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I got so far that I should stand to the side of the head of the bencher, but how exactly am I supposed to the rerack the bench in case it gets stuck? Should I try to do a deadlift or a bicep curl or what?

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  • You're spotting on one side of the bench, I'm assuming there's someone else at the other side? Or are you spotting alone from behind (above?) the person's head? Or are you the one being spotted? The question is not very clear.
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 15:15
  • I got confused, check now @Luciano
    – Babu
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 15:33

1 Answer 1

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Assuming you are the only spotter:

  1. Ask the lifter how they expect to be spotted. Some want lift-offs; some don't. Some are going for 1RM tests; some are going for 8RM tests. Some only want a little help if they fail; some don't care if you pull the entire bar off.
  2. Stand behind the bench, but somewhat out of the way while the lifter moves in to position. Some people like to swing out behind the bar to get in to position, so it's best to just stand back and let them set up.
  3. If there is a lift off, stand over the bar. You will most likely be standing directly over their head, but that's just how it is. Grab the bar in your most comfortable grip. On countdown (which should be discussed in step #1), shrug the bar off the pins. Only lift as much as the lifter needs to move off the pins. The lifter needs to perform most of the work so that they remain tight.
  4. Stand ready to grab the bar in case they need it.
  5. Do not touch the bar until the bar starts going down during the lifting phase of the bench press, or until the lifter tells you he or she is done.
  6. If the lifter fails, then grab the bar and shrug the bar back up in to the locked position. Again, help only a little or a lot depending on how they asked in step #1.
  7. Once back in the locked position, pull the bar back on to the pins.

99% of the time when someone fails a bench, they only slightly fail. So you don't have to be able to lift the entire weight. You both should be able to work together to get the weight back up on to the pins.

On very rare occasions, a lifter could get injured during the lift in which case it may be on you to lift the entire weight. If you can't then you may have to shout for someone else to come help. If not, you can move to the side and try to flip the bar off. I wouldn't worry about this happening though.

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