T Nation

Lockout Strength for a Raw Lifter

I suck ASS at rack lockouts. I don’t know if i messed up my warm up on the day that I went for a 1rm, but my rack lockout is only 10 pounds heavier than my full bench max. My bench is done touch and go with no bouncing, so it really is a legitimate lack of strength, not me cheating.

I was wondering if thats normal for someone who lifts raw, to be able to lock out basically whatever they get off their chest. I know that west side has a TON of lockout work due to bands/chains/board presses and what not because they get that little bit from their suit, and don’t need to worry so much about the initial push?

Should I focus on lockout strength even though I don’t plan on lifting with equipment any time in the near future? Do you think that my lockout is hindering my RAW bench and I should focus on that, or is it really a nonfactor and the only reason so much lockout work seems to be done is due to equipment they use.

dont do lockouts if your raw bencher enless u need it if u start stalling out around half way up then throw in lock out strength to get u over the hump but if u fail of the chest there is no point in doing rack lock outs for raw benching at least thats my opion and im a raw bencher

Where is your weakness in the bench?

Where do you fail when you miss a lift?

Seems to be about halfway up is where I fail, I’m guessing that this means I would benefit from more lockout work? If my lockout was the strong portion of my lift I think there would probably a bigger difference than 4% weight from my lockout to my full bench?

My suggestion is if you fail halfway up is do to some lockout work. Personally I favor board presses over rack lockouts, I think 2, 3, and 4 boards would probably work well for you. Where you are weak I would guess a 3 board will feel about the same, perhaps a bit easier, than a regular bench. I am weak on the lockout too but if I do rack lockouts with the bar set pretty high so I maybe have a 6-8 inch ROM, my lockout is almost 100 lbs heavier than my bench. I would be very surprised if your lockout and bench were the same if the bar was set on pins that were pretty high.

Also reverse grip tricep pulldowns and pullovers with a focus on your tris may help a bit. Finally try to roll your wrist forward as you press the bar, not a ton but just a bit. When the bar is at your chest your wrist should be cocked back slightly and then as your press roll it forward maybe a half an inch of movement, that can help get you through your sticking point. I would arc the bar back a bit as well.

You might try posting this on the forum at rawpowerlifting.com and see what those guys say.

I’ve been doing floor presses, DB floor presses, rack lockouts, all mostly with a close grip, this last training cycle…and it works pretty nicely just for hypertrophy. You really couldn’t hurt anything doing it for a bit, it’s a good change.

I agree with the floor press suggestion and also 2 and 3 boards. Speed work helps for some that fail midway also.

Lockouts have value; even if you’re stalling right of your chest, lockouts will strengthen your triceps, and hence your raw bench. Depending on how high the pins are set, my lockout is 30-100 pounds over my raw bench.

Also, if you suck at them, it will surely help regardless.

Floor presses are fun for some reason. I don’t have the manpower or equipment for board presses, but I like to use a lot of weight on floor presses, and with a good adjustable rack or the like you can rack it really easily.

One suggestion that works pretty well for me…don’t just barely touch the elbow to the floor; let it rest briefly on the floor then explode up. IMO, this makes it the upper body equivalent of a box squat.

While neither rack lockouts or higher board work are the first exercises I would think of for bringing up a raw bench, I think they might be good lifts to have in your repetoire. They will make you stronger- your tri’s, your hands, lats, etc. They will teach you to handle heavy weights with control and confidence. Some guys who can not get good leg drive full range have an easier time learning to get their legs involved benching off of boards.