T Nation

Layer System for Tricep Dominant Presser


Hey CT,

I've been using your layering system for the past few weeks and I have seen some excellent gains but I have a problem in that I have very large Triceps and small Anterior Deltoids & Pecs. As a result I am a very heavily tricep dominant when pressing and I'm worried only using the prescribed exercises will make my imbalance worse.

Can you offer any advice for improving the Anterior Deltoid and Pecs? I train at home and have access to barbells, dumbdells, rings & bands and the split I have been following is;

Ramp to Max
Cluster @90% x 3
HDL @70% 54321 x 3



Ring push ups and dumbbell push ups will work the chest and delts more than the triceps. pretty hard to do layers with dumbbells/rings though....
you could always focus on a wider grip, and stick to incline bench to reduce tricep activation? then maybe ring push ups as an accessory if your recovery is good?


I think ring dips are also very good, especially when you focus on the stretch at the bottom.

How do slight decline bench presses feel to you? Still mostly triceps, or do you feel them more in the chest?

You could try doing some chest activation before pressing, for example a Sven press - you stand up, grab two 2.5 or 5kg plates, squeeze them together and press horizontally in front of you. There's a video of CT showing them at the first Indigo Boot Camp somewhere.

I'm also wondering if maybe doing the opposite of what powerlifters do could help. Normally you would try to tear the bar apart, leading to a greater tricep activation. But if you try to squeeze the bar in, your chest should activate more. I've never done it on a regular bench, but I've had good results with it on scrape the rack bench.



The day AFTER your pressing work do:

DB front raise
2 sets of 8 using a 3-0-3 tempo
2 sets of high double contraction (lift, lower halfway down, lift back up, this is one rep) 2 sets of 6
2 sets of 10 top-half partial reps + 5 full reps + 10 bottom-half reps

DB squeeze press
Same sets/reps/technique

Then do your planned workout


CT what would you suggest for someone who has a similar problem but instead with weak triceps and chesrt and overpowering front delts? All my benching (even decline) is completely shoulder dominant.

Thank you in advance


Thanks CT - I've tried loads of chest fixers with limited success so your advice is very much appreciated!


Hey CT,

I've been using the delt/pec fixer as you advised and I think that it is working well as I'm getting a lot of activation in my chest and shoulders.

However after I have completed the movements my shoulders are so pumped up that it really messes up my "regular" workout. As a way around this would it be acceptable to split the workout into AM and PM?

Monday - TBDL (am)
Tuesday - Tilt Incline Bench Press (am)
Wednesday - SGHP (am) DB Raise & Squeeze Press(pm)
Thursday - Lats & Biceps (am)
Friday = Tilt Decline Bench Press (am)
Saturday - SGHP (am) DB Raise & Squeeze Press(pm)