Unsolicited Advice in the gym

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Replies

  • aloranger7708
    aloranger7708 Posts: 422 Member
    You could also mention something to a personal trainer and have them approach her. She might be more receptive to a trained employee telling her instead of another gym member. That's just my take.
  • AlongCame_Molly
    AlongCame_Molly Posts: 2,835 Member
    When I first started squatting, an older guy approached me and said, "If I may...?" I nodded, and he gave me a pointer on keeping my knees from wobbling to prevent injury. I was very grateful for the advice and I took it.

    If it's delivered in a respectful fashion, you're going to have a very slim chance of offending her. And if the does get butthurt, ohthehellwell. At least you tried.
  • ksuh999
    ksuh999 Posts: 543 Member
    "Excuse me, may I offer some advice? Your body is luscious. May I squeeze your breasts?"

    If yes, then squeeze.

    If no, then let them do it their way.

    That wasn't so hard :)
  • Robin_Bin
    Robin_Bin Posts: 1,083 Member
    "Excuse me, may I offer some advice? It might help you get more out of your workout."

    If yes, then explain.

    If no, then let them do it their way.

    That wasn't so hard :)

    Nicely put!
    That may not be hard for you, but it's obviously difficult for many people to offer in a positive but not-overbearing way.
    And then the other difficult thing is that if the person takes you up on your offer, listens and then seems to ignore the advice.
    Keep in mind that there are many reasons someone might do that -- it's not all about you. :wink:
    In this odd case, she may be following advice from some other "expert". As someone else mentioned, it could be due to an injury or other unusual health condition. You can still offer, but due to those other reasons that you may not be aware of, and which the person may not wish to share,your advice may not apply.
    It's kind of you to offer your time however it turns out.
  • meshashesha2012
    meshashesha2012 Posts: 8,330 Member
    given the description of what's she's doing i wouldnt say anything to her. sounds like she has something specific in mind different than what the OP thinks she should be doing.

    if it's something form related that could lead to an injury then i might ask if it's ok to offer advice. but if it's something related to how i think they can get a better workout or how i think they are wasting their time with their workout then i'd keep my opinion to myself since her workout is her own
  • Briargrey
    Briargrey Posts: 498 Member
    So yeah, under normal circumstances, like someone doing a lift in a potentially dangerous way, I'll echo the already given good advice of asking "hey, can I help you" sort of deal. Someone did that for me the other day in the gym, and I was very grateful, both that she recognized I was doing a lift wrong and could have hurt myself and that she was very respectful in how she approached and asked me.

    But, omg, what you just described?! Yeah...wise choice to just not say anything. Even if she's injured as someone suggested, it makes NO SENSE to me to do the whole bungee cord, high speed, high incline, thing. It would make more sense to lower the incline or do other adaptations. Coupled with the weird sweatsuits and such, I'm guessing she's probably just loony and ill-educated on how to really exercise and thinks she needs bizarre gimmicks. I would, however, let the gym know. Let them know what times she is there, what she does, etc. That way, they can choose to handle it or not. Maybe there really is a good reason for it, and that's obviously none of our business (though, DAMN, am I curious), but the gym has a legitimate right to ask since it's their liability and she is using the equipment in an unrecommended, non-standard way.
  • I'd speak up. Phrase it in a caring manner as people have suggested and then if they take any offence, it says more about them than it does you - and certainly bears no comment on the validity of your well-intended action.
  • mrsroseblack
    mrsroseblack Posts: 45 Member
    There are so many ways that a person could take it. Even if you mean well. Are there workers at the gym who you can maybe use as a messenger? That sounds so sneaky, but I remember when I was a member of a gym (long time ago) there were workers who would go around and make sure people who using the machines correctly. Sometimes they would give little tips too. If that isn't an option. Use your best judgement. But be prepared for people to not take it well if you do decide to say something. I think if you phrase it in the right way, most people would be appreciative if it's something that could potentially injure them. Well, I would. I can't speak for others of course.

    Definitely this. If I were her, even if I would have liked the help, it would still humiliate me if a man walked up and told me I was lifting weights incorrectly.
  • BIW2012
    BIW2012 Posts: 97 Member
    "Excuse me, may I offer some advice? It might help you get more out of your workout."

    If yes, then explain.

    If no, then let them do it their way.

    I agree. Plus, if you look pretty lean and buff, I'd listen!
  • If I was doing something that could cause an injury I would absolutely want someone to say something. If I can't hurt myself, leave me alone :)
  • Solar07
    Solar07 Posts: 83 Member
    If you think she'll take it the wrong way have one of the gym managers/employees/trainers say something to her. But I agree, something needs to be said so that she doesn't hurt herself in the meantime.
  • GiddyupTim
    GiddyupTim Posts: 2,819 Member
    Why do some of you think unsolicited advice is to make the giver feel "self-important" or that they are "pointing out their deficiencies and playing up their own knowledge"? Some people just genuinely want to help and are concerned about others potentially getting injured. The world isn't only full of egotistical jerks; there ARE good, kind people out there.

