3 Tricep Exercises to Boost your Benchpress

The Benchpress is a classic exercise.

When someone finds out that you lift weights the chances are they will ask you 1 question. “How much ya bench bro?”

Being a Powerlifter, one of my main focuses is training the Bench.  Even more as I am writing this as I Have the National Benchpress Championships fast approaching.

When it comes to the bench, it seems as though its every gym bros favourite exercise. Its their favourite exercise but they don’t know how to make it better.

If you want to learn more then you can read more with my article5 Steps to a Bigger Bench for other ways to train your benchpress.

Want Me to write your training program for you?

My Elite Online coaching and in-Person clients get all of their training written for them and targets weaknesses and utilities many methods to hit their goals.

If you wish to enquire then please email Me directly on Rhys@specifixtraining.com


Let Me ask you a question.

If you were to list exercises a few exercises which would help increase your benchpress, what would they be?

Incline press?

Dumbell Presses?

Cable Flyes?

maybe even the pec dec!

I doubt many of you would think about the triceps. The triceps are THE key element of of building a bigger benchpress.

A BIG Bench is built by the Triceps.

So to help you all out I have 3 Tricep exercises you can slot nicely into your training.

These are my favourite 3 and I wanted to share. Because sharing is Caring!

#1 JM Press

The JM Press was ‘invented’ if you will, by a powerlifter called JM Blakley. JM is a world record breaking powerlifter who has Benched 710lbs (322KG)!!

That’s pretty good.

JM came up with this tricep extension variation back in the 90’s. It seems to work so well as it mimics the same position as a benchpress but puts emphasis on the triceps.

If you look at it. It kinda looks like its Benchpress done poorly.

When adding this into you program, don’t go to max effort but don’t go too light. something like 4 sets of 6-8 would be sufficient.

#2 Tate Press

This Was popularized by Dave Tate who was a champion powerlifter and benched over 600lbs!. Hence the name. One of the best exercises for attacking the triceps in the finishing position.

Make sure you come to a complete stop on you chest between sets and make each rep explosive.

#3 The rolling DB extensions

In my opinion one the THE BEST exercises for hitting the long head of the triceps, which is the main driver in the bench. Not enough people do much if any overhead work for their triceps.

This puts them in their most stretched position and makes them work that little bit harder.

Make sure you keep your elbows in close for this and you can also hit higher reps for this. sets of 12-25 work very well. particularly as a finisher.

Add these into you training program and I’m confident you will quickly see improvements in your bench.

The Next time a gym bro asks “how much ya bench?” you will feel more confident in telling them.

Thanks for reading.

I hope you get on with these exercises and they can slot nicely into your training and you get on well with them.

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Supplements: Do you REALLY Need them?

Have you ever been told you need to be taking whey protein when you are trying to build muscle?

How about anything else?

I know that there are some people out there who take every supplement they can get their hands on. Thats OK.

They are not inherently bad for you by any means. But If you have ever thought ‘Do I really need too buy that?’ If you have then listen up.

Here is a little video (or rant if you will) about it.

The choice is really up to you. If you want to buy supplements then by all means do BUT, don’t skimp on your nutrition from normal food just ‘supplement it with the extras.

That is all.


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Ten Commandments of Strength Training: Part 1

So, you are doing your strength training?!

How is it going?


I hope so.

If you use the google machine and you will find hundreds of ‘the best strength building program’, The trouble is that all of these workouts are not specific to you.


It’s all very well using a cookie cutter workout program but if you don’t have the strength to do certain exercises, or if you are a novice lifter and attempt a ‘Smolov Squat program’, you will quickly find that it’s just not for you.

You Need to Train in a Way that Suits You!


My Online client Alex had done lots of several types of workouts

He had found on the internet. But none of it worked as it just

wasn’t specific to His specific needs. Training in the right way

can bring about huge changes in the way you look and feel.

When I designed Alex’s program I always stick to certain rules

or Commandments if you will.




I wanted to give out these exact guidelines to help you get the most out of your strength and fat loss.

If you haven’t already, check out The Ten Commandments of Fat Loss: Part 1. I outline the first 5 of 10 rules to stick to in order to start and maintain consistent and sustainable fat loss.


But Now I’m going to give you th
e first five rules you should stick to in order to build strength and help increase to metabolism, which can help towards your fat loss goals too.



#1 Have a Program

Ever been in the gym and not sure what to do? You’ve had a dabble doing some bench press, a couple of pullups and a set or two of crunches.

The trouble with this is that there is no direction, no way your body can adjust and adapt.

