T Nation

Helping Some Guys Out in my Gym

So I was just finishing my workout today as a two guys came into the gym. They were doing bench and couple of random exercises. I got thinking about the Jack Reape article that was posted on the site recently and I decided to try and give them a few small pointers.

Now usually if I do this people just don’t want to listen, so I was cautious at first. I noticed that when they were doing bench they had their grip really close, so I asked them if they were doing close-grip bench. They kinda looked at me funny and asked what did I mean.

So then I gave them a short explanation of how close-grip hits the triceps more and if they put their grip wider they would be able to lift more weight and it would use the pecs more.

To my surprise they were really receptive to my advice. They even asked if I could give them any more pointers on anything else. I ended up staying with them for their full training session and showing them how to squat properly, deadlift and all the basics.

The thing that surprised me the most was that after I showed them the proper way to do the exercise once or twice they were well able to do it. By the end of the session they were squatting to full depth (albeit with low weights). They were even able to do the proper front squat hold with wrists bent back as opposed to arms crossed. I even had one of them do an overhead squat or two with the empty bar.

They said they had been lifting for the last 8 months and had been doing squats “to parallel” (which they now realise were quarter squats), doing deadlifts with their feet about less than 6 inches apart with a really close-grip and bench, well I think we’ve all seen the typical bench press that people do. But by the end of the session they had good technique on the big three and realised that you should be using good techniques as well as increasing the weight.

It just seemed that nobody had ever told them or even tried to tell them that they were doing it wrong, and when someone did tell them they were actually quick to take on the advice.

I know that this is not the normal response when one of us gives advice to anyone. I just thought that I’d let you know that not everyone will turn around and tell us to f**k off if we try and help them and that sometimes you can actually get a positive response like I did.

Any thoughts? Similar experiences?

ive just about given up trying to help people in the gym, but i feel its kind in my nature regardless.

i went in the gym one day and long story short this kid was getting a ton of bad information from one of the front desk people so me and another guy took em aside n tried to set em straight. i did a couple sessions with him, tried to teach em to deadlift - i think he got discouraged because he wasnt doing it 100% and he asked if it took me a while to get it and i said, no. anyway, never worked out with kid more than twice.

some other guy is always asking for my advice, asks the same questions 100 times, i give em the same answers 100 times. more recently i walked by, said whatsup n he said he needed to “bring up his upper chest” i told him he needs to bring up everything and eat something because he has a lot of work to do. yea i was being a dick on purpose.

then the other day some guy talking on his bluetooth while doing deadlifts asked what was good back exercises, i pointed to what i was doing (rackpulls) and said “those”. hes like yeah i already did deadlifts so reluctantly i walked over to random machines, use this grip - do these with 1 arm, (pointed) do those. and walked away.

my philosophy is that if you want something bad enough youll figure out a way to get it. dont come fucking trying to talk to me and make me waste my god damned time if youre just gonna fuck around and not do 1 thing i said.

just a lot of people at my gym who irritate me b/c they always ask my advice but never take it.

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[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
ive just about given up trying to help people in the gym, but i feel its kind in my nature regardless.

i went in the gym one day and long story short this kid was getting a ton of bad information from one of the front desk people so me and another guy took em aside n tried to set em straight. i did a couple sessions with him, tried to teach em to deadlift - i think he got discouraged because he wasnt doing it 100% and he asked if it took me a while to get it and i said, no. anyway, never worked out with kid more than twice.

some other guy is always asking for my advice, asks the same questions 100 times, i give em the same answers 100 times. more recently i walked by, said whatsup n he said he needed to “bring up his upper chest” i told him he needs to bring up everything and eat something because he has a lot of work to do. yea i was being a dick on purpose.

then the other day some guy talking on his bluetooth while doing deadlifts asked what was good back exercises, i pointed to what i was doing (rackpulls) and said “those”. hes like yeah i already did deadlifts so reluctantly i walked over to random machines, use this grip - do these with 1 arm, (pointed) do those. and walked away.

my philosophy is that if you want something bad enough youll figure out a way to get it. dont come fucking trying to talk to me and make me waste my god damned time if youre just gonna fuck around and not do 1 thing i said.

just a lot of people at my gym who irritate me b/c they always ask my advice but never take it. [/quote]

Maybe its because they don’t take you seriously Live.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:

just a lot of people at my gym who irritate me b/c they always ask my advice but never take it. [/quote]

I agree with you on the people who don’t take the advice. That’s why I was cautious at the start. If the guys hadn’t actually been such good listeners I would have just quit talking them after the first few tips.

I think it is great that some people can be so receptive to others advice, especially when it is good advice.

Far to many times I have seen people get defensive because someone is just trying to help prevent an injury. This is why i keep my advice to myself.

