T Nation

Locking Out the Overhead Press


Vince Delmonte recommends that people with long limbs should not lock out an overhead press, because the last bit of the motion is not going to stimulate any more growth and as such is a waste of energy. I ignored this because it sounded like an excuse to be lazy, but I was watching Pumping Iron yesterday and I noticed that Louis Ferrigno goes nowhere near locking out when pressing overhead, and does what look like half reps to me on the incline bench.

Now I ain't Louis Ferrigno, but is there any reason for a long limbed lifter to be doing this? I'm confused because the "Why Lurch Won't Grow" article emphasises the top part of the motion and suggests using 1.5 reps on the presses.


If your doing them for shoulders alone, then locking out isn't necessary. I find locking out on any exercise more of a personal preference for most people. Neither is wrong.


I think locking out is necessary only if you're practicing for a comp or if you want to work on the lock out. My personal preference.


i don't lock out to increase the stress on the muscles, its much harder and much more effective IMO to do reps that way which is why you see pros doing them (and noobs saying they're 'half reps')

i will only lock out if i need to take tension off the muscles which usually occurs during a particularly heavy set something in 3-5 rep range usually.


Haha, fair enough! Just calling it as I saw it! If it's good enough for Ferrigno then its worth giving it a go.


Haha, but sometimes they are newb reps (ex. bench press when people do the top half of the movement... same with any overhead pressing movements).


When I do any kind of pressing exercises (except for pushdowns) I push the weight all the way up, but I don't lock out my elbows. This allows me to keep tension on the muscle I want, and keeps pressure off of my joints.


Agreed. I don't come close to locking out. I did in the past, but I've found I can go heavier while keeping the tension on the delts better, where as the triceps take over near the top


If you are doing them for shoulders dont lockout

If you are doing them for triceps, then lockout.

***Another possiblity if you are training for triceps is push press or push jerk. Use your legs and push the weight up to lockout, then try to lower it slowly.


yeah but those are on the total opposite end of the spectrum. those are REALLY half reps because theres no tension on the muscle whatsover instead it's all on the joints. good way to fuck yourself up in the long run too i spos'


I lock out as a resting position I guess. If I'm doin 5 reps, I'll hit 3 without really locking out, take a small breather at the top, then bust out 1 or 2 more.

I feel the lockout is the 'end' of the set, but going just shy of it during the set is find. Do whatever is comfortable or whatever works.

Really what I'm trying to say is, try not to split pubes over this. Just lift heavy(er).


I never lockout and I'm 6'2. I moved 205 on the standing military before I jacked myself up. I don't care what anybody says. "Eh he's lazy" or "those are real reps". As long as I'm packing on some delt mass on its all peachy in my book.


ever notice how the people who say they 'arent real reps' are always smaller...



When I'm fucking my girl, I like to use a 1 rep, half rep sorta thing.

I read it somewhere.


But they aren't real reps, just like they're not reps unless you do them with perfect form and no body English. And you have to go super slow too.


I go for 2,000 rep widowmakers.


Yup like some skinny fat personal trainer motherfucker at my gym. I want to see his ass get underneath 205 and try to move it down one rung.


You can't go slow. You quit the set the INSTANT you sense a drop in speed.


wtf is super slow training?

i understand going slow on the eccentric/negative or whatever u want to call it cause ur fighting the weight to lower it under control but why the fuck would u lift the concentric slow? it should ALWAYS be an explosive lift, even if the bar is moving super slow as long as you're trying to push or pull it as fast as you can with as much force as you can, you're doing it RIGHT.

why do people make shit so much harder than it has to be?


You should do both. Sometimes lockout and stay tight and flexed, other times you can and should use a continuous tension technique. They are all very valid. Your body will grow from doing something new.