WATCH: How to Properly Do a Bench Press Lift-Off

TAGS: J-hook, bench press lift-off, lift off, spotter, coaching, injury prevention, powerlifting, dave tate, bench press, training, Video

COACH

If there’s one thing that pisses Dave Tate off (and there are several things that do), it’s when lifters don’t properly lift-off their bench press.

Ideally, the spotter holds the bar and presses it down against the J-hook as the lifter starts to set up. If a spotter doesn’t do that, the bar will roll around before the lifter takes it out. When the lifter slides out from beneath the bar, the spotter must be quick to get back into position.

That position also ensures that the spotter doesn’t go near the lifter’s hands and avoids obstructing their view — all while making sure the bar is pressed against the J-hook.

"When you lift off, you obviously don’t want to put your nuts in their face. That’s annoying as fuck, too."

Dave says that when you lift off, the lifter should take the majority of the load, while the spotter should be doing 60 percent or more for a smooth hand-off. Be sure to let go slowly. Don’t just hand the bar off and let go. It’ll screw up the lift, and someone could get hurt. As a spotter, your part of your job is to prevent injury. Don’t end up being the cause of one.

Being close to the lifter doesn’t cut it. This is training, not a meet. Have your hands lightly on the bar the whole time.

"These people that say shit like, 'Don’t touch the bar' can go fuck off. I’d rather touch the bar than have someone bust their fucking teeth out. I’ve seen it happen before. I’m not telling you to help them; you don’t do that unless you need it. But you’re right there because shit can happen."

Don’t let shit happen. Be a good spotter with a proper lift-off.

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