Coauthored by Scott H. Mendelson and Eric Serrano, MD

The longer our clients have been training, the greater the need for strategic improvements to their methods to drive rapid improvement. Making strategic adjustments to your training methods is crucial for improving lifting meet totals, elite athletic performance, and excellent physique development. Dr. Eric Serrano, MD, instructs as Scott H. Mendelson demonstrates several variations of this revolutionary exercise sequence.

Cutting Edge Training Techniques — Band Pistons!

Those chasing elite level power, performance, and physique development will take the most interest in Dr. Serrano’s special band manipulations during the set. A second training partner, holding the band to create added resistance with tactical pulling, forces the nervous system to engage in an intense manner. Highly experienced trainees develop mature nervous systems with years of training, which are in constant need of new challenges to support progress.

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Every rep is distinctly different, as a tactical pull on the bands during each rep is not completely standardized like when using a dumbbell, during which resistance never changes. The dynamic properties of the bands provide varied stimulation crucial for experienced trainees. The unfamiliar environment created by the band oscillation forces the nervous system to engage more intensely.

Dynamic Triceps Training with Bands

We call these band manipulations during the set “pistons” and they can be applied in a number of ways, depending on the goals of the trainee. The shortening of the band due to the piston action increases the resistance at the top of the rep significantly. The dynamic nature of bands and inexact force created by each individual band piston creates a distinctly different training effect for every rep. Get some training buddies together and give it a try today — you will feel exactly what we mean!

Ischemic Band Revolution

Ischemic resistance training has many well-documented benefits, which sparked Dr. Serrano’s imagination several years ago. Since that time he has created a number of different protocols for his patients, which will be the subject of future articles.

Benefits of ischemic training include increasing blood flow to the working muscles, intense nervous system stimulation, optimized muscle fiber recruitment, increased time under tension, advanced rehabilitation techniques, and much more.

Alternating Band Tension Incline Triceps Extensions

alternating tension band triceps extensions

Endless Band Tension Possibilities

During this particular training session Scott H. Mendelson holds the thicker band in one hand and maintains a specific fixed position against resistance while the other arm executes reps with a lower tension band. The arms switch roles to complete the set with the same rep sequence. The ischemic execution creates a much longer time under tension for muscles in comparison to traditional set executions.

triceps split 1

A Series — All done with ischemic execution as demonstrated during the video.

split b

B Series— Both arms at the same time.

Alternating Band Tension Incline Triceps Extensions Benefits:

  • Increase peak power and work capacity.
  • Take advantage of dynamic training benefits with appropriate bands.
  • Improve triceps development.
  • Emphasize the neglected long head of the triceps using the demonstrated grip sequence.
  • Provide fresh stimuli for the muscles as well as the nervous system.

Warning: Check bands for rips or tears to ensure optimal execution and safety. Training partners must be highly skilled to support quality of execution and safety.

Exercises such as a close grip press or other triceps pressing movements can be added to this routine to suit the individual needs of the trainee. Please consider that ischemic training with bands is highly challenging for the nervous system and muscles, requiring special attention to recovery factors to maximize your success. Take a gradual approach to the intensity and volume of this training technique and do not allow training sessions to exceed 45 minutes.

General Disclaimer

Exercise, nutrition, and food supplements may affect you differently from another person depending upon your choices, combinations, intensity, timing, general health, and genetics, among other factors. Scott H. Mendelson managing director of can't offer you specific advice on your fitness program nor guarantee your results, as we intend merely to get you thinking about your fitness, nutrition, food supplement, and bodybuilding choices. We recommend that you discuss your exercise, nutrition, and food supplement choices with your physician, trainer, employer, organization, governing bodies and/or dietitian. We make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information provided; in particular, and without limitation of the foregoing, any express or implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, warranties arising by custom or usage and warranties by operation of law are expressly disclaimed.

Scott H. Mendelson Director of is a highly regarded performance nutrition and training specialist. In addition to designing customized programs for his celebrity, weekend warrior and executive clients, Scott works daily with professional athletes from the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and NCAA. Scott has built an excellent reputation providing effective supplements, cutting-edge information and unmatched service to thousands of clients worldwide since 1999. Special assistant to Dr. Eric Serrano MD, Scott helps with the design of training, nutrition and supplementation trials to confirm the effectiveness of protocols and expand his expertise.

Dr. Eric Serrano, MD, is the ace sought out by elite athletes and business professionals around the world for help with the most difficult of problems.  Dr. Serrano spends a majority of his time promoting the success of his family practice patients in Pickerington; a suburb of Columbus Ohio.  Amongst the thousands of patients are elite athletes from around the globe who will travel to the ends of the earth to consult with Dr. Serrano.

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