The Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
The close-grip barbell bench press is a fantastic weapon in your arsenal of efficient, effective, & optimum movements in the quest for strong and developed upper-arms.
The CGBBP is sort of misnomer for me personally in application, as I have found that a “medium” grip is superior in both impact of targeting the triceps and also increased strength.
When I first tried this movement many years ago, I took the name literally, and thought the closer the grip, the better the result, but quickly developed some wrist discomfort that I actually dealt with for quite a long time.
I went a bit wider in grip. Problem solved. Tendonitis gone.
So, with that notion, lets re-brand this triceps exercise as The “Medium-Grip Barbell Bench Press.”
Much like the standard barbell bench press, the medium-grip barbell bench press movement is a fairly basic power exercise and is one of the very best ways to directly target the three heads of the triceps (while also hammering the front, medial deltoids and chest—-in particular the middle-chest.)
All exercises have a learning curve, some are extremely technique oriented, while others are much easier to “catch on” to. The MGBBP falls into the later category making it a great movement for experienced and beginning trainees alike.
What is also notably advantageous about the MGBBP exercise is the ability to really load the movement with challenging resistance and incrementally and intelligently increase the weight fairly rapidly.
To perform this movement, simply treat it as you would a standard bench press exercise. Through my own experiences and working with others, you may range at anywhere from slightly below, about the same, or even slightly above your work capacity in relation to the barbell bench press. Everyone is different structurally with this particular movement.
Load up the barbell, grip the bar, squeeze it very tightly, bring it down, touch the chest, then extend to a full press then repeat.
Dependent upon your current goals and capabilities, this movement can be utilized as either an APEX compound exercise, or an ancillary movement to further target the upper-body pushing muscles.
To wrap things up for this time, the MGBBP is an upper-tier triceps blasting movement, a basic compound exercise that will produce excellent results for both the beginning and advanced trainee alike, but there is still yet another echelon, another level of efficient and effective exercise application and choice, that if one has the shoulder flexibility, athleticism, upper-body strength and body awareness, will rapidly yield even more big time strength and muscle.
In the next article I will break down this exercise (and it’s various forms) that I have found to deliver the very best results in adding both strength and aesthetic visual impact to the upper-arms for the natural trainee.
We will also take a look into optimizing volume, frequency, and rep-ranges and talk about some recent experimentation that I have been doing with strict timed rests between sets and the interesting results.
Stay with me.
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