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Unwanted advice at gym

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  • deputy_randolphdeputy_randolph Posts: 833Member Member Posts: 833Member Member
    Never had this happen...mostly b/c I look mean.

    One time, I did have an older guy (70+ year old buff guy) approach me to give me advice. He started off by saying, "Hey, do you mind me giving you some advice...I see you know what you're doing. I thought maybe I could give you a tip." I was cool with that b/c of his approach.

    Just stare at the next guy to do this without saying a word until he walks away...it'll make it so awkward he'll leave you alone...forever.
  • LyndaBSSLyndaBSS Posts: 5,791Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,791Member, Premium Member
    There’s a lot of people thinking it was a flirting attempt. Does this really happen?? Maybe I’ve missed a few attempted flirts over the years. I just expected that any guy trying to hit on me would say something nice!

    Maybe in a perfect world, that would happen. 😂
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,969Member Member Posts: 2,969Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    I haven't read the thread yet, but the only time I've ever wanted to give advice is when people are using a rowing machine in such a way that they will hurt themselves. In the, "it's not a matter of if, but when" sort of poor technique.

    That said, I've only ever given advice when it's been asked or someone has struck up a conversation with me about rowing. The only other time I can think of actually doing so (as opposed to just wanting to but not acting on those desires) is if I were to see a friend using the rowing machine and it would be easy for me to approach them in a way that make it clear that this wasn't a "you suck/are weak/shouldn't be using this machine" sort of thing.

    Coulda written this myself, I swear.

    I have gone to the training staff and asked who was teaching people - people my age and older, mostly - to use the rowing machine, because (a) they were doing it wrong, and (b) they were often doing it wrong in ways that could cause back problems. It didn't help, of course; and I think I figured out which person was teaching them: One of the trainers, who teaches senior fitness classes, was on the C2 rower one day. <facepalm> I didn't give him advice, either.

    This next not aimed at you, aokoye, but to the general trajectory of the thread.

    It's intrusive, presumptuous, and rude to give unsolicited advice at the gym: The person being advised has no idea who's offering the advice (i.e., whether they have legit qualifications/certifications); the person advising doesn't know whether the person being given advice has good reasons for doing something in a unusual way; if the person being advised has social anxiety or gym anxiety, it may put them off the gym.

    Would you give a person at the grocery store unsolicited advice that they shouldn't buy some sub-ideal food/meal, but should buy something "better" instead? It's really not different.

    That's even without the unpleasant social dynamics ("flirty" know-it-all jerk-hood) described in the OP.

    Yes to all of this. The people that go to the gym that I go to range in age from 17/18 (early college age) to 70s/80s. None of them are immune to hurting themselves. I've seen a personal trainer (not the one I will choose) watch one of their clients use the rowing machine and say nothing in the way of corrections. I can only assume that they've (the trainer) never actually been taught how to use it, or if they have, they've been taught incorrectly.

    The only time I've ever given advice that wasn't directly solicited was when someone was very clearly having trouble setting up things and was looking at me in such a way and for long enough to make it appear that he wanted help. And even then it was "so this works this way" as opposed to "here's how to row on a rowing machine".
    edited September 19
  • vanityy99vanityy99 Posts: 747Member Member Posts: 747Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    vanityy99 wrote: »
    There’s a lot of people thinking it was a flirting attempt. Does this really happen?? Maybe I’ve missed a few attempted flirts over the years. I just expected that any guy trying to hit on me would say something nice!

    I kinda feel bad for good looking men at the gym, they automatically get dismissed because people assume their douches and just trying to be “alpha”. Lol.

    Oh and they MUST be hitting on a female.

    Please.

    What?

    Good looking (or any-looking) men at the gym are just people at the gym, so just fine . . . unless/until they actually act like douches, or behave as if they think they're "alpha". Or, y'know, say or do actual things that a reasonable person might believe suggested that they were hitting on a female who didn't welcome that.

