Increase Your Bench – Louie Simmons Special Exercise



Increase Your Bench

Louie Simmons Special Exercise and Stretch

By Jim Smith, CSCS, RKC

As all of you know, I just got back from the first ever Westside Barbell certification.  I had a blast and learned a ton.  I worked on my bench, squat and deadlift form and learned the Westside methods.  I also got a chance to do a cool interview with my boy AJ Roberts.

While I was there, one lifter had a monster deadlift.  He was a big dude with long arms.  This is typically the body type for a good deadlifter but bad bencher.  His dead was 800+ but his bench was in the 500′s.  Louie had him lay on the bench to check his form out.  Louie noticed that his triceps were under developed and he could use some direct volume for this weakness.

As Louie went on to tell the crowd his favorite tricep exercise, I broke out the flip camera.  This is what he showed.

Louie Simmon’s Secret Tricep Exercise

The movement starts like a JM press and the barbell is lowered with the lifter flexing at the elbow.  The barbell is brought to the neck and the elbows are driven up.  From there, a powerful tricep extension drives the bar to lockout and the movement is repeated.  It goes like this:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Louie Simmon’s Secret Shoulder Stretch

Then Louie showed a stretch he uses for the shoulders and upper back.


For many of us, the movement with the barbell is murder on the elbows.  The simple substitution of 2 dumbbells instead of the barbell will eliminate 99% of the elbow pain.  The dumbbells are held in neutral (with palms facing) and the exercise is performed.  Works perfectly.


You want to hit this exercise for lots of volume and AFTER your primary worksets.  Look to hit 3-4 sets x 12-20 reps.

What to do NEXT

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  • Todd

    I’m planning on trying the tricep exercise tonight, as it happens to be triceps night. Cool stuff, as always, thanks!

  • Michael M

    My triceps are definitely underdeveloped, even though I do direct work on them. Can’t seem to get them up to speed with the rest of my arms/chest. I will do this as an assistant exercise after the main part of 531. Thanks for sharing Smitty.

    I have a question about AMPED; are there “follow along” videos that can be downloaded onto an MP3 player (or iPod)? That would be easier then having to look at a list on a piece of paper. If so, are the videos of mobility or flexibility or warm-ups?