Posted by: Shawn
Should you lock out when lifting weights?
It depends on the movement that you are doing whether you should lockout or not. Doing a movement like leg extensions or triceps pushdowns locking out is a good thing because it will increase the TUT (time under tension). These are just a few of the exceptions; there is a big difference between training like a bodybuilder and training like a powerlifter.
If you are a bodybuilder then it means you are training to increase the size of a muscle, which means you are looking for the "pump". If you are looking for the pump you need to use the weights as tools to increase this pump and get the required hypertrophy.
Correct form or strict training technique comes from focus on the movement and not just lifting the weight like a powerlifter does. As you get closer to the point of lockout you should focus on the squeeze to ensure peak contraction and not just lifting the weight.
When building muscle size you need to look at the weights that you lift as tools and leave your ego at the door. Muscle increases in size because of the TUT (time under tension) so continuous tension when the movement does not allow for a peak contraction like bench-press or military press is required for strict form.
It needs to be added that the points mentioned above on cheating and not locking out for squats or bench-press is something that needs to be changed every 6 to 8 weeks. There is a place for "cheating" as well as locking out when training.
These two techniques of cheating and locking out should only be added when you are looking for a change to your routine in order to help break through a training plateau. The point is that strict training form is always looking for continuous tension and the best way to get the "pump" to increase the size of the muscle targeted.