    Which is the type of thing people were talking about earlier in the thread, not just some dude standing around looking good.

    Nah I’m more so talking about the ones who actually know what their talking about but automatically, (no matter the scenario when I think about it) gets dismissed or side eye just because they are Buffy and good looking. And it’s usually from judgemental insecure dudes. They are getting judged before they even get to speak.

    I’m talking in general, nothing to do with the OP. But the posts calling men alphas just reminded me of, yeah.

  • CahgetsfitCahgetsfit Posts: 1,880Member Member Posts: 1,880Member Member
    pinuplove wrote: »
    This sounds like a misguided attempt at flirting. He was hoping you would be receptive to his nonsense and be all OH MY GOSH TELL ME MORE TEACH ME AND MY LADYBRAIN HOW TO LIFT HEAVY THINGS WON'T YOU PLEASE? Good on you for setting him straight.

    Ladybrain :laugh:

    Yep, going with misguided attempt at flirting as well.

    yep - same here!
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Posts: 19,728Member Member Posts: 19,728Member Member
    There’s a lot of people thinking it was a flirting attempt. Does this really happen?? Maybe I’ve missed a few attempted flirts over the years. I just expected that any guy trying to hit on me would say something nice!

    Oh yes. I went to the same beach in South Florida for 7 years and observed a putative personal trainer running around hitting on women with this kind of negging.
  • AzdakAzdak Posts: 8,102Member Member Posts: 8,102Member Member
    aokoye wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    I haven't read the thread yet, but the only time I've ever wanted to give advice is when people are using a rowing machine in such a way that they will hurt themselves. In the, "it's not a matter of if, but when" sort of poor technique.

    That said, I've only ever given advice when it's been asked or someone has struck up a conversation with me about rowing. The only other time I can think of actually doing so (as opposed to just wanting to but not acting on those desires) is if I were to see a friend using the rowing machine and it would be easy for me to approach them in a way that make it clear that this wasn't a "you suck/are weak/shouldn't be using this machine" sort of thing.

    Coulda written this myself, I swear.

    I have gone to the training staff and asked who was teaching people - people my age and older, mostly - to use the rowing machine, because (a) they were doing it wrong, and (b) they were often doing it wrong in ways that could cause back problems. It didn't help, of course; and I think I figured out which person was teaching them: One of the trainers, who teaches senior fitness classes, was on the C2 rower one day. <facepalm> I didn't give him advice, either.

    This next not aimed at you, aokoye, but to the general trajectory of the thread.

    It's intrusive, presumptuous, and rude to give unsolicited advice at the gym: The person being advised has no idea who's offering the advice (i.e., whether they have legit qualifications/certifications); the person advising doesn't know whether the person being given advice has good reasons for doing something in a unusual way; if the person being advised has social anxiety or gym anxiety, it may put them off the gym.

    Would you give a person at the grocery store unsolicited advice that they shouldn't buy some sub-ideal food/meal, but should buy something "better" instead? It's really not different.

    That's even without the unpleasant social dynamics ("flirty" know-it-all jerk-hood) described in the OP.

    Yes to all of this. The people that go to the gym that I go to range in age from 17/18 (early college age) to 70s/80s. None of them are immune to hurting themselves. I've seen a personal trainer (not the one I will choose) watch one of their clients use the rowing machine and say nothing in the way of corrections. I can only assume that they've (the trainer) never actually been taught how to use it, or if they have, they've been taught incorrectly.

    The only time I've ever given advice that wasn't directly solicited was when someone was very clearly having trouble setting up things and was looking at me in such a way and for long enough to make it appear that he wanted help. And even then it was "so this works this way" as opposed to "here's how to row on a rowing machine".

    I don’t think the situation you describe in your last paragraph is in the same vein as the rest of the discussion and, to me, does not fall into the “unsolicited” category, even though you may not have been directly asked. It’s one thing to see someone obviously “lost” doing a setup and offer to help. We are talking about (primarily) guys approaching women who clearly are doing their workouts and trying to “horn” in (literally and figuratively).

