There seems to be a new trend coming around in the strength training community, or more specifically…RAW powerlifting.
It seems that everyone’s answer for improving one’s bench press is to simply “bench more”.
Sounds like common sense, right?
But guess what, if all one needed to do was bench, then everyone in the gym would be doing over 315lbs.
Yet, we rarely see this even though everyone already benches.
So what’s the real problem then?
Well, there’s a lot of factors that go into this such as poor sleep and nutrition, but more specifically it has to do with accommodation.
Accommodation is a biological LAW that prevents one from pursuing new adaptions.
The only way to get past this is through a) changing the parameters of the exercise (sets, reps, tempo, etc) or b) changing the exercise completely.
Most people choose option a.
But here’s the problem. You can only do so much with option a.
Just like the nerd who requires reading multiple books for knowledge, so must you use different exercises for newer muscle and strength gains.
Now in terms of triceps extensions (skullcrushers) they can accomplish what the flat barbell bench press sometimes fails to address.
That is, it develops the medial head of the triceps, which is what’s responsible for benching power and strength.
Once the medial head is thoroughly developed, it aids in the lockout portion of the bench press, and prevents one from developing elbow pain or triceps fatigue. It also ensures that the triceps take over in the bench press, which means less rottator cuff injuries and pec tears.
In simplest terms, triceps extensions acts as an active form of recovery.
This is extremely important for developing a raw bench press.
Therefore, to simply stop doing extensions would not be a wise investment.
There’s no point in doing that unless you want to short-change yourself.
And doing BS exercises like triceps kickbacks and pushdowns aren’t going to do much for your bench press either.
You need to hammer the hell out of those tris with multiple variations of extensions.
Elbows out extensions, skullcrushers to the throat, overhead extensions, JM presses, the whole nine yards.
By the way, don’t take my word for it.
Take the words of world record holders of the bench press. They all do some form of extensions, whether they are geared or raw.
Seems like the only people who don’t do em’ are the chumps on the internet that claim to be experts at everything.
The same guys who never broke a record, and who always say “bench press more to get better at benching”.
As if their words mean anything.
If you can’t walk the talk, keep that damn mouth shut.
I, on the other hand, walk the talk. (not a world record holder, but I can hit 345lbs raw at 180lbs)
And so do the world record holders of the bench press.
Start doing triceps extensions, and don’t look back.
You’ll thank me later.
PS: Here’s a video on the topic since this was a short post.