Having something to work to will help you address this.


You don’t need to have a super comprehensive plan but you need direction, you need to know what exe rises you’re going to be doing on each of your training days.


Lets say your workout schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and you want to do a push, pull lower body programme. You would know exactly what exercises you are doing on each specific day as well as how many sets and repetitions you are wanting to do.


This way you are more likely to train that little bit harder and longer as you know exactly what you need to do. Each time you train.


#2 Eat Your Protein

Protein is the key to building enormous amounts of strength and shedding huge amounts of bodyfat!

Our muscles are made up of protein. In order for us to repair and grow both muscle size and strength we need enough protein to support this. Most people don’t eat nearly enough protein for this to happen.

If your training is spot on and your putting in so much effort into trying to get bigger biceps or improve your bench press, but your protein intake isn’t adequate then you just can’t recover properly and optimally.


#3 Be Progressive

This is a key element to strength training. It’s all well and good going 3 sets of 10 reps on a bench press but if that’s all you do in terms of intensity and volume then that’s all you will ever be able to do. What I’m saying is that you need to push yourself. Let’s take the Bench press as an example. If you do 3 sets of 10 reps (3×10) using 150lbs. You do that every week using the same weight, and the same sets and reps, you WILL NOT progress. Progression is the key to increasing muscle strength, size and density.

Your program doesn’t need to be super comprehensive and include drop sets, super sets, cluster sets etc. but it needs to be progressive in nature. One simple trick to use is adding a little more weight every week. So that 150lb Benchpress would turn in to 155lbs. you would do that weight until you could get 3×10 and then add another 5lbs etc.

It can be that simple. I often find the simplest of methods works the best, especially if you are new to strength training. Make sure your training pushes you and you push it.


#4 Have a Calorie Surplus

If you want to build muscle you need to have some ‘extra Calories’ in your system.

However, this doesn’t mean you get to go and scoff a Twinkie and get some fried chicken!

It means you need to have a slight calorie surplus to make those GAINZZZ!!! This keeps our body in a Positive Nitrogen Balance. All this means is that it keeps you in an Anabolic state (I’m throwing around words today), in a nut shell it means it enables you to build muscle and strength.

Now before you go and order that pizza and scoff the whole thing thinking “eating this will make me big and strong” (although pizza does sound good right now), don’t try and justify eating crap foods.

Realistically a surplus of 200-500 Calories extra a day is sufficient, and it is best to get this from REAL food such as rice, fruits, proteins etc.


This is not a justification to eat junk!!!


#5 Rest and Recover

If you’re like Me then you looooooooove training! It’s hard to stay away sometimes. But often rest is an overlooked component of Strength training.


Take powerlifting for example, I have a competition coming up in the next 3 weeks, what I aim to do is train up to a week before that event and then take a week off as rest and recovery in order to then perform at my best for the competition.


If all you do is workout but you don’t think about taking a day off to allow your body to recuperate then you may be forfeiting your strength gains. There will be a heightened likelihood that you will ‘overtrain’. This can lead to you feeling sick, headaches and can diminish your training quick severely.

The strongest guys in the world may only train 3-5 times weekly, I train 4 or 5 days weekly.


As a general rule I recommend having a recovery day at least every 3 days. That is minimum, Usually I advocate 2 days training and then 1 day off. In reality, it all depends on you, how heavy you are training, what you are training, what are your goals.


The best thing to do is listen to your body. If you feel tired, lethargic, always sore and have a constant headache then you probably need a day or 2 to recover. This can mean that you’re still active but you switch from weight training and go for a swim, a walk or a casual bike ride something that’s less intense and easy on the nervous system.


You see everybody is different.

You just need to figure somethings out yourself!



So now that you have had a read through these commandments, I hope this helps you with your strength training.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, intermediate, advanced, powerlifter, athlete or whatever. These will always apply to you if you want to increase strength which will also help you drop bodyfat overall.


Apply these to your training and you can expect to see and feel the difference it makes. Remember it is a slow process and results will take weeks, months and even years. Have patience and be consistent with your workouts.

Shed Fat & Build record breaking strength!


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How long should I rest during my workout?

 How long should I rest during my workout?

You may or may not know of the importance of rest. That is resting between sets, exercises and training days. The amount of time you rest can play a significant role in both performance and also to how your body adapts. You may have experienced the difference in performance more than the adaptations (probably because you can’t feel the adaptations during your training session).

I know that some people will be in and out of the gym in an hour, 40 minutes and maybe even 20 minutes. Obviously the time spent resting can have an impact on how long you train for. But do you know how long you should rest for?

