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Spotters - Which of these statements is true?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Admles, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Admles Blue Belt

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    I had two completely different people give me two different pieces of "advice" today while I was benching. I was feeling a bit off, and ask for a spot just in case. I usually don't use a spotter. Anyway, the guy I asked for help declined, saying:

    "If you are using a spotter, you are training too heavy."

    Another guy overheard and came over to spot, and he said "Don't listen to that guy. If you don't use a spotter, you aren't training heavy enough."

    Which is correct?
     
  2. ThinkGreen Der Übermensch

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    I'd stick with the 2nd over the 1st but neither are correct. Spotters are for ****s
     
  3. EZA Joel Jamieson

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    If you just want to increase muscle size and be a bodybuilder the first guy is correct, if you want to improve your maximum strength and be an athlete, the second guy is correct.
     
  4. RredRrover Blue Belt

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    If you can't lift it yourself, you're certainly not lifting with correct form and depth. Also, constantly training to failure is a bad idea so a spotter shouldn't always be needed.

    Both were wrong, but the first was closer to the mark. If you're not sure you can complete your set, it helps to have someone be there to help you complete the lift and re-rack.

    Spotters generally should only actually do anything should you blow out at or near the end of a set and can't re-rack the weight yourself. Those guys whose spotters are lifting part of the weight for them all the way through might as well just go to the Nautilus section, they're defeating the purpose of a free range of motion.

    EDIT: But spotters definitely are a huge benefit for those final heavy oomph lifts. Because I'm an antisocial bastard (even though everyone knows me) I frequently find myself flagging someone down and telling them "Okay, just help me get this up if I tell you. Don't touch it otherwise." because the vast majority of my gym will spot me like Smashius's example below. Sure enough, on rep five I hit my sticking point and stop dead. Spotter to the rescue, who simply nudges the bar up at my request so I can complete the lift.
     
  5. blakethemus Blake Belt

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    If you don't have a cage to keep you safe, a spotter is always a good idea in case something goes wrong. And personally I push myself harder if I know I won't have to do a roll of shame.
     
  6. SmashiusClay Avatar of Cyttorak

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    Depends what you mean by 'spotter'.

    Scenario 1: the guy's hands stay on the bar the whole time, he helps you through every rep, by the end he's more tired than you are and won't stop shouting "It's all you man".

    Scenario 2: The guy gives you a lift off out of the rack, helps you rerack safely and doesn't touch the bar between times unless he's hauling it off you because you failed a rep and the bar then goes straight back in the rack.

    If you picked scenario 1 congratulations, you're a ****. Fuck off and never come near this forum again.

    If you picked scenario 2 then the guy is there for your safety and you're probably not going to get darwin choked by a heavy steel bar, you can stay here and learn to deadlift.
     
  7. flak Guest

    I'm not so sure the first guy even meant what he said. Sounds like he just wanted a convenient excuse.

    Regardless, he's a dick for refusing to spot you.
     
  8. grrthetree Green Belt

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    How about you trust yourself enough to only use a spotter when checking your 1rm.
     
  9. Merrill Purple Belt

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    I just got done reading Eric Cressey's Maximum Strength and he suggests always getting a lift off so you don't lose upper back tightness.

    I recall reading someone else suggest always getting a lift off with heavier loads because when you start the bench press, generally you set up with your eyes directly under the bar and your shoulders (rotator cuffs?)are in a highly compromised position when your hands are not directly above your shoulders. When you unrack by yourself you have to push up and then move the weight forward so it is directly above your shoulders in the lockout position. Anybody confirm this?
     
  10. Standard Too dumb to learn, too stubborn to quit

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    A spotter is just insurance in my books, i don't want him to do a damn thing besides stand there and make sure the weight makes it onto the rack at the end.
     
  11. w0cyru01 Purple Belt

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    I'd rather have a spotter on bench for the last reps on my set.

    By not having one I feel I won't push myself for fear of getting stuck with a bar on my chest. As long as the don't touch the bar until I tell them to and not be an idiot that insists on continuing with the set even though they have already helped me.
     
  12. Lusst Red Belt

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    Grab a spotter if you can to help with lift-offs and be there if you end up failing the lift. They should not touch the bar at any other time.

    Also, the Roll of Shame with 365 fucking hurts.
     
  13. Chaos Mitten** Banned Banned

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    Safety pins in a power rack > some random dude.
     
  14. TheAth-ah-lete Purple Belt

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    I've been wondering about this, but didn't want to start a whole nother thread. I train alone and pretty much always have. I've never felt like I was missing out on anything, if I have a set of 3 and I feel on the second that I might fail on the 3rd I take the weight down and continue my sets. I'm not a competitive PL'er so it doesn't REALLY matter what numbers I put up...I just want to make sure it's more than last time.

    Anyways, I get in the gym and I am dead serious. I am EXTREMELY strict on my rest periods, and I move from on excercise to the next. At this point I wouldn't WANT to have a lifting partner, so my question is, even though I've never been asked,

    Am I really obligated to give someone a spot?

    My point is that I am in there taking care of my business, and to ask me for a spot is asking me to forget about my workout which is predicated on me lifting a certain amount of weight for a certain amount of reps in a certain amount of time. Can't they just do what I do and find their limits, push to those limits, but not go over unless you have safety pins, etc.?
     
  15. B3rserk3R Brown Belt

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  16. Sherpa Brown Belt

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    I always make sure my spotter can pull over 250lbs. if I am benching for a max.
     
  17. w0cyru01 Purple Belt

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    You feel that on your 2nd you might fail so you stop.
    What if you had a spotter and felt you might fail...yet pushed through because you had a spot. You just lifted more weight knowing if you failed you would have someone to help you out. To "bust" through sometimes you have to push yourself beyond comfort.
     
  18. dugforeva Brown Belt

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    spotting someone only takes around 30 seconds or something. If you have to start a set simply tell the person sure I'll give you a spot right after I finish this set. That wouldn't compromise your workout at all. You could simply spot them during your rest period.

    Not giving a guy a spot is pretty much an asshole move.
     
  19. big_john127 Profess¡onal Lurker

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    QFT

    Like others have said, the spotter is there for the liftoff and to save you from the roll of shame at the end. Nothing else. Having said that, refusing to save a guy from the roll of shame is pretty damn low.
     
  20. TheAth-ah-lete Purple Belt

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    Well, I do push as hard as I can on my sets, you should see me during my rest periods. I have to really get focused on recovering as much as possible.

    But like I said, I train in a small gym where I am usually one of the only people in there. No one has ever asked me for a spot. I would defintiely always help if someone was pinned underneath the weights...that's not even a question, and I think I might also help a serious lifter on a PR attempt, but honestly, if I saw some skinny kid asking me for a spot on every set of bench I'd be a "dick" and either tell him to bench in one of the 6 empty squat racks or lower the weight.

    p.s. I don't believe my intensity has ever been compromised by not having a spotter, then again I haven't BB benched in almost a year anyways. It's possible that if I were BB benching more often I would see the need for a spotter.
     

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