The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    What to do when a bad spotter F's up your workout?

    I'm doing Rippetoe's Starting Strength right now, so if I ever can't get 3x5 of a weight, I will repeat the same weight next workout. Today I was benching and I got the 5 reps of the first set without much problem (probably could have got another rep). For the next set, my first spotter was busy so I ask some other dude to spot. After I unrack the weight, his hands immediately start hovering below the bar, so I specifically tell him not to touch the bar unless it starts to fall back on my chest. He goes ahead and touches the bar reps 4 and 5 anyways. I get a different spotter next set. Of course, he also goes and touches the bar on the 5th rep.

    So I'm pretty sure I could have gotten 3x5 of the weight, but I technically didn't. Should I move up in weight next workout anyways?

    DAMN I hate those people.

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  3. #2
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    Beat him to within an inch of his life - bet he doesn't do it again!

  4. #3
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    Repeat the weight.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    If you must have a spotter, then it's your responsibility to be very, very explicit in your instructions on how and when to spot, how much to help, when to rack it, etc. If you can't find a competent spotter or an incompetent spotter that can follow explicit instruction, then you better get used to doing a lot of work in the power rack or lifting a little less close to failure.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  6. #5
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    Most people can't seem to follow simple instructions. I just tell people I don't know not to help me until I verbally ask for it.
    6'1" 250 lbs

    310 Bench
    385 Squat
    460 Deadlift

    1155 Total (raw)

  7. #6
    Senior Member BFGUITAR's Avatar
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    The people I talk to listen very well. All I say is "Please, don't touch the bar unless I get pinned or I tell you to". It seems to always work.

  8. #7
    1000 or bust motoko013's Avatar
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    you gotta make sure they understand how you want to be spotted. most times guys think spot means they row it up to help you get the lift. i usually say, can you just stand behind, i can probably get 5, but just in case i don't, i'll let you know

    Reach down between your legs and find a pair of balls. That's what it takes to lift big weights. Genetics is the weak man's excuse for why he sucks at life. Don't be that guy - RhodeHouse

    Any man under 200lbs is a woman - RhodeHouse

  9. #8
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    my instructions are always, "stand back and don't touch it unless I call for it"
    works 90% of the time.

  10. #9
    THE FRIDGE! thewicked's Avatar
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    i always teach people how to spot me and how I LIKE to be spotted before ever letting them touch the weight. Until they get it right, they'll screw you over everytime. Always inform someone how to spot because they might have learned differently.. i've had alot of weight damn near dropped on my face a few times. Now I hold a mini seminar before I ask someone to spot. LOL
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  11. #10
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    I agree,you cant just say "Hey,can you give me a spot?".You gotta be specific about what you want them to do.Ive trained my wife to give a perfect spot.Yet the old men at my gym who have been at it for years will take one arm and grab it in the middle of the bar while Im on my first rep.A real spotter isnt gonna let you "struggle".If the weight aint movin,theres no point in someone inching you up.That will cause injury and do nothing for strength.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokinHawk View Post
    my instructions are always, "stand back and don't touch it unless I call for it"
    works 90% of the time.
    Same here. Usually works. If their hands go near I tell them off, mid set.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Mike View Post
    A real spotter isnt gonna let you "struggle".If the weight aint movin,theres no point in someone inching you up.That will cause injury and do nothing for strength.
    I assume you mean they won't grab if the bar is just moving slowly...

  13. #12
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    I yell mid repetition if they try to touch the bar.

    lol, there's a video on here somewhere of me hitting a 405x3 and on the 3rd rep I slowed way down. My spotter went to grab the bar and you can hear me yell "DONT TOUCH IT".
    Jake Sullivan
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  14. #13
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    What Im saying is any spotter that sits there and watches you come to a halt and "inches" you a little at a time isnt doing you a favor.The ego boost of saying you got it on your own isnt worth the injury it may cause.In bodybuilding,Ive noticed the need for some guys to rather struggle for 2 minutes with a weight as long as they get it on their own.But ask any powerlifter,or watch any bench video of a powerlifting attempt and theres about a 2 second time frame a spotter will let you struggle.The goal is to remain healthy so you can continue lifting and competing.Ive been injured because of a bad spotter.A.C joint,forearm,elbow.If that weight isnt constantly moving in an upward motion,than that spotter isnt doing his job.And if you aint movin it in an upward motion,your not ready for the weight.