A study by S. Richmond and M. Godard, (2004) on the effects of rest periods and the effects on performance in a bench press revealed that resting 1 minute between sets halved the amount of repetitions being performed compared to resting 3 minutes and 5 minutes which both indicated a repetition range of 8-12 reps after completing 12 on the previous set and working to failure.

Another study by Willardson, Jeffery. M, Burkett and Lee. N, (2006) also showed that a rest period of 3 minutes showed significant improvement on the number of repetitions on both heavy loads (80% of 1RM) and light loads 50% 1RM)  of the bench press.

These Studies show that the right amount of resting can play a significant difference in how we perform.


I Plan the rest periods to optimize performance with each and every program I send out to my Online Coaching Clients Like Alex. Who Improved his Speed, Strength and body composition.

 Above: Alex- One of My Online coaching clients

The Science

I’m Going to Take you on a little Science lesson with this, (nothing too complicated)

The chemical your muscle uses during exercise is called Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP.

During a muscle contraction ATP which contains three Phosophate molecules is converted into Adenosine Diphosphate, or ADP, which contains only two Phosphate molecules. It is the reaction of the separation and utilisation of that Phosphate molecule which cause the muscle to contract. In order for your body to continue this process of ATP synthesis the body must utilise a series of processes using different ways to synthesise ATP, each one produces ATP at different rates. The way we synthesise ATP depends on how long we exercise for at anyone time.



Our ATP is created by various systems in the body each have a different time scale in how fast ATP can be replenished. Initially ATP is synthesised using Phosphogens which are stored our muscles. This cause ATP to be produced the fastest but on,y for. Short period of time, 0-6 seconds is when this is on,y used for ATP production. A process called fast glycolysis which produces ATP from carbohydrates in the form of blood glucose or muscle glycogen, is then coupled with this production of ATP from the muscle Phosphogen stores to further the fast production of ATP for a further 24 seconds approximately. After this the fast glycolysis process is the primary source of ATP production due to the depletion of the muscle Phosphogens. Once you this our body uses other fuels to perform movements, all of which are slower to cause the muscle to contract due to the less rapid production of ATP. This is why you won’t be able to maintain your top sprint speed for more than 30 seconds.



Glycolysis is the process of creating ATP using Carbohydrates as the source of energy. It happens by using a series of enzymatically catalysed reactions to synthesise ATP. The process is slower to occur than when using phosphates in the muscle as a fuel but can still happen fairly rapidly. Glycolysis has two levels of ATP synthesis, Fast Glycolysis also known as anaerobic Glycolysis and slow Glycolysis also known as aerobic glycolysis.

Fast Glycolysis (or anaerobic Glycolysis) uses the fast readily available Glycogen which is stored in the muscles and also the glucose in the blood stream (glycogen being stored glucose). Although this process is rapid it still takes longer to produce ATP than utilising the Phosphogens already in the muscle. The effects of fast glycolysis last for approximately two minutes maximum. As this process does not require oxygen to produce ATP meaning it is an anaerobic system.

Slow Glycolysis requires oxygen to take effect. When using glycolysis as the form of ATP production, the by produced of this is the formation of Pyruvate. This can be either diverted into lactic acid or if enough oxygen is present it will be shuttled into the mitochondria (special cells in the body with enable the use of oxygen) in the muscles to synthesise ATP through what is known as the Krebs cycle. This process is called Slow glycolysis, or as it is utilising oxygen it is aerobic it is also known as aerobic glycolysis. This process is slow to happen as it is essentially secondary to fast glycolysis which will always happen before slow glycolysis. This means that rapid powerful moments are not possible to be performed as the muscles cannot contract in the manner that they would need to. This process can last for a long period of time, depending on how well trained you are and the intensity of exercise being completed.


When you rest, the body attempts to return to its previous state before exercise began (homeostasis). This means the levels of glycogen, and Phosphogens will restore but at different rates. This also depends on how long you exercise for during each set and the level of intensity.

If your intensity is great and are training for about 10-15 seconds, for example a set of 3 repetitions of the snatch, then the recovery should be approximately 2-3 minutes rest as this would be how long it takes to replenish the Phosphogens in the muscle to enable the same intensity to be completed again. The rest period must be adequate to allow the body to produce the fuels needed to produce ATP for muscle contraction whether it is from glycogen synthesis or Phosphogen replenishment from Creatine-phosphate.

The best way to calculate the rest periods is understanding the work-rest-ratios related to the intensity and length of exercise. This is all based upon the amount of time required for you body to perform in the same manner as previously trained in the previous set and at the same or similar similar.

