This seems to come up every time I’m on vacation and visiting a new gym to for a workout while catching some RNR. I’ll be in a new gym and won’t know anyone, not a big deal I know what I’m doing and I’m going to get my lift on to look buff on the beach (ok we all do it…don’t judge).
Anyway lets say I need a spot, the two exercises that come to mind for me where it’s most important are the bench press and the squat. Now how do I find someone to give me a good spot at a new gym where I don’t know anyone and certainly can’t tell who knows what they’re doing?!
It’s not as bad on a bench press, maybe you’re spotter helps too much (usually the case) or hopefully not the other option and leaves you languishing with a bar on your chest, but eventually most folks will pull that bar off your person and you can get onto your next set.
Of greater concern for me is the squat, case and point I was front squatting yesterday (gym and beach I am visiting will remain nameless) and needed a spot. You are literally putting yourself at great risk if you are going for a one rep max and don’t know who is spotting you. Make sure that they do, and if in doubt just wait till you’re in an environment where you know who can spot properly and who can’t.
That being said, I found someone to spot me, I had no idea if they knew what they were doing or not and that being the case this was a weight I knew I could handle. Long story short, I explained to said spotter that I was front squatting, at the end of my set – a double, he expressed surprise because he thought I was going to do a push press when I started the lift – the front squat and push press do have a similar start but I explained to said spotter what lift I was doing.
His follow up question to his realization that I was not push pressing (225lb. would have been a great push press), was why do you squat with bar in the front. This person/spotter did not look like a totally green gym newbie (that’s why I asked him for a spot), but obviously didn’t know what he was doing when it came to spotting; so again be careful when you’re not on you’re home turf and don’t know who is spotting you.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!