T Nation

spotting question

Would you turn down a request to spot somebody whose incredibly poor form puts you in danger?

Are we talking about spotting for a squat? Maybe. Especially if they are using bad form because the weight is way too much for them. Luckily, I don’t have so many ego-lifters in my gym here like the rest of y’all seem to have in yours.

If it was a squat or big bench you could just say it needs at least two people or maybe three. You don’t have single spotters at PL meets. Or you could point out that he is going to hurt himself through poor form.

Ultimately I wouldn’t risk injury for the sake of anyone’s ego or hurting their feelings, so you might just have to be assertive in this instance.

If you think he is that dangerous then stayaway…if he Fs-Up the lift and gets hurt…do you want to be partially at blame and find yourself in a possible court room scenario…maybe I am over reacting a bit but there is an old proverb that says “There is nothing more dangerous than a fool caught in his folly”. Be careful dude.

If it put ME in danger yes i would turn the spot down and just tell them that the weight is too much for me to handle.

Unfortunately, those are the people that need a spot the most. I would spot them if they were open to suggestions on improving their form and thus the effectiveness and safety of the exercise. Otherwise, I would try and avoid it.


i personally have no problems saying no to someone who is attempting to lift a weight too heavy for him/her. in these cases, i try to open up to the trainee especially if he/she appears to be a newbie, and give helpful suggestions without trying to sound condescending. i try to stress how form is more important than lift numbers and how doing the lift at the given weight and with his/her given form might lead to injury. if the trainee is open-minded enough, he/she will lower the weight and perform the lift with better form. however, if the stubborn ego-padding trainee doesn’t want to hear your suggestions, i flatly say that i won’t spot him/her for his/her own safety. i really don’t care if someone sneers at me at the gym because i won’t spot them - i’d rather help someone with the intelligence to put away their ego and listen to something outside of what they think the know.