T Nation

Fun With Gym Idiots


So I was doing close-grip bench presses tonight and some dude (now I'm only 170 lbs or so, but this dude was about 30 pounds less than me) comes up to me and says:

"you're doing it wrong, you should..." and he began to show where to put my hands.

I very quickly pointed to my triceps and slapped them to indicate I was working them...not my chest.

Then I gave hime the "You're dismissed" motion.

After, I thought there must be some way I could have had a good laugh, but I still get blanks on what I could have done.

Any ideas?


You could have said. "Thanks for the help but I'm all set."

Wait...that's not sarcastic...or funny in the least.


The answer is, slap some more weight on it, and say show me.


You should have kicked him in the groin and stolen his girlfriend. Then, you must devour the heart of your enemy to gain his courage.


I don't know what you should have said, but I just have to relate what I saw yesterday at the gym. Sorry for the hijack.

This young kid was trying to do something like DB rows. Knee on the bench, arm hanging down, ready to go. What does he do?

He doesn't bend him arm and pull the weight up, he twists his back and lifts his shoulder with no other arm movement at all.

Did I miss something? I figured he'd seen all the cheating variations that happened in the gym and just figured he'd give it a try.

If I was nearby I would have asked him what he was doing...


So now 5'8" 170lb guys at 20%bf are rude jackasses dismissing people in the gym. Your mom must be proud.

Here's a novel idea, instead of being a jerk--which, by the way, I doubt anything like this happened or you replied in any way like you claim--how about you explain to the guy 30lbs less than you what you are doing and why.


I suppose you could have explained the powerlifter style of benching and declared your intention of doing it exactly the way that you WERE doing it. If he didn't leave, THEN be a rude fucker and tell him to go swallow the soap in the bathroom.


Giving advice to others in the gym is frought with risk, and is something I rarely do, unless I feel that the guy is in immediate risk.

Case in point: today I'm watching a guy doing stiff-leg deads in the Smith. He's so intent on using a "full range of motion" that he places a box, about 24" tall, incide the machine, slightly behing the bar, as a platform to stand on- this way he can actually lower the bar LOWER than the "floor" so to speak.

Needless to say, he's flexing his entire spine maximally to achieve this, which poses a very real risk.

In this particular case, I said nothing. Why? Because 90% of the time the advice, as well-intended as it might be, is taken as an insult.

If you DO decide to offer advice, I suggest examining your true intentions: are they to help the person or prove who's more knowledgeable? If it's the former, and the person in question is risking his safety, proceed with caution!


You're not Arnold, you're not allowed to act arrogant unless one of two things occurs:

1.) You begin to slightly resemble something like Arnold, ya know...you actually have a lot of muscle.

2.) You're pushing the same kinda weight as Arnold.

Try being nice when someone offers help.

I know it's tempting to act like a douche but please refrain, you give all of us with plenty of knowledge a bad reputation.

It's our job to educate the unwashed masses. Not to scare them off.


As much as I like to mess with the idiots too, I kinda agree with ghost22. There was a time when we were also in their position (and some of us are still gym idiots from time to time). The only way we got better was through the help of other lifters and from reading.

Personally, I have no way to compensate those who've helped me in the past, so I feel I should at least try to pay it forward.


So why don't you just call him a liar ? what if it has not happened to u, it has never happened, why does he have to explain anything and disrupt his concentration for another gym dickhead who has invaded his personal space.

Your mom must be proud as well.


Actually, yes this happened exactly the way I said it did. However, I neglected to say that I'm not a native speaker of the language of this country I'm working in, and most times people come up to me (at the most awkward times) to "Practice their english."


And being a non Chinese speaker (as I didn't know how to say what I was doing in Chinese), I can't explain in their language, thus I used body language.

So while I can fully understand why most of you think I'm a jerk, but know that there was a MASSIVE language barrier to overcome...


Thanks for the post, Charles. And an excellent point in the last paragraph, IMHO.


lol. Nope, I'm sure as heck not Arnold.

Let me explain my thinking...I'm out doing things for others all day (job, and extra things) and working out is one of the FEW things I do solely for myself and no one else.

I don't like talking...maybe only a hello between sets (or in this case Ni Hao). If someone is friendly, I return the gesture, if someone does not come to me in a humble manner (as I approach those who are greater than me) I treat them like they are arrogant.

Perhaps it's a culture difference, I dont know, but perhaps not.

As I said before, there was a language barrier too. Body language gets the point across quickly and efficiently.

If he wanted to be educated, he would have asked what I was doing and why instead of automatically assuming I was doing it wrong, right?


Actually, this is the reason I acted this way. When I lift (because I'm not strong or big) I really focus on nothing else but my chosen lift. I don't want to be bothered as I've got work to do.

I'll happily talk to someone when I'm done, or when moving to a different station...but once I sit (or lay down) at the station (or counting time between sets) I don't want to be bothered.

In fact, (normally) when a good-natured person approaches me and I'm lifting I tell them "Look, I don't talk when I'm exercising. I'll gladly talk to you later when I'm finished". And most of the time it works.

But IMHO, anyone who is smaller and weaker than I am (and that's pretty weak) comes to tell me I'm wrong without getting information on what I'm doing...well they are nothing but a nuisance.


My mother is actually quite proud of me. I am kind and considerate of others who may or may not know as much as I on a given subject. I don't mind helping people and taking a little time out of my day to do so. Granted, if I'm in the middle of a serious workout, I may say I don't have the time right now, but I never am dismissive nor do I look down on those who ask genuinely for any help.

I've been working out for almost 20yrs--10 very seriously--and have never had someone come up to me as I was about to lif or in the middle of my lift to discuss my lift or correct my form. These posts are getting more and more ridiculous. They want to be some tough guy know-it-all who is really working hard and is all serious and stuff. Truth is--if you are and if you look like you are training, I don't see why someone would come up to you and start correcting you. Certainly not someone 30-40-50-100lbs weaker.


Look dude...you don't know me and I don't know you. have you ever been out of the country for a time? have you ever experienced a different culture and people?

You'd be surprised what people do in different cultures that you'd never have done to you in your country of origin.

Well, I hate to tell you bro...but it indeed happened. In fact, it's happened more than once to me since I've been here.

I think they truly wanted to help out, even to the point of not thinking their action through...just to try to talk to the foreigner.

Sometimes I feel like I'm a zoo attraction..but that is another story altogether.

What you have experienced may not reflect what happens to others, you know.

In fact, I'd bet that many others here have had things like this happen too...and to people much bigger/stronger than me (I remember reading other threads about it).

I have no reason to lie...then again you don't know that.

Then again...whatever.

Now you can choose to believe it or not.


whatever dude....

or is it bro!

Maybe if you learn to communicate like an adult others would take you serious.

And I have been out of the country. That would also imply different cultures!

You can blah blah me to death. If you worrying about me believing you is this upsetting, too bad. The real gist of my post is:

If you look like you know what you're doing and it shows, noone would come up to you as you are about to lift and comment. So you maybe don't measure up, I don't know. But when some guy comes on here and says this happened to him, then I guess there must be a reason. And your little "I gave him the dissmisive shoo away sign with my hand bs" is annoying. And your arguing with me that it is real instead of addressing the fact you were a jerk doesn't make me feel like I judged you wrong.


so which is it, do pullups work the chest or the triceps?