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Thread: Benching with a spotter, cheating?

  1. #1
    Lifting Archon. Shouji's Avatar
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    Benching with a spotter, cheating?

    When I bench with my dad as spotter, it seems so much more easier than benching by myself. I suspect he's helping me lift the weight, and I questioned him about, but he swears to it that he is only helping me balance it. Is this ok?
    When i'm benching, he pretty much keeps his palm under the bar to balance it, will this still give me benefits of the bench? Or is it considered cheating?

  2. #2
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    He is probally helping by at least 20lbs.

    Rules for a spot.

    a) Don't touch the bar.
    b) If I'm struggling, still don't touch the bar
    c) if blood is coming out of my eyes, still don't touch the bar
    d) if the bar starts to come back towards my chest from a sticking point only then may you touch the bar.

  3. #3
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    If he's helping you lift the weight, that is not going to provide you any benefit. He shouldn't be helping you balance the bar either. If you need help balancing the bar, you are using too much weight and you need to develop control over the bar. The only thing he should be helping you with is if you can't make the rep up by yourself or some similar scenario in which you actually NEED the assistance of someone else. He shouldn't be touching the bar, but having his hands under it a little is fine. He should be there to make sure you don't drop it or something. If you find it's much easier when he's spotting, then he is probably helping a little TOO much. Or you may just be getting stronger.
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 03-27-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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  4. #4
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    don't let him touch the bar even when your at your sticking point keep pushing until you cant anymore its what makes your stronger not someone doing it for you but yes i will say that under certain circumstances it is ok to lightly touch it or even acting like hes touching it helps just don't tell people you maxed on a weight someone had to help you balance i hate when people do that....

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    the second anyone touches the bar there is weight taken off. a spotter is not a balancer. like the guy in the earlier post sed if that bar is ready to kill me then u can touch it. if ur spotter touches it b4 it starts goin back down then they wont spot me again. id recommend a spotting bitch who learns how to spot well....i have a freshman one haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risk10k View Post
    He is probally helping by at least 20lbs.

    Rules for a spot.

    a) Don't touch the bar.
    b) If I'm struggling, still don't touch the bar
    c) if blood is coming out of my eyes, still don't touch the bar
    d) if the bar starts to come back towards my chest from a sticking point only then may you touch the bar.
    Do you mean period? Spotters are allowed to help you get the weight off the bar on heavy weight.

  7. #7
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    thats called a lift off. it has nothing to do with the actual press and helps the lifter recruit all his strength into the press.
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    Oh.

    Press wise....If I get it to my chest and can't push it up I say nope and they lift it back to the rack. But other than that, don't touch the bar

  9. #9
    Risk10k Clifford Gillmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorWalls View Post
    Do you mean period? Spotters are allowed to help you get the weight off the bar on heavy weight.
    Yeah, thats a lift off. I don't actually bench enough to need a lift off, so my comments still stand

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    Spotters should always help with a lift off IMO when the weight gets heavier as the actual lift off has your arms / shoulders in an undesirable position. I agree totally with Risk 10k - don't touch the bar until the lifter knows they are done and gives the signal.

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    I have an important question here.

    Are you guys implying that IF the person actually requires the help of the spotter, then that should remain his last rep? Say I'm doing like a 6 rep set. I make my first 4 reps but on the 5th i have trouble and my spot gives me like a fingertip spot and I get it up, should I do 1 more even though it will definitely require the hel pof the spot. Or, am if on that fifth one I am failing, should the spot just grab the bar, yank it back up on the rack, and i'm done?

  12. #12
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    i never asked for help on the lift-off unless i am maxing out that day (which is may be once every 2 months). my rule of thumb is, if i can't get it off by myself, i don't need to do any. The same goes with DB.

  13. #13
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risk10k View Post
    He is probally helping by at least 20lbs.

    Rules for a spot.

    a) Don't touch the bar.
    b) If I'm struggling, still don't touch the bar
    c) if blood is coming out of my eyes, still don't touch the bar
    d) if the bar starts to come back towards my chest from a sticking point only then may you touch the bar.
    e) stay out of the lifters field of vision.

    You don't need someones nuts in your face while you are benching.tuttut
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  14. #14
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyah View Post
    I have an important question here.

    Are you guys implying that IF the person actually requires the help of the spotter, then that should remain his last rep? Say I'm doing like a 6 rep set. I make my first 4 reps but on the 5th i have trouble and my spot gives me like a fingertip spot and I get it up, should I do 1 more even though it will definitely require the hel pof the spot. Or, am if on that fifth one I am failing, should the spot just grab the bar, yank it back up on the rack, and i'm done?
    I don't start a rep I can't finish on my own. Reason being is when you start to fatigue your form breaks down and the spotter ends up doing too much of YOUR work. UNLESS, you are doing forced reps. If that is the case then the of course use the spot, just don't do forced reps too often.

    If you always go to complete concentric failure on every set then you will fade fast as the sets start to accumulate. If you stop at the last rep you know that you were able to get by yourself with pretty good form, then you will have just enough in the tank to do another set. The additional set is going give you better training response than say always going to failure.
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  15. #15
    Super Human kingkrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs View Post
    e) stay out of the lifters field of vision.

    You don't need someones nuts in your face while you are benching.tuttut
    I have a story about this.

    One time I was doing bench and having a great work out. I was getting near the end of my sets for bench and asked a regular to give me a spot, he says sure and we start. I have 275 on the bar and I am going for ten when I get to 7 he is standing over me not touching the bar, but a drop of sweat fell from his head and directly into my eye! Needless to say that was the end of that set and he needed to jump in and help the weight off my chest as my concentration was blown.