    Because, really, who gets that worked up about a stranger? Yes, sure, if they are about to step in front of a bus, fine, then I intervene. But, if somebody chubby is ordering an ice cream, I don't jump in between them and the scooper jockey, and say: "Don't you know you are ruining your health? You are hurting yourself."
    Yeah, I think that most of the time when someone corrects someone else in the gym -- a stranger -- it is driven by arrogance and it is impertinent.
    P.S. Usually, I am not watching other people that closely that I would notice their form.
  • greghei1
    greghei1 Posts: 10 Member
    I spend a lot of hours on the rowing machine. Almost nobody uses an erg correctly at a gym. Often I've seen PT's advise their clients incorrectly as to the appropriate form for using an erg. People do things that if they do them for longer than a few minutes, they're at significantly higher risk for hurting their backs. Includes "crossfit" people (e.g., people wearing crossfit shirts in my "civilian" gym).

    I never say anything.

    Not because I don't want to, desperately (and this is common among rowers), but because I know that nobody's going to listen to me for long enough to explain the dynamics of appropriately taking a stroke on an erg. Plus I'm usually pulling too hard to talk more than just a few gasps. Plus, I know that most people aren't actually interested.

    I've considered handing out cards with a link to the Concept2 website (http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/technique-videos), but that would be over-the-top obnoxious.
  • SaintGiff
    SaintGiff Posts: 3,673 Member
    I spend a lot of hours on the rowing machine. Almost nobody uses an erg correctly at a gym. Often I've seen PT's advise their clients incorrectly as to the appropriate form for using an erg. People do things that if they do them for longer than a few minutes, they're at significantly higher risk for hurting their backs. Includes "crossfit" people (e.g., people wearing crossfit shirts in my "civilian" gym).

    I never say anything.

    Not because I don't want to, desperately (and this is common among rowers), but because I know that nobody's going to listen to me for long enough to explain the dynamics of appropriately taking a stroke on an erg. Plus I'm usually pulling too hard to talk more than just a few gasps. Plus, I know that most people aren't actually interested.

    I've considered handing out cards with a link to the Concept2 website (http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/technique-videos), but that would be over-the-top obnoxious.

    Civilian ERG jockey here and I would absolutely love advice from someone with real knowledge. I can't seem to break the 2:13 / 500m pace for anything longer than 20 minutes. I'm learning slowly by trial and error. Learning that the power is more important than the rate, etc. But I always feel like I would be so much better if I knew what I was doing.
  • I don't know anything about lifting at all. If I were her I would truly appreciate any help I can get from anyone. I guess you can approach her and kindly ask her if she needs any help because you can notice that there are some things she isn't doing quite right. I believe she would appreciate it due to the embarrassment you save her in the long run because I'm sure you are not the only one who notices that she's doing it wrong.

    Agreed. I know nothing about lifting. I do what I think is right because my gym doesnt have staff that can assist you. (Yeah, I'm changing soon). I'd love it if someone was able to point out what I was doing wrong.
  • juliewatkin
    juliewatkin Posts: 764 Member
    Why do some of you think unsolicited advice is to make the giver feel "self-important" or that they are "pointing out their deficiencies and playing up their own knowledge"? Some people just genuinely want to help and are concerned about others potentially getting injured. The world isn't only full of egotistical jerks; there ARE good, kind people out there.

    Because, really, who gets that worked up about a stranger? Yes, sure, if they are about to step in front of a bus, fine, then I intervene. But, if somebody chubby is ordering an ice cream, I don't jump in between them and the scooper jockey, and say: "Don't you know you are ruining your health? You are hurting yourself."
    Yeah, I think that most of the time when someone corrects someone else in the gym -- a stranger -- it is driven by arrogance and it is impertinent.
    P.S. Usually, I am not watching other people that closely that I would notice their form.

    Pretty much this. Impertinent. That is the word I was looking for. For the most part, most 'form' issues are neither injurious nor life threatening. Don't inject yourself where it's not your business.

    Like someone else mentioned, despite your depth of knowledge, you may actually not know what they are trying to achieve. I've had several 'form' corrections over the years at commercial gyms. The one that stays in my mind is when one young man (bench seems to be a male thing) warned me against arching when I bench. He was quite insistent about it. Was he really concerned about my back health or do you think he wanted to look 'big' for a woman. Who do you really think knew what they were doing? Here's a hint, not him. My point is that before you thrust yourself into someone elses training give it a second thought and don't.

