Often when I am asked to help somebody in the gym because they feel their training has stagnated it doesn’t take long to realise why. Their intensity is off and it is partly due to their training partner’s lack of knowledge! Training partners are the ying to the yang and if they are unable to push you beyond the point of failure, know when to intervene and more importantly how to then it will be extremely hard to ever go beyond your limits. With that said I wanted to outline 3 key areas you as a training partner should focus on, and you can relay these comments to the guy who trains with you as well – even if it is your personal trainer!
The amount of times I have seen people spot somebody from the most obscure of positions amazes me!! This inevitably leads to the premature break down of the set and for you, the end of motor unit and muscle fibre recruitment. Always ensure that you are in a strong position to spot where minimal in-put is required and where you are able to actually make the set more productive, not more dangerous!!
I heard a very funny story which I wanted to share with you. Apparently in a gym a guy was doing squats and needed a spot, so he asked a guy next to him. As he reached the bottom of the squat the guy he had asked to spot him gripped both of his arse cheeks and pushed him up. Even when you look beyond the fact this is highly inappropriate, and very funny I must admit it could have caused a severe lower back injury.
Again, how often do you see a brother getting a better back workout than his mate’s chest workout whilst spotting him on the bench press? Spotting doesn’t mean lifting a weight for the guy, it means adding that 2-3% at the right time where failure is upon your training partner. When I spot my clients or training partner the force I am using wouldn’t push a mouse off a tight rope, it really is minimal! This ensures the persons muscles are still engaged and able to push where they would normally come to a grinding halt!
Don’t take this the wrong way; you don’t need to be upsetting the rest of the gym members using a word beginning with each letter of the alphabet which would only be heard on a X rated 18 movie! However, there are times when you are spotting somebody where aggression is needed! The person needs to hear they can do it, they have more and that their training like ‘’freaking whimp’’ if they decline your encouragement! This is something I really believe in when spotting, giving the person goals then evaluating what they really have left and getting them to that whether they want to or not! This is where the real progress is made!
Next time you’re in the gym implement these techniques and see if you feel as though the workout was more productive, I bet your training partner will think so!
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