Try doing full range of motion presses and then compare it to the half reps you do. I personally prefer full range tho.
You should always let your body go through it's full ROM or else you're going to lack in stabilizer maturity, hormonal response and muscle symmetry.
When you perform a specific movement in a specific way, it is essential you do so properly. "Motor pattern" is the process in which the peripheral nervous system sends impulses towards the CNS (through the spine) to change the plane of movement accordingly to the way it is accustomed to. This means that performing movements correctly will have functional carryover in other movements and everyday activities.
If you perform a movement only partially, you are stressing your joints and teaching your body to move incorrectly; it is not the way to avoid a plateau or balance muscles; it is a way to promote imbalance and effect motor pattern.
Your body needs to work through its full and natural ROM.
Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
Current lifts: Squat: 545 | Deadlift: 600 | Bench: 425 | P. Clean: 325 | Press: 285
Prefer negatives myself when trying to break barriers. Even on the deadlift you can lift off from a rack and only do the lowering range of motion. Atleast your still working a full range of motion while getting used to a heavier weight. All my max weights have improved from this.
I've been doing bench press partials for about 4 years now. I lift the bar 2 1/4 inches from my chest upward. With that said when I start strength training again, I find I bench 180 about 4 or 5 times max with full range. But with partials I start out at 200 and when I reach 250 I can do 200 to the chest. And when I reach 270 I can do 225 to the chest about 2 or three times. This all takes about 2 months to do, but works for me. In 2008 I was benching 315 about 3 or 4 reps at a time full range. What I'm saying is use partials to get started and then switch to full range. But they do work.
use boards if u wanna do partials i say... otherwise u have no idea how far down ur goin etc..
The problem with partial rep benching is that not all partials are created equal. I personally dont like doing partials but it makes little difference, I'm sure, to lower the bar to an inch - inch and a half above the chest and most people who denigrate partial rep benching aren't referring to that specifically. However, there is something wrong about the type who load up the bar and barely lower the bar below the pegs on the bench. There are two guys at the gym I go to who do this with massive amounts of weight, and heavy spotting and despite being lard-ass and mr puniverse respectively, they walk around after each set like they just kicked Brock Lesnar's ass. It's those types who ruin the reputation of partial reps for everyone else.
Also, sorry about the run on sentences.
Didn't read the thread.
1: Zatsiorsky and old russian olympic training manuals say that a greater training effect is had when a larger range of motion is utilized. Good luck getting through science and practice of strength and conditioning, lol.
2: Partial range of motion is useful to train different aspects of the lifts. For example, powerlifters use board work on the bench to overload the triceps and/or practice the lockout. This does NOT substitute for full range bench though.
3: The guys that say partials let them lift more weight... well.... sort of. The way to really test that is to perform a competition bench, then train with partials for however long you want, then re-test with the gold standard; the full range lift. You may find that in some cases, with some anatomy, the full range lift went up. There is your answer. More often then not though, and especially for beginners, full range will be the way to go.