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The art of the Spot

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  • The art of the Spot

    The art of the 'spot'.

    Firstly a little background of the Spot

    What is the 'spot'?

    Spot or Spotting is the term used by people who would like some assistance when moving: Big/Small/Short/Long/Heavy objects.

    Why do people ask for a spot?

    There are numerous reasons for asking for a spot. It offers some relief that you won't end up in A&E with a barbell up your ar$e. You won't have a face resembling the Elephant man after a 50kg Dumbbell slaps you across the chops. You can achieve 1 or 2 reps more than you could of: (that's if you don't have a pair of kahunas to push through pain) and it also induces the phenomenon known as: "The Woa Fck Me Influx."

    What is the "The Woa Fck Me Influx."?

    This phenomenon (or some say Urban Myth) is best explained with an example: Alan is a kind soul. He is fair haired, medium height and has a reasonable stature alluring to most women. He one day decides to Bench 140kg for reps. Alan, a little disturbed by the sheer scale of what he is about to achieve (greatness) asks Jimmy for a 'spot'.
    Alan informs Jimmy he will be attempting between 8-10 reps and that he may need a little assistance with the last few reps.
    Alan takes a deep breath, reciting quotes to himself from Ghandi, Madonna and JFK. Sweat upon his brow, He gains mental focus and lets out a little Yelp: "Yelp". He gets under the bar, he makes sure he is as stiff as the audience watching a Kylie Minogue concert.."3,2,1..YELP" He lowers the weight, Presses it up..SUCCESS..EASY, reps 2,3,4,5,6 follow with relative ease.. THEN REP 7 THE DOOM REP. "JIMMY I'M GOING TO NEED YOUR HELP" Jimmy positions himself, Alan lowers the bar..Jimmy's hands under the bar... Rep 7...Easy..Rep 8 Easy...Rep 9 EASY..REP 10..BOOM..Alan jumps up ecstatic, "How much did you help then Jim?" "Not at all, was all you bro" - "WOA FCK ME you didn't help"
    As you can see, the sight and thought of Jimmy helping gave Alan the mental fortitude to plough through reps as he thought Jimmy was helping.

    How to 'spot' a good 'spotter'.

    The obvious choice here is to look for the rather large chap with arms that you could swing from. HOWEVER there are misconceptions here regarding arm size and muscular size so I will set out a checklist I go through when asking for a spot.(please note this is based on years of experience)
    1. Are they scary looking? If they told you in front of your family that your kids are ugly and you would agree with them: Then this person is a good spotter. (note if they sport a manly lumberjack beard or infact any facial hair that looks powerful(think Ron Jeremy / Ming the Merciless) then they DEFIANTLY are a good spot.)

    2. Have you observed them lifting mighty weights that make you wet the bed? They are a good spotter.

    3. If they are of a muscular disposition, be wary. They may indeed be a great spot and help you with encouraging comments such as, PUSH BRO/COME ON/1 MORE (all comments copyrighted from early 70's Soft porn films). However, if they spend most of their time admiring themselves in the mirror and 'lift for the pump' ( often referred to as grandmother lifting ala soup can curls) whilst pulling faces that resemble trapping your gentlemans sausage in your zip. You MUST avoid these at all costs.
      (You can assume these chaps pleasure themselves with all manners of fruits whilst looking at themselves.Thus become over enthusiastic when helping spot you.)

    4. If they have earphones in and/or a hood up, be prepared for a 'look'. 90% of these chaps do not like to be disturbed, for the gym is their TEMPLE and you do not have the righteousness to touch the steps of their temple. The other 10% are a good spot. I call this the 'Russian Roulette spot'.

    5. Do they belong to the 'Bro Club'. 5 or 6 of these 'bros' will congregate in the squat rack for a leisurely chat inbetween, short ,15minute sets.(interestingly they also hold the secrets to muscular dominance, I'll let you in on one "Nah bro he's only big because of Steroids, Cause Im Natty, I know to build huge triceps, it takes kickbacks and lots of SUPERSETS (remember to add SUPER before words to ensure you authority is un questionable) with rope pushdowns, thats how you build the horseshoe and sculpt the muscle." (thank me later for this gem, I have more) These are not good spots

    6. Do they like to tell you they are natural and remind you of this whenever you see them again? These are not a good spotter.

    7. Do they rave about supplements and the magic of "Biotest Wamboozle 10,000 muscle progainer in 5minutes Zoltan edition"? They are not a good spotter.

    8. Are they Professor/Master Personal Trainer: Do they often tell you or anybody that will listen how best to build muscular fortitude and yet look like a broomhandle? They are not a good spot.


    A QUICK TIP: When joining a new gym, it is often good practice to spend time watching people lift to gauge the above. It is also handy to see if they know of the strange muscles of the: Quadriceps / Hamstring/ Calves. If they do not know what these muscles are, then they should be shot on the spot. A public execution encourages people to learn what these muscles are and fast.

    How to perform a spot and inform somebody how to spot.
    1. Nicely ask Mr Strong for a spot. Inform him of the number of reps you want to perform. Tell him how much you want him to help and how many reps you are aiming for (BE very descriptive here, afterall you are asking for a little assistance, not a free set of row row row the boat gentle down the stream.) Tell them to only use there Index and Middle fingers only. Inform them that you will gasp for help when you need it most, (good gentlemanly conduct here is : Kind Sir could one help thee with a bit more of a lift, which translate rougly as / HELP ME MORE, IM GOING TO DIE)

    2. Make sure you/they are in a good position to spot you from. For example. You do not want the spot to start tea-bagging you and/or a direct view up their shorts when bench pressing. A simply box or any added height for the spotter will ensure this unsportsmanlike behavior never occurs. Or simply stand to the side of their head.

    3. Do not start the spot straight away. ONLY put your Index and Middle fingers under/on the bar when the person either asks or it looks like they are beginning to struggle (this requires common sense). These fingers alone, 80% of the time will be enough, however if they are about to sh!t out their internal organs, you can safely assume they require you to fully grasp the bar and help lift the weight.


    Once finished, tell the lifter how much you helped and when. Shake hands, bow and pat yourself on the back for doing a smashing job.

    NOTE: If you are asked to spot somebody on the deadlift. Run away very fast. It is an invitation for a sexual date. Do not fall into this trap.
    Last edited by martin_h; 09-06-2013, 07:43 AM.

  • #2
    I like that. I hate getting a spot. 80% of them try to help you with your rep. Stay off the bar til it starts going back down. Just had a terrible spot today.

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    • #3
      Ive had numerous good and bad spots. I have always informed people i want as little help as possible and i will say when i need you..yet they still feel the need to take all the weight the moment reps slow down.

      I avtually had a dude teabag me the othrr day..every rep i felt his balls bounce on my forehead. How the fck i got to rep 9 scares me. Can i really be that dedicated and mentally fortified (this is what im telling myself) or was i secretly enjoying it...not serious...i hope

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      • #4
        Hey the Tea Bag spot is the one that you always give the rookies! Just remember that!! And Bro's dont do that to bro's!

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