T Nation

Approaching People on the Gym Floor to Get Help

Hi, My first post here on T Nation. Been lurking, but I’ve got a question.

I’ve been going to this Gym for about two months now. Place has a kinda of old school feel to it. Equipment is old, as are some of the members. Anyway, I’ve been trying to go as hard as I can with as much intensity as I can while being solo. Can’t really go as hard, or do as much as I would like because I don’t have a spot. I’m still putting in work though.

So I notice there is this guy I run into sometimes. His intensity is pretty high, sick squat and dead lift, really good form. He seems experienced but he’s not a trainer. I was thinking about asking him if I could shadow some of his workouts, or see if he would be interested in training with someone to push a bit harder. Thing is, he’s more advanced than me and looks pretty unapproachable.

Thoughts on approaching people?

Let’s say you as him, and he says no. Will he eat you? What happens if he says yes?

I considered this. Small gym, didn’t wanna put him on the spot. This would probably benefit me more than him. Worse that can happen is he says no I guess. Or eats me.

Maybe ease into it and ask him for a pointer or two. See how receptive he is to help and go from there.


I would be flattered if a new young guy came and asked for some tips on big lifts. I notice strange and bad form at the gym all the time but don’t want to give unsolicited advice. As already stated ask for a pointer or two.


This might come as a shock … But 30 years ago newer lifters asking the more established and experience guys for help was normal. Most guys at least back in the day would be happy to help unless they were complete assholes. I cant speak your the current state on how guys are in the gym since I train in my own home gym. But I would say hell yeah ask him! Just dont come across as demanding and be respectful… just dont do it while he is in the middle of lifting.


Ben Franklin used to say that the easiest way to get someone to like you, is to ask a favor of them.

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  1. That’s quite an interesting profile picture.
  2. Ole Benny wouldn’t like me then, I hate doing things.
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OP, what exactly are you afraid of? lol

Many of the nicest people you will meet are monsters in their lifting and physiques. Yes, I’ve met terrible ones, but that constitutes to only about 10% of them.

I guess this is appropriate to ask… How do you plan on approaching him? And are you usually awkward on social situations?


Yea, I’m a pretty chill dude. I would never be rude. I just wanna get stronger and learn how to perform some more demanding lifts injury free. I had an opportunity to ask him a few days ago and passed on it. I think I’ll go for it.

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Give 'em the 'ol “razzle dazzle” and slip this in his gym locker



Well, I haven’t spent much time in a gym. So I don’t really know how gym people are. I guess that’s why I was hesitant. I’m naturally athletic though and learn fast. I went into the gym in pretty good shape from running sprints, doing pull ups and flipping tires. So I think people might assume I have more experience then I do. I can perform the normal exercises pretty well. Delts, biceps, back etc. I’m really insecure about deadlifting, squats and bench press. I think those three exercises this guy really, really excels at could help me greatly. I honestly haven’t considered how I would approach him. Any advice?

Holy shit. LMAO!

I wouldn’t ask him to shadow his workout as you put it. That just sounds a little creepy for my liking. Have you even said hello or nodded in his general direction ? Does he seem friendly enough ? I agree with Bulldog, don’t ask him while he is in the middle of a session.
Your post is a little vague around what you actually want from him. Do you want a training partner ? Or do you just want him to show you how to do squat, bench and deadlift ?

  1. One day, say ‘hey man’ as you walk past him
  2. On a different day, catch him as he finished his warm up sets then say ‘that moved like nothing’ and ask him if he has any tips
  3. Look a bit confused and ask him if he could show you
  4. After it’s done say ‘thanks buddy’, touch him on the arm and maintain eye contact for a moment then leave
  5. Let a few sessions go by, then when you notice him going for some equipment make a beeline for him
  6. Say, ‘oh you’re doing this? Me too, can I work in?’
  7. Remind him about the tips and tell him they really helped
  8. Let nature take its course.

An optional step as part of step 8 is to touch his butt. Now, I’m not saying touching his but is what you should do but… touch his butt.


Fixed that for you :joy:


The answer is no if you don’t ask, I got into powerlifting by training one day at the gym and when the owner ( incredibly large man who benches 700+ with a shirt) if he could help me, he actually invited me to come by on a weekend when a powerlifting team meets and learn there… rest is history been about 10 months and all my lifts are way up. Form is solid and couldn’t have met a cooler group of men/women.


From what I noticed, people at the gym seem pretty casual. They hardly break a sweat or let out a slight grunt while doing reps. I have said what’s up and nodded at him before. He makes eye contact, and does what I consider the normal head nod guys do when they don’t really know one another.
He looks like he goes hard every work out. So yea, guess I’m looking for a training partner with similar intensity. Thing is, he looks a bit more advanced, and his lifts are several hundred pounds beyond where I’m at right now. Like I said, I have athletic experience, but not much weight lifting experience. It feels very natural though.
Maybe one day I’ll just be like. Hey man, what’s your max DL or some shit. See where it goes from there.

Should I bring the soap?

Trying to imagine another dude touching this mans ass. He’s about as wide as a refrigerator.