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How does spotting help your weight training workout?

Updated on April 4, 2011

Spotting becomes very important as you keep increasing the poundage while training or lifting weights. Why? Just so that you don’t get crushed by the weight if something goes wrong, i.e. loss of strength, fatigue, etc. If you are using a Power Rack or a Smith Machine, you might not require a spotter but still it is always safe to have someone around. You never know. One of my friends was once using a Smith Machine and benching 170 lbs and on his 15th rep, his arms gave and it came down hard on his chest. Thankfully there were others in the gym who helped him; therefore, nowadays he always make sure that he either have a spotter or that someone is in the gym close by.

Now as you asked isn’t it is really necessary to increase poundage (weights) to grow bigger? What to do when there is no one in the gym to spot for you? How would your weighttraining go then? How you will increase weights then?

Again, in order to increase your strength and therefore mass, you need to apply progressive overload. Meaning that, you should increase the amount or weight or reps/sets that you are currently doing so that your body responds to the change and alternately grows muscle to compensate for the weight.

Importance of spotting while weight training
Importance of spotting while weight training | Source

If you are using a smith machine while doing exercises that is good, as it provides with a bit more safety and you can only press on your strongest range of motion. Meaning, you never bring the weight all the way down but like the last 2-3 inches of reach, safer and more effective.

If there is no one to spot for you, then the alternate way would be to increase either reps/sets, but that should only be for that particular workout where you don’t have anyone else to spot for you. Normally after every couple of workouts, you should be increasing the weight or else your workouts are useless.

Or you can use a Smith Machine, much safer and usually if there are people around in the gym in case trouble strikes.

But really, don't worry too much about spotting, etc. if you are just starting out. Get out there, have fun and see your muscles start to bulge. There's no better feeling then seeing your chest come out, biceps bulging, stomach getting flatter, the ladies tend to take notice. Also, you will personally experience improved health and high fitness level.


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    • mquee profile image

      mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

      You make a very valid and excellent point regarding having a spotter. I know of several people sustaining serious injuries because they did not use a spotter. Several years ago, a fireman here was doing the bench press using 300 pounds. The weight came down on his throat and killed him. Very good hub, rated up and useful!