T Nation

Limited Range of Motion

Greetings All!

I’m totally new to the T-Nation forums, though I’ve been reading T-Nation for a few months. I’ve searched to see if this question is answered, but I haven’t found anything yet.

I’ve been lifting at the local YMCA for about 6 months, and I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. I’ve moved from a total machine workout to a total barbell/dumbbell/body weight routine.

I’ve seen a guy (over 50 I’m guessing) on the machines pretty frequently doing very limited range of motion lifts. He’s using pretty heavy weights–more than I could do at full range, but maybe about what I might do if I did the same ROM.

For example, on the bench press (again machine only) he’ll fully extend his arms, then barely break the lock in his elbows, letting the handles move 2-4 inches. He’ll do 15 reps, maybe 2 or 3 sets, then move on to the next machine, where he does something with a similar ROM.

I haven’t had the balls to ask him why he’s doing it that way, afraid to reveal my ignorance in person. Is there a good reason to do limited ROM exercises?


I’ve given up asking people why they do things. You don’t know his medical history so don;t worry about it.

I would read as much as you could here from various GOOD trainers and forget EVERYTHING! you see in the gym.

hope this helps

Thanks Bill! Its a point well taken. I just wanted to see if there was some conventional wisdom I had missed.

Any number of reasons including his joints are shot (still not the way to go imo), to he doesn’t know what he’s doing, to his ego has got the best of him. While there may be some limited benefit, (we don’t know his situation)doesn’t sound as if it would be the way to go for 99% of the population out there. Bill’s advice is right on. As weak as I am, I’m sick of waiting for the squat rack while some yahoo does 75 lb curls!