Responsibilities of the Lifter

For manual resistance to be safe and effective, the lifter must assume some responsibilities during the execution of each repetition. These responsibilities include the following five rules:

1. Communication with the spotter is essential. Total cooperation and coordination between the lifter and the spotter are essential. For maximum gains and safety you may have to tell the spotter how to provide more resistance. Cooperation with the spotter is needed for smooth and even resistance.

2. Keep tension on the muscles. The relief of tension for just an instant will allow the muscle to momentarily rest, and make the exercise less productive.

3. Pause momentarily in the contracted position. The lifter should hold the contracted position momentarily during the execution of each repetition. If the lifter does not hold this position momentarily, they will not maximally develop the muscle at each point during that range of motion. Secondly the lifter can lower more resistance then they can raise, they need to give the spotter ample time to begin applying more resistance during the transition from the raising phase of the exercise to the lowering phase. A good guide to follow would be a 1001 count. If the lifter does not concentrate on pausing in the contracted position of any exercise, there will be a bouncing effect or recoil from the raising to the lowering.

4. Exert an all-out effort. A submaximal effort will produce submaximal results. The lifter must work as hard as possible if maximum gains to be obtained. If the lifter exerts an all out effort and the training partner applies the manual resistance correctly, the lifter will be assured of obtaining maximum benefits.

5. Allow only four seconds for the lowering phase. The lifter can lower more resistance than they can raise. During the lowering phase of some exercises, the lifter may be capable of exerting more force then the spotter can apply during the first few reps. The lifter must cooperate with the spotter and perform the lowering phase of the exercise evenly and smoothly, allowing only four seconds to complete the negative phase of the exercise. During the negative phase of some exercises the lifter could stop at any point, if they desired, and hold that position, not allowing the spotter to push them down. This could invite injury and make the exercise less effective. Eventually the spotter will become capable of applying more than enough resistance during the lowering phase. Until this point is reached, then exerciser must cooperate with the spotter during the lowering phase


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