T Nation

Skeptical about This. Feedback?

I have recently gotten into lifting and have opted to start things off with a trainer just to get the ball rolling. However, I’m a little skeptical of his methods. When I work out alone, I will select a weight that I can get 8-12 reps with. But when I work out with my trainer, he will give me a weight that I can’t lift unless he gives me about a 5-10% spot.

He says that going heavier will allow me to get bigger faster, but I’m not so sure since the weight is too much for me to do on my own, I feel like it’s essentially the same as lifting a few pounds lighter since he’s helping me.

Also, it’s been three months and I have gained size and strength, but I am becoming accustomed to lifting with a constant spot. For instance, I can shoulder press 45 lbs with a small spot, but maybe only 30 on my own. I told him that I feel like it’s negatively affecting me, especially since I don’t plan on working out with a trainer for the rest of my life, but he simply states that I will grow out of it and that I’ll get stronger and be able to do things on my own. I’m not so sure.

Any advice?

This is bad for you. It will negatively affect your technique and it will prevent you from using the weights as a means of accurately assessing your strength and progress as the assistance given by the spotter (your trainer) is bound to variate from set to set and from workout to workout. This may also stall your progress because as the weights go up, the spotter may increase the assistance given and you will only have the illusion of progressing.

good for you for having some common sense. That’s rare for a beginner. You’re absolutely right. Your trainer sounds like a real bro-scientist. I would suggest getting another trainer’s opinion at your gym, and see if someone else’s training philosophy makes more sense to you.

Also, lol @ “small spot”. 30lbs to 45lbs on your shoulder press is a 50% increase. That’s ridiculous.

What you describe here is what a lot of young lifters and/or newbies do; Use a weight that is too heavy to handle on your own. BAD MISTAKE.

You are absolutely right to be sceptical of this!

The most important thing when starting lifting weights is to get the movements nailed with the right angles, stance, grip etc. Learning to actually feel the muscles work throughout the movements and don’t rely on momentum. Especially the muscles you can’t see flexing in the mirror.

Once you have the movements and the muscle connection nailed you can start adding weight as you go. Remember, the muscles does not know what kinda weight is on the bar, only how hard they must work.

Leave the ego at the door and go by feel, not wow-factor for spectators. :wink: