If you're reading this, training your arms is a priority, most likely for one of two reasons: Either you want bigger arms, or you want to improve strength and pressing power.
This workout simultaneously helps meet both objectives. Perform this series as a part of your regular bodybuilding training, or add it to your pressing day to boost your upper-body power.
Reverse-Grip Bench Press
Nothing says pushing power like the classic bench press, but this exercise has a twist—specifically, you'll twist the way you grip the bar. Using an underhand, or reverse, grip on the bar shifts the focus to your triceps.
Recruit a spotter for this lift so you can focus on the movement itself without worry. It's almost impossible to reverse bench the same amount of weight you would on the regular version, so don't even try to max out on this exercise.
If you've never tried this variation before, acquaint yourself with the movement by starting with a light set or two. Once you start your working sets (meaning, the ones that count), add weight as the reps decrease. Rest 90 seconds between each set.
Decline Dumbbell Extension
If you've only done flat dumbbell extensions, the decline bench presents a new opportunity. The angle of the decline allows for a greater stretch in the triceps and goes easy on your shoulder joints.
Working with dumbbells means that each arm must carry its own load. This helps with balance and proportion. If you want to change it up, work each arm one at a time while keeping the other in the stretch position. Another option is to alternate arms like you would with dumbbell curls. Rest 60 seconds between each set.
Kneeling Cable Press-downs
Using cables allows you to keep tension on the triceps throughout the entire range of motion while minimizing recruitment of other muscles. Kneeling helps restrict momentum and prevents cheating as the set progresses.
You can use whichever handle you have available. I find that the rope attachment works best because it allows you to separate your hands at the bottom of the press, slightly increasing your range of motion. Rotate your wrists and extend through your elbows at the bottom for an even greater contraction.
Form is important here. If you must reduce the weight to perform better reps, do so—your size and strength gains will be greater in the long run. Cut the rest time down to only 45 seconds between sets, and choose a weight that will be challenging by the third set.