T Nation

Do You Volunteer Training Advice?

I’m working out at the gym yesterday. There’s only a few people there and I see this kid come in. He’s extremely skinny and kind of wandering around mostly just doing all sorts of curls. From the way he looks around at others you get the feeling he’s kind of embarrassed.

Anyway, I felt like asking him some questions, maybe offering him some training advice and referring him to T-Nation. But I didn’t want to make him feel like an idiot either. What do you think about this? Do you guys ever offer advice or do you wait until they ask you something?

This thread has come up a few times. Most people don’t offer advice. If someone asks me something I will offer information but for the most part I leave everyone to themselves…although sometimes it’s tough to watch what is going on in the gym.

[quote]vbm537 wrote:
This thread has come up a few times. Most people don’t offer advice. If someone asks me something I will offer information but for the most part I leave everyone to themselves…although sometimes it’s tough to watch what is going on in the gym.[/quote]

What he said.

[quote]vbm537 wrote:
This thread has come up a few times. Most people don’t offer advice. If someone asks me something I will offer information but for the most part I leave everyone to themselves…although sometimes it’s tough to watch what is going on in the gym.[/quote]

Agreed. I rarely offer advice unless it’s to my partner (which I rarely have one, unless I’m not at my school). Do I see a lot of people who can use advice? Yes, but I tend to leave them to themselves. There have been times where I have offered advice, but they are few and far between.

I think as long as you’re not a douche about it , a lot of beginners really appreciate quality unsolicited training advice. Don’t come up to them and say “Hey Little Man, you gotta do it like this” and proceed to add on 50lbs to the bar. Don’t tell them they’re training wrong and that they need get in the Squat Rack.

If they’re training arms, you can mention that the bench press or chins is a good alternative to curls and pushdowns.

If they’re doing crunches, mention that squats and deadlifts are how a lot of their favorite athletes get strong “cores.”

If you’re gonna give someone unsolicited advice, just make sure you treat them as an equal.

I’d just like to personally thank you for your contribution to the elite balla thread. Pure classic.

[quote]Petrichor wrote:
vbm537 wrote:
This thread has come up a few times. Most people don’t offer advice. If someone asks me something I will offer information but for the most part I leave everyone to themselves…although sometimes it’s tough to watch what is going on in the gym.

What he said.

[/quote]

Yeah, what he said. I often want to give kids advice because whoever is showing them how to do some exercises is a complete moron. But I don’t want to be “that guy” either.

I think in THIS case it would be a good idea to direct him to T-Nation. It doesn’t even have to come across as giving a clueless guy help - just sharing a cool resource.

[quote]super saiyan wrote:
I’m working out at the gym yesterday. There’s only a few people there and I see this kid come in. He’s extremely skinny and kind of wandering around mostly just doing all sorts of curls. From the way he looks around at others you get the feeling he’s kind of embarrassed.

Anyway, I felt like asking him some questions, maybe offering him some training advice and referring him to T-Nation. But I didn’t want to make him feel like an idiot either. What do you think about this? Do you guys ever offer advice or do you wait until they ask you something? [/quote]

I try to be brief if they look dedicated, and just mention this website.
Mostly, I don’t because I am not that big and people might be like “Who the pluck are you?”.

Though, I do feel like mentioning it to Qtr Squat Strutters. But then I would be a hypocrite considering I do Rack Pulls.

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:
I’d just like to personally thank you for your contribution to the elite balla thread. Pure classic.[/quote]

LOL, you’re welcome. But you should really thank eliteballa; he started it all.

[quote]Natural Nate wrote:
I think in THIS case it would be a good idea to direct him to T-Nation. It doesn’t even have to come across as giving a clueless guy help - just sharing a cool resource.

super saiyan wrote:
I’m working out at the gym yesterday. There’s only a few people there and I see this kid come in. He’s extremely skinny and kind of wandering around mostly just doing all sorts of curls. From the way he looks around at others you get the feeling he’s kind of embarrassed.

Anyway, I felt like asking him some questions, maybe offering him some training advice and referring him to T-Nation. But I didn’t want to make him feel like an idiot either. What do you think about this? Do you guys ever offer advice or do you wait until they ask you something?

[/quote]

That’s kinda what I was thinking. When I started out I was skinny and weak, and didn’t know anything about lifting. I would have liked getting advice from some of the bigger guys at the gym, but I never asked. I was probably too embarrassed or didn’t want to interrupt their workout. I think that some people want some direction, but are too timid to ask for it.

No, I’m too focused on my own workout to care what anyone else is doing.

I look at it as if someone is running around with a gas can and a pack of matches…if they’re content to stay far away from me and blow themselves up, then I’m fine with it…if however they become a hazard to me, I’ll say something to them trying to be respectful, but for the most part an ass with a can of gas and matches is hell bent on blowing himself up, just like the kid/full grown adult doing 30 sets of curls.

I intervene if they’re about to hurt themselves. Deadlifting with a back bent like a bow.

Other than that they can just stay small as far as I’m concerned.

I gave someone a spot yesterday and told him not to bounce the bar of his chest.

Other than that, no.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
I intervene if they’re about to hurt themselves. Deadlifting with a back bent like a bow.

Other than that they can just stay small as far as I’m concerned. [/quote]

I let others deadlift with poor form. An injury will teach 'em.

Taught me just fine. :slight_smile:

It’s a two edged sword.
Few people appreciate help in that department, because -let’s admit this- it’s a question of pride.
It’s the reason most people diss bodybuiders as stupid, musclebound, unhealthy.
Most people would not admit to themselves or their peers: “Gosh, I’d like to have these arms! That guy surely must know a lot about training.”
Safer to proclaim how happy and confident you feel with 12" guns and how repulsive and steroidinfested these 17inchers look like.

So, only if someone is genuinely interested, I happily give out advice.

If the guy wandering around the gym is also checking out what you’re doing and showing interest, I think it’s ok to strike up a conversation and offer whatever advice you want. If he’s off in his own world, leave him be unless he’s about to severly injure himself.

[quote]super saiyan wrote:
I’m working out at the gym yesterday. There’s only a few people there and I see this kid come in. He’s extremely skinny and kind of wandering around mostly just doing all sorts of curls. From the way he looks around at others you get the feeling he’s kind of embarrassed.

Anyway, I felt like asking him some questions, maybe offering him some training advice and referring him to T-Nation. But I didn’t want to make him feel like an idiot either. What do you think about this? Do you guys ever offer advice or do you wait until they ask you something? [/quote]

I’ll offer advice in a polite way. I’m fairly big and strong, in my 40s, and a chiropractor who has taken ART. 2 reasons why, I can get business by introducing myself and I can help someone.

Most times it’s been accepted graciously, since I’ll approach them politely. a young guy like that is often intimidated byt eh gym , so an advanced older guy is often taken seriously advice wise.

Woemn will often accpet help if you are polite about it. I’ll normally only offer advice if it seems as if they don’t know how to use the machine or do the exercise correctly, or if they might do soemthign that hurts them.

The only people who’re open to advice are rank novices. If a kid’s squatting in the squat rack really unsteadily, by himself, and is practically asking for advice, I’ll step up and ask him if he’s open to some. And then I’ll introduce myself and teach him how to squat as best as I can.

This has backfired on me once. A dude was deadlifting, fit the criteria of being a rank novice with an ego problem, deadlifted with a badly bowed back. When I approached him, he told me he knew his problem was a lack of explosiveness in his hips.

My only regret was that I tried to explain what spinal erecters were instead of saying ‘oh. Good luck with that.’