    You can dress it up as nicely as you like but is still boils down to self-important busy bodies.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    eh ..I don't know OP…it might be best to just leave it be….some people get pretty pissy about this …

    what is she doing that is so wrong?
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    Lots of good tips already. It's just hard for me because I'm somewhat socially awkward. It also doesn't help that I don't exactly look like the person a strange woman wants walking up and talking to her. And then I think hey, maybe I'm wrong. But I just... ok... this is what I'm seeing, like, 5 nights a week. Also, this is late at night and the gym is not staffed at those times, for what that's worth.

    This woman has a lot of right ideas. She comes in and hits the treadmill for a solid hour each time. Right on, sister. And she wants that incline burn. High five. However.... ok... I'm just going to paint the pictures. Sauna suit or heavy heavy sweats, a hoodie, and a ski cap. Ok, fine. I'll never even bother with that one. She gets on the treadmill and cranks the incline all the way up to to max and that is where it stays the entire time. Bad *kitten*. Except.... she then proceeds to, well, strap herself to the treadmill. She wraps several pieces of rope and bungee cords around her back and attaches them to the sides of the treadmill so she is literally leaning back on a sort of belt. She then proceed to attach more bungee cords and light ropes to the front of the treadmill to fashion handles, which she attaches to her wrists. It's like some crazy 50 Shades thing. This woman is bound into that treadmill. And yeah, calories burned. But we know that even lightly touching the side of the treadmill reduces calorie burn by 15%, so literally strapping your hands to the front of it is going to cut that burn by a minimum of 30%. Leaning back and allowing your bungee / rope belt to support your bodyweight completely defeats the purpose of the incline. Her feet are bearing maybe 25% of her bodyweight between all of these ropes. I don't want to say anything because she sees so into it, and she really is consistent. I don't want to ruin her mojo. And she isn't in any real risk of injury that I can see. I mean, it's physically impossible for her to fall down.

    Yeah, I'm just gonna leave it alone.

    yes, leave it alone…

    she might get pissed and you strap you into that thing!
  • KCoolBeanz
    KCoolBeanz Posts: 814 Member
    I think you'd be fine if you just said something like "would you mind if I gave you a pointer" or something like that. If she doesn't want it, then just leave it alone. I can't imagine she'd turn it down.

    I've done it at the gym recently, and it worked out fine. These guys were deadlifting with the worst form I've ever seen and my back hurt for them!
  • 1PatientBear
    1PatientBear Posts: 2,089 Member
    Why do some of you think unsolicited advice is to make the giver feel "self-important" or that they are "pointing out their deficiencies and playing up their own knowledge"? Some people just genuinely want to help and are concerned about others potentially getting injured. The world isn't only full of egotistical jerks; there ARE good, kind people out there.

    Because, really, who gets that worked up about a stranger? Yes, sure, if they are about to step in front of a bus, fine, then I intervene. But, if somebody chubby is ordering an ice cream, I don't jump in between them and the scooper jockey, and say: "Don't you know you are ruining your health? You are hurting yourself."
    Yeah, I think that most of the time when someone corrects someone else in the gym -- a stranger -- it is driven by arrogance and it is impertinent.
    P.S. Usually, I am not watching other people that closely that I would notice their form.

    Not exactly apples to apples. Telling a chubby person not to eat ice cream is hardly the same thing. Ok, if you think it comes from arrogance, then that's your right. And don't get me wrong. I don't go around correcting people's form because I'm hardly qualified to do so. But I prefer to assume that someone is trying to help rather than assume they are trying to flaunt their superiority over someone. But that's just me.
    Pretty much this. Impertinent. That is the word I was looking for. For the most part, most 'form' issues are neither injurious nor life threatening. Don't inject yourself where it's not your business.

    Like someone else mentioned, despite your depth of knowledge, you may actually not know what they are trying to achieve. I've had several 'form' corrections over the years at commercial gyms. The one that stays in my mind is when one young man (bench seems to be a male thing) warned me against arching when I bench. He was quite insistent about it. Was he really concerned about my back health or do you think he wanted to look 'big' for a woman. Who do you really think knew what they were doing? Here's a hint, not him. My point is that before you thrust yourself into someone elses training give it a second thought and don't.

    You can dress it up as nicely as you like but is still boils down to self-important busy bodies.

    Again, I don't claim to have some vast wealth of knowledge. And you're right...most form issues aren't that big a deal. But the story you related above seems to me that you are assuming something you have no way of knowing the right answer to. Believe it or not, some men actually respect women in the gym and aren't just looking for an excuse to belittle them.

    Anyway, I was just curious. Carry on.