T Nation

Can I Have a Spot?

Why the F*&k does everyone ask for a spot? My gym has flat benches with spotter arms on them and a half rack for squats.If you miss a rep on d.bell presses just drop(lower) the weight
Kid asked me for a spot with his 40 lb incline flyes I said no he looked at me in disbelief. You don’t need a spot on every f&K&G set.

What shits me is when you are half way through a set, and someone asks if you need a spot, even when you are still going strong.

It cracks me up when people ask you for a spot on their first damn set. I don’t mind giving people a hand up with heavy dumbells, but spotting on a first set?

Agree. Spotting and/or forced reps are the most abused techniques in the wieght room these days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying everyone who needs spotting are idiots, just that some people request spotting without a valid reason.

[quote]mattrose wrote:
Why the F*&k does everyone ask for a spot? My gym has flat benches with spotter arms on them and a half rack for squats.If you miss a rep on d.bell presses just drop(lower) the weight
Kid asked me for a spot with his 40 lb incline flyes I said no he looked at me in disbelief. You don’t need a spot on every f&K&G set. [/quote]

Spotter arms suck. They don’t allow for full range of motion if you actually want them to spot you. Squats… yeah, I understand your point.

Spots are abused. If you need someone to spot you because you know you’re gonna fail your last few reps, then you’re doing too much weight. If it’s just a ‘just in case’ spot though, that’s fine.

Im guilty of this too.

Sometimes I think certain weights will be too heavy and I can only bang out 3 or 5 reps and it turns out I can bang out 8 or 10.

Last week I had trouble doing 3 reps of 185 on the bench. Today, I did 10.
I cant explain it, except of all the Alpha Male I have been taking.

Seriously, Im concidering this as a possibility.

some exercises really you really do need a spot…

you mention your flat benches have “Spotter Arms” which I’m going to guess are those pins located lower then the normal ones, if so what good are those when you have a couple hundred lbs on your chest?

Now if you think you need a spot on every exercise I see no problem with that. Most people will be able to push them selves harder with the confidance a spotter adds. At the same time if you are one of these people you REALLY need a training partner (though everyone can benifit from a good training partner)

You gotta love it though when someone asks for a spot, needs a lift-off, fails concentrically on the first rep, and then says “ok, NINE more!”

Is it really that hard to spot someone who requests one? Just stand there in between sets, I can’t imagine it would require so much effort to spot someone that it would be a detriment to you in any way. It always struck me as a commomn courtesy to spot someone who asks for one.

But dumbbell flyes? How can you spot dumbbell flyes?

How about the guys you do spot and you know when you step up that they’re going to get buried. Can we all say upright row time? And the first rep is a struggle and they’re laying on the bench saying “I’m gonna try for 3”. Brings back memories, right? But you can’t let some guy get smashed. Especially me because I’m the owner.

When you start lifting heavy weights and start working out more instensely you’ll understand why people ask for all those spots.

[quote]Bulldawgcountry wrote:
Is it really that hard to spot someone who requests one? Just stand there in between sets, I can’t imagine it would require so much effort to spot someone that it would be a detriment to you in any way. It always struck me as a commomn courtesy to spot someone who asks for one.

But dumbbell flyes? How can you spot dumbbell flyes?[/quote]

To a point I agree with you, however, I am not going to waste my precious gym time spotting a guy on every set when he doesn’t need it or is clearly lifting too much weight.

I find it straight out rude that some one would freely impose on my time without them spending at least a little of their own time finding out how to train, and what weights would be appropriate.

I have no problem spotting someone on a maximum effort, or even their last set, but every set is retarded.

What about being worried about injury?

Any time I do any pressing movement… I ask for a spot. I don’t wanna have that weight crash on me if I injure myself or something tears etc. Some jackass could just as well bump into me and knock me out of my groove (The joys of college weightrooms). I do it almost solely for safety.

Funny how no one wants help on a max squat.

I wouldn’t feel too good about using the “spotter arms” if I’m working with over 300lbs on the bench press. Ive injured myself a few times in the past on the bench press, and if i tore my pec again or something like that, I think Id struggle to get the bar on the spotter arms by myself.

It only takes about 15-20 seconds, and everyone rests at least that much between sets, right??

Out of the hundreds of times Ive asked for a spot the last couple years, I think I actually only took a little help a half dozen times. It’s mainly a “just in case” type thing. However, the biggest benefit I get is confidence to push myself harder and not worry about getting stuck. I can typically squeeze out 2-3 more reps when I have a spotter than without one.

