Will Your Spotter Help You Make Better Gains?

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Try to find a training partner if you don’t already have one. If that fails, don’t hesitate to ask your fellow gym-goers for a spot on your hard sets. Benching to failure with 60% of 1RM loads with spotters visible led to an increase in performance of about 1.5 reps per set across three sets, compared to benching the same weight when spotters were concealed.

Completing more reps with spotters present was accompanied by a larger rise in blood lactate, verifying increased anaerobic fatigue. However, ratings of perceived exertion were actually lower with visible spotters. Self-efficacy was roughly 45% higher when benching with visible spotters. This study demonstrates that using spotters can increase performance, decrease perceived effort, and increase self-efficacy. The effect would likely be even larger with dedicated training partners.

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Presence of Spotters Improves Bench Press Performance: A Deception Study. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002285

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