You don't need a spotter. Use the power rack. The safety bars are your spot. If you can't squat the weight you just set the bar down on the safety bars and crawl out from under it. Same goes for presses. Deadlift you don't need the power rack. You just put it down if you can't lift it. Bench is the only thing you need a spotter for but you can avoid it if you leave one rep in the tank. Or you can just ask someone to spot you. I got started by hiring someone to show me the lifts. It was money well spent most especially so that I could walk in there with confidence.
And Knifegill, whatever happened to your big rock?
You guys are as bad as women can be, you know? I mean come on. Lifting weights isn't all about appearance. It's a healthy thing to do. Mark suggests lifting heavy things as a means to turn on certain gene expressions. Barbells are easier things to lift than other things. He recommends body weight stuff probably because it requires no money or equipment to get started. If you do calisthenics, I think you're doing pretty well, but it's probably not turning on the same gene expression unless you are adding more complicated variations or wrapping chains and weights around yourself.
Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 160 x 2