T Nation

Asking For Help At The Gym


I go to a gym where there are mostly males lifting and the females stay upstairs and run or do yoga. I very much enjoy lifting and being in my own little world with my music and my workout book. That being said there are times that I want to add weight but need a spotter just to be sure. Is it acceptable to ask a male who is taking a breather between sets for help? I don’t want to bother anyone or make them think it’s my way of making small talk. Thank you for your help :nerd:


Of course its acceptable. I’m a big sweaty, hairy, 250-lb dude and guys spot me all the time. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble, lol


HA… Thanks @max13 and for the picture you painted in my head!! Seriously though I just don’t want it to seem awkward since I’m a chick asking a guy. Some men can read things wrong and I don’t want the help to lead into me not getting my workout done.


Just approach someone who seems like they have decent manners and obviously is strong enough to spot you. I’ve never seen someone refuse to spot someone else


@max13 thank you for your help! I know it might seem silly but big strong guys who are working out don’t seem very approachable.


Never ask for a spotter when squatting… haha


@tsantos that’s good advice for sure :wink:


Absolutely appropriate. As already said, pick a dude with manners and who looks strong enough.


If you only knew how many men hope they will be the lucky one asked to give you a spot!


Just avoid guys wearing flat brimmed baseball caps or styled hair.


@MarkKO I appreciate your thoughts! I know people don’t want to be bothered when working out so I wanted to know thoughts of it here.

@kpsnap you made me laugh but also feel better about asking!! I love female perspective too.

@Tepford GOT IT!! Most of them look down to business but some occasionally flex in the mirror.


wait until the glorious day that some big strong dude asks you to spot them.

That’s when you know you finally look like you lift.


also - don’t be scared to tell your spotter EXACTLY what you want them to do. Tell them how many reps you’re going for too.

There is some wild spotting out there that clueless people will do, and a bad spotter is worse than no spotter.

When I get a spot on the bench I always tell them I want a lift off and then they are not to touch the bar again under penalty of death unless I ask them to or it drops on my face (which has thankfully never happened).

Quite often folk’ll just grab the bar without you asking and assist the last couple of inches for no reason at all. I’ve had a guy who tapped the bar at the top of each rep for some reason.

Then there’s the arseholes who try and only use one hand. Like you’re going to be able to one-handed reverse curl this bar off of me, idiot.

Oh god and those dicks who lift it like a zercher squat. What the fuck is that all about?

I hate spotters. Thankfully I rarely ever need them.


3rd reply in a row! Such terrible forum etiquette…

We all flex in the mirror! Some of us do it on the sly, but we alllllllll flex in the mirror…


x2. Good advice here.

I also second MarkKO’s earlier comment about picking a little carefully. Look for someone with manners. A quiet, hard-working guy who’s not grandstanding for attention will almost always say yes to a spot. The guy who’s playing heavy death metal so loud you can hear it 25 feet away through his headphones might not be the guy you want spotting you.


@Yogi1 and @ActivitiesGuy FANTASTIC ADVICE :smiley: everything that was posted by the two of you was something I absolutely should know. I can see where communication is very important and I shouldn’t assume they know exactly what I need. There are times I need a lift off but after that I don’t want them to touch the bar until I say and then just assist not call it quits. If this wasn’t said I probably wouldn’t think and just ask for a spot so thank you for that. Also who to ask is a huge plus! A guy last night was dancing and doing air guitar right in front of the weights I needed (meat head)!!! Yes I also like to check my pump but do it in the ladies room haha I guess there is nothing wrong with a little flex time. There was a guy last night I wanted to ask but was too shy so I just skipped bench. You all helped me out a ton for sure and made me more confident to ask. I’m not shy to work my way around the gym following my plan I write out but am shy to talk to the guys :confused:


There is also the arse hole spottee who you help finish the rep but then wants to push out another 5 reps.

This is why I spot with just a finger on each hand unless there is an injury. Seemsnto stop this sort of bastardry.

Another tip is never get a spot on the bench from a guy wearing shorts that are loose and higher than knee level.


Hey! I do wear underwear I’ll have you know and the worst I’ve ever done is sweat into someone’s face while spotting them.

But seriously, do tell the spotter exactly what you want them to do. I’m a slow, slow setter up on the squat and I take time between reps, so I usually warn people about that.


Also tell them how many reps you’re going for. Nothing more annoying than going for a top set of 5 and the idiot yanks the bar from you after 3.


Hilarious and a little disturbing haha!!! Seems like I need a checklist just to find a spotter