Thursday, 9 July 2015

Spotting. What, Why and How?!

This one does not just go out to all the heavy lifters out there, But also the occasional gym go-er. This advice could pretty much go out to anyone who happens to be in the wrong place at the right time.

Have you ever been in a quiet gym, minding your own business when the guy lifting weights you could only dream of asks you for a spot? You begrudgingly agree, as you look around and see there is noone else.

This has happened to all of us, now whilst there are countless posts on blogs and informative websites regarding correct form, there does not seem to be much advice regarding spotting or assisting.

Here are a few pointers to ensure the lifter will be happy after his or her set.

1. If someone asks you for help, they are asking you for a reason. He / She will have scoured the gym and you WILL be the MOST Appropriate person to ask.

2. Ask what the lifter wants from you. Do they need a hand lifting the weight up to the starting position, do they want you to pass them a dumbell, how many reps are they aiming for?

3. Give them some moral support!! Do not just stand there watching! A simple "you've got this bro 'or even just shouting encouragement will go down well; Especially if the lifter is Struggling.

4. DO NOT grab the bar UNLESS absolutely necessary! You will know when you are needed as the lifter will start to fail the lift (ie the bar will be going down rather than up). This is mainly what you are there for, to stop the weight crashing down onto his / her chest/floor- Because That hurts (trust me I've been there!!).

5. DO help re-rack the weights eleven o'clock the lift is completed- Often this is hard for the lifter as the weight is reracked in an awkward position on the bench and the lifter will have to walk forward with the weight after a squat.

6. Congratulate the lifter after a good set, This Will make them feel good as someone will have recognised their hard work, positive reinforcement if you will!

7. Often the lifter will feel uncomfortable disturbing your workout to ask you, especially If they need you for more than one set. Give them a friendly 'Just ask if you need me again mate" and you will find that when you need a spotter, they'll be the first person over to help you out! You may even find yourself with a new training partner as you are in the gym at the same time, depending on your goals obviously!

I appreciate this post will not appeal to the masses, however it is something I feel compelled to write about due to a few bad experiences!