Sadly, one time as i watched someone deadlift with arms slightly bent, and what do you know…tore his biceps right in front of me. In retrospect I wish i had gone to point out the flaw in his form.

I am glad there are still people willing to give free advice even though the majority of the time some know it all bozo will tell them to mind their own business.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

Why just yesterday at the receprion area, I advised a girl that she should be pedalling on te balls of her feet and have the seat a little higher on the bike.

BBB[/quote]

Can you please elaborate more on that? I’ve done quite a few research on proper lifting form but I’ve neglected proper cardio form thinking that they don’t too much. How do you use the bike properly? Thanks a lot

[quote]McG17 wrote:
I think it is great that some people can be so receptive to others advice, especially when it is good advice.

Far to many times I have seen people get defensive because someone is just trying to help prevent an injury. This is why i keep my advice to myself.

Sadly, one time as i watched someone deadlift with arms slightly bent, and what do you know…tore his biceps right in front of me. In retrospect I wish i had gone to point out the flaw in his form.

I am glad there are still people willing to give free advice even though the majority of the time some know it all bozo will tell them to mind their own business.
[/quote]

I know what you mean. Usually if I give any advice, the guy I’m giving advice to acts as if there is nothing that anyone can show him that he doesn’t already know, despite the fact that he is struggling with less than bodyweight on the DL, squat and bench.

Today was the first time that my advice was well received. I suppose if you keep trying, eventually you’ll give advice to someone willing to listen.

I used to go to a gym many years ago. I was always hoping that one of the big guys there would help me out and show me how to do shit. Most of the time I would just watch everyone else, totally clueless about what i shoudl be doing.

I wound up fucking around doing nothing but bench presses and dumbell curls then 30 minutes on the treadmill every night.

Then I just stopped going to the gym altogether.

Now I workout in my apartment, I am much wiser now, but I still wish I could get help.

Looking back, I probably should have just asked for help, but most of those guys were intimidating and I didn’t want to bother any of them.

I think its tricky territory; generally I feel that its a great thing if someone (more experienced) gives you advice. I’d snap that up quickly. Nothing better than external criticism.

However, sometimes I feel people looking at me, and they’re clearly thinking “what’s this idiot doing?” This is generally due to me rehabbing quite a few body parts. So long as you can tell whether someone’s using super low weights because they simply don’t know how muscle growth works, or whether its because they have very specific goals (recovery etc) that they are attempting to achieve, then all is good.

I had to tell a very very young kid (13/14?) not to use HUGE weights to curl since he couldn’t even hold them for more than 10 seconds. He looked at me all funny, so I let him carry on. He wasn’t a listener.

I rarely say anything. Mostly because I enjoy watching the circus around me. In addition, most people in the free weights area are men and I think they’d prefer a punch in the nuts over lifting advice from a woman. I could be wrong though.

One time a woman was in the rack next to me squatting and doing atg but her form wasn’t the best. I just picked one thing: don’t look down/at yourself in the mirror and you’ll come out of the hole more easily. I positioned it that she looked strong and could move significant weight if she tweaked a couple of things. She actually did look pretty strong. If you give a list, it could be overwhelming for most people.

[quote]jchenky wrote:
LiveFromThe781 wrote:
ive just about given up trying to help people in the gym, but i feel its kind in my nature regardless.

i went in the gym one day and long story short this kid was getting a ton of bad information from one of the front desk people so me and another guy took em aside n tried to set em straight. i did a couple sessions with him, tried to teach em to deadlift - i think he got discouraged because he wasnt doing it 100% and he asked if it took me a while to get it and i said, no. anyway, never worked out with kid more than twice.

some other guy is always asking for my advice, asks the same questions 100 times, i give em the same answers 100 times. more recently i walked by, said whatsup n he said he needed to “bring up his upper chest” i told him he needs to bring up everything and eat something because he has a lot of work to do. yea i was being a dick on purpose.

then the other day some guy talking on his bluetooth while doing deadlifts asked what was good back exercises, i pointed to what i was doing (rackpulls) and said “those”. hes like yeah i already did deadlifts so reluctantly i walked over to random machines, use this grip - do these with 1 arm, (pointed) do those. and walked away.

my philosophy is that if you want something bad enough youll figure out a way to get it. dont come fucking trying to talk to me and make me waste my god damned time if youre just gonna fuck around and not do 1 thing i said.

just a lot of people at my gym who irritate me b/c they always ask my advice but never take it.

Maybe its because they don’t take you seriously Live.
[/quote]

if that were the case they would have stopped bothering me by now.

it isnt because they dont take me seriously, its because they dont take the gym seriously.

[quote]skaz05 wrote:
I used to go to a gym many years ago. I was always hoping that one of the big guys there would help me out and show me how to do shit. Most of the time I would just watch everyone else, totally clueless about what i shoudl be doing.