    Your proceeding paragraph illustrates the challenge even further. Even if someone is a personal trainer (not working at the gym) or an experienced lifter, there is STILL a big chance they will give incorrect information.
  • CahgetsfitCahgetsfit Posts: 1,880Member Member Posts: 1,880Member Member
    Re unsolicited advice, I've been guilty of doing that in the past actually. Generally I will only do it with people I know/interact with at the gym. People I actually talk to. Unless they are very good actors, I think they were OK with my unsolicited advice. Sometimes they even come and ask me about something they are doing.

    However, the other day a lady was getting on the new GHR machine and looking like she was having difficulties and was sort of talking out loud to someone she knew - some guy who was on a bench in front of her - about the machine, and I kind of noticed that it looked like the feet plate thingy could have been adjusted a bit to fit her better, so I piped up and said something like "maybe you need to move the foot thingy back a bit" and she gave me a filthy look like "who the *kitten* are you to tell me what to do?" and so I just shrank away and went back to what I was doing on the bench next to her. She's someone I see every day - a regular gym goer - but I've never spoken to her before. I was actually a bit taken aback by the fierceness of her filthy look. I didn't think I was being rude and I wasn't saying anything about her form.

    Anyway, in terms of people telling ME what to do, the only one who has is someone I recently started to talk to and he saw me on the same effing GHR machine and he came and gave me a pointer on how he does it and showed me his technique. At the end of the day his technique wasn't what I was looking for because I was trying to isolate more just my hamstrings and his way used too much glute for what I wanted to do. But I tried it and even asked him questions about it and was in no way at all upset or anything, even though his advice was not exactly what I wanted/needed or was in any way useful to me a the time.

    Yesterday same guy from anecdote above shook his head "no don't do it" at me through the mirror when I stacked another plat onto my rack pull set up. I shrugged at him and smashed out 5 touch and go snatch grip reps. He then came up to me and complimented me. If I was the type who gave a *kitten* I would have been all upset that he told me not to load more. But I knew I could lift more because my previous set was easy!

    So yeah, I think the only time I got annoyed with someone giving me unsolicited advice was when I was in a boxing class and some random started to comment on my punching or kicking or something, I can't remember what it was he was on about. I'm not a boxer by any means, but I think it was more the WAY he was saying stuff, not that he was actually trying to help.

    I don't mind people attempting to help me. Even if it's not the right or useful help, I just say thank you and go back to doing it my way.

    In general though, I don't think I look very approachable. Which is weird, coz I am quite friendly and chatty.

    PS - my fave gym top says "giving a *kitten* doesn't fit my macros" - it fits me to a T. Life is much easier when you don't give a *kitten* about what people think :)
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 84Member, Premium Member Posts: 84Member, Premium Member
    Dolly989 wrote: »
    ...
    Has anyone else had an experience like this? How did you handle it? Do you think its okay to go around giving advice to strangers?
    The best knowledge I've gained was from strangers in the gym, either from them tapping me on the shoulder, me pestering or staring at them.

    Public gyms aren't private. I got my home gym going because I started to really hate the crowd in all three gyms in my smallish town. Among other reasons, but yeah.

    I've seen many bad trainers with great attitudes, so yawl be careful. Conversely, I've seen many great trainers get banned because they were too great.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,969Member Member Posts: 2,969Member Member
    Azdak wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    I haven't read the thread yet, but the only time I've ever wanted to give advice is when people are using a rowing machine in such a way that they will hurt themselves. In the, "it's not a matter of if, but when" sort of poor technique.

    That said, I've only ever given advice when it's been asked or someone has struck up a conversation with me about rowing. The only other time I can think of actually doing so (as opposed to just wanting to but not acting on those desires) is if I were to see a friend using the rowing machine and it would be easy for me to approach them in a way that make it clear that this wasn't a "you suck/are weak/shouldn't be using this machine" sort of thing.

