How many of you lift without spotters?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 21, 2012 3:08 AM GMT
    Just curious. I have a barbell in my room that I've been using along with gymnastic bodyweight exercises. However, I've reached the point where I cannot squat or bench press without a spotter.

    I've never visited a gym, but still planning on going now that I'm maxing out here. How do you all squat and bench press without a spotter? Do you simply not max out? I'm just so stumped on how anyone could lift w/o a spotter and not getting seriously injured.

    Thanks,

    Josh
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    Dec 21, 2012 4:46 AM GMT
    Congrats on the progress you are making, Josh!

    In the gym some guys use the Smith machine for lifts that usually require a spotter. You're right to note that not using a spotter on heavy lifts can lead to serious injuries.

    At home, I have no idea what you can do, sorry. Hopefully other guys here will have some suggesiton and ideas.
  • Pontifex

    Posts: 1882

    Dec 21, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    I don't ever have a spotter. I work out alone a lot of the time and I use heavy weights. My gym has 3d racks which are great for working out alone. They are a bit expensive for home use though.
  • RaggedyMan

    Posts: 7185

    Dec 21, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    Spotters are essential but I guess if you can't do it by yourself then its too much weight. I try to ask for help when I do dumbbell presses but then again I use the 120 lb dumbbells
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    Dec 21, 2012 4:52 AM GMT
    I do all the time. But then again I know when I need a spot and when I don't.
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:12 AM GMT
    I miss having a spotter because I know I can safely push myself further when they're around. When there's not a spotter, I just use my best judgement and don't go overboard. Not a big deal anymore, since I'm pretty through with bulking up...it's just about maintenance now.
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:21 AM GMT
    My gym doesn't have heavy dumbbells or a power cage/3d rack so I can't go as heavy as I'd like to try.
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:27 AM GMT
    Well, I have a safety cage. Something like this one:

    1NhA1-9vEoAkil3yGBRe5MQPZqskXAk3zuuLBqvI

    BTW: It also makes a pretty good bondage rack for a dungeon icon_wink.gif
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:30 AM GMT
    I never use more weights than I can lift, especially bench pressing. For me, I can't go over 80 lbs total for bench press because I have a permanent injury on my left wrist caused by years in gymnastics. Anything close to 100 lbs would put me at risk for dislocation. So I only lift what I can handle and that doesn't require a spotter.
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:32 AM GMT
    I've found I lift better without a spotter... because I know it's all on me. With a spotter I know I can let it fall so I feel weaker. and the anxiety of the spotter rubs off on me which ruins my focus.

    that being said there's almost always some kind of safety mechanism, like that of a power cage (bars on the side just above neck level), and I pretty much always use the smith machine for squats
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:35 AM GMT
    I don't lift beyond my known capabilities. I mean, I'm not trying to set any world records, so it's kinda pointless for me to strap on a lifting belt, tape up my knees, and ask three dudes to spot me on an insane bench press or squat.

    I prefer to focus on proper form and probably lift about 90% of my max. If I have a little extra energy by the time I get to my last set, I'll add some weight and go 100%. And I'll ask a guy to spot me on the last few reps.

    Honestly, you don't need a spotter for all of your exercises. If you do, then you're lifting too heavy and you'll likely injure yourself. So really, use a spotter to get over the hump. But don't use a spotter as a crutch. Just ask the guy next to you. He won't say no. If he does, then he's a dick.
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    Dec 21, 2012 5:54 AM GMT
    I'm too nervous to lift without spotters.
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    Dec 21, 2012 6:00 AM GMT
    You don't need a spotter. Just use a squat rack that has safety rails....You can do bench there too if necessary.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Dec 21, 2012 7:14 AM GMT
    I don't use a spotter. Though that isn't surprising since I do almost everything alone nowadays. I am not reckless and I don't lift excessively heavy weights... so I really haven't put huge emphasis on having a spotter.
  • pelotudo87

    Posts: 225

    Dec 21, 2012 7:16 AM GMT
    I work out at a pretty big gym, so there's almost always a guy around whom I can ask to spot.

