I used the modified French Press that you demonstrated in your latest article in today’s Bench and Overhead Press 5/3/1 session. I must say, this exercise felt phenomenal! I highly recommend it to other T-Nation readers! It does a great job of targeting the long head of triceps, the “meatiest” part of your upper arm, yet I find it much more elbow-friendly than typical Overhead tricep extensions. Thank you Coach for the great article and accompanying video. I’m sure I’ll be using this exercise for years to come.
What did you think about doing the exercise? Did you got more of a pump or a stretch feeling?
I tried it a few hours ago and didnt feel a stronger contraction than in skullcrushers, so Im unsure about changing it up. Even if I like the fact that the movement is closer to push exercises like MP or BP.
Definitely more of a pump than a stretch. I will say my arm pump was certainly a bit more significant than usual. I’ll keep it as my primary triceps exercise for a bit and try to get really strong on it. It seems like you can probably really load it up more than a typical Overhead Tricep Extension. I plan to cycle it with skull crushers, which is another favorite of mine. But again, it is easier on the elbows than skull crushers and Tricep Extension.
Is this a tnation article?
I actually “discovered it” by accident. I just wanted to do a partial close-grip overhead press to work on the lockout part of my overhead press and “for fun” tried with a very close grip then started to play with the motion to see what felt better.
How important is it to have the weights suspended like that?
It’s not. My ceiling is low so I can’t use big plates with overhead movements and have to use the camber attachments.
It really worked out perfectly, because I still felt pretty fresh on that exercise despite having just done 5 sets of Overhead Press. It was so much more Tricep focused. My fatigued(or inroaded) delts didn’t really factor in at all.
I had to modify it slightly because none of the racks in my gym adjust high enough to be above my head, so I slid a bench in and did them seated. Still easy to set up.
Did you ‘feel it’ in your lower back at all? My lower back is sensitive to things such as standard military press so I usually belt up if heavy weight. I was intrigued by this exercise though and want to give it a go.
No not at all, but I had to do it seated on a bench in the rack, because none of the racks in my gym can adjust to go above my head. Next time I will just power clean it up from a standing position to try it that way. Although, some disclosure ahead of time, is that even when I go Heavy on military Press, it doesn’t bother my lower back. Belting up or doing it seated may be a good idea for you.
Thanks for this coach Thibaudeau, highlighted by @davemccright! I will try cluster sets with a fixed weight on these. Murder.
actually incorporated these. Love them. Squat rack at work has pins that can be set at the right depth. The interesting thing is the top is like 1/16" away from complete lockout, so I can rep and push against the top for a second. We’ll see how this works.
Gave these a try yesterday and really liked it. I tried it it in a Smith Machine . As in the article, I lowered to the top of my head but was tempted to lower even more by bringing it down to the front or back of my head , but stuck with the articles instructions. Anyone here try into the front or back for more range of motion ?
I tried a seated and standing barbell version and followed the instructions from the article. I did not get a pump from the exercise but I guess that’s normal when you are working in a 3-5 rep range with limited TUT.
I did experience a lot of soreness in the triceps the following day, probably because it was a new movement and the muscle damage occured mainly from inefficient intramuscular coordination. It’s still beneficial though.
I will actually do the smith machine version next time because I think this exercise is very well suited for it. Simply because you do not have to stabilize the weight, you can use more load and increase neural drive to the muscle. A friend of mine really liked the SM version.
Going down further to the front or back of the head might defeat the purpose of the exercise because going lower increases recruitment of the delts.
Yep, good point … I’ll keep it to the top of the head. I tried it in a SM because one was open and didn’t have to set up. I liked it in the SM. I haven’t used a SM much but when I have I really liked it. I’m just too lazy to take the time to drag a bench from the other side of the gym to the SM’s.
I broke the rules with it a bit and do it for sets of 10, just because that currently fits my current program. It gave me an extremely nice Tricep pump and some satisfying soreness in the long head of the Tricep. I’m still doing it every week.
Well, it’s not really breaking a rule. That’s like doing sets of 10 on close-grip bench or JM press and saying that you are breaking the rules.
Haha yes I suppose you’re right. It’s more of deviating from a recommendation. Here’s something I have been curious about, how heavy do you load this exercise relative to your Overhead Press working weight?