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Impact of Spotter Sex on One Repetition Maximum Bench Press Performance

Nickerson, Brett S.1; Salinas, Gilberto2; Garza, Jessica M.2; Cho, Seongkwan1; Snarr, Ronald L.3

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: April 23, 2019 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003156
Original Research: PDF Only

Nickerson, BS, Salinas, G, Garza, JM, Cho, S, and Snarr, RL. Impact of spotter sex on one repetition maximum bench press performance. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2019—Resistance exercise is popular because of favorable health outcomes associated with increased muscular fitness. For these reasons, 1 repetition maximum (1RM), mean velocity (MV), and peak power (PP) are of interest during the bench press. However, research has yet to evaluate whether spotter sex impacts bench press performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the impact of spotter sex on bench press performance during a 1RM testing protocol. Twenty resistance-trained individuals (10 men and 10 women) visited the laboratory on 2 separate occasions. Estimated 1RM was self-reported by subjects before the 1RM protocol. During their visits, subjects had their 1RM (kg), MV (m·s−1), and PP (W) determined on a bench press 1RM protocol while using a male or female spotter. Deception was used by telling subjects the intent of the study was to determine the reliability of a linear position transducer for measuring MV and PP during the 1RM trials. The main findings revealed that measured 1RM values for male weightlifters were significantly higher than estimated 1RM values when using both a male (p = 0.01) and female spotter (p < 0.01). In addition, results revealed MV and PP were significantly higher for the 1RM trials when male weightlifters had a male spotter (both p < 0.01). Alternatively, there were no significant differences in estimated vs. measured 1RM values for women as well as no effect of spotter sex on bench press strength (all p > 0.05). Practitioners should note that sex of a spotter does not seem to impact measured 1RM. However, notable influences may be observed within MV and PP.

1College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas;

2Department of Psychology and Communication, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas; and

3Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia

Address correspondence to Brett S. Nickerson,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.