So whenever I fail my bench sets, it's always 3-4 inches off my chest. Is this tricep weakness? Is there any accessory work I can add to address this?
I'm not trying to be a smart ass here, but bench press from pins with the pins set 3-4 inches off your chest.
You could try bands from the floor, they will progressively add resistance as you lift the bar, you would have to set them tighter than normal so they kick in hard, early in the lift. Or what jskrabac said, lift from pins set at that height.
do you have a video of it?
what program are you on, if any?
what are you lifting when this happens, ie 75% of 1RM or more, rep 9 of 10 etc.
It's a common weakness. Unless your a powerlifter who needs that extra 5lbs i would just concentrate on getting stronger overall instead of sticking points.
Also, it sounds like you are bouncing it off your chest...explaining why you are failing where you are failing.
Stronger triceps, shoulders, back and lats will all help your bench.
Getting them ALL stronger should address imbalances/weaknesses you have without going on some "bench specialization" period.
Again, if your a powerlifter that needs that PR then ignore what wrote.
^hence the video request. we don't even know how you bench so that info would be useful.
Work on weakness.
It's not necessarily a tricep weakness, but this is a common sticking point for a raw lifter.
Other than just getting stronger in general some specific things have helped me with this:
1) Hard arch and a good tight setup, pressing the bar back over the face.
2) Speed benches with band tension. I get a lot out of it, and I tend to smoke a max bench, then add 5 pounds and get crushed.
3) Wider grip benching. In my experience, this tends to force the bar path to the optimal. Move your hands out way wide, it should be uncomfortable, but it will help to build the muscle memory for the bar path.
Tried pin-pressing once for my standing press, but ending up getting weaker over all. If you go that route, maybe add some regular benches in before or after.
like everyone said its pretty common to fail around that point. i think part of it might be mental. you feel the bar really slow down and you dont THINK you'll be able to push past it so you accept that youve hit failure. if your life depended on it, you'd blast through the sticking point. i actually experienced this today on incline bench. i hit my sticking point and just kept pushing no matter what and i eventually (millimeter by millimeter) got the bar past my sticking point and racked it.
try getting a spotter, not to help, but to give you the confidence to keep pushing even when you hit that sticking point.
stop a rep short of failure, you're strength will go right up