5 Traits Your Forced Reps Gym Partner Should Have

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Force reps are a great way to push your strength to the max when lifting weights. But to do so, you will need to find yourself a good spotter, otherwise you could be wasting your time. Or even worse, face injury.

Not sure what a forced rep is?


How to force rep

Exercise for examples sake: bench press

  • You can lift 100kg at 6 reps to failure
  • Get your spotter ready and push that to 8-10 reps to failure.
  • If you are able to manage that, then it’s time to increase the weight a little. Lets say 110kg
  • You’ll probably manage to lift 6-8 reps at this weight (Still using your spotter)
  • Now if you manage to keep this up, you may soon find that you are able to lift up to 125kg at 6 reps.

Assertive (Confidently Aggressive)

You have two typical types of bodybuilder out there

  1. The loud mouth ‘in-your-face’ confident brute
  2. The smooth talking, reassuring (possibly Tony Horton type)

Both will fit the job description when looking for a good spotter. The main reasons?

  1. Positive
  2. Motivating
  3. Say it how it is
  4. Know what they are doing and understands the ‘always a way to improve mindset’
  5. Will bully you into the right direction when you are failing at something

If your spotter doesn’t have any of those traits then fire them. A spotter without those traits will watch you slip up and fail, and could possibly be the cause of injury, for either one of you. In fact, you should take up some of those traits yourself. Hire slow, fire fast!

Goal Driven (Your drive or better!)

This is the exact same trait you want in a gym partner. It just makes the whole bodybuilding experience that much better if this person has the same drive as you do to get ripped. Imagine being with a person who has mediocre drive, and who has no ‘roar’ in their attitude every time you decide up the ‘motivation’ ante. SUCKS!

Those people are out their… in large numbers unfortunately. Avoid them like the plague!

Anyhow, your ideal spotter will need to have the same goals as you. The train insane mentality. You will then find that both of your motivations will rub off on each other.

Ying and Yang

Possesses Real strength

If he/ she does not have any backbone to their muscles, then how do expect to be saved from situations such as these….

We’ve all had a good chuckle at these types of videos, especially on the internet (Break.com to the more universally known Youtube.com) and I too like to have a laugh at the expense of someone else’s misfortune. But being on the receiving end really is no fun! Whose laughing now?

This is the reason why you need to make sure you have a strong spotter.

Someone Who Knows Your Strength

Now, we all know the classic spotter scenario. If not, let Beavis and Butt Head play it out for you

Beavis: ” (Counts) 5, 6, 7 reps. Butthead… spot me, spot, me”

Butthead: ” Gotcha ”


Sorry for interrupting the play here, but it is at this point where your spotter can help you succeed or fail when performing forced reps. You see, the idea here is that Beavis will push as much weight as he can before he can no longer push with his current strength. And the idea here is to help Beavis use the remaining incy wincy bit of strength that he does have left to push the rest of the weight… with the help of a spotter (Butthead).

The two scenarios from here on

1. Beavis screams too early, and does not use his maximum strength (Lazy bastard is not training insane)

2. Beavis screams very late towards the final reps of the set and Butthead has to almost take over entirely (The reason why you need to have a strong spotter).

If that first scenario just reminded you of yourself (You know who you are) then stop being a lazy bastard! Start training insane dammit. Up your ante! Besides, you are hampering your ability to progress and build muscle, as you will be pushing the bar… but with the help of another. NOT GOOD!

If you are familiar with scenario two… GOOD! If so, you would have most likely faced a near death experience and may have possibly been the misfortunate who got laughed at with a weighted bar on your neck (Youtube style).

If that is the case, you will need to find someone who,

1. Is strong (Stronger than you)

2. Knows your strength

If they know your strength and attitude, they will know what to expect in those last few reps and won’t be too surprised when you finally fatigue. But most importantly you can avoid any embarrassing scenarios and end up on the web for the wrong reasons.

Good Sense of Judgment and Character

You know you have a good spotter when…

  • They can tell if you are a rookie and know when to say NO, when you ask for a spot! They will tell you that you are a lazy F&*%$, and will tell you to up your game.
  • They will tell you to go home and workout alone for a while, get strong and only used forced reps once you are a more established bodybuilder.
  • They always look for ways to improve things
  • They only spot you a little, and in some way will make you feel like they are doing a crap job. If so, good! They aren’t suppose to be doing all the work… You are!

Back to the Bodybuilding Map

I keep going back to this in numerous articles and the reason is the same every time. You need to find what works for you. We all have different body types, different goals, likes and dislikes. This is no different when finding a good spotter. Some of you might like a straight and out right brute of a spotter, while others may like a cool, calm and collected type of spotter. Which ever it is, the spotter should still possess the above traits. If you do find a good spotter, make sure you keep them on speed dial, because they aren’t easy to find (Kind of like that special love ;))

If you do find a good one, you will be well on your way to achieving and maintaining great bodybuilding gains for some time to come.

See you in the comments.

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