Tri-Harder: 4 Week Tricep Periodization Routine

A little known fact: Triceps are roughly 2/3rds of your arm size, just focusing on biceps is frivolous and you won’t get massive arms if you focus only on biceps.

Like the bicep periodization routine, you can implement this into your arm routine and follow the reps and sets, or you can replace your direct arm work with this. You will be hitting triceps twice a week and you need to have at least 2 days rest in between. The tricep muscle is much larger than the bicep, so it needs more time to recover. That’s why leg and back days take a while to recover.

This is also a great change from weeks and weeks of the same routine; use this to switch things up and make things interesting again.

Week 1

This week focuses on moderate endurance with some weight. The weight you choose should be heavy enough to struggle with the last couple reps of each set. This week is going to suck but help prepare you for the next 3 weeks.

Week 2

You might think to yourself 5 sets of 5, what’s that going to do? This is your strength week and you need to really pack the weight on the bar and use all of your power to get these reps. Pick weight where you are going to struggle and really push yourself.

Week 3

You ready for hell week? This week will be 4 sets of 15 reps and keep the rest times to a minimal. Swole pump week is here, so embrace the pain and get blood pumping to your muscles.

Week 4

Still alive? This week is back to regular volume and weights. Pick a weight you can do 3 sets of 8 relatively easy.

Week 1
Close Grip Bench Press312
Weighted Dips *312
Skull Crushers312
Tricep Extension **312


Week 2
Close Grip Bench Press55
Weighted Dips *55
Skull Crushers55
Tricep Extension **55


Week 3
Close Grip Bench Press415
Weighted Dips *415
Skull Crushers415
Tricep Extension **415


Week 4
Close Grip Bench Press38
Weighted Dips *38
Skull Crushers38
Tricep Extension **38


* – For weighted dips be sure to do what you can. If you cannot do bodyweight dips yet, use the assistance dip machine if you have one. If your gym doesn’t have an assistance dip machine, try to find one that simulates a dip as closely as possible. There are many different types of machines I’ve run across, so find one that simulates a dip and use it. Progress on the weight, don’t be upset if you can’t do bodyweight dips, they are harder than people make them out to be.

** – For the tricep extensions, it doesn’t matter which attachment you use, find one that you prefer and stick with that one. There are plenty of different attachments including the rope, straight bar, W Bar (looks like an EZ Curl bar), Single arm rope, etc. Pick what you prefer to use and stick with that one. Remember, progressively overload, use more weight!

If you make it through this, leave a comment below!

4 thoughts on “Tri-Harder: 4 Week Tricep Periodization Routine”

  1. Hi Cutty,

    I can do dips and kickbacks fine, but tricep extensions of any kind kill my elbows. I’ve tried lower weights but I think it’s just the motion. Same for skullcrushers. Is it something I have to work through or train around?


    1. Can you do 1 or two arm seated or standing DB overhead press? The one that goes behind your head? Those would be okay to replace for skull crushers and then kickbacks for the extensions would work. I hear you about the elbow pain, hell if anything use a machine that simulates something like an extension and one that simulates the skull crushers. Just picture the type of movement it is and find something that works for it.


    2. I wish. Any time there’s weight on the return to starting position my elbows scream. Presses and extensions (even machine extensions) are out, unless you have some spare cartilage sitting around. I’ll probably stick to what I can do and add in close grip benches.

      Thanks Cutty!

    3. Yeah if you are already doing something that you feel is working, change up the sets and reps with a scheme similar to mine just to try it out and change things up a bit!

      Good luck,


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