Rules Of The Gym - Spotting


I find myself in the gym, standing behind a man lifting two dumbbells. He doesn't know I'm there. He's struggling. 

What do I do?

I decide that I can't just leave him like this, so I decide to 'spot' him. 

Spotting is the art of helping someone lift a weight.

It's helping them to lift a little more than their limit. 

It's helping them to really feel the burn.

Feeling the burn is how you win at the gym. More burn means more win.


 'I'm totally winning right now.'

 'I'm totally winning right now.'

However, at the time I wasn't aware that you have to be asked to spot someone. You can't just sneak up behind them, and start lifting the weight with them.

Imagine if in the film Ghost, uninvited, Patrick Swayze had snuck up behind Demi Moore to fondle her messy clay pot.

 'Let me help you with that.'

 'Let me help you with that.'

Naturally the guy jumps a bit, puts the weights down, and awkwardly asks 'can I help you?'

'I was spotting you,' I tell him.


Things are now just plain weird. I realise I'm in the wrong.

The rest of the gym goers are looking at us.

'I'm okay,' he says finally.

And I go back to my routine, red-faced.

The next time I see him, we're both in the changing rooms. 

I think about trying to explain myself, but there's something about the way he's avoiding eye contact, and rushing to change his clothes which makes me decide against it. 

Lesson learned.