Hey Miz. I know you are a big weight lifter and I had a story I wanted to share and also ask you about. I was at the gym the other morning and a guy asked me if I could spot him (Im a woman. I also was pretty flattered because I must look stronger than I think!). I said no because I wasnt entirely sure what to do. How do I know how to spot someone.
First, thanks for calling me a big weight lifter.
I’ve no idea what you intended by phrase and am taking it as a tremendous compliment (*flexes Seussian quadriceps*).
And back ‘atcha.
I’d imagine that you appear both strong and as if you know your way around the iron (which we all know is a fake it till ya make it game) if someone asked you to spot them!
Now to your question:
Spotting is, essentially, when you assist another person during an exercise.
The point of using a spotter or a helper is that the lifter is then able to hoist or push more than she could do safely on her own.
Technically (fingerquote) proper (unFQ) spotting involves knowing when to jump in & offer a little help *during* the lift and when to JUMP IN, grab the weights and help the lifter set them down/rerack them due to fatigue (theirs. not yours. poor sentence structure.)
In my experience, *good* spotting works in the same manner as a placebo effect.
I know when Im struggling on a final repetition or two, if Ren Man just APPEARS as though he’s going to assist me it’s enough to get this stubborn ole broad me to push through a few more reps.
(wait, is that placebo effect or my being a ornery? not sure…but you get my point.)
The mere suggestion of help is often times enough to assist the lifter to push through a perceived plateau.
It’s also crucial, in my opinion, that in order to safely spot that the spotter has enough strength to be able to CONTROL the weight if the lifter bails, errr, fails.
Notice I said control.
I do spot Ren Man and, while I cant lift the same weights as he, I can help him to control the dumbbell or barbell if his strength suddenly fails.
Now, all that said, spotting is a highly personal thing. Almost like this.
People like to be spotted in different ways (“help me at the elbows” “grab my forearms”) and in different manners (”let me get thisclose to failing” “jump in as soon as I appear to struggle in any fashion!”).
For that reason and because Im always in a freakin hurry as the Tornado is forever clamoring to get OUT of the gym daycare I rarely say yes to strangers when asked to give them a spot.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of “ditching the guilt” since your guest post ages ago. Not in a good way. I enjoyed the post but then felt worse because I havent been successful at doing it. It just isn’t as easy for me as deciding I’m not going to feel guilty any more. I still feel guilty. Any tips or am I just weak?
And her partner-in-crime, BFF: Shame.
This is a tough one, I think, for all of us.
Even if we now claim to roll pretty much guilt-free none of us started out that way.
Or very, very few of us anyway (FabKate? You reading? You *know* Im looking forward to your opinion here).
Me? I come from a background where guilt is stereotypically our forte.
There are enough Jewish-guilt jokes to fill volumes of books (and movies. You seen Mother? I highly recommend it—Jewish or not) yet I know that we, Jews, definitely don’t have the market cornered on this one.
Me? I think Ive finally aged to a point where I live pretty guilt-free.
I live 100% guilt-free when it comes to food & exercise and, when I feel guilty in other aspects of my life, 99.9% of the time it’s my conscience telling me that I acted in a manner which didnt mesh with my self-definition or personal mission statement.
Healthy guilt lets us know that, in fact, we have done something hurtful or unkind.
BOTTOM LINE: All I can do, oh emailer of ours, is let you know the steps *I* took toward guilt-free living & hope that they spark an ah ha! moment for you as well.
That they might cause you to realized what will work for *you* with regards to releasing the guilt as Ive found, like with exercise & diet, no two paths are precisely the same.
*PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (yep. that’s why I chose it as my theme for the entire year.): It was only when I started to own my actions (& realized whatever I did was a choice and not an accident) was I able to assume responsibility over my life. This idea, as Ive said before, is entirely freeing for me. I control my destiny for the majority of events in my life!
*REALIZING IM HUMAN Before I was able to live without feeling guilty about every damn
thing— it was crucial for me to acknowledge I felt guilt because what I’d done wasn’t in alignment with how I saw myself/ didnt help me grow closer to achieving my goals. Once I realized that and was able to love myself anyway I was on my way…
*FORGIVE MYSELF Two simple words and yet so tough to do. When we feel guilty about something we essentially wish we’d made a different choice/feel emotionally ‘bad’ about the choice we made. I needed to learn it was ok to forgive myself. It isn’t that I no longer *acknowledge* the fact I wish I’d behaved differently in certain situations—I just morphed from GUILT (which to me is self-punishing) to REGRET (which to me is a feeling/emotion I can learn from).
I now forgive myself, learn from my actions, & try to move forward. Which brings me to…
*MOVE FORWARD I realized if I didnt release the baggage of guilt I‘d be stuck in the same place with regards to personal growth for quite a while. Not only does guilt bring along the sidekick of shame– but the two hanging out together result in that general malaise we all know as low self-esteem/low self-worth. Remember when we talked about how to take a compliment? Do you struggle with that? Are you one who oft carries around guilt-baggage, too? I thought so…
Ok, my faithful reading Peeps.
Ive rambled at you enough for one day.
Here’s where I look to you to take over the reallyrandomreigns of today.
From spotting (do you offer? do you use one? are you like I am and avoid spotting strangers at all costs?) to losing the guilt which can feel like an inevitable part of being human—please to chime in & hit us all up in the comments.