Page 1 of 1

Benching with and without spotter

Posted: Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:57 pm
by KenDowns
I'm not even sure what I'm trying to ask here, but it might be, does it make any sense that I seem to be able to lift more on a max effort bench without a spotter?

So my bench has bounced around from 210-220# ever since i topped out there almost 4 years ago. I once made 225 and have never again come close.

Two weeks ago I made 205 without a spotter, and then missed 215 with a hand-off. Yesterday I made the 215 without a hand-off. Yes I have been benching a lot for 2 weeks, but there seems to be more going on.

As best as I can figure, when I unrack myself I'm in control so I don't push it too high, keep the shoulder blades clenched, and move it to exactly where I want it. With the hand-off the spotter might not know any of that, and he may pull the bar too high, push it too hard into the wrong position, or "help" in any number of ways that don't help.

Does anybody have experience with this? I assume of course you can simply and politely tell a spotter what you prefer, but it suggests for competition you want a buddy who already knows because he's done it a lot.

Re: Benching with and without spotter

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:52 pm
by Khronos8
My 2cents: Always use a spotter.

I wouldn't even get close to my max without one. I don't go above 365 without a spotter and I'd take a handoff at 135 over doing it myself. I can always do more with a good handoff than unracking it myself. Even with a bad spotter.

But...I've also dropped 305 on my chest from full extension...which may be the reason for my reluctance to go heavy without a spotter.

If you're maxing, you should be pushing the edge of a weight that can staple you. My advice is to never, ever, EVER do this (especially on bench) without a spotter.

But like I said...that's just my 2 cents.

Re: Benching with and without spotter

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:17 pm
by Matt Z
You can unrack to bar yourself if you prefer (I don't), but it's still a good idea to have a spotter standing by in case you get stuck. It can be frustrating when an overzealous spotter puts his hands on the bar or helps when you don't need it, but you can USUALLY solve that problem by clearly explaining what you want.