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.