T Nation

How To Best Approach A Fellow Lifter

I was in the gym yesterday, doing my squats. There’s this guy next to me who was also doing squats with very nice form, all the way to the bottom. I got to thinking; How could I approach him to ask if he could critique my technique, without looking like an asshole? Really I know how to talk to people but from all the posts on here, how does one get advice without looking like a fool.

He was doing some nice squats and had some massive legs. I think my technique is just OK since I just started working out the T-Nation way for about a year now. Anybody?

Jsut ask man…remember your a T-MAN!

Dude, you sound like me trying to approach a girl.

Just wait until he’s finished a set and say:

“You have great form. I was wondering if you would critique mine?”


“You have great form and your legs are huge. Do you have any tips?”

If you find it neccessary, throw in something about how “I’m just beginning, and I was wondering if…”

Or whatever. I’ve found that if you ply them with a little compliment, most people won’t shut up.

If he’s listening to headphones, you have to be slightly more diplomatic. Wait until he’s done working the squat, approach him from the front, smile, and say what you were going to say. He’ll probably say “huh?” and pull off the headphones. Then you repeat yourself and you’re off and running. The approaching from the front thing is important, as I HATE getting shoulder tapped. It’s annoying and it interferes with my personal space.

Dan “Don’t try this with the guy on the stepmill” McVicker

That’s an interesting side-benefit I noticed since I started wearing an iPod at the gym: when I’m coming towards someone (who may or may not have earphones of their own), removing the earbuds while making eye contact is as good as saying “Hey you! Got a second?”

If they have earphones, they automatically pull them out because they know you’re about to say something. If they don’t have earphones, they still realize I’m about to say something, and give me their attention.

As for asking for a critique, the rare times I’ve done it, I’ve given the honest compliment before the question, something like “That was a great set/form; can I get your opinion on something?” If they say “Yes” then you’re not interrupting.