Use this table to help determine the resting time.

Effort/Intensity %.          Exercise time            Work:Rest                      Rest Time

       90-100                           10-15 Seconds.             1:12 – 1:20                        2-5 Mins

                      75-90                             15-30 Seconds.               1:3 – 1:5                       45 Secs – 2.5 Min

            30-75                           1-3 Minutes.                     1:3 – 1:4                          3-12 Mins

                         20-30                            >3 Minutes                     1:1 – 1:3              Exercise time X Rest ratio

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6 Fitness Myths That must be CRUSHED

6 Fitness Myths That must be CRUSHED


You only need to use the google machine for a quick search of strength training, or fitness or fat loss and you will find lots and lots of articles and videos and images of ‘experts’ telling you the got jacked in a super secret way. Or that you get shredded by doing hours of cardio every day and even some saying they lost 10lbs of fat in 3 days by taking this super special herbal remedy discovered in the deep dark underground of the amazon.



My Online Coaching client Alex came to me after believing a few of these (#1 and #6 specifically),

He really had put in an effort to get to where He wanted to be but couldn’t. He had

become frustrated and felt his efforts were wasted. After reassuring him that this is

completely normal We went to work to get the results He wanted.




I want to make sure that you are not fooled again by any of the rubbish distributed from the mouths of some fitness ‘experts’ and help you get the most out of your training and fat loss goals without being dragged into the trickery and nonsense of these Fitness Myths.


#1 Apple Cider Vinegar makes you lose fat

This is something that I have been asked a lot about in recent times. I think that it has started to sprout up in various gym environments. It has been popularised by crossfitters as a ‘secret of fat loss’ whereas realistically it does nothing to lose that belly fat or whatever they claim.

Drinking apple cider vinegar will NOT help you lose bodyfat. The only way to lose weight is by having a calorie deficit. Being consistent and having patience is the real key to dropping your weight over time.


#2 Deadlifts damage your back

This is a big one. As a powerlifter deadlifts are a staple of my training and I have NEVER one hurt my back doing them.

Realistically the only way you would hurt yourself doing any form of deadlifting is if your technique is bad, and your back is rounded.

What deadlifts do is build phenomenal back, leg, abdominal and grip strength. It is one of the only exercises which I consider a whole body movement due the amount of muscle recruitment required for the lift.


Not Only is the deadlift a great strength builder, but it can also burn a shed load of Calories and really ramp up your metabolic rate.

It doesn’t matter which variation of the deadlift (of which there are many, some more technical than others), just DO them. Period.



#3 Fasted Cardio Burns More fat

Fasted Cardio is something done a lot by bodybuilders who are looking to target purely fat loss as they enter the end stages of their competition prep. But does is work?

The answer is yes and no.

You see, doing cardio exercises such as walking or a gentle bike ride burns calories. Calories are a unit of energy measurement. When you do cardio for a long period of time (20+ minutes) then your body will use oxygen coupled with body fat as energy. Which means you will burn body fat whilst doing it. When doing cardio you will burn fat and glycogen (stored glucose used for energy) but if you then eat calories which is above or at maintenance level, your body weight will remain the same or you will put on fat. To lose weight you need to burn more calories daily than you eat in order to create a calorie deficit.

You can train fasted or eat an hour or so before it does not matter, do whatever you prefer. But if you want to lose weight then your nutrition is what you should focus on the most.


#4 Eating Carbs at Night will make you fat

Simply untrue.

The notion that your body knows what time of day it is, and that after a certain time it decides to store calories as body fat is ridiculous.

Your body will use whatever calories we give it throughout the day. If we give too much, it will store it as fat, If we don’t give enough then it will use stored bodyfat as energy.

It is that basic.

Your body doesn’t care if you eat once a day, twice a day or even ten times a day. As long as your calories are in check then you will lose body fat.


#5 Lifting weights will make women big and bulky

If this was true then I know a lot of women who should have bigger arms than me!

Building muscle is hard. Even harder if you’re a woman.

Think Hormones. The biggest factor in building muscle is the level Testosterone, this Hormone is the Daddy of muscle building and is the main reason why it is quicker and easier to build muscle as a Man.

The second reason is that results of weight training are very specific depending on the methods.

It is possible to gain strength without putting on size, no matter the goal it is hard work.

What will happen to you women when you lift weights:

  • You will improve overall body function,
  • You will get stronger,
  • You will get toned
  • You will get shapes in all the right places (think legs and butt)
  • You will increase your metabolic rate meaning you can burn fat more efficiently.


