T Nation

Trouble Locking Out

Greetings T-Nation,

I know I’ve read about different sticking points in the bench press and what they mean, but I can’t find the article I’m thinking of.

My problem is that when I add weight to the bar (just about every two weeks) If I fail on my 4th set it’s ALWAYS after getting the bar about half way up.

Luckily for me there’s two sets of pins on the bench so I don’t have to roll the bar down on to my legs, but I dunno if it means I have a specific deficiency or if it’s normal to fail at the middle of the lift or what.

I always feel my flat bench more in my shoulders than my chest. My chest is definitely getting bigger though so I know it’s being worked. I bet though that if I didn’t do any flyes my chest would never get sore (unless I switched to something like 3x15 from 5x5)

So my two questions I guess are…Is there something I should be doing to help me lock out and is there a general reason why someone fails at lock out and not off the chest?

Thanks in advance for your advice

-DT

My advice: Stop isolating, if you want lifts to go up in one place, get them up everywhere else. Do dips, flies, Military press, etc.
and also work on legs. Build that muscle mass all over and not just on the arms or you’ll end up looking like a lightbulb…

[quote]HangerBaby wrote:
My advice: Stop isolating, if you want lifts to go up in one place, get them up everywhere else. Do dips, flies, Military press, etc.
and also work on legs. Build that muscle mass all over and not just on the arms or you’ll end up looking like a lightbulb…[/quote]

Lawl…while I appreciate any feedback and responses -you must have a crystal ball (a broken one) if you can assume that I’m “isolating” from a question about the sticking point in my bench (a major compound lift).

My program is built almost entirely around major compound lifts (bench, rows, squats, deadlifts, pull-up, etc)

How many reps do you do per set? Do you fail only on the last rep of the fourth set the first time you add weight?

Doing some board presses, 2 or 3 board, would do the trick. Perhaps some functional isometrics.

you have weak triceps compared to your chest and shoulders. The lower half of the bench press recruits mainly the chest (if you bench with elbows out more) and shoulders (if you bench with elbows tucked). Once you get toward the top half the triceps get most of the job for locking out the weight. A partial range movement targeting the upper half would work well.

gone heavy’s recommendations would work well. Also look at rack lockouts and floor presses if you dont have a spotter or someone who can handle the boards for you. Also, add in some tri isolation movements to your upper body workout.

[quote]ravell wrote:
you have weak triceps compared to your chest and shoulders. The lower half of the bench press recruits mainly the chest (if you bench with elbows out more) and shoulders (if you bench with elbows tucked).

Once you get toward the top half the triceps get most of the job for locking out the weight. A partial range movement targeting the upper half would work well.

gone heavy’s recommendations would work well. Also look at rack lockouts and floor presses if you dont have a spotter or someone who can handle the boards for you. Also, add in some tri isolation movements to your upper body workout.[/quote]

I have the same problem, and I have weak triceps. I would also try some close grip and reverse grip bench as well.

[quote]davidtower wrote:
So my two questions I guess are…Is there something I should be doing to help me lock out and is there a general reason why someone fails at lock out and not off the chest?
-DT[/quote]

As has been stated before:

  1. Isometrics at your sticking point AND more tricep work (dips, lock-outs, and board presses come highly recommended… though not all at the same time).

  2. Weak triceps and/or inefficient motorneurons. To fix, see point #1.

I started doing a couple sets of tricep pulldowns after benching, not really paying too much attention to reps, just repping until I slow down, waiting a minute and doing it again. In the 2 weeks since starting this, my bench has felt decently stronger, especially around my normal sticking point(which is right near the lock out part of the movement)