T Nation

Muscles Stronger Than My Mind


Just got back from my bench training session and have discovered a really strange problem, my muscles are stronger than my mind...

I was benching along exceeding my usual rep max for the weights I was using, not really that relevant as the problem occurs at any sticking point, so obviously the rep speed slowed. Now the weird thing came that when my partner touched the bar, I could lockout the bar no trouble (still slow bar speed, but whatever). My partner delighted in showing me how he wasn't actually helping by taking his hands off the bar one at a time to prove there was no pressure and in his words "even put a little downwards pressure on a couple with my thumbs to try and work it out.

Andy has been lifting and competing some 20 years, but can't work out why him
just touching, but not actively lifting the bar in a spot seems to be helping me so much. So I thought I'd ask here!


It could be for a few reasons:
Even if he's applying a downwards pressure, he is probably helping to stabilize the bar, so that could help you bench more weight because you don't need to do that (like benching on a smith machine).

The other reason could be that once you thought you were getting help you became more uninhibited and pushed for all you were worth? I've always noticed i bench more with a spot too, even if their hands are under the bar and not touching it, i think its a pride thing haha. When they go to grab the bar its like them saying 'i don't think you can do it'. That makes some people push harder.


we all have to find that effort, that focus that leaves nothing left, that focus that puts everything into a lift, a spot can help you get in the zone. They don't even have to touch the bar, they could just probably say something or watch you, slap you on th back before a set or simply do a set before you do, I mean when I watch a guy put everything hes got into a lift, it gets me going. Like I want to run with the big dogs or show this little spark how its done. In a perfect world, I would be the one whos presence would grant other lifters the ability to grind out PRs, I would be the one that they all take some energy from because its just flowing from me, like if they don't take some I'm gonna explode or something...

It's all up in your dome man, everything that keeps us from giving our all, it's not really there, or maybe it's all that's there, and that's what seperates the men from the boys.

or maybe we all just need a kick ass lifting partner to 'lighten our load'


i have that happen alot. i think its a psychological thing. you feel secure that there are hands on the bar and its stable so you can focus on finishing the rep without the fear you wont finish it or injure yourself.



this sums it up


Just read that blog, very interesting!

I think I need to get more fired up before sets, Monday is a quite session as there are only two training as opposed to three for the other lifts. It's very interesting phenominon I think.


The mind is a very powerful thing. You actually have much more strength in you than you realize. A lot of times, the limiter will be whether you believe you can complete a lift or not. Him just having his hands there made you KNOW that the lift was going to go up, so it did.


I bench more when someone spot me. I dont have any workout partner, so I end up asking various clowns when doing an hard set. The problem is they start pulling the bar when you slow down. what the fuck? I dont want this to happen so I accelerate the bar more


That is the most annoying thing, its like that dumbass ruined my entire set.


i hate it more when they find out im doing only 3 or 2reps and they say i should go lighter cuz i should go at least 10reps