I wound up fucking around doing nothing but bench presses and dumbell curls then 30 minutes on the treadmill every night.

Then I just stopped going to the gym altogether.

Now I workout in my apartment, I am much wiser now, but I still wish I could get help.

Looking back, I probably should have just asked for help, but most of those guys were intimidating and I didn’t want to bother any of them.[/quote]

theres a lot of people at the gym i just talk to because im “one of the guys” there or whatever and i know a bunch of ppl. so anyway, if i see someone i talk with doing something wrong ill stop them in the middle of the set and correct them.

and sometimes i catch random people listening to my conversations with other people when im talking about training techniques

[quote]Magicpunch wrote:
I think its tricky territory; generally I feel that its a great thing if someone (more experienced) gives you advice. I’d snap that up quickly. Nothing better than external criticism.

However, sometimes I feel people looking at me, and they’re clearly thinking “what’s this idiot doing?” This is generally due to me rehabbing quite a few body parts. So long as you can tell whether someone’s using super low weights because they simply don’t know how muscle growth works, or whether its because they have very specific goals (recovery etc) that they are attempting to achieve, then all is good.

I had to tell a very very young kid (13/14?) not to use HUGE weights to curl since he couldn’t even hold them for more than 10 seconds. He looked at me all funny, so I let him carry on. He wasn’t a listener.[/quote]

I used to get the “what’s that idiot doing?” looks when I was doing a routine that involved turkish getups and bent presses. That’s why I led with asking them if they were doing close-grip work on purpose, in case they happened to know what they were doing and had specific goals in mind.

i dedicate this song to all those aforementioned people, well mainly the chorus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dS15cQv5Ik

[quote]wushu_1984 wrote:
Magicpunch wrote:
I think its tricky territory; generally I feel that its a great thing if someone (more experienced) gives you advice. I’d snap that up quickly. Nothing better than external criticism.

However, sometimes I feel people looking at me, and they’re clearly thinking “what’s this idiot doing?” This is generally due to me rehabbing quite a few body parts. So long as you can tell whether someone’s using super low weights because they simply don’t know how muscle growth works, or whether its because they have very specific goals (recovery etc) that they are attempting to achieve, then all is good.

I had to tell a very very young kid (13/14?) not to use HUGE weights to curl since he couldn’t even hold them for more than 10 seconds. He looked at me all funny, so I let him carry on. He wasn’t a listener.

I used to get the “what’s that idiot doing?” looks when I was doing a routine that involved turkish getups and bent presses. That’s why I led with asking them if they were doing close-grip work on purpose, in case they happened to know what they were doing and had specific goals in mind.[/quote]

Good point. My own problem is that I’m not particularly experienced … at all. In that sense, I’m reluctant to pass on advice, just in case I’m wrong. However, when I do see someone doing something very bad (esp if they’re clearly a lot younger) I will most probably say something. But at 149, who’s going to listen to me? Oh by the way, its gone from 147 to 149 in the last 10-12 days! Wahey!

People around me do stupid fucking shit all the time. Regardless, I hold my tongue. Until I look more impressive, I don’t think people will listen to me, so why stick my head out? I see people giving me dirty looks when I front squat ATG or bench press to my chest, so FUCK IT. I’d feel too self conscious.

This reminds me… Today, I asked some random guy to spot me. I had just done a 2 rep set for bench, and the second rep was a real slow grinder. So I throw on 10 lbs and go for a single with the guy spotting me. AND HE PUTS HIS FUCKING HANDS UNDER THE BAR. I don’t know if he helped or not, but the weight went up very easily… Man I was pissed at him for touching that goddamn bar. Arr… Maybe keeping hands on the bar is necessary for hyouge weights, but there is no need for that crap in everyday life.

I think to give advice you should be a pretty big dude. I don’t care how cocky someone is, they should be taking advice from big ass dudes.

Wushu this is why they were receptive to ur advice:

[quote]wushu_1984 wrote:
… I noticed that when they were doing bench they had their grip really close, so I asked them if they were doing close-grip bench. They kinda looked at me funny and asked what did I mean.

So then I gave them a short explanation of how close-grip hits the triceps more and if they put their grip wider they would be able to lift more weight and it would use the pecs more.

…[/quote]

I find people much more receptive to advice if you approach them this way.

I remember when my friend and i started getting serious about squatting, this guy came up to us and told us to do a low-bar squat… i think thats what its called… where you put it at the bottom of your traps and it forces you to shove your butt out etc.

At first i was like… wtf do you mean? And i was kinda like don’t fucking tell me what to do i’ve seen when you do shouder presses and stuff you clank the weights together but it made sense. And now thats how i squat… ?
GT’s… good times