I knew exactly what he was doing. He was looking for someone else to spot him, which he did. His form was sloppy. Once again, he bounced the bar off his chest.
Why would he do that you may ask? Simple, although I pointed out things, he needed to fix to prevent him from getting injured, he no doubt took it as criticism. This happens when one thinks he or she is right, and becomes subconscious when someone points out their mistakes.
It is easy to do any tasks when one does not think that her or she is being watched. When you think your movements are being scrutinized, you doubt yourself, and it becomes increasingly difficult to complete the task, which is what about in the aforementioned incident.
I had a similar experience but I did not ask for a spotter. The individual wanted to use the bench as well, and asked if he could work in. I went first, and he followed. Every time he finished; he asked if he could add another plate to the bar. We were doing incline bench presses. The weight was up to 155 pounds and I did 6 reps. He followed doing 8 explosive reps.
I told him to keep the weight at 155 and did another 6 reps. He followed with another 8 explosive reps. When he racked the weight, he told me that I had conditioned my mind to only do 6 reps. He also said that I needed to generate more power by lifting the bar faster.
I would have doubted myself if I had not been a seasoned lifter. I was working on strength, which meant lifting heavy. I was explosive on the concentric part of the lift, and because I wanted to cause more muscle breakdown on the eccentric portion of the lift, I lowered it twice as slow. So, when he offered his advice, I merely smile, told him I was done, and left him to finish his set.
It became evident that the guy I offered the advice to was a novice. His sloppy form, and the fact that he looked for someone else to spot him were clear indicators. His actions spoke volume, although he did not utter a word. What he was saying, without speaking, “Don’t tell me what to do!” In fact, he made sure to avoid me while we were in the gym.
On the cusp of becoming a CPT, this is where my dilemma stems from. As I studied the NASM course, the material stressed that a Certified Professional Trainer must protect his or her client from getting injured.
I can hear some of you saying, but the guy was not your client.
Which is true, but if you have knowledge, and you can prevent someone from injuring themselves, are you justified in minding your own business?
Perhaps some can, but I won’t. If he left the gym, and looked up what I told him, in order to validate what he was told, I will never know. I can only hope that he did. If not, his demeanor of “Don’t tell me what to do” will stop when someone is helping him lift the bar off his broken sternum.
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