This Superset Triceps Workout For The Gym Hits Your Upper Arms Hard

Man performs diamond press-up with hands touching
(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Michael Edwards)

In the pursuit of bigger arms it’s tempting to dedicate more training time to your biceps at the expense of your triceps. But shifting the balance in favour of the back of your arms is smart since the triceps is the larger muscle.

If you’ve been smashing out arm workouts but still think there’s potential for greater strength and size gains, give this advanced six-move session a try. It combines two complementary triceps exercises into an agonist superset, a particularly challenging type of superset which aims to fully exhaust a specific muscle to force it to grow. And we’ve programmed not one but three of these supersets.

If this session looks too tricky, or the DOMS the day after is too intense, tackle this gym triceps workout instead, which combines the close-grip bench press with triceps dips and two cable machine exercises. It’s similar to this workout but with much less volume.

Or build up the strength in your upper arms with this home triceps workout, which is built on bodyweight exercises, but can be extended with resistance band or dumbbell exercises if you have that equipment available. 

How To Do This Triceps Workout

This is a six-move session divided into three supersets. Do a set of move 1A and go straight on to 1B, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown until all sets are completed for both. Then follow this same superset pattern for moves 2A and 2B, then 3A and 3B.

To do this workout you will need a workout bench that can be set to a decline, an EZ-bar, a set of dip bars and a cable machine.

Triceps Workout Superset 1

Warm up thoroughly by doing three to four sets each of move 1A and 1B, starting with a low-weight, high-rep set. With each warm-up set increase the weight and reduce the reps until you get to your work-set weight.

1A Decline close-grip press

Decline close-grip press

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why Having your elbows tight to your sides shifts the emphasis to your triceps.

How Lie on a decline bench holding an EZ-bar with a shoulder-width grip. Lower the bar to your stomach, keeping your elbows tight to your sides, then press back up.

1B Decline skullcrusher

Decline skullcrusher

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It’s a great move to isolate your triceps and move them through a good range of motion.

How Lie on a decline bench holding an EZ-bar with a shoulder-width grip. Keeping your elbows pointing straight up, lower the bar down towards your forehead. Pause, then straighten your arms to return to the start.

Triceps Workout Superset 2

Triceps dips and diamond press-ups are two of the most challenging bodyweight moves you can do and they’re seriously effective for building bigger triceps. Focus on good form and keeping each rep slow and controlled to increase muscular workload and minimise any momentum that will cheat you of maximum gains.

2A Triceps dip

Triceps dip

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 6-12 Rest 60sec

Why It’s the classic bodyweight triceps move because it’s so effective.

How Hold parallel bars with your chest up and abs and glutes engaged. Bend your elbows to lower yourself as far as possible, then press back up powerfully, without fully locking out your arms at the top.

2B Diamond press-up

Diamond press-up

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 6-12 Rest 60sec

Why It’s a tough variation of the press-up that taxes your triceps.

How Form a diamond with your thumbs and index fingers, then lower your chest to the floor. Press back up but don’t lock out your arms.

Triceps Workout Superset 3

These two cable moves will increase the workload on your triceps because they must control the weight on the way up as well as the way down. Keep the reps slow and focus on flexing your triceps as hard as possible as you straighten your arms to recruit even more triceps muscle fibres.

3A Cable overhead extension

Cable overhead extension

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why Using a cable keeps tension on your triceps for both the lifting and lowering part of each rep.

How Stand tall, holding the double-rope handle behind your head. Press upwards to straighten your arms, then slowly return back to the start position.

3B Cable press-down

Cable press-down

(Image credit: Glen Burrows)

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It’s an easy move but keeping your form strict will work your triceps to full fatigue.

How Stand tall, holding the double-rope handle in both hands. Keeping your chest up and abs braced, press down to straighten your arms fully. Return slowly to the start position, squeezing your biceps hard at the top.

Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.

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