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Tri Something New

All right, all you math whizzes out there. Which is bigger: two-thirds or one-third?

Time's up. For those of you who answered right away, good job! To those of you who looked at your fingers and started counting aloud, don't fret-even without calculation skills, you'll find the DMV is always a career option.

The real reason for the question was not to lead you into an article on basic math. (After all, if you wanted to read something basic, you'd get a Detroit Lions playbook, right?) The question refers to your upper arm and its mass, or lack thereof.

You see, most guys-not you, of course-but most guys spend a whole lot of time training their biceps. You give a man a mirror, a bar and a set of weights and come back in five minutes, and you can damn well bet you'll find him doing a barbell curl. The triceps, on the other hand, barely gets any notice in the gym. Maybe a kick-back here, a press-down there, but certainly not the attention owed a muscle that makes up two-thirds of your upper arm.

Yes, to bust through your shirtsleeves, you need big tris-and so we present a unique workout that can help, and only requires four fingers to count all the exercises involved. Now let's hurry up before your Mensa meeting starts.

Armed With Knowledge
The triceps can be chiseled in a couple of different ways. In a press, the tris work in conjunction with the chest and shoulders to move a weight above the torso from a lying-down position or overhead from a standing or seated position. In an extension, you straighten your arm against resistance while your shoulder remains stationary.

According to David McWhorter, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., an anatomy professor in Kansas City, Mo., extensions work the triceps more directly. "Any exercise in which there's only movement at the elbow and not at the shoulder will work the tris the hardest," he says. "On the other hand, exercises that involve both the elbow and shoulder [such as a close-grip press] are going to share the work among different muscle groups."

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