    Edit: What I actually want and should do is ask the management to put a diagram of how to use them on the wall that they're right next to. That and suggest that maybe they force people to check out a wristband that shows they've gone through some basic training (in the form of videos from Concept2 and a very short quiz) on how to use them in the same way that they require people to wear a wristband if they want to use the climbing gym (including if you're just bouldering) or olympic lifting platforms. If I end up getting a personal trainer there (and I probably will), I am going to bring it up to her (she has enough power to potentially make that happen).


    While I truly sympathize with your intentions, 2 things will happen: 1)people will ignore your signs. 2) you try to give quizzes to members on how to use equipment and your gym will close in a week.

    I have my own little guerrilla war with members over the concept 2s and I do put up signs, but it’s mostly just to annoy people because I am realistic about how little effect they have.
    I can almost assuredly tell you number two would not happen, though number one might. It's gym at a very large public university. Forcing people to watch a six minute video and answer a three question quiz in order two use 3 machines wouldn't shut it down. It also likely wouldn't be an undue burden on the institution. Again, they have the same set up for the two Olympic lifting platforms and the climbing gym (which is within the facility). It hasn't shut down yet and oh dear god the backlash that would happen if it did. Never mind that it's primarily funded by tuition dollars so it's not as if most people who are able to use the gym would end their "membership" - they can't divert their tuition in that way (or any way really).

    The issue I see with it is inforcement. That said, there are a number of staff (both student workers and salaried staff members) that walk by that area so I could see it being inforced.
  • aokoyeaokoye Posts: 2,969Member Member Posts: 2,969Member Member
    Azdak wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »
    I haven't read the thread yet, but the only time I've ever wanted to give advice is when people are using a rowing machine in such a way that they will hurt themselves. In the, "it's not a matter of if, but when" sort of poor technique.

    That said, I've only ever given advice when it's been asked or someone has struck up a conversation with me about rowing. The only other time I can think of actually doing so (as opposed to just wanting to but not acting on those desires) is if I were to see a friend using the rowing machine and it would be easy for me to approach them in a way that make it clear that this wasn't a "you suck/are weak/shouldn't be using this machine" sort of thing.

    Coulda written this myself, I swear.

    I have gone to the training staff and asked who was teaching people - people my age and older, mostly - to use the rowing machine, because (a) they were doing it wrong, and (b) they were often doing it wrong in ways that could cause back problems. It didn't help, of course; and I think I figured out which person was teaching them: One of the trainers, who teaches senior fitness classes, was on the C2 rower one day. <facepalm> I didn't give him advice, either.

    This next not aimed at you, aokoye, but to the general trajectory of the thread.

    It's intrusive, presumptuous, and rude to give unsolicited advice at the gym: The person being advised has no idea who's offering the advice (i.e., whether they have legit qualifications/certifications); the person advising doesn't know whether the person being given advice has good reasons for doing something in a unusual way; if the person being advised has social anxiety or gym anxiety, it may put them off the gym.

    Would you give a person at the grocery store unsolicited advice that they shouldn't buy some sub-ideal food/meal, but should buy something "better" instead? It's really not different.

    That's even without the unpleasant social dynamics ("flirty" know-it-all jerk-hood) described in the OP.

    Yes to all of this. The people that go to the gym that I go to range in age from 17/18 (early college age) to 70s/80s. None of them are immune to hurting themselves. I've seen a personal trainer (not the one I will choose) watch one of their clients use the rowing machine and say nothing in the way of corrections. I can only assume that they've (the trainer) never actually been taught how to use it, or if they have, they've been taught incorrectly.

    The only time I've ever given advice that wasn't directly solicited was when someone was very clearly having trouble setting up things and was looking at me in such a way and for long enough to make it appear that he wanted help. And even then it was "so this works this way" as opposed to "here's how to row on a rowing machine".