    Stay out of the lifters field of vision. Just like a power lifting meet, unrack and step back, step in to help and that is it.
    The difference between the freaks and the flock is the ****ing fork!
    You wanna gain weight? Then it's time to squat!

  16. #16
    天龙 McIrish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingkrs View Post
    I have a story about this.

    One time I was doing bench and having a great work out. I was getting near the end of my sets for bench and asked a regular to give me a spot, he says sure and we start. I have 275 on the bar and I am going for ten when I get to 7 he is standing over me not touching the bar, but a drop of sweat fell from his head and directly into my eye! Needless to say that was the end of that set and he needed to jump in and help the weight off my chest as my concentration was blown.

    Stay out of the lifters field of vision. Just like a power lifting meet, unrack and step back, step in to help and that is it.
    Haha, I thought that story was going in a vastly different direction - one involving a previous post of yours in this thread, saying something about the spotter's nuts in your face. Head sweat > nut sweat, any day.
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  17. #17
    Addicted to Adrenaline LevesqueIsKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booyah View Post
    I have an important question here.

    Are you guys implying that IF the person actually requires the help of the spotter, then that should remain his last rep? Say I'm doing like a 6 rep set. I make my first 4 reps but on the 5th i have trouble and my spot gives me like a fingertip spot and I get it up, should I do 1 more even though it will definitely require the hel pof the spot. Or, am if on that fifth one I am failing, should the spot just grab the bar, yank it back up on the rack, and i'm done?
    This is called a forced rep. Yes, you can do this, but I would not suggest doing it every time you bench, because it may hurt you in the long run. Forcing reps (like going to failure) is a good way to mix up your routine, to shock you muscles. But again, use it in moderation, and make sure that your spotter knows how much to help you, because nothing pisses me off more than a spotter that spots so much that your only lifting 50 lbs.

    On a side note, when you dont have a spotter and are doing bench (or any other exercise) you can try something called the rest-pause technique. I use this one a lot, because I dont have a bud to go to the gym with . Anyway, to do the rest-pause technique what you do is go to failure (or in the case of an exercise like bench, go to near-failure and rack it up right before you fail), rest for 5 seconds, and then crank out 1-2 more reps. Personally, I like the rest-pause more than forced reps just because it gives me the satisfaction that I went past failure all by myself and didnt have a spotter to help me.

    Again, use these in moderation.

  18. #18
    Eat Chicken Chris686's Avatar
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    Get his hands off the bar. It's not doing you any good.

    You could just bench without a spotter too. I do it every bench session.
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  19. #19
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    I rarely bench enough weight during my workout to need a spotter but when I do I dont want him to touch it unless i get stuck and even then i want him to make me work for it.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    I tell my spotter never to touch the bar unless it's going back down.

    That being said, pschologically you might do better with him there because you actually do have a spotter so you feel you can go all out.

  21. #21
    Addicted to Adrenaline LevesqueIsKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coqui View Post
    I tell my spotter never to touch the bar unless it's going back down.

    That being said, pschologically you might do better with him there because you actually do have a spotter so you feel you can go all out.
    I definetly agree with this. I have found myself many times in a situation where I am on the fourth rep of five and barely get it up and am just too worried that I might not be able to get a fifth up so I rack it up early. Having a spotter helps me to focus all my energy on benching.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Howard 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LevesqueIsKing View Post
    I definetly agree with this. I have found myself many times in a situation where I am on the fourth rep of five and barely get it up and am just too worried that I might not be able to get a fifth up so I rack it up early. Having a spotter helps me to focus all my energy on benching.
    Yeah I agree with you. It happens with me all the time. I usually can always push up an extra rep cause I am not paranoid. I have had to slide the weights off my chest before in the gym and it made a huge crashing sound and I was embarassed so now I am paranoid.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DNL View Post
    i never asked for help on the lift-off unless i am maxing out that day (which is may be once every 2 months). my rule of thumb is, if i can't get it off by myself, i don't need to do any. The same goes with DB.
    The angle of the movement is different for the lift off then what you use for the reps. But if you are comfortable lifting off, good enough for you. I will always use someone to help with the lift off, especially on heavy bench, if someone is available. Too much shoulder in the lift off for my liking.

  24. #24
    Senior Member KoolDrew's Avatar
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    I hate when people touch the bar when I don't want/need them to. The other day I was doing my last set for bench and I asked a guy next to me in the gym to spot me. He did exactly what you said your dad did - he had his hands on the bar going down even on my first rep and it ruined my whole set. Next time I ask some random person to spot, I'll definitely make it clear that I don't want them to touch the bar unless I absolutely cannot get it up.

    That being said, pschologically you might do better with him there because you actually do have a spotter so you feel you can go all out.
    This is exactly why have a spotter. I can just concentrate on the benching and not the thought of not being able to get the bar back up.
    Last edited by KoolDrew; 04-01-2007 at 07:03 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member vrizzle's Avatar
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    My team is known for being, well, enthusiastic. Yelling, cheering, slapping, the works. After being around it for such a long time it just sort of tunes out automatically. Well one time I was benching and my spotter leans in and starts "encouraging" and spits into, not only my face, but my eye, right on the cornea. I've actually lost count of how many times I've been spit on. The thing about it is, these are all different spotters. Come to think of it I've had my fair share of getting spat on during squats too, during chalking, slapping, yelling 2" from my face. Like I said I've gotten used to it (yelling, n blah, blah, blah), but the spitting is annoying as hell.

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