So, you want sleeve-busting, horseshoe-looking triceps. And you’ve found the ultimate triceps workout sending you to the gym daily to pump, blast, and sculpt your triceps. Will this work?
You can train your triceps every day, but it’ll be sub-optimal for maximizing triceps muscle gain. Instead, 2-3 times per week is likely a better training frequency for the triceps.
It may seem logical the more you train them, the faster and bigger they’ll grow! But is this the case?
Can You Train Triceps Every Day?
You can train your triceps daily, but I wouldn’t advise it. One reason someone might want to train triceps every day is to increase the training frequency. Initially, it was theorized more frequent muscle protein synthesis stimuli (stimulating the building of new muscle) would lead to better gains .
Extrapolating this theory, you may be able to keep your triceps in an anabolic state for longer. More time being anabolic equals gaining more muscle. However, this doesn’t ring true for a multitude of reasons.
Firstly, when the volume is equated between different training frequencies (e.g., 3 vs. 6 times per week), there is no meaningful impact on muscle growth . However, we see advantages for higher frequencies when the volume is not equated.
For example, training a muscle group five times per week has shown to be superior to a once-per-week bro split because of the greater volume . So, the frequency can be used as a tool to increase training volume.
Secondly, we must consider your individual response to training volume and frequency. For example, 31% of subjects saw more significant muscle growth in a 5x-a-week protocol, whereas 37% saw better gains in a 2-3x-a-week protocol .
Therefore, training your triceps more often (i.e., every day) may not work for you. Lastly, if you are training your triceps every day, there’s no time to allow them to recover. Muscle growth takes place during rest.
If you’re constantly hammering the triceps, they don’t have a chance to recover fully. This can lead to more issues other than muscle growth stagnation. Elbow pain is a common one or depending on the volume and intensity of your triceps workouts, muscle strains can be on the horizon.
Can You Train Triceps 3 Times Per Week?
You can train your triceps 3 times per week, which I recommend if you run an arm or triceps specialization program. It allows you to perform a heavy, medium, and light day which could look like this:
Monday – Heavy pressing for 8 reps with heavy pushdowns for 8-10 reps.
Wednesday – Medium day of one pressing exercise and multiple isolation exercises for 10-15 reps.
Friday – Light day of high-rep isolation exercises for 15-20 reps.
Can You Train Triceps 2 Days In A Row?
You can train the triceps 2 days in a row, but it’ll be a sub-optimal training structure depending on how much volume you perform on the first day. One way it could work is performing heavy pressing exercises the first day, such as close grip bench press and 1-arm dumbbell overhead press.
The second day can consist of triceps isolation exercises for higher reps to finish. However, if you perform a full triceps workout on both days, you’ll run into problems with fatigue and sub-par training on the second day.
How Many Times Per Week Should You Work Out Your Triceps?
How often you train your triceps depends on your training schedule. If you perform a 3 times per week full body split, you are likely hitting the triceps indirectly each day. You can add 1 or 2 isolation exercises after one of the workouts.
However, if you’re using a physique priority training split like an upper/lower or push pull legs split, then hitting the triceps twice a week is typical. In my opinion, twice a week of triceps training is an excellent place to start for bigger triceps workouts.
If you want to specialize, then 3 times per week is the maximum frequency I would perform for the triceps.
You can train your triceps daily, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Sure, there are daily push-up challenges, but the loading from push-ups is low, and you rarely go to true failure often. Instead, 2-3 times per week of targeted triceps training will get you all the gains you’re after.
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2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Grgic, J., & Krieger, J. (2019). How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. Journal of sports sciences, 37(11), 1286-1295.
3. Zaroni, R. S., Brigatto, F. A., Schoenfeld, B. J., Braz, T. V., Benvenutti, J. C., Germano, M. D., … & Lopes, C. R. (2019). High resistance-training frequency enhances muscle thickness in resistance-trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33, S140-S151.
4. Damas, F., Barcelos, C., Nóbrega, S. R., Ugrinowitsch, C., Lixandrão, M. E., d Santos, L. M., … & Libardi, C. A. (2019). Individual muscle hypertrophy and strength responses to high vs. low resistance training frequencies. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33(4), 897-901.