Tate Press Exercise – Get Bigger And Stronger Triceps!
In this article I am going to be discussing the Tate press exercise and how it will help you develop bigger and stronger triceps which will translate into more pressing power.
The exercise is named after powerlifter Dave Tate, who has a career best bench press of a little over 600lbs! There is no doubt that the Tate press will help you to increase your pressing power and thicken up your triceps a lot.
Standard Tate Press
The standard version of the Tate press is performed with dumbbells on a flat bench. Simply grab a pair of dumbbells, lie down on a flat bench and press the dumbbells up to lockout for the starting position. Then, whilst keeping the dumbbells in constant contact rotate the elbows inward to bring the dumbbells down to your chest. From the bottom position, rotate the elbows outward whilst keeping the dumbbells in contact.
Careful attention must be given to ensure that the wrists are kept straight when performing the movement. You also have to warm up thoroughly as this exercise can be hard on the elbows with heavy weight. If you are going very heavy then it is advisable to wear elbow sleeves.
I personally wear elbow sleeves for this movement, for reference I did a set of 10 with 27.5kg dumbbells recently on this exercise after my benching and shoulder pressing. I find the Tate press to be a terrific exercise, you just have to ensure proper form and control the weight throughout the movement.
If you have never done this exercise before it is best to start off very light to practice the movement. Slowly increase the weights over time. My preferred strategy is to alternate between sets of 10 and sets of 12 on a weekly basis. For instance, next week I will aim to perform 12 reps with 27.5kg dumbbells. If I hit that then the following week I would go for 30kg dumbbells for 10 reps.
For a change of pace I may make the exercise even harder by combining bands and dumbbells together. I will touch on this variation later in this article.
Incline Tate Press
This is another variation of the Tate press. Instead of using a flat bench you would use an incline bench. I would advise using this particular variation for hypertrophy rather than going very heavy on it. As you are using an incline bench your shoulders would be in more of a compromised position compared with a flat bench. You will also not be able to handle as much weight on an incline compared to flat.
This exercise is best done in the 15-20 rep range to pump some blood into the triceps and for a change of pace to keep things fresh.
Resistance Band Tate Press
The next variation that I am going to discuss is the resistance band tate press. As the name suggests you would use resistance bands instead of dumbbells for this exercise.
Simply grab a resistance band, drape it across your back and hold onto the ends. Then lie down on a flat bench and perform the exercise as in the standard version of the Tate press. This variation will provide a unique challenge completely unlike using dumbbells.
To alter the difficulty use bands with heavier and heavier resistances. You can also combine multiple bands together, this is one of the great benefits of band training. Bands are incredibly versatile but supremely effective at the same time.
Combining Dumbbells And Bands
To make this exercise incredibly tough you can perform Tate presses using the combination of dumbbells and bands together. This will be very taxing on the triceps and is not something you want to be doing too often. I recommend using this variation every once in a while in your training.
To set things up you would start by grabbing a resistance band and draping it across your back whilst holding onto the ends. Then walk up to the dumbbells you wish to use on the dumbbell rack, grab onto the dumbbells whilst holding the bands at the same time.
Then walk back to your bench and perform the Tate press as normal. You will find the exercise becomes incredibly tough when extending the elbows on the way up. The bands will kick in to full effect as you are approaching the top position.
It is very important that you warm up thoroughly and listen to your body. If you feel your triceps getting taxed too much then ease off. You don’t want to get a serious overuse injury or tear a tricep. Listening to your body is always the best maxim when performing any exercise in the gym.
The picture below illustrates how you would set up the bands and dumbbells combo. This is a very clever way of performing pressing movements with bands.
To conclude, in this article I have explored the Tate press and many different variations you can use in your training. I have been doing this exercise for a while now and it has definitely improved the thickness of my triceps and pressing power. Dave Tate is a very knowledgable man and he knows his stuff!
This exercise will help to improve your bench press as you are working your triceps in a fashion that has a high carryover to the bench. Unlike exercises such as a tricep kickback! It is best to stay in the 10+ range for this exercise to get some good hypertrophy in.
I would recommend sticking predominantly with the standard dumbbell Tate press on a flat bench. But every once in a while do the exercise on an incline bench for a change of pace. Once a month try the Tate press variation where you are using bands and dumbbells together!
The reason I suggest using the last variation of the Tate press sparingly is that it taxes the triceps too much. It is best to stick with straight weight predominantly and use the bands to provide a harder challenge along the way.
If you have any questions about anything in this article, please leave me a comment below! It is your chance to engage and get your questions answered.
As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!