T Nation

Giving Advice at the Gym

Hey guys.

I am no expert, but I have been on these forums and working out for several months.

Anyway, sometimes at the gym, like today, I see kids who are doing exercises with AWFUL form or doing things that are just not at all helpful really.

Is it bad form to try to give them friendly advice?

A guy gave me advice on my Squats once and I really appreciated it.

If they cared what you have to say, they would ask, or they would look like they wanted to ask.

I asked a kid who was clueless to spot me the other day. So, he did a good job sqotting, then I saw him doing 1/4 reps on a seat cable rows (with a huge backward lean and pull). I handing him a piece of paper with T-Nation’s address on it before I left.

I see people doing stupid shit in the gym all the time. I won’t give advice unless I’m asked–I still consider myself a newb. But I think casually bringing up sites like T-Nation or something like I did is totally okay. If they want advice they can look it up or post anonymously or work it into the conversation with you.

I’ve been wondering about this too. Theres this guy at my gym, usually does the latest new ab exercise or whatever weird functional shit, but the other day I saw him set up to do deadlifts and I’m thinking, alright, he finally caught on, good for him… I have never seen such a rounded back in my life.

On the one hand, most guys get pissed when some random person tells them they’re wrong. On the other hand, he’s either gonna stop doing them, get hurt, or both.

Don’t give advice unless you are being asked to do so or know the other person.

The very best thing you can do at the gym is to focus on the task ahead of YOU! Block out everything around you and move some iron. Don’t look around, don’t nod at people, don’t talk, critique, or advise. Farting is okay, cause it helps keep the masses away.

Concentrate on feeling the muscles move during the set, the contraction, the stretch, the pain, the joy. One more rep. Get ready for the next set.

If someone approaches you and asks how to do an exercise, tell them to talk to you after you are done working out. Or point them to one of those “personal trainers”. They get paid to do this, right or wrong.

To the OP, you are right, you are no expert. What if you correct someone’s form and their back happens to give out on that corrected set? Whatcha gonna do now?

I gave a guy advice once on squating because it looked like he was going to injure himself on it. That is about the only time though. I’m actually certified as a trainer even though i don’t actually have a job doing it so i feel i know a lot of good info.

I’ve also had some lady tell me the other day that i shouldn’t squat down so low because i will blow out my knees because she heard that from some other people. Sounds like a real reliable source.

As a general rule, I would not hand out advice to someone who doesn’t ask. That said, I have done it on a few occasions. Sometimes, you have to go with your gut.

However, if anyone ever asks me for advice I am always willing to do so when the time is appropriate. I never try to make anyone feel as though they or their questions are stupid or that I am above answering them. For the most part, people come to me because I look like I workout.

Many years ago I was befriended by some people, who looking back, were well ahead of their time. I try to pass that forward anytime I can.

I once tried teaching two of the incoming frosh(both in football btw) how o squat. I got so much lip from these two dickless sacks of shit. They worked real hard to JUST UNLOCK their legs squat plates. I wanted to beat sense into them.

Where the fuck are their coaches?

Don’t bother unless its so bad that they are very likely to hurt themselves. I find its best to let some learn the hard way because most who lift think they know it all and focus on the weight rather than form due to ego issues.

The only way you know your lifting right is videotaping yourself and getting feedback from others in addition to that. You make the judgment call from there.

Well fuck, if they are doing someting wrong, that could be bad for thier health, why not help them?

How hard is it to offer advice? really?

If they think they are hot shit and don’t listen to you or you get the impression that the don’t care, well who cares, you tried.

Thats what this site is about, helping people… But how many people are going to get dodgy info from some other site.

It’s either going to be their loss or gain, nothing will effect you… unless they take your advice and do something different that benefits them… then you will have a nice warm feeling in your heart… =D rofl

You can also judge if someone looks like they would accept advice or not.
I had the same prob yeste, didnt know wether to help him or not… i just didnt doo it.

Hence why i wanna be a PT and help people without looking like a knowitall

I told a kid once in the gym he could tear his rotator cuff the way he was doing DB shoulder shrugs. He seemed very happy I told him that, before he left after his workout, he came up and thanked me again and I shoke his hand. Was very impressed, kid was probably 17 years old.

One thing is that you are not trying to judge them; you are trying to help them out so I don’t see that is a bad idea.

why do people hate “functional” training so much i consider functional training training for sport performance.

[quote]resurrekt wrote:
Well fuck, if they are doing someting wrong, that could be bad for thier health, why not help them?

How hard is it to offer advice? really?

If they think they are hot shit and don’t listen to you or you get the impression that the don’t care, well who cares, you tried.

Thats what this site is about, helping people… But how many people are going to get dodgy info from some other site.

It’s either going to be their loss or gain, nothing will effect you… unless they take your advice and do something different that benefits them… then you will have a nice warm feeling in your heart… =D rofl

You can also judge if someone looks like they would accept advice or not.
I had the same prob yeste, didnt know wether to help him or not… i just didnt doo it.

Hence why i wanna be a PT and help people without looking like a knowitall[/quote]

I’ve sen things i the gym man, scary things, DANGEROUS THINGS. squat rack horror.

I started working at my gym, and you kind of have to judge it yourself. I try to approach really friendly if i see something very wrong. I’ll say, if youre trying to work your triceps, its important to keep your elbows at your sides. maybe you can try lowering your weight, and seeing if you feel it more. some listen, some don’t. Doesn’t bothr me if they dont want to learn. I’ll save my time and teach someone who is willing to learn instead. But who am i kidding, as much time as i am on the floor, im in the office reading stuff on this site.

I’m probably in the minority - but if I had some kind of form problem, I’d want someone to tell me that I was rolling my back, arching poorly etc.

With that said, it’s the perfect opportunity for a dickhead to then show off his “superiority”. That’s no fun. It’s not a competition…