    I don’t think the situation you describe in your last paragraph is in the same vein as the rest of the discussion and, to me, does not fall into the “unsolicited” category, even though you may not have been directly asked. It’s one thing to see someone obviously “lost” doing a setup and offer to help. We are talking about (primarily) guys approaching women who clearly are doing their workouts and trying to “horn” in (literally and figuratively).

    Your proceeding paragraph illustrates the challenge even further. Even if someone is a personal trainer (not working at the gym) or an experienced lifter, there is STILL a big chance they will give incorrect information.
    Oh I wasn't implying that it was the same as what's being discussed in terms of men (or people of any gender) thinking that they know better than a woman because "women 'clearly' know nothing and shouldn't be doing any sort of physical activity" (and incase it wasn't clear - my eyes may as well be rolling out their sockets in terms of that attitude). I relayed the experience because there wasn't actually explicit verbal solicitation and it is probably the only sort of of situation where I would give advice without being explicitly asked.

    In regards to my last paragraph, my experience mirrors just about everyone I know (and don't know given what I've seen posted on Reddit - I don't have an account but look at the rowing forum on a semi regular basis) who rows on the water and has ever worked out in a gym that isn't attached to a rowing club/boathouse. Lots of people using rowing machines in ways that are at best inefficient and at worst will cause an injury combined with personal trainers encouraging the behavior. I can count on one hand the number of people who I've seen use a rowing machine correctly in a context that didn't involve a bunch of OTW (on the water) erging.

    I personally use it as an opportunity to metaphorically keep my head in the boat. Only worrying about what I'm doing and not what the person two feet away from me is doing (ok when I'm on the water if there are blades from another boat two feet away from my boat's blades I will be having hard time not being worried about blades clashing!). I have a lot of friends who avoid erging (using a rowing machine) at the gym because of the distraction and I don't blame them.
  • DiscipleOfChrist29DiscipleOfChrist29 Posts: 66Member Member Posts: 66Member Member
    I'm gonna be ironic and play "devil's advocate". Your form can shift or change from awesome to poor as you progress in reps or fatigue... Maybe he was genuinely concerned for your health (doubtful). Now I'm not saying he was right because he could have gone about it another way. I think your response is the same though. Stay focused on your goals and don't let anyone mess with your head. So many people are taught different things in the fitness world. Universities have to keep people paid so teachers have to keep finding new things to teach. I do know if you carry around a fear, or bitterness, or bad attitude towards this person it will affect your mental fitness and spiritual fitness. Give it to God and be like Elsa... Let it go.
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 84Member, Premium Member Posts: 84Member, Premium Member
    Erik8484 wrote: »
    pjwrt wrote: »
    Dolly989 wrote: »
    ...
    Has anyone else had an experience like this? How did you handle it? Do you think its okay to go around giving advice to strangers?
    ...I've seen many great trainers get banned because they were too great.

    "Sorry John, I'm going to have to ask you to leave the premises, you're just too darn good at your job".

    I've seen it twice that I know of. They weren't employees, by the way.
    edited September 20
  • pjwrtpjwrt Posts: 84Member, Premium Member Posts: 84Member, Premium Member
    pjwrt wrote: »
    Dolly989 wrote: »
    ...
    Has anyone else had an experience like this? How did you handle it? Do you think its okay to go around giving advice to strangers?
    The best knowledge I've gained was from strangers in the gym, either from them tapping me on the shoulder, me pestering or staring at them.

    Public gyms aren't private. I got my home gym going because I started to really hate the crowd in all three gyms in my smallish town. Among other reasons, but yeah.

    I've seen many bad trainers with great attitudes, so yawl be careful. Conversely, I've seen many great trainers get banned because they were too great.

    4 dislikes! Wow, I do not fit in here.

    I won't disturb you again.

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