It’s a mental game

Today was a strength workout and I learned the psychological powers of a spotter.


I didn’t have a particular number in my head, but the workout was:

  • 5×10  back squats
  • 10 ring rows / ME bi-cep curls @20#

I did a build up starting at 95# and then did 125#, 135#, 145# – I got to 10 reps for 145#, which means I was increasing weight for the 5th set.  For the first four sets, I didn’t use a spotter and planned to dump it if I needed to. I saw some people dump over their heads because spotters couldn’t pull them up and elected to dump vs. have a spotter because I had a better chance of dumping it backwards than over my head.

I wasn’t sure how much to increase my weight for the 5th set and as per usual, conferred with Jarrod.  He told me that if I didn’t have a spotter, he didn’t want me to go higher than 150#.  I really wanted 155# – and told him so – and he said that if I got someone to spot me, I could.  So I had my buddy Brian spot me.  I wanted someone that I knew could clean at least 155# because he would be able to lift me up (or give me a “help hug” as Jarrod calls it).  And then I had an Oprah “Aha” moment.

With Brian spotting me, I was able to push through and do 155# with relatively little effort.  I did all 10 reps – which means I could have gone higher.  Without even thinking about it, I was more confident in my reps and wasn’t as prone to bailing early.  It totally helped me do better from a mental perspective.  If no one was spotting me, I might have bailed a bit earlier – but with the confidence that I was being spotted by Brian – I was able to push through and get those last couple of reps .Now that I’ve understood the power of a spotter, Jarrod suggested that I start at a higher weight next time with a spotter on every round.  Can’t wait!  Aha!

And I saw this on Facebook and it’s a good reminder as we kick off 2013.






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