps a good squeeze at the midpoint of each rep. This time, focus on the back side of each arm, slowly extend all the way down, and squeeze as hard as you can to hit the triceps long head. On the way up, slowly stretch out your triceps again.
Cable Lying Triceps Extension
This last exercise gives you the opportunity to generate a huge triceps stretch. To maximize this exercise, take your time and stretch the triceps at the bottom, then extend up and give the triceps a slow squeeze at the top.
It's not unusual to see people jerking the weight around on this exercise. Today's workout is all about maintaining TUT, so take your time on the movement path and tempo of each repetition.
"This is not a race," Poston says. "Go slow. Make those muscles burn!"
Poston suggests using this workout after a chest day or pairing it with biceps. If you don't have a lot of time, use this TUT workout solo for triceps. You'll be done in 15 minutes!