T Nation

Gaining Strength and Size with No Workout Partner


I am 18 years old. I am 5'9 and weigh 190lbs. I really have no clue as to what bf % I have. I have been working out for 3-4 years consistently. I am having a problem getting stronger because I cant push myself over the limit because I have nobody to pull the bar off my lifeless carcass if I happen to drop it!

I was wanting to do the 5/3/1 program but once again the problem arises with no partner. My maxes have gone down significantly on bench and squat from my last two years of high school. Squat: 500x2 now 365x3. Bench: 315x2 now 225x4-5. Since I graduated my lifts have dropped significantly.

Now the fact that I got lazy right when I graduated did not help as I took 2 weeks off from lifting for the first time in 3 years. Does anyone have any advice on this or do I just bow up and do the shit and if it falls on me just start fucken screaming and hope for the best?


find a gym with a cage for bench/squats, or at least a squat rack for squats and use heavy DBs for bench. Or just get used to asking for a spot from strangers, it's not that bad.


The gym I have been working out at did not have DB over 100's. Although I am about to start working out at the facility on campus at Ole Miss so surely they have heavier DB! Thanks for the input.


It's not that bad?? haha, it depends on who you ask. Some don't spot at all, they only help when the bar is dead on your carcass. There are some who spot from the first rep with 10-20lbs of help, when you know you're not even close to failure.

But ya, its not THAT BAD! Just tell them how you want to be spotted.
Once you start seeing the same people around your workout schedule, you'll know who to ask.


Yeap. I had this "issue" once. I was gonna do DB shoulder presses and this METROSEXUAL was doing the same thing except he was using the BB.

So I asked him if he could spot me, cause I really wanted to squeeze in a couple of reps past failure. He said NO! I'm like dude wtf? Apparently, he was working his shoulders.triceps and didn't want any part of helping me squeeze out a couple of reps!(prolly worried his shoulders/triceps will get damaged from fuckin spotting because he was pointing at his triceps when he said NO).

I wanted to fuckin humiliate the guy because he proceeded to half squat 95 pounds! I was really pissed off and just tried to hold myself back from loading the bar up and squatting heavy in front of his face.

I rarely get pissed but that shit really ticked me. I mean, ain't we supposed to be helping each other out? It's not like you're even spotting/lifting half of the weight, you're just there incase the guy wanted to push himself past failure or fucking drops the weight in his face.


If your gym has a proper squat rack you really only need a bench spotter so just ask the closest person who looks like they are not a complete newbie. Every now and then you may get one of those spotters who helps too early on, at least you'll know who NOT to ask next time.


I agree we should all help each other out. I will jump in sometimes if a guy is struggling with DB's or BB's even though he didnt ask for s spot just because those last struggle reps are so important and I personally would not want to lose them so why would I let someone else.
Plus it takes more of an effort not to spot someone than to spot someone


You...have the best avatar ever! Being in Portland myself I see many hipsters everyday. OOfah!