T Nation

Annoying Know-It-Alls at the Gym

Today at the gym another know-it-all guy came up to me and was telling me to lift lighter to obtain the proper form. The funny thing is that my form was fine (my workout partner said I was lifting properly), and he was curling the same amount of weight that I do on dumbbell curls. Whatever!

isn’t that such a pain? when you’re trying to get a good workout and losers, especially trainers, come and try to give you advice? i wish they had little buttons you could wear around the gym that says ‘no advice please’ or ‘stay away bitch, i’m lifting weights’ or something like that.

some of my favorites are ‘you really should put that pad on the bar when you do squats’

‘it looks like your hands are slipping on the bar (during pullups), do you want to borrow my gloves?’

‘why don’t you go walk up and down the stairs or bleachers with some light wieghts to tone up your butt’

and i love it when they try to tell me i’m going to die of heart disease from eating fat. hahahahahahahah

gotta love it.

ok i know it sucks, and alot of these people are retarded… but some are genuinly trying to “help” and dont know any better…


Yeah, and some of them are just looking for an excuse to talk to (hit on) you… :wink:

Gosh… one time one guy came over to me and told me to put saftey clips onto my squat bar while I was warming up… 10 reps with 20 percent of my max… when I told him that I would not need safteys if I used 50 pounds on a warm up set, he got mad at me and argued about not needing those warmup sets, especially without saftey clips… Gosh, I got so mad, but my partner calmed me down… I can’t stand those smart alikes trying to look like some T-man… actually they are Estragon-men (E-men)

I just try to stay out of this moron’s way…

Step it up and bring your physique to the next level!!!


That is the beauty of mp3 players during anything that requires concentration, i wear mine even when it is out of batts

I’d say it’s even more complex than that. By giving the advice, they feel like they can continue to stare at you while you work out…because they aren’t just gawking, they are “checking out your form” so they can give you more “helpful” advice.

This is my take: a lot of male trainers see this kind of gym encounter as an ideal opportunity to hit on you. They don’t need to be creative in starting a conversation, they have a pretty good built-in excuse to talk to you, as has been mentioned before. That said, it’s the height of rudeness and boorishness, and as someone who goes to the gym to work hard, I would never take this approach.

I don’t think it would be out of line at all for you to be obnoxious and tell the person off. Unless you are doing something that clearly puts you or someone else at risk, or you’ve asked for advice, it’s no one’s business. Further, if you’re going to a gym where the staff considers it their responsibility to snoop around and ‘correct’ people, you’d probably do well to find somewhere else to train. This tends to be much more of a problem for women; as a guy this has never happened to me. I’d be profoundly irritated if it did…at any rate, do what you know is right, and be wary of ‘advice’ from guys in the gym.

best of luck

I worked at a gym for 3 years (I wasn’t a trainer), so I can sympathize with the complaints. I had several people complain about the trainers at my gym doing exactly what has been discussed in this thread; using their job title to “talk to” girls working out. It’s lame and in the end the trainer isn’t helping anybody, so what’s the point?

The other thing I hate in the gym is the people that give you the “stare down” when you’re working out. I was doing rack pulls the other day, and there was this dude on the leg press staring at me every time I did a set. I could see him in the mirror, that’s how I knew he was looking. Plus, if I would walk by to get a drink or just walk around to cool off after a set, he would watch me “sizing me up” if you will, every damn time. I’m not at the gym to impress anyone. I’m there to do my workout and go home, plain and simple. I’m not going to compare myself to anyone else at the gym, because if someone looks better than me, good for him. It doesn’t affect the way I train.

Why do people do that? Who cares what someone else is doing, concentrate on your own damn workout. It can be a distraction if you don’t stay focused.

if you’re getting hit on by guys that want to show you “proper form” with the 1/4 hunchback crap-squats, tell’em to screw off. want to impress the ladies? make sure you wear knee wraps with your belt before you do your tricep kickbacks with the pink weights. fucking morons.

as for guys sizing each other up, it happens but for a couple of reasons. 1 - because the guy sizing up everyone else wants to establish some weird dominance in the gym by lifting more, or grunting more, or perhaps smelling more, or 2 - because he’s genuinely impressed by someone lifting a certain amount of weight. i don’t care if someone can put an extra 10lbs to do calf raises after me, but i gotta admit when someone is doing 4 plate sumo deadlifts, its awesome to watch.

and as for giving advice, i’ve only done it when asked (to my mistake), but there are times when i am so inclined to tell someone that they are doing something very VERY dangerous to their body trying to execute a certain lift (like the rounded back deadlift guy who still claims he can do 600 lbs on ‘the correct platform’). however, the only times i’ve ever really given advice is to people who are asking for a spot at which point i say no because it is too dangerous. some are open-minded enough to ask what’s the danger; most just grunt off and look for some other mook to spot half the weight for their lift.

ironic isnt it?


