How to Not Kill Yourself In the Gym
By C.J. Murphy
I can think of two lifts that do not under any circumstances require a spot as they are as Alwyn Cosgrove says, self-correcting.
They are the press and the front squat.
The press should be pretty easy to understand right? How do you spot an overhead press (standing)? You don’t as the now viral Instagram video shows.
If you try and spot a lifter who is pressing a weight overhead you are asking for trouble. It is self-correcting in that if you miss a press you either DROP it, or just bring it down to the rack position.
I imagine if you were to try and spot it you would need two really strong really tall people to stand on boxes that were high enough to snatch the bar away from the lifter if they got in trouble and return it to the racks for them without falling over themselves.
This should be common sense right?
I see people all the time pushing up on peoples elbows to spot them or trying to grab the bar and I just shake my head.
Here is some simple advice on the press: you do not need spotters. It corrects itself. If you are about to miss the weight simply drop it to the rack position (at your chest) or drop it on the floor and get out of the way. The easiest way to see how to do this is to watch a few videos of good weightlifters missing a push press or jerk. They do exactly as I said.
Next up, the Front Squat; another classic self-correcting exercise.
The Front Squat does not require a spot and could be more dangerous with one. As you come out of the hole in the Front Squat you’ll either get it or you won’t. If it isn’t going up, just bail and let it hit the floor.