Unsolicited Advice in the gym

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Replies

  • Mercedespony
    Mercedespony Posts: 162 Member
    if I'm squatting or lifting, and you are experienced and thinking I might hurt myself with my form, please do me a favour - interrupt and offer me advice!
  • 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.

    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.

    My assumption of his thought process is kind of like the fact that he had no way of knowing what I was doing or what my goals were. He just chose to assume he knew better than I did. It's not a male/female thing. That pertains to that particular example only. The point goes to any individual who assumes they know better than another and presumes to intercede and instruct. It is arrogant.
  • FitnFeistyLyness
    FitnFeistyLyness Posts: 762 Member
    I would ask if I could offer some advice.. I had a guy come up to me at the gym.. he told me he says you come here alot . do you mind if i offer you some advice. i said sure. he than proceeded to show me how to work one of the machines that i was trying to use but had no idea how it worked . i was grateful for the advice. in fact i told him i never really was shown how to work the machines i just was trying to work out the best way i knew how..

    he explained that he was a personal trainer and would be happy to show me the machines.. he took time out of HIS workout and showed me how to work each machine. now when I use the machines I have more effective workouts.

    so I think as long as you do it in a way that doesn't make the person feel embarrassed.. which from your posts i have read i know you wouldn't.. i would welcome your advice
  • chrisdavey
    chrisdavey Posts: 9,853 Member
    I didn't know there was a way to fark up walking on a treadmill. That's impressive. I'd leave her be. (but setup a camera for impending youtube fail :tongue:)

    I'm a PT and I rarely give unsolicited advice. It has to be pretty bad. We have a duty of care to ensure people don't get injured but some people just do a lot of stupid *kitten* for fun it seems.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,145 Member
    if I'm squatting or lifting, and you are experienced and thinking I might hurt myself with my form, please do me a favour - interrupt and offer me advice!

    this yes, everything else..no
  • greghei1
    greghei1 Posts: 10 Member
    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.

    OT, but watch the videos on the Concept2 website for form issues, making sure you correctly sequence your legs, arms and body. Then just do a lot of meters, building up the totals, and trying to drive the splits down a second per week. You'll get there.

    Greg
  • lilbearzmom
    lilbearzmom Posts: 600 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.

    Just...what in God's name? How can that be something the gym would even sanction? She sounds certifiable. Leave it be or tell staff. Very odd to ay the least.
  • lngrunert
    lngrunert Posts: 204 Member
    A strange person coming up to me while I'm working out and offering unsolicited advice is going to get a death glare and explicit instructions to mind their own beeswax. I'd give a pass to an employee, because it might be a liability issue; but if you're just some random person, pay attention to your own workout and please stop looking at or thinking about me. Regardless of your intentions, I'll find it creepy and/or invasive.
  • Sarahliquid
    Sarahliquid Posts: 201 Member
    Wow! She sounds a little crazy, no?? I would let the staff know what's happening after hours. She is an injury waiting to happen, I'm sure they would not want that happening on their property! I have a feeling your advice would not be well received so I would go with just telling the staff.

    This^

    But for normal humans, I love all the unsolicited advice I get. People like to help, it's nice. I appreciate it, I don't always listen depending who it is and what they say, but it's nice to be connected to other people.

    Oh I forgot to mention, I didn't know holding the handles cut the calorie burn down. Is that true for he arc trainer too?
  • Alidecker
    Alidecker Posts: 1,262 Member
    The mental picture of this just makes me laugh. I hope she doesn't hurt herself, but I think your decision to leave it alone is a good one.

    I take advice fine, I was doing front squats and got a little advice that helped me out. Someone watching me can see problems in my form better than I can
  • SaintGiff
    SaintGiff Posts: 3,673 Member
    Wow! She sounds a little crazy, no?? I would let the staff know what's happening after hours. She is an injury waiting to happen, I'm sure they would not want that happening on their property! I have a feeling your advice would not be well received so I would go with just telling the staff.

    This^

    But for normal humans, I love all the unsolicited advice I get. People like to help, it's nice. I appreciate it, I don't always listen depending who it is and what they say, but it's nice to be connected to other people.

    Oh I forgot to mention, I didn't know holding the handles cut the calorie burn down. Is that true for he arc trainer too?

