I'm in the gym today, and one of the college kids that I train, Matt, is squatting. He's going for a new max, 520 pounds. My son is on the left side of Matt, spotting, and I am on the right side of Matt. He is squatting inside of the spotter racks. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy stop to watch. He'd been box squatting next to us. That's cool, he's watching a big squat attempt, that happens all the time.
But I see him getting closer and closer to Matt, and I'm thinking, please don't step in to spot from behind, please. But here he comes, and he puts his arms under Matt's chest, which I hate with a passion. He's not touching him, but he is close to touching him. I hate that type of spot because invariably, the squatter has a little trouble and the spotter touches them too soon, or he lifts them up, causing the squatter to lose control and perhaps drop the bar. Matt gets to the halfway point of the squat and I just know this guy is gonna touch him. The squat just slowed down a tiny bit, but I knew Matt was gonna get it. And if he wasn't gonna get it, I would have yelled, TAKE IT! But I didn't. Because he was gonna complete the lift.
The guy's hands are getting closer to touching Matt. Instinctively, I slapped his hand off of Matt. IF HE TOUCHES HIM, THE LIFT DOESN'T COUNT AND MATT IS SCREWED. He will be mentally in the dumps for who knows how long. Because it is important to him, this is planned, this is a big deal, it's not something he just decided to do, he is a trained athlete and although folks , normal folks, may not think that its a big deal, it is for Matt, because he's a lifter, not a part time "guy".
Any way, we have the racks set to spot him , and we have two side spotters, we are good, all good. If I needed someone to come over and screw up the lift, I would have asked someone to come over and screw up the lift. I did not. Matt completed the lift, just as I knew he would.
Anyway, I apologized immediately for slapping the unwanted spotter , and I tried to explain that if he touched Matt, the lift would not count. He said to me that if something happened to Matt, he wouldn't be able to live with himself. HUH? He doesn't even know Matt, who could be a serial killer for all he knew, or a fentanyl dealer for all he knew. Or an anti gunner, which is wise than the other two things, by far. I hate when people don't "get it". The same guy walked in front of my son as he was about to deadlift. That is a big no-no. Weight room etiquette and all. There should be a class for people to take before they are allowed in the gym. You know, like putting your weights back. How can someone have a bar all loaded up and then just be done and leave it? Oh, and the person who takes like 3 kettle bells , and 6 dumbbells and goes of into a corner and does a P90x workout. Nah, nobody needs those implements to train with, it is all you. This is your place. And some axioms, tried and true, need to be taught, like if the spotter touches the bar or the person, the lift does not count. It is like pushing the runner over the finish line. You didn't do it. It's all about the etiquette, man. There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be taught, but today was a good one: Don't spot where you ain't wanted.