T Nation

Unsolicited Advice


#1

so I split my workouts between the corporate gym downstairs in my office building and my usual gym at home. This is all dependent upon my commute, workload and schedule.

Lately when I use the gym in my office I have the gym staff offerering unsolicited advice regarding my exercises. I would not mind so much if it was input regarding technique or my range of motion but it has always been "your looking to hurt yourself" or "why you doing that at your age", "you looking for shoulder problems"?.

I'm open minded. In my regular gym, I have gotten some great advice from the young studs on things and have greatly appreciated their time and input. They always point me in the right direction. But this advice at the corporate gym is from two specific people who, I wouldn't want their physique if you gave it to me; and seems so garnered in negativity it fucking drives me nuts. They work there so I am trying to be respectful of their input but I feel like just saying STFU.


At What Point Do You Think You Are "Qualified" to Give Out Advice?
#2

When I first moved over to the States, my first gym was YouFit. For the first few months, it wasn't bad, mainly because I always went at 5am before school and there was noone there. Then I changed my split so I had to go on the weekends. My first saturday was a deadlift day. As I was warming up and stacking plates on the pole, I see in the corner of my eye a skinny little fella staring at me. When I approached 3 plates, he walked over to me and told me thats not how to row. I tried explaining to him I was deadlifting and then he tried telling me he was a personal trainer and he suggests I never deadlift for the sake of saving myself from injuries. I thanked him for his advice and continued on. However eventually he and a few others kept suggesting "healthy" alternatives. This last a few months until I had enough. Lucky for me a new gym opened up down the street and was having a great deal so I signed up. Have you tried putting in headphones? That works sometimes.


#3

The trainers at my gym told me that every workout. I either wore my belt funny, shouldn't OHP, squat over 1 plate, etc etc etc. Finally, after me repeatedly telling him "thanks, but I'm happy with the results I'm getting", I just told him to STFU and let me lift.


#4

I just say "Hey thanks" and keep doing what I'm doing.

Arguing is just going to mean engaging with them even further.

Telling them to shut up will get them defensive.

Agreeing with them placates them, and then you just do what you want. You can actually use this trick a lot in life.


#5

I have given unsolicited advice exactly one time in my life to a kid who looked like he was going to end up in a wheelchair from his dumbbell row form. He just looked at me like I was the biggest asshole on Earth and continued on, which was about what I deserved I suppose.

No one's ever tried to give me advice because I'm so fucking hardcore it just radiates off me. If anything, people try to work out close to me to try and absorb some of my awesome.


#7

I feel your pain. In my opinion, one of the most important of the Unwritten Gym Rules is Never, Ever Give Anyone Unsolicited Advice. It's especially annoying when some untrained idiot thinks he knows what he's talking about simply because he's wearing a shirt that says Staff on the back.


#8

HAHAHAHAHAHA.....you da man!


#9

I have been rolling with this here response.

I literally have hour to hour and fifteen minutes to roll through my workout, shower and get back up to my desk. I am head down, earphones in, timing my rest periods and plowing through the workout.

I already inconvenience myself by staggering my workout time as to not be near the gym at lunch-time or booty camp class so I do not run into a million co-workers who want to chit-chat.


#10

Yup. The last time I broke the no unsolicited advice law was several years ago, when I saw an obvious beginner (she happened to be a woman) attempting to do SLDLs by bending at the lumbar spine until the bar touched the floor (she looked like a cat stretching after taking a nap), and then s-l-o-w-l-y rolling her spine up, one vertebra at a time. I walked over, apologized for interrupting her workout, told her I was concerned she was going to injure herself, and asked whether I could give her some pointers. She smiled condescendingly and said "Thanks, but no thanks." I put my headphones back in and slunk off, kicking myself for breaking the law, and swearing I would never do so again.


#11

If they are staff there's a good chance management has told them to talk to members and give pointers. Sounds like they are douches in how they deliver it.

If they dont take the thank you and continue giving pointers, put headphones on and ignore them, give a nod and keep going if they make eye contact.

It's amazing how kids have a way of sensing these things :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#12

Did it look like this?

I mean, she mighta just been doing them super old school...but probably not.

I will admit to one of the funnier methods I have heard for dealing with unsolicited advice (even though I've never tried it). If you have earbuds in, as they're talking to you, keep increasing the volume while yelling "what?!" louder and louder as they talk. Make no effort to remove the earbuds.

I mean, what's a little tinnitus if it means being left alone?


#13

yeah you feel like such a tool, eh? It's worse with chicks because I imagine they probably think it's an opener to hit on them, EyeDentist you sly old fox


#14

Oh man--I never even considered that. So now I'm a nosy and creepy old guy. Great.


#15

yeah but you're in shape so it's totally ok.

Creepiness is all about how hot you are. If you approach a chick in the gym and you look like Ryan Gosling, you're charming. If look like Wilford Brimley, you're a creep.


#16

That's her! The pic must have been taken just before I walked up.


#17

Aw, I'm disappointed. I thought this was going to be a thread dedicated to offering unsolicited advice. Like, just letting 'er rip.

On topic, I'm also guessing the staff has been told to make themselves useful, and this is what they've come up with.


#18

Where does looking like Bob Saget fall on the Charming<--->Creepy continuum? I apparently look so much like him, I was once asked if I was him. Once, maybe twice a month, my wife and I will be at a function, and someone will say 'Excuse me, has anyone ever told you...' (it's at this point that the sound of my wife's laughter drowns out the rest of the question).


#19

hahah! Yeah, you totally do. He's not a bad looking dude, I suppose.

I've been described as "Will Wheaton on steroids"


#20

Remember when Bob Saget lost his mind and started doing stand up comedy about things like molesting the full house girls plus wrote songs like this:


#21

Hmmm, I was trying to say Bob Saget probably increases creepy factor but I think I just ruined the the thread.... sorry :frowning: