T Nation

What is Proper Spotting Etiquette Here?


#1

Just wanted to get your opinions on this.

Some guy asked me for a spot on incline bench tonight with a decent amount of weight at 225. Told me he was breaking it up into 3 small sets with about 10 sec rest between them, except going max rep on every one. Not really sure I understand the rationale, but whatever. I'll spot him. First "set," I have to help him a little bit on 5th rep.

Walks around for about 15 sec, second "set," doesn't even get one up on his own...I have to help a little. Then, he attempts a second, which I have to help him with from almost the moment it hits his chest. It was a bit of an "oh shit" moment, too, as I'd say I was easily handling 30% of the weight and just making sure he safely racked it.

At this point, I look at him and say, "so you're done here?"

"No. One more!"

"Sorry, but you're going to have to find someone else then. I have no intention of risking an injury for you or me." (walks away)

So, was this a dick move on my part? I should also mention it was moments before my 3rd set of 5/3/1, so expending too much energy thanks to some tool's obliviousness was not worth losing a rep or 2 on my part. IMO, he was the one violating any kind of spotting etiquette for putting that kind of risk unexpectedly into my hands and then attempting more. What are your experiences?


#2

Yeah, it was definitely all him brah.


#3

Unless I knew the guy, I don't think I would have agreed to do that from the start... What happened was pretty predictable.


#4

I think in general if your asking a random person to spot you you should only go for about 1-2 two forced reps. First one being like you need help at a sticking point then the other rep the spotter can help you through the whole movement. But thats what I prefer.


#5

sounds like he heard about restpauses but didn't read up on them too much and he picked too heavy a weight.


#6

You're going to get hurt lifting, generously, 100lbs off the guys chest?

Stupid as his program sounds, you agreed to help. It's not like the outcome wasn't obvious. Either help him, or don't agree to from the start.


#7

Pretty much.

OP you were in the right my dude.


#8

FUCK YEAH it was a dick move! I mean the only reason he didnt get the second set going because not once did you utter the always inspirational phrase....

"ITS ALL YOU BRO!!!"

Come on man show some courtesy :slight_smile:


#9

I won't help at all unless it stops moving up. Then I'll give a nudge, see if that got past the sticking point. If it didn't one more nudge. At that point I'll help him lift it and rack it immediately for him. I hate people who think spotting is really deadlifting.


#10

It was incline press, so the leverage was putting me in a very compromising position for my back, so straining myself to save him was not out of the question. If that makes me a sally, so be it...

I agreed to help before he even told me what he was doing. But you make a good point. I will not agree to spot this particular man in the future.


#11

I just let people get pinned then rack it for them and recommended that they drop some weight. If they choose not to, then they can spot themselves.

That dude was a dimwit. I don't care what someone is doing if stupid is their sticking point.


#12

Your a shitty spotter.


#13

This.


#14

I know. But I've come a long way from yelling "Push Motherfucker! You are about to fucking die! Now Push!".


#15

I generally try to accomodate what's requested. But I dont think you acted unreasonably.

My opinion. There is no such thing as spotting etiquette. Everyone has individual preferences. There are no general rules. Because of an old shoulder injury I spend a good 30 seconds explaining how I want a handoff and a spot if it's a new person (that I trust) spotting my bench press.


#16

Id call you an asshole. If somoene is bench pressing heavy weight, once the weight stops moving the set is DONE. If you think I can press 335 3 times then get it going for a 4th rep then have the rep stop THEN have you come in to help and actually be able to complete the rep, youre crazy. Assuming my 2rm is about 355.

But Id also tell you ahead of time to apply enough pressure and only enough pressure to keep the bar moving in the positive direction. Letting the bar stop is not helping the person and is only risking injury. So you wouldnt make the mistake if you were spotting me.


#17

Totally agree, but apparently it seems people posting in this thread think you are a over confident douchebag if you try to go for a extra rep or something, lol what a bunch shitty spotters in this thread.

I really don't see what the big problem is if your asking for an extra 1-2 forced reps...


#18

haha now that is motivational right there.


#19

i would prefer if the spotter tried to maintain the natural rhythym that i was using while lifting...with no pressure on the negative...i will usually do 2-3 more assisted reps on my last set...

so yeah i would not trust most of you to spot me...which is why i have dedicated training partners...


#20

Ya, totally surprised as some of the responses here.

I never spot someone without asking how they want it done - liftoff, when they reach failure, etc. and reciprocate the same information back out.

And ya, correct spotting etiquette is just that - SPOTTING them, not not helping them and simply basically just watching them lift weights.

Makes sense given the responses though. So many guys in my gym act like it's such a big fucking deal to hook a brother up with like 20 seconds of their time.