    I incorporate A LOT of forced repetitions into my training style, and I feel like they have helped me tremendously. For instance, if I can only do 8 reps of 100 LBS on bench press, I had a spotter give me a little help on the 9th; that way, I can usually do 9 on my own the next week, and then get help on the 10th. The week after that, I may be able to get 10 on my own...after I get 10 on my own for 2 or 3 weeks, I may bump up to 105 and do 7 good reps but then need help on the 8th...

    See where this is going?

    Although you may want to mix up rep ranges and weights occassionally, sometimes going to failure and sometimes not, for me at least I think that constnatly using techniques such as forced reps and drops (for which spotters are useful) are always good.
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    Dec 21, 2012 10:27 AM GMT
    My gym has one of these, a Startrac Maxrack. It's like a smith machine that works in all planes of motion, not just up & down. I use it a lot especially when going heavy since I can set the safety rails to whatever height I need. There's been times bench pressing when I couldn't quite get the last rep, left the bar on the rails, and wiggled out from underneath iticon_smile.gif

    MaxRack%201.jpg
  • Ej101

    Posts: 444

    Dec 21, 2012 10:56 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI workout alone but every now and then I may ask for a spot from someone at my gym. There's typically someone always there to help out and I'm happy to lend a hand to someone if they ask.


    ^this
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 21, 2012 12:19 PM GMT
    i have never used a spotter. if i can't control the weight fully, i have no business using that much weight. you get a much better workout using lower weights and fully contracting the muscle than using more weight and being unable to get the full range of motion. spotters = you're not doing it right.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 21, 2012 12:54 PM GMT
    If you need a spotter, you're doing it wrong.
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    Dec 21, 2012 12:55 PM GMT
    I don't use a spotter. I think the knowledge that a stranger (or anyone) is "observing" my set is a bit distracting.
  • FireDoor211

    Posts: 1030

    Dec 21, 2012 1:19 PM GMT
    I've never used a spotter. There's a guy at the gym who always wants me to spot for him and always offers reciprocation. I just don't see the point. I don't lift outside of my range until i build up the strength to do so, upgrade and do it again.
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    Dec 21, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
    Sungod17 saidMy gym has one of these, a Startrac Maxrack. It's like a smith machine that works in all planes of motion, not just up & down. I use it a lot especially when going heavy since I can set the safety rails to whatever height I need. There's been times bench pressing when I couldn't quite get the last rep, left the bar on the rails, and wiggled out from underneath iticon_smile.gif

    MaxRack%201.jpg


    I want one of those things!
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    Dec 21, 2012 2:51 PM GMT
    Thanks everyone for the solid advice.

    I was under the impression that you reach a point where you have to have a spotter. I think it would be more beneficial just to stick to good form instead of a boosted ego right now with lower weight. I'm sure I'll still see gains.

    Thanks all!

  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Dec 21, 2012 3:14 PM GMT
    Sungod17 saidMy gym has one of these, a Startrac Maxrack. It's like a smith machine that works in all planes of motion, not just up & down. I use it a lot especially when going heavy since I can set the safety rails to whatever height I need. There's been times bench pressing when I couldn't quite get the last rep, left the bar on the rails, and wiggled out from underneath iticon_smile.gif


    I don't like smith machines for most things myself, but I definitely see their place. Especially for rehab. I like using the one at my gym for isometrics.

    I have never used a spotter. I just listen to my body and don't push past the point where I can't make it. In the case of squats I use a power rack just in case and for dead lifts, I'd just drop the weights if I failed.
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    Dec 26, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    I don't know any spotters who aren't frail and thin lol.. and I never ask bros in the gym.

    Having a spotter is about safety... not about pushing yourself to failure.

    I get an intense workout without going to 1RM. I'm training for mass.. why would I be in the 1-5 range for reps?