Be careful with those types of people.

I have been lifting for about 20 years now. Started back in the early 80’s when a woman in the free weights area of the gym was really rare. Things have improved quite a bit but you still have men that act like morons and women who perpetuate the “weaker sex” role by wearing almost nothing in the gym and moaning as they squat 65 pounds.
Even though I’m an old broad, I still get the guys that don’t realize that I’m there to train and not socialize. I too wear an MP3 player and have it cranked up loud. Since it really takes an effort to get my attention, it really pisses me off when they interupt me. Had a guy the other day that actually tapped me on the shoulder a couple of times. Clueless.
As far as sizing folks up. Both men and women do it. It’s human nature. But I have learned through the years never to judge a persons strength by their appearance. I have seen too many folks come into the gym that don’t look like anything special put up some impressive weight.
Advice: I only give it if asked and even then reluctantly. I’m only an expert on what works for me. As far as advice given - gotta consider the source.

I’m tired of guys telling me stiff leg deadlifts are going to throw out my lower back, and also asking what the hell I’m doing when I do good mornings. Thankfully most of my numbers have gotten big enough that people seem to leave me alone. For some reason the 200lb+ guy doing half squats doesnt give me advice any more since my 140lb ass stacked as much wait on the bar as him. Also the can’t forget the jerkoff’s who tell you “thats alot of weight, I try to keep it lighter so I can tone up and still run alot”

I will admit to gawking at others in the gym however, as mentioned some guys just lift big enough weight with good form you hope you can absorb some of it from them.

There is a tactic that might work for you. It has worked for me in the past when I was bothered by a trainer who knew how I should be doing certain movements and wanted to make sure that I was doing things “correctly”

Drool, that’s right, I said it… It’s true. Drool a little, and if that doesn’t work, drool a little more and moan, but don’t sound sexy or anything.

Sorry you had to be bothered while training. Sometimes I feel fortunate to be an Ogre and mostly left alone to train how I like.

if someone asks for some assistance at the gym i am more likely to offer some of my knowledge. However, when i see the idiots in the gym doing something stupid i just look over and shake my head.

That’s funny. They all leave me alone for some reason. The manager didn’t have balls to tell me up straight to tell me not to use those plastic step raiser for box squats so he put out 12 flyers warning not to do it again. I always get the looks whenever I do box squats or floor bench presses but that’s about it. Maybe it’s the CSCS t-shirt that I sometimes wear to gym to show them that I know what i’m doing and leave me alone! lol

hey Brad,
drool? sounds like a good idea. i’ll make sure to wear a lobster bib.

and 12 flyers about box squats? make sure you pick up origami on the way. just make 12 paper assholes and send them back to the manager. that pussy.

I think a lot people are seriously interested in being educated by someone who lifts a ton in the gym…but some are so brainwashed and full of themselves when it comes to training that they will stay un-educated. A lot of confusion and clashing comes from the fact that most people in the gym ASSUME that everyone is working out for the same goals…(some reasonable,some not). Just my know-it-all 2 cents…lol.

I know what everyone is talking about. Just yesterday, I was spotting my girlfriend on Bench Press, when an annoying idiot had to approach her and attempt to tell her to “Correctly” lift the weight. Her form was fantastic, but this brainless dumbass felt that it would help her form if she pressed the bar from her chest up over her face instead of maintaining the bar over her chest. I’ve seen many guys attempt to give her advice between sets while I was at the drinking fountain, but ironically this time the perpatrator was an inexperienced woman who began tapping my girlfriend’s arms as she was getting ready to unrack the weight. After the lady walked away, I kept yelling to my g/f “Press the bar straight up over your chest, not your face. We’re not doing incline bench, and we sure as hell aren’t doing military press like these dumbasses think we are!” I sure love pissing off the generalists.