So maybe that dude in the leg press half repping 20 plates is on to something. Ok so maybe not that goober but there is definitely some value in heavy ass top-end partials. This really seems to be a lost art, I don't think I've ever seen a person in a gym doing planned heavy partials (the guys half repping notwithstanding, there is a difference). Now I will say this type of training is more accessible to pressing type moves like squats and bench presses, and not so much for upper body pulling like rows and pullups (these are better to use 1.5 reps, which I will write on later). BUT they work the absolute best with lower body pulling. I know what you are thinking: "But RG aren’t partials useless? Shouldn't you use a full ROM on every lift?"
Well yes, but also no.
What these heavy lockouts do is essentially blunt the actions of your Golgi Tendon Organs (GTOs). These things are your OH SHIT brake your muscles have when they feel you are producing too much force and could possibly injure yourself. You wanna take the governor off and fire on all cylinders? Do heavy ass lockouts and THEN do your full ROM work. Honestly, that's the only way I like to incorporate them into my training, unless they have a medium ROM (like floor press or rack pulls below the knee), in which case I will treat them as a single lift. I want to go over the partials I really like to do and how to do them.
- Floor Press
Benching while lying on the floor. Just lower the bar till your triceps touch the ground and power back up. You're really isolating your upper body here since you really can't get a good leg drive. I'll treat this as a full lift because you get a fair amount of ROM.
- Board Press
This is the best move for improving your triceps on the bench. 1 board is just a 2×4, 2 board is 2 2×4s, 3 is 3... You get the drill. Have someone hold the boards on your chest and lower the bar onto them, then just bench. If you are working lockouts, I say go with a 3 or 4 board press, then drop down to a 1 board or no board for your rep work.
- Pin Press
A dead-stop overhead press off of pins. Set the pins to where the bar sits at the chin, nose, eye, or forehead level then just overhead press. If you struggle with the lockout of your OHP, this paired with some overhead triceps work will really fix that up. I do this with my ass on the ground (Z press style), but that's just personal preference.
- Pin Squat
Set the pins to here you have to squat underneath it (around a ¾ or ¼ squat) to get the best results. Now remember these are overload methods so go heavy. I really like doing this when I front squat, it's a hell of a core workout.
Bud is a madman, also peep the GRAIN
- High Box Squat
Similar to the pin squat, you want from a ¾ to ¼ squat, but this has a stretch reflex where the pin squat means you should be able to handle more weight. I don't do this often but Westside dudes do and they are a shitton stronger than I am.
- Rack Pull or Block Pull
The best move on the list. Huge traps? Check. Iron low back? Yep. Destroying the gyms beater bar and taking up every plate in the gym for ego lifting? Oh, you bet. Rack pulls will annihilate your bar so I recommend doing block pulls unless you have old beater bars that no one gives a shit about. Switch up your grips and stance with this one and you can get a load of variability (this is for you conjugate dudes). Snatch grip block pulls are the fucking best heavy trap movement I have ever found.
Ricc de la Sticchagen ancient lore
So in summary, you can lift heavier on big main lifts if you deaden your GTO through heavy top-end partials, then get in some full ROM rep work.