Strength Training Without a Spotter

I will be the first to admit that strength training without a spotter is not the brightest idea. However I believe there are a few times that lifting without a spotter is okay. Before I dive into these times, let me re-iterate that most of the time I believe you should strength train with a friend or personal trainer. Safety is always key :)

Below are a few times that I believe strength training without a spotter is an okay option. Most people reading this site are not lifting huge amounts of weights nor are they competing in a competition. If your goal is general fat loss and fitness health, then follow the guidelines below for some additional strength training clarity.

Strength Training Without a Spotter Is Okay When… you are not lifting an amount close to your 1RM. In other words if you are lifting weight for 8-12 reps then you should be okay. Use your judgment and always use perfect form.

Strength Training Without a Spotter Is Okay When… you are very, very experienced lifting weights. Again if you are lifting very heavy weights or anything close to your 1RM then you SHOULD have a spotter.

Strength Training Without a Spotter Is Okay When… you are performing body weight exercises. If you are doing pull ups, chin ups, crunches, squats without weights, or push ups then a spotter is not necessary.

Strength Training Without a Spotter Is Okay When… you are working on endurance. This means that you are lifting a lighter weight for more reps. You typically will not reach extreme fatigue like you will doing 1-4 reps per set. Endurance strength training usually consists of reps higher than 15 reps per set.


Strength Training Without a Spotter is NOT Okay When…

  1. You are performing a strength training set with 6 or fewer reps.
  2. You are lifting for power, strength or muscle mass.
  3. You are in a position where you feel weak or unsupported.
  4. You are brand new to strength training and have no idea what proper form means.

All in all, I recommend strength training WITH a spotter as much as possible. But I do realize some of you workout from home . I also realize some people do not like this whole spotter idea. Ultimately it is your choice. Your choice of strength training without a spotter or with a spotter should be based on safety!

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