Working Out Without a Spotter

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bound4beauty
bound4beauty Posts: 274 Member
I go to a gym to work out but I work out alone. As I increase the weight I'm lifting, I worry more about lifting to failure and having nobody to assist. I mean there are people around, mostly high school age boys, and I could yell for help but geez that's embarrassing. Does anyone else have this issue and if so, what have you done to overcome it?

Replies

  • neandermagnon
    neandermagnon Posts: 7,436 Member
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    I'm planning to build my own squat rack

    I work out at home and the larger plates that I have are made of rubber, so they won't break if I drop the weight (I've had to a couple of times on squats) I also use bedside tables to put the barbell on to get under it for squats. They're not tall enough so I have to do a half a rep of squats before and after each set but the way I see it in the long term that'll make me stronger.

    If you're in a gym, I'd suggest finding if there's someone who can spot you if they don't have a squat rack. I'm not sure how the gym etiquette works I presume normally people just ask others to spot for them.
  • bound4beauty
    bound4beauty Posts: 274 Member
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    They have a squat rack but I'm still more comfortable with someone spotting me with chest press and overhead lifts. I guess I'm just used to always working out with a trainer. The boys in the gym all have ear buds in and I don't really want to ask them to come over and spot an old lady :) Maybe it won't be an issue.
  • jstout365
    jstout365 Posts: 1,686 Member
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    You have a few options.

    1.) Always lift in a squat rack or preferably in a power rack. They are designed to have the safety catches. I prefer the power rack because I am short and I squat deep, so deep that I have to step out of the squat rack because I can't go to depth in it without hitting the safety sides. You can use the power rack for squats, OHP, and bench press. Set the safety bars to just below your squat level for squat and just above your chest for the bench press. If you fail a rep, the weight will be caught for you.

    2.) Learn how to roll out of a failed bench press. That way if you do get in trouble, you know what to do and have less fear.

    3.) Suck it up and call for help. Being embarrassed for a few minutes is better than seriously hurting yourself.

    4.) Ask someone to spot for you BEFORE your set. Having a spotter can increase your confidence and take fear out of the equation.

    5.) Recognize what it feels like when you know you can't get the next rep and then stop with the set.

    Missing a rep is natural. I've missed a rep and had to call for assistance before. I haven't had to roll, but I know how. I squat in the power rack when available and will even wait if the previous user is almost done. I also know when to not attempt a rep. Bench press and OHP are the two that you can get hurt the most. Not saying that a failed squat isn't dangerous, but if done within the safety equipment, it is less dangerous. Most people will be willing to give you a spot if you ask in between their sets.

    A lot of it comes down to not caring what people think.
  • bumblebums
    bumblebums Posts: 2,181 Member
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    You have a few options.

    1.) Always lift in a squat rack or preferably in a power rack. They are designed to have the safety catches. I prefer the power rack because I am short and I squat deep, so deep that I have to step out of the squat rack because I can't go to depth in it without hitting the safety sides. You can use the power rack for squats, OHP, and bench press. Set the safety bars to just below your squat level for squat and just above your chest for the bench press. If you fail a rep, the weight will be caught for you.

    2.) Learn how to roll out of a failed bench press. That way if you do get in trouble, you know what to do and have less fear.

    3.) Suck it up and call for help. Being embarrassed for a few minutes is better than seriously hurting yourself.

    4.) Ask someone to spot for you BEFORE your set. Having a spotter can increase your confidence and take fear out of the equation.

    5.) Recognize what it feels like when you know you can't get the next rep and then stop with the set.

    Missing a rep is natural. I've missed a rep and had to call for assistance before. I haven't had to roll, but I know how. I squat in the power rack when available and will even wait if the previous user is almost done. I also know when to not attempt a rep. Bench press and OHP are the two that you can get hurt the most. Not saying that a failed squat isn't dangerous, but if done within the safety equipment, it is less dangerous. Most people will be willing to give you a spot if you ask in between their sets.

    A lot of it comes down to not caring what people think.

    All of this.

    The only lift that is dangerous without a spotter, outside of a powerlifting competition, is the bench press. But you can do the bench press quite safely in a power rack, as described in jstout's post. Set the catch pins to just below your (lifted) chest height--the bar will then get caught just above the level of your face, too.

    With the (overhead) press, if the weight is too much for you, you will not be able to lift it in the first place. And if you need a spotter to do so, the weight is too much for you. Ditto for the deadlift.

    Squats: I build up to my training weight gradually, so by the time I am lifting the heaviest weight, I know how I am doing that day and whether I can handle it in sets across. I may not be lifting as much as I could be, but I am never in danger of failing a squat. If I did, I would lean forward and hope to hit the catch pins on the squat rack, but I would rather it didn't come to that.
  • Will_Thrust_For_Candy
    Will_Thrust_For_Candy Posts: 6,109 Member
    Options
    You have a few options.

    1.) Always lift in a squat rack or preferably in a power rack. They are designed to have the safety catches. I prefer the power rack because I am short and I squat deep, so deep that I have to step out of the squat rack because I can't go to depth in it without hitting the safety sides. You can use the power rack for squats, OHP, and bench press. Set the safety bars to just below your squat level for squat and just above your chest for the bench press. If you fail a rep, the weight will be caught for you.

    2.) Learn how to roll out of a failed bench press. That way if you do get in trouble, you know what to do and have less fear.

    3.) Suck it up and call for help. Being embarrassed for a few minutes is better than seriously hurting yourself.

    4.) Ask someone to spot for you BEFORE your set. Having a spotter can increase your confidence and take fear out of the equation.

    5.) Recognize what it feels like when you know you can't get the next rep and then stop with the set.

    Missing a rep is natural. I've missed a rep and had to call for assistance before. I haven't had to roll, but I know how. I squat in the power rack when available and will even wait if the previous user is almost done. I also know when to not attempt a rep. Bench press and OHP are the two that you can get hurt the most. Not saying that a failed squat isn't dangerous, but if done within the safety equipment, it is less dangerous. Most people will be willing to give you a spot if you ask in between their sets.

    A lot of it comes down to not caring what people think.

    All of this.

    The only lift that is dangerous without a spotter, outside of a powerlifting competition, is the bench press. But you can do the bench press quite safely in a power rack, as described in jstout's post. Set the catch pins to just below your (lifted) chest height--the bar will then get caught just above the level of your face, too.

    With the (overhead) press, if the weight is too much for you, you will not be able to lift it in the first place. And if you need a spotter to do so, the weight is too much for you. Ditto for the deadlift.

    Squats: I build up to my training weight gradually, so by the time I am lifting the heaviest weight, I know how I am doing that day and whether I can handle it in sets across. I may not be lifting as much as I could be, but I am never in danger of failing a squat. If I did, I would lean forward and hope to hit the catch pins on the squat rack, but I would rather it didn't come to that.

    This advice is all bang on. I workout alone in my basement with a power rack and I have never had an issue.