There are so many benefits of lifting weights as women. I always program strength training for any all of my Female Online Coaching clients



#6 Sit-ups and crunches will strip fat from your stomach

This is a myth that has been around for quite sometime, ‘spot reduction’.

This is the thought that if you train a certain body part then you will lose fat in that particular area of your body.

Let’s take the Abs as an example. If you want to see some Abs showing in the mirror, and you think to yourself ‘Im gonna get a sick sixpack, all I need to do is do like a thousand sit-ups and crunches everyday’ you’re kidding yourself.

Despite popular belief you can’t decide where your body loses fat.

It is just down to your body, what your genetics are like. If you want to increase muscle definition you will need to do some form of strength training and drop body fat overall. You will improve your body definition however your body wants to.


Now that you know, We can crush these myths together.  It really is one of my pet peeves to see how much time and effort people put into their exercise and nutrition, but to only fall short due to one, if not more of these myths. I dont blame them at all. Often this advice comes from ‘Fitness professionals’ or a friend of a friend etc.

If they spent all of that time and effort doing what truly works based on scientific and evidence based methods, they would succeed big time.

I hope that this has clarified some of this confusion for you guys.



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5 Steps To a Bigger Bench!

5 Steps To a Bigger Bench!


How much can you bench bro? That’s what I get asked a lot as a powerlifter. My answer? not enough! You can never bench enough right? Whatever you can lift, I’m going to give you a crash course on how to improve your bench press almost instantly, and then to keep those numbers going up.


Matt Took advantage of my Online Coaching option, not only did

He gain huge amounts of strength and muscle but He got that body

He was always after! Hes a Monters deadlifter. Weighing just 180lbs

He can pull 485lbs in the deadlift! Thats serious strength!






#1 The Setup

The setup of your bench press plays an important role in how much you can lift. It might be the difference in hitting a new PB or failing to hit close to your capabilities. So here’s three things you should be doing I order to setup the bench efficiently.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and towards your hips, create a slight arch in your kid back by pushing your hips to your shoulders and finally keep your feet flat just behind your knees and squeeze your Glutes (that’s your bum muscles) and drive your knees apart. By doing this you create a stable foundation from which you can create real pressing power.


#2 Choke and break the bar

If you haven’t guessed it by now the bench press is all about tension. We need to create as much torque and tension in order to maximize our force production. Following this trend, when you grab hold of the bar you must squeeze it as hard as possible to add to this tension and also helps to utilize your triceps more when your benching. What I mean by breaking the bar is that that you should try to bend the bar hard by twisting your hands towards your hips. You won’t be able to bend it (if you can then you must be Geoff Capes!) but by doing this you engage your lats. More muscle being recruited, the more force we can create and the bigger the weight we can lift.


#3 Drive with your feet

Now this something that many people forget or just don’t think about. Think of it as reverse electricity, rather than ending in the ground, that’s where it starts for the bench. When the bar has hit our chest (it’s not really a proper bench if it doesn’t) we start the press by driving our feet through the floor, this force then travels though our body, which is full of tension, and culminates in a huge output of force being place into the bar as it is powered upwards.


#4 Train your weak points

Everyone will have their own sticking point when it comes to the bench. Which means you will need to train specific muscles in order to overcome these sticking points. So if you struggle with pushing the bar off your chest then you will need to supplement your training with extra chest/pec exercises to tackle this issue. The same goes for if you struggle with the lockout, this is weakness in your triceps, so doing exercises for them is important to over come that. Here are three exercises for each sticking point you can add in to overcome these weaknesses.


Struggle off the chest

-Flat Dumbell press

-Rack press/Pause Press

-Military Press

Struggle with Lockout

-Tate Press

-Close Grip Benchpress

-Board Press


#5 Train your back

I see a lot of people who struggle with bench press who never train their back. These are the people you see with shoulders pointing forward and arms rotating inwards which says to me two things, they don’t stretch and they don’t effectively train those back muscles. You need to work on this as these help reduce a phenomenon which is known as inhibition. If your back is weak it will cap the amount of force you can produce during your bench so it reduces the risk of injuring itself.

You can also create more tension in the setup when you have a stronger back. Remember that we are aiming to recruit those lats when we bench too, so make sure you are doing plenty of pulling work to complement all the pushing stuff.


The Lesson

The Benchpress is much more than just an exercise and as you can see improving your bench is much more than cable flyes and incline bench. It is a whole body movemnet which means you need to train your whole body to get it bigger and you stronger.


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