  15. #14
    195 lb. endurance geek Willie's Avatar
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    There is one other, horrible option that I use:

    Leave off the collar on one side of the bar, so when you reach failure you can tilt the bar and dump the weight on that side.

    Of course, get ready for lots of loud noise and the heavy side of the bar to flip away and crash into things, but it does work.

    I figured this one out after getting stuck beneath my bar and had yell for about 10 minutes until my wife finally came into the garage. Then I had to wait while she unloaded it one plate at a time.....

    Of course, you're at a gym, so maybe it's not an option.
    "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."
    -Tyler Durden

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    There is one other, horrible option that I use:

    Leave off the collar on one side of the bar, so when you reach failure you can tilt the bar and dump the weight on that side.

    Of course, get ready for lots of loud noise and the heavy side of the bar to flip away and crash into things, but it does work.

    I figured this one out after getting stuck beneath my bar and had yell for about 10 minutes until my wife finally came into the garage. Then I had to wait while she unloaded it one plate at a time.....

    Of course, you're at a gym, so maybe it's not an option.
    If it's not too heavy and I don't have a spotter, I can usually get it to the floor, then deadlift it back to the rack.

    I'm talking like 185 here though.
    Last edited by Szust; 07-10-2008 at 05:30 PM.
    6'1" 250 lbs

    310 Bench
    385 Squat
    460 Deadlift

    1155 Total (raw)

  17. #16
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    There is one other, horrible option that I use:

    Leave off the collar on one side of the bar, so when you reach failure you can tilt the bar and dump the weight on that side.

    Of course, get ready for lots of loud noise and the heavy side of the bar to flip away and crash into things, but it does work.

    I figured this one out after getting stuck beneath my bar and had yell for about 10 minutes until my wife finally came into the garage. Then I had to wait while she unloaded it one plate at a time.....

    Of course, you're at a gym, so maybe it's not an option.
    That can wind up being very dangerous, so probably not something to do all the time. The power rack, as mentioned, is a great idea if you don't have spotters who listen. Little Jake I had to do the same thing with a spotter on quite a few occasions if I was still moving it comfortably on my own. I alwayw tell them not to touch it until I say so like smoking hawk suggests, which I will do after I can't move it on my own for no more than a second or so. A good training partner helps out greatly if you can find one you click with.

    On a side note to hijack the thread for a second, Tennessee Mike, you are new to the board and I gotta say I have liked everyone of your posts I have read so far. Welcome aboard!


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    Just get under the bar!

  18. #17
    195 lb. endurance geek Willie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    That can wind up being very dangerous, so probably not something to do all the time.
    You're right! In fact, it's really, really stupid, but it beats slow asphyxiation beneath a weighted bar!

    I'm not lifting to failure any more, so I don't have to do that. I'm older and being more conservative with my work-outs. The goal, after all, is to improve, not set any records.

    I'm looking at buying a power rack, it's just not in my budget at this time.
    "This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time."
    -Tyler Durden

  19. #18
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    When benching alone collars should never be used. Collaring one side only is just silly.

  20. #19
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Moore View Post
    Beat him to within an inch of his life - bet he doesn't do it again!
    HAHAHAHA! I'm with Ben!


    Typically if I have that happen I'll pause at the top of one of the reps and just tell them either get their hands off the bar or walk away.


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  21. #20
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    When spotting, I ask how they want me to spot. When having a spotter help, I tell them and frequently yell at them not to touch the bar. BUT, Option 1 works for me, too - beat him within an inch of his life.
    Give chalk a chance.


    49 years old

    665 squat
    700 deadlift
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