Is a Weight Lifting Spotter Necessary For Significant Muscle Growth?

One of the most important bodybuilding concepts for maximum muscle gain is failure, where a bodybuilder takes a certain weight training exercise to the point where no further repetitions are possible, and this requires some form of spotting on several exercises, especially those involving the chest and legs, so many choose to enlist the help of a weight training partner so that they can always have a safety mechanism to protect against injury.

Even bodybuilders who otherwise prefer performing bodybuilding workout sessions alone decide to locate a partner specifically to protect themselves when reaching failure on certain weight training exercises, and for those who cannot find a companion for such a purpose, they will soon join a gym and interrupt other busy weight lifters to offer a spot during certain sets, which is not only frustrating to any bodybuilder who seeks to complete a workout without distraction, but in reality, finding such a spotter is not always easy depending on type of gym. Although there are some bodybuilders who can locate trustworthy weight training partners to accompany them for every workout, the chances are far greater that this will prove impossible, leaving either the random spotter technique (asking various gym members for help), which as mentioned is quite rude and distracting to others, or requires the use of machines exclusively, which naturally prevents the need for all spotting.

But what if a bodybuilder wishes to train with free weights on workout exercises such as the shoulder press, and wishes to perform these specific weight training movements alone, without the benefit of a partner? This is easily doable through use of a power rack, where two beams allow positioning at a variety of locations to guard a bodybuilder from becoming trapped underneath a heavy weight during his or her workout session. Since a power rack has adjustable spotting bars, the unit is not only useful for upper body weight training exercises such as the shoulder press, but also for the calf raise and squat, lower body movements which many wish to perform with a free weight barbell as opposed to machines.

Some opt for a squat rack instead of a power rack, and this is a serious mistake given that the spotting beams offered by a power rack are designed specifically to serve as a protective mechanism in case a bodybuilder loses control of the barbell, while a squat rack does not allow this heightened level of protection. With a power rack, spotting is easily doable without the aid of a partner, as you can place the bar on a small set of pegs to begin the exercise, and the large, long spotting beams are positioned lower for total protection during each weight lifting set. Many gyms offer power racks, although some may only invest in one, and bodybuilders who understand the value of this particular piece of workout equipment will quickly monopolize the device, which requires those who also seek benefit to either “work in” (which is extremely inconvenient unless both bodybuilders are using identical workout exercises and weight, which almost will never occur), or wait until the power rack is no longer occupied, which is wasteful if you are on a schedule (and others may then ask you to “work in” as well!). So, if you have sufficient space at home, purchasing a power rack for your basement or home workout room is a superior alternative, as utilizing a power rack along with a workout bench, barbell, two dumbbell collars and free weight plates, dramatic muscle gain is possible at home, alone, as you will achieve failure safely on all weight training workout exercises without need for a spotter.

The other issue with attempting to find a weight training partner to spot during heavy bench pressing and other similar workout exercises is that, unless you train with an army of numerous extremely strong bodybuilders, it’s quite possible to become trapped underneath a weight even when a spotter is watching, as reaching failure, by its very definition, requires that you can no longer muster the energy to complete a repetition, and for any spotter to lift dead weight from a standing position is extremely dangerous and difficult, to the point where the spotter may be unable to help you avoid becoming stuck underneath a barbell as your energy reserves decline during a workout set. Yet with a power rack, this is not an issue, as you adjust the spotting beams to a location where the barbell cannot cause you to become trapped underneath, regardless of how monstrous a weight you may be using for your bodybuilding workout session, so I firmly recommend, even if you train with a trustworthy and very strong partner, to always rely on a power rack for spotting during all pressing exercises so that you can ensure a high level of safety and maximum intensity without needlessly risking a severe and dangerous mishap.

Source by Francesco A. Castano

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