T Nation

Rack Lockouts


I tried rack lockouts for the first time last night, trying to build up my triceps a bit more to help with benching. I have two questions about them:

  1. What is the normal range of movement for these? Should it just be from the sticking point of my bench press?

  2. What is the normal % of your bench press that you can use on lockouts? It should be a fair bit more, correct?


No such thing as normal! I'd suggest focusing on the range of motion where you're weakest, or your sticking point as it's called

This would depend on where you're doing the lockout from. HOWEVER: If you're working your weakest range (as you should (it''ll be a small %. In other words, do lockouts from the absolute hardest positon you can do them from.


It really depends on the school of thought you follow. If you read any of the Metal Militia stuff, you'll find that they essentially drop the weights (no eccentric) and it's set at 5-Board level. I've used these in my training recently and they really do a lot to improve your comfort with heavier weights on the bench.


According to Louie Simmons (Westside) you should never lockout more than 8 inches as it places to great a strain on the elbows, and typically, you can use much more weight than in a full ROM bench press. There are several schools of thought, try it all and do what works best!


I do both short and long lockouts, and they are a favourite exercise.

Long lockouts, from my traditional sticking point; about a 3-board, are at about 60% of my raw max. These are tricky as I try to follow my shirted groove, without a shirt...

Short lockouts are only about 3" of movement, and I aim for about 110% of my shirted max. If I shorten the stroke up I can get some silly weights to move, but didn't find as much training benefit.

I don't do the eccentric on the shorts; basically dropping the bar. I bought a cheap bar to beat up with these.

A variation is to narrow your grip up a bit and realy focus on the triceps.

Another good one is to double loop a band over the bar, and do lockouts against monster band tension.


My problem is I'm slow off my chest, so that is my sticking point. I assume from this that rack lockouts would provide little benefit for me. I work on doing dynamic work instead. Any comments?


I would recommend reading Dave Tate's "Pressing Power, Getting Out of the Hole". He goes over alot of things that you can do to lessen this problem. I wouldn't take out rack lockouts completley though, because they help strengthen the triceps greatly. You could have one bench day be devoted to top end work, and the other day devoted to lower end work.

On the lower end work you could do various DB presses, 1 Board + Floor Presses with pauses, and very low Rack Lockouts.

Good Luck