On a final note, those of you who dont appreciate spotting people - just think of a polite way to turn down the request, such as “sorry but I’m in a hurry”, and you shouldn’t get any negative responses.

It doesn’t bug me too much, but then again I don’t get asked to spot unnecessarily to often. I figure it’s all about maintaining the weightlifting karma. That I don’t want to discourage someone from asking later when they may actually need some help.

Personally, it bugs me more when I ask someone to spot me, explain I’m checking my 1RM and that I’m expecting to get 3-4 reps, and the guy starts ‘helping’ me on the first damn rep while I’m still completely fine.

There are some nice benches where you can kick out a thing, and that’ll lower the bench, but not the arms. Sweet machine, one of my faves. My school used to have one, but I guess they just felt like newer, prettier ones would be better for the pussy preppy posers who need their shiny mirrors, and spotters on the big money set of the bar.

[quote]JNeves wrote:

you mention your flat benches have “Spotter Arms” which I’m going to guess are those pins located lower then the normal ones, if so what good are those when you have a couple hundred lbs on your chest?

[quote]Massif wrote:
To a point I agree with you, however, I am not going to waste my precious gym time spotting a guy on every set when he doesn’t need it or is clearly lifting too much weight.

I find it straight out rude that some one would freely impose on my time without them spending at least a little of their own time finding out how to train, and what weights would be appropriate.

I have no problem spotting someone on a maximum effort, or even their last set, but every set is retarded.[/quote]

I don’t understand why people ask for a spot on their first set and they don’t come close to failure. I don’t mind spotting someone, but, usually in the end, you’ll fvck it up (unless you workout with a training buddy and you know what they want). Either you helped too much or too little. Some people want lots of help, some people just want a little bit of help. Its really hard to judge what type of training they are doing. Its like you need to ask them 20 questions to know how to spot them (Do you do forced reps, do you want to keep the bar moving at a medium tempo, do you want to stuggle a lot, etc…)

Also, the very few times I have asked for a spot, if the bar is inching upward, they grab the bar and lift it up like the thing was going to crash down on me. Its a good thing with most of the training programs that are written by the T Nation staff, a spotter isn’t needed.

[quote]adamkn wrote:
It’s mainly a “just in case” type thing. However, the biggest benefit I get is confidence to push myself harder and not worry about getting stuck. I can typically squeeze out 2-3 more reps when I have a spotter than without one.

[/quote]

I agree with this, for something like heavy bench press where if you get stuck there is no way you can bail out of the situation I will ask for a spot “just in case”, except I will ask that they don’t touch the bar until it actually stops making upward progress and I am really struggling. Having the knowledge that I won’t get my chest crushed helps with getting out a few more reps than I would have attempted on my own. The only other situation I use a spotter is to get heavy dumbells into position for exercises such as decline press, where I can’t use my knees to “kick” them into position.

[quote]mattrose wrote:
Why the F*&k does everyone ask for a spot? My gym has flat benches with spotter arms on them and a half rack for squats.If you miss a rep on d.bell presses just drop(lower) the weight
Kid asked me for a spot with his 40 lb incline flyes I said no he looked at me in disbelief. You don’t need a spot on every f&K&G set. [/quote]

Sooooooooo … I suppose a spot’s out of the question?

Personally, I am happy to oblige. Usually means the person respects your size and needs your help or I may just be the only one near him ;). But there are soom good points here in that some ppl ask on the first set or are using too much weight or have bad form when they think they are doing it right (ie: lowering the weight 2 inches on flat bench, doing 10 reps and getting up thinking, ‘YEAH, I DID GOOD’ :\

What I do hate tho, is this pretentious fk at the gym i train at who jumps around like he owns the place (which he fking dont) ASKING if anyone else needs a spot. TOTAL WANKER!!! He is the typical prick at the gym, always jumping around and being loud, always talking and never working out and wasting everyones time.

There, just wanted to get that off my chest :wink:

Oh and love the ‘soooo, wanna spot’ :wink: comment!!

I get asked to spot on occasion.

Basically, what I do to prevent the forced reps thing is as soon as the person fails, I only provide the last gram of force needed to get the bar moving again and will even let up if it feels like they have pushed through a sticking point and are moving the bar again on their own. Sometimes, usually dependent on how ugly their form is, this rep is agonizing.

I have never had anyone try to do more than one more rep utilizing this method, and rarely get asked for a spot the second time.

Basically, it boils down to that I am completely unwilling to stand there and facilitate some dumbass doing a bunch of forced reps.