This exercise provided courtesy of Billy Polson, founder and co-owner of DIAKADI Body training gym, voted best personal training gym in San Francisco by CitySearch in 2006.
If you've done the cable tricep bar press-down before, you know that it's a staple exercise of many workout programs that isolates and builds the muscles of the triceps. For this exercise, you'll max out four times using progressively lighter weights to get every ounce out of work out of your triceps.
Attach a bent tricep bar to the upper connection of a cable machine. Stand in front of the cable machine with your legs in a slight scissor position so that one leg is stepped slightly forward and the other leg is stepped slightly back. Hold the bar up at chest level in both hands with your palms down and your pinkies are on the outside bend of the bar. Your elbows should be bent and held in at your sides (see Photo 1).
- From the starting position, press the bar down toward your thighs, keeping your elbows in as you descend (see Photo 2).
- At the bottom of the movement, reverse position and bring the bar back up to starting position (see Photo 3). At the top of the movement, your elbows should come up just past a 90-degree angle, no more and no less. Repeat until you reach failure—you cannot smoothly press the bar down another time using your triceps—and then drop down to a lighter weight and continue doing presses until you again reach failure with the lighter weights.
- Perform four sets total (such that you have dropped a total of three weight levels and end with a fourth, lightest, set of weights), each time reaching failure before switching weights.