009. Custom Built Triceps Machine – The World Of Muscle

009. Custom Built Triceps Machine

This episode covers a visit to Randy’s gym to try out his new triceps machine he had been raving so much about.

We cover the mechanics of this machine and compare it to its free weight counterpart that Randy stated he used for years before any machine was adequate enough to match or even surpass it.

You can find a couple of clips of each movement on http://www.theworldofmuscle.com/.

03:25 Tamas mentioned that the same machine can the same machine can work different parts of the body because we have different insertions and origins of muscles.

03:44 Randy talks about what made him create the triceps machine. Randy mentioned that he did not create the triceps machine. He modified it.

08:05 Randy mentioned that the freeway version of the machine is very simple, it’s of relatively stiff inclined.

09:41 Randy mentioned that this machine is not available commercially.

11:07 Randy provides an update on Book 1 volume 3, it’s already about 180 to 190 pages and the book will be about 200 pages. The book is done and it’s going through proof reading.



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Mentioned in this episode:

Randy demonstrating his custom made triceps machine:

This video shows Randy performing his favourite free weight triceps movement:



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What is the difference between his “creation ” and the old school Arthur Jones Nautilus triceps machine ?


    Hi Lou, the only Nautilus triceps machines that I have tried forced my upper arms more parallel to the ground out in front of me. Tyler Hobson’s model allows those upper arms way up beside the ears stretching that long head. Now, I may be unaware of another machine of Arthur’s that did this motion. Flex has a pretty good unit out with a neutral grip, but again the movement is quite dictated and I can’t get that stretch back that I can from the triceps machine shown in our clip.

Jim Bryan

I’m some where around 30 exercises on my Pendulum Multi-machine. Contributors are Randy, Me and Fred Fornicola. Love my Multi. Eh!

Vince Basile

Hi Randy,

Studio owner, personal trainer and now equipment designer and tester. Impressive for those of us who can see. Amazing for Randy.

Just for some background here, I have an engineering factory and have been designing and building gym equipment since 1975. Since 1981 in a factory.

When you think about it there aren’t too many good triceps machines out there. The Nautilus one is not that effective partly because you are not very strong in the position intended. That is, seated with arms at shoulder level in front of you. The good part about that machine is the hands can be pronated or facing each other on the pads. When you go heavy in the pronated position it can result in pain inside the forearms….and that pain doesn’t go away.
What I did was remove the back support from the Nautilus Triceps machine and use the pad to replace the short seat. The ‘seat’ then becomes a pad for one knee. You have to improvise a rest for the extended leg and foot. I also moved the arm rests 2 inches towards the user. This way the elbows are beyond the pads and in line with the pivot points. If you rub your elbows on pads under pressure you will eventually damage the sheath that covers that joint. It is a painful thing when you do this. Then you have to do high rep light warmup sets to prepare the elbows for the exercise.

About the modification shown above that Randy worked on. Okay, it is still a weak position when you are seated like that. I have found that you find out about the mechanics of machines by loading them up. Some machines feel great under a light load then don’t feel right when you use a heavy resistance. One that comes to mind was the horizontal leg press that Cybex came out with decades ago. Another was their rotary calf. When really heavy it didn’t feel right to me. Therein lies a problem. Unless everything is adjustable the machines will not suit everyone.
Randy’s machine pivots on the frame. That means he will have to shift his body forward to align with those pivot points. You can see that he does this in the video. Under light loads it looks okay. It remains to be seen what will happen under heavier loads. I have found that the lying triceps works well because the elbows are pushed up beside the ears so are in a pre-stretched position. Then the body is straight with one knee on the carpet or pad. You reach far back then extend to the limit. This is probably the most effective triceps exercise in our gym.
Another effective machine is the MedX triceps machine. The only criticism I had was the hand grips. There should have been something to rest the edges of the palms on. I never did acquire one of those machines so couldn’t modify it. You also had to have the shoulder pads lock into position so that wasn’t so user friendly.

Well, I suggest another prototype of Randy’s triceps machine so that the user doesn’t have to rotate or shift forward while extending the arms.

Jancel Conroy

Pretty cool machine and I definitely understand the problem with building triceps. Now I’ve known that old school bodybuilding like Vince used to say you want to hit three sides of the muscle. I also agree with Arthur Jones method of thinking as well. I think if the muscle is brought to True failure one will eventually activate the other muscles to compensate for the weakness. I’ve read your first book but I haven’t seen too much about Nautilus machines or Hammer Strength history. If you could do a podcast elaborating on this. just in case I’ve just started listening to your podcast very good by the way keep up the good work

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