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Tip for Titanic Tri’s

Have you ever noticed the fantastic triceps development of male gymnasts? It’s certainly better than that of most bodybuilders of roughly the same size. Oddly enough, they don’t get those heroic horseshoes from endless sets of skull crushers, close-grip bench presses, pushdowns or even dips.

NPC ’08 Junior National Heavyweight champion and USA runner-up Michael Liberatore pointed out to me that gymnasts spend a lot of time supporting their bodyweight on the parallel bars and pommel horse, both of which are essentially the top position of a dip. Liberatore, who packs a pair of 21-inch arms at just 217 pounds and is a former gymnast, has applied that to his own triceps training. At the end of each set of weighted dips, he holds the last rep in a static contraction as long as possible.

I gave it a try myself, and, damn, does it work! You could also attempt a long hold as a set of its own after your dips. Putting just a slight bend in your elbows so they’re almost totally locked out magnifies the difficulty exponentially. Additional weight hanging from your waist is optional but probably unnecessary. If your triceps routine is a bit stale and you haven’t seen improvements lately, give this one a try at your next workout.

—Ron Harris

Editor’s note: Ron Harris is the author of Real Bodybuilding, available at

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