T Nation

Build Triceps w/o Additional Weight

What up TNation, first post here. I am a long limbed lifter looking for advice for building my bench press. Let me preface my post: I am 5’9" (69 inches) and I have a wingspan of about 6’2" (74 inches). So naturally, I can deadlift a decent amount, 350 lbs, but my bench is lacking. I broke my collar bone about 6 months ago and am suffering about a 17mm foreshortening in my left (weak side) clavicle. My left collar bone is almost 2cm shorter than it is supposed to be. I started lifting weights about 10 months ago and never had a big bench, and my collar bone injury has set me back quit a bit on pressing exercises. I have not found it to affect my deadlift at all.

From reading many many articles / studies on collar bone injuries, I understand that the loss of strength in my left shoulder area is to be expected. I do plan on starting physical therapy soon, but from the studies I have read, for someone who lost as much length as I, surgery is the best option to restore “normal” lifting potential.

For the time being ( next year or so) I do not plan on having surgery, as I am not a competitive lifer and do not have extra cash to shell out. However, I do want to continue lifting, with a focus on improving my bench press. Again, I have a naturally weak bench. I find that locking out the last half of the exercise is where I struggle, so I believe I need to improve my tricep strength.

My main goal in lifting (aside from getting stronger) is working on a good strength/weight ratio. I play basketball and tennis recreationally, and enjoy being lighter and quicker. What I am asking the TNation is suggestions for tricep exercises that will help my bench, without adding a lot of extra bulk to my body. I weigh 165 at the moment, I could easily lose 10 lbs of fat in a couple months, and so if I were competing ( which I am NOT), I would want to be in the 148 lb weight class.

TL;DR
My question is: What are the best exercises to improve tricep strength ( in order to improve bench strength), without adding many pounds of additional weight to my frame?

Are you seriously worried about gaining too many pounds of triceps muscle?

[quote]fatstakkz wrote:

TL;DR
My question is: What are the best exercises to improve tricep strength ( in order to improve bench strength), without adding many pounds of additional weight to my frame?[/quote]

low rep, heavy board presses is probably going to be your best option in terms of maximizing what you have while possibly minimizing your muscle growth.

Honestly though, putting on muscle doesn’t magically happen. Most of us have to bust our asses and fight for every pound of it. I can only assume that the “weight” you mentioned is in fact muscles. Again, don’t worry man. You’re not going to wake up one morning and look like Dorian Yates by benching like a man a few times, that is unless you have that weird Myostatin deficiency thing going on.

So you should use the following formula to perform tricep work optimally.

Take your total height 69 inches divided by your wingspan of 74 inches, then subtract 17mm foreshortening. You should convert this all to millimeters to make things easier. Once you have that total multiply your total max bench by the downward force of gravity which is 6.67 x 1011 newton m2/kg2 then divide total by your body weight

So convert your inches to millimeters then:

    (69"/74"- 17mm) (1 RM 6.67 x 1011 newton m2/kg2)
     ---------------------------------------------
                                       165

This would be the best way…

OR

Do something hard and unheard of like starting strength, 5/3/1 or Smolov jr. Bench programs, just a thought

But I feel your pain, one time I did a set of dips and each one of my arms weighed 9 pounds heavier afterwards. True story. I hate that my sleeves are tight around my arms, its annoying.

I wont comment on how to go about rehabbing or dealing with your collarbone stuff, but i have two things to say:

1, 5’9 with a 74" wingspan isnt long limbed, its an entirely normal ratio. What you are is 5’9 and skinny, so you appear gangly.

2, stop sayin you are a naturally bad bencher. You dont know yet, youve only been lifting a short while.