How To Grow Your Triceps
Close Grip Bench Presses
By: Jerry Burch
If you go to the gym it's no secret that you love training your upper body; specifically your chest and arms. It's also no secret that you discreetly have an orgasm when arm day comes around. Don't worry, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone. We ALL want a bigger chest, bigger arms, and that amazing horseshoe tricep that sticks out of your baby gap t-shirt that you got when you first started hitting the gym. So, let's kick this months article off with a tip to help fill those short sleeves with a thick tricep that you're size medium t-shirt can no longer contain. (Yes, you will have to go shopping! No, you cannot go back to baby gap).
The triceps consist of three distinct heads found in your upper arm above your elbow and below your shoulder and deltoids. The three heads are labeled as your lateral, medial, and long head which are ALL called upon for maximal recruitment during the close grip bench press. The almighty close grip bench press is one of the FEW multi-joint exercises for every area of your triceps. You will find very few movements that can put this kind of stress on your entire triceps. Many athletes that I have encountered over the years LOVE the close grip bench press and for good reason!! You wont find a better exercise to load your arms full of blood to give you that all mighty pump everyone craves. Personally, I use this exercise as a pre-exhaust movement before going into isolation movements That's a completely different article on its own.
Just like all good things, there can be a negative to this exercise if preformed poorly. We are going to fix that today! Many athletes refer to the "bro-science" demonstration of this exercise which is by far a poor poor choice. They are under the mindset that you have to put your hands as close together as you can get them to take the weight out of your chest and place it directly on your triceps. I am here to tell you once again this explanation is incorrect. There have been multiple studies that scientifically prove that this information is inaccurate. Tests have shown that placing a firm 8-10 inch grip on a barbell during your pressing movement is BEST for muscle activation in your triceps. Going more narrow than this actually demolishes the amount of stress your putting on your triceps and places it all on your wrists, forearms, and shoulders that can lead to severe injury. Another mistake commonly made is that during the negative movement in the set, athletes are bringing the bar closer to their upper pectorals and neck thinking that it once again takes the weight off your shoulders. Well, if we turn to our bro-science yet again, this has also been proven to be wrong. The truth is, when you take the bar closer to your neck your again activating more of your shoulders than any other muscle group in your arm combined. Not only that, but I think YouTube alone has shown us how dangerous dropping 205 pounds on your neck can be... If you don't know what I'm talking about, feel free to take a minute and look it up. (I recommend on an empty stomach).
So, in summary we have learned that form is always your key to successfully training a targeted muscle group. If you took a minute to search YouTube you also know that this article just saved your life...
Not sure how to do the close grip bench press? Watch me demonstrate how it is done.
So what are you waiting for??? Check out my tricep routine below and get your ass in the gym and WORK!!!!!!!!
Close Grip Bench Press - 15,15,10,10, drop 8
V Bar Pushdowns - 20,20,15,12,8 drop 8
Skull Crushers - 15,10,8,8, drop 8
Overhead dumbell extensions - 15,12,12
Rope Press downs (isolation at the bottom) 20,15,10,10,8 drop 8