T Nation

Assistance W/1st Rep Shoulder Press


Hi, some guy asked me to spot him in the gym yesterday for some shoulder presses. I was like 'yeah, sure', went over to spot him, then he tried to start and then put the weights down.

He then said that I was supposed to help him raise the dumbbells for the first rep. That struck me as kinda odd, surely if he needs help lifting the weight for the first rep, it's too heavy?

Is there something that I'm missing here?


well, I find it hard to get the first rep up, even if I can do the remaining reps with a full ROM. I don't know why it is like this, maybe beacause you can utilize the stretch reflex on the remaining reps.


When you "kick" the weights up, it is sometimes hard to keep balance, and the first rep becomes very difficult. How easy or hard it is to get situated for the set may have a big impact on how you perform during that set. So, i think most people spot the first rep up (but then don't count it) and begin the set from there.


I do realize the same problem in certain movements example being dumbell presses.Gettting weight in posittion can be difficult taking into account that I cant curl what I bench.That not being an excuse this merely shows that there is an area that needs more work to do the weight that I am attempting to work with.I feel that this is due to the bodies attempt to prevent injury due to overloading of the support structure.ie: trunk strength ,upper back or abs I would like to here some critique of this from the more learned here such as CW or CS or DOC B.


I think it is the stretch reflex that causes this, not the difficulty in getting the weight in position. The same situation occurs if one was to pause for an extended amount of time in the bottom of the DB military press which eliminates the stretch relex