BlogEric SnaellFebruary

The Secret of Using a Spotter

By training alone you can avoid the competitive stupidity that easily arises between two training buddies. On the other hand, you will miss out on the great benefits of having a spotter.

Don't Spot Me - Watch Me

A spotter is usually used for squeezing out one or two assisted repetitions at the end of a set. The two main benefits are the additional eccentric training and the focus on the target muscle.

A spotter should only assist on the concentric portion of a lift. The eccentric portion of the lift is easier and the body can handle it much better. You can check out our interview with Jazmine Fenlator for a video example of how spotters can be used for eccentric lifts.

The second benefit of using a spotter is the possibility to continue to train a target muscle even if a supporting muscle gives in. Most people rack their bench presses when extending the arms becomes difficult. The shoulders or triceps might be fatiqued and there's a risk that the set could end embarrasingly with the barbell resting on the chest. By using a spotter, you can continue your set by doing a couple of additional half-range bench presses with bended arms to really drain the pecs. The spotter will then assist to rack the barbell.

Personally, I believe 1RM attempts are more dangerous than useful. If using a spotter urges you to attempt one rep maxes, then you might as well train alone. Use a spotter instead to push your body past your mental limits on longer sets.

A spotter should not be confused with a training partner. A spotter is mainly there for your safety. I prefer that the spotter actually has his hands on the barbell at all times, because the failure will happen suddenly. A training partner can sit courtside and cheer his hart out. But not the spotter.

Previous Posts