    ARC trainer, no. The handles are functional. Elliptical, it just causes the already ridiculously over-estimated calorie burn to be that much more ridiculously over-estimated. The problem with holding onto the rails on a treadmill is that your burn is calculated by the amount of energy ( calories ) required to move a body ( the weight you entered ) through space. That is a fairly simple equation. When you hold onto the rails you transfer some of your bodyweight onto your hands, which lowers the weight you are moving through space. You also lessen the load on all of the smaller balancing muscles that you use to keep yourself upright without holding on.
  • BFG50
    BFG50 Posts: 3
    A strange person coming up to me while I'm working out and offering unsolicited advice is going to get a death glare and explicit instructions to mind their own beeswax. I'd give a pass to an employee, because it might be a liability issue; but if you're just some random person, pay attention to your own workout and please stop looking at or thinking about me. Regardless of your intentions, I'll find it creepy and/or invasive.

    In that case, would it be OK for me to offer you the advice *after* you're rolling around in agony because you've seriously injured yourself and I'm helping get you into the ambulance? Or would that be creepy and/or invasive as well?
  • randomtai
    randomtai Posts: 9,014 Member
    A strange person coming up to me while I'm working out and offering unsolicited advice is going to get a death glare and explicit instructions to mind their own beeswax. I'd give a pass to an employee, because it might be a liability issue; but if you're just some random person, pay attention to your own workout and please stop looking at or thinking about me. Regardless of your intentions, I'll find it creepy and/or invasive.

    In that case, would it be OK for me to offer you the advice *after* you're rolling around in agony because you've seriously injured yourself and I'm helping get you into the ambulance? Or would that be creepy and/or invasive as well?

    Or you can mind your own business. Some people don't want/need unsolicited advice no matter what the intention. Different strokes for different folks.
  • castadiva
    castadiva Posts: 2,018 Member
    Please, please, PLEASE ask her why she's using that set-up? Sounds like she's training for something really, really specific - space-walk, as someone else mentioned? Climbing a very steep mountain? I'm really intrigued!
  • runforestrun35
    runforestrun35 Posts: 480 Member
    The mental picture I have of this woman is priceless! There is nothing worse than watching someone do crazy crap, at my gym there is a lady that will walk back and forth along the treadmills doing stretches for about ten minutes then will put the incline way up on the treadmill and proceed to walk backwards, (almost falling off during) it is so distracting when she is next to you! Maybe she needs to borrow some of the bungees from the lady at your gym....I just pretend I don't see her and go about my workout!
  • Depictureboy
    Depictureboy Posts: 38 Member
    "at my gym there is a lady that will walk back and forth along the treadmills doing stretches for about ten minutes then will put the incline way up on the treadmill and proceed to walk backwards, "

    It sounds like she is trying to strengthen her MCL. Walking backwards on an incline is one of the rehabs I believe...
  • Monty_P
    Monty_P Posts: 62 Member
    I would totally ask her what she's doing while she's setting up. Out of interest.
  • BFG50
    BFG50 Posts: 3
    A strange person coming up to me while I'm working out and offering unsolicited advice is going to get a death glare and explicit instructions to mind their own beeswax. I'd give a pass to an employee, because it might be a liability issue; but if you're just some random person, pay attention to your own workout and please stop looking at or thinking about me. Regardless of your intentions, I'll find it creepy and/or invasive.

    In that case, would it be OK for me to offer you the advice *after* you're rolling around in agony because you've seriously injured yourself and I'm helping get you into the ambulance? Or would that be creepy and/or invasive as well?

    Or you can mind your own business. Some people don't want/need unsolicited advice no matter what the intention. Different strokes for different folks.

    Fair enough. In your specific case I'll point and laugh my *kitten* off rather than help you to the ambulance.
  • lngrunert
    lngrunert Posts: 204 Member
    A strange person coming up to me while I'm working out and offering unsolicited advice is going to get a death glare and explicit instructions to mind their own beeswax. I'd give a pass to an employee, because it might be a liability issue; but if you're just some random person, pay attention to your own workout and please stop looking at or thinking about me. Regardless of your intentions, I'll find it creepy and/or invasive.

    In that case, would it be OK for me to offer you the advice *after* you're rolling around in agony because you've seriously injured yourself and I'm helping get you into the ambulance? Or would that be creepy and/or invasive as well?

    No. What part of "I don't want advice from strangers" are you failing to comprehend? It's not a situational preference; I don't want to be approached at the gym by someone I don't know, period. It would make me very uncomfortable to know you'd been watching me closely enough to feel a comment was necessary.