Can you do a bench press safely without a spotter? Should you?

The bench press is a weightlifting basic. When you’re maxing out your weight on the bar for gains and pushing your limits, a spotter is key. Can you or should you try to do a bench press without a spotter?


Working out is about pushing your limits. Your body responds by building muscle when you ask it to perform in new and challenging ways. This means often pushing for another rep or pushing through fatigue to do another set. It also can mean adding weight. The bench press is one of those exercises that if your arms give out before the bar is securely back in place you can end up on a viral gym fail video.

You can do a bench press without a spotter in a few ways:

  1. Use dumbbells. This way the weight is divided between arms and you don’t risk having the bar land on your chest or throat.
  2. Use a Machine. You can use a Smooth machine or a bench press machine.
  3. There’s this method of setting up a cage inside of a rack. It’s hard to explain so it’d be a good idea for someone to show you. But here’s a link to an article with a video.

Be safe. Don’t be dumb. YOLO and you don’t want to crush your lungs, break your sternum, or look like an ass at the gym.

Get your own cage for your home!

Need a new bench?


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