Gym etiquette question


Dec 2, 2004
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Do you guys ever offer unsolicited advice in the gym? I sometimes want to, but I try to refrain unless it looks like somebody's going to really hurt themselves. I feel inclined to do so mostly when I see people quarter squatting 100lbs too much weight with atrocious from. There's been a shift towards squatting at the university gym where I lift, but it almost always involves using the manta-ray, a spotter humping the lifter from behind, and really shallow lifts. Any ideas?

I did stop a kid from unracking a bar in the squat rack the other day that had 25lbs more on one side than the other. :D
ill only do it if im really afraid that theyre going to fuck themselves up doing something stupid. like SLDL's with the most rounded back in the universe. if theyre doing cheat curls for an entire hour, i just let them be.
go ahead and do it, just be quiet about it. I'm sure the person would appreciate the help as long as you don't embarass him/her.
rEmY said:
ill only do it if im really afraid that theyre going to fuck themselves up doing something stupid. like SLDL's with the most rounded back in the universe. if theyre doing cheat curls for an entire hour, i just let them be.

Yeah, I don't ever bother the curlers or smithmachine guys.
NickDavid said:
go ahead and do it, just be quiet about it. I'm sure the person would appreciate the help as long as you don't embarass him/her.

This is very true, I can speak from exp. When i first started lifting weights several years ago, I'll admit i didnt know dick and was more than happy if a more experienced guy would step in and give me a tip or prevent me from hurting myself as long as they werent a dick with the him holier than you attitude when they helped me. Now i'll do the same if someone looks to be struggling or is going to hurt themselves. Just have to approach them with the right attitude, and most of the time it's fine. Then on rare occasion you get the highschool toughguy but thats few and far between.
You often can spot from a mile away those who are willing to learn and those who just wanna curl and do 1/30 squatting.
In the gyms in scotland peoples egos get the better of them. IN the gym i work theres a guy who thinks he the strongest man in world. True he shifts lots of weight but he has the worst form ever and has a strange hunch on this back like kwasimodo.
i'm not big time knowlegable of lifts and such.

but i'll stop someone if they are going to hurt themselves with deadlifts and such.

but i'll let the retards squat 275 and watch them crumble.
As I rule, I only offer advice if I'm asked. It's been my experience that most folks in a gym will bite the hand that feeds them. I could see myself stepping in if someone risks a sudden trip to the hospital, but I won't even try to prevent long term injury in some cases. I mean some guys at my gym slam the bar into their sternum day after day in the gym. That will catch up with them eventually, but I wouldn't feel right going over there and telling them to start lifting correctly. I suppose some folks just have to learn things on their own.

I will say, however, that a guy once gave me unsolicited advice on my power cleans, and it helped me out greatly. There's a lot of case-by-case judgment and intuition involved.
I try to stay focused and giving my two cents to random people would break my concentration. Also, I know how it feels when someone tries to tell me that "you're going to hurt yourself!" and therefore, won't bother other people with such nonsense. However, if someone asks me for advice, I'm more than willing to help.
I can't be bothered to be honest. There are so many idiot in my gym that most of my workouts would be devoted to showing people propar technique.
If there doing somethign really dangerous I might go get osmeone that works in the gym, they're worried about people suing so they'll tell them something so easy and non dangerous that I never have to deal with looking at that person again.

Most of the time though people ask me questions. Pathetically enough I've got the greatest strength:weight ratio in my gym when it comes to deads and squats (don't really bench much).

<sigh> I need to go to a better gym
no. I say nothing and keep my eyes down. If they don't want my help (which has only happened once) I won't give it to them. Chances are they don't want advice, and somebody else they know (a good friend) told them to do it that way so they won't listen to me anyways. Fuck 'em. Injuries are god's way of telling you to knock that shit off anyways.
Even if people ask you for advice, they are often not willing to take it. They ask you and if you start to explain what strength training actually is, they say stuff like:

"A friend of a friend of a mine who is a personal trainer told me to do [insertanyexercise] that way..."
"I do the Mens health workout."

And those type of people even never wondered why they train year in year out in their high end fitness studio with their personal trainers arround them and make hiliarious gains while i trained in a shabby "room" with just some weights and selfbuilt machines and some rowers arround me.
Once I was trying to do Clean and Press. I was actually upright rowing the weight, rolling my shoulders then pressing. I was lucky enough to have a member of the olympic bob sled team (I'm pretty sure he was on it anyway) call me over. He said "what exactly are you trying to do over there?" I told him i'm trying to clean and press. He said "well if you keep doing it that way you are going to destroy your back and shoulders, if you want I can show you the right way" And he did a few reps while I watched. Anyway, I thought his appoach was good. I've stopped a kid in the gym once because he was doing hack squats on a machine...backwards. He couldn't reach the handle to support the weight when he was done. I showed him how to do it...looking back now I probably should have told him to ditch the machine all together.
Having reconsidered it, somebody once told me I was slipping on my squat form once without any provocation, and I was very grateful for that. So maybe, if they were doing something blatantly bad (I had a TERRIBLE tendency to hula my hips to get them under the bar) I'd let them know without them asking.
i sure wish someone would give me advice

cause im almost positive my form is shitty

ive been tempted to ask some of the more expierenced guys a few times , but those dudes looked so intimidating it was unreal

worst thing is i could prob armbar or choke everyone of those monsters....hahaha

but that dosent amount to much in the gym lifting weights now does it
I, as a fairly new heavy lifter, can say that any help is appreciated, as long as it's in a fairly polite manner. As long as you don't call me a "dumbass" I'll take any advice I can get.
Yeah but the problem is that folks who don't mind getting advice are in the minority, and sometimes you just can't tell. On top of this, the folks who go around trying to correct everyone's form usually aren't so well informed themselves. It's a pretty shitty situation.
As the Hulk just was into, most people that go around and spread "wisdom" in comercial gyms is either idiots, bodybuilder wanabes, muscle and fitness readers or PTs. Most comonly a combination of all with the possible exeption of PT.

I love to get good advice as long as they dont try and make me into a bodybuilder. That doesnt happen to often since I changed gym to the dirt cheap powerlifter/oly gym.

A funny memory comes to me now. Once when doing fairly heavy squats, a scrawny little man comes up to me and my mate and says that we should stop going so deep on the squats. Then he walks back to the benchpress and continues reping 50kg for -half reps-.... Funny shit and somehow it spiritually represent most good advice I have got in the gym...
Its my job to do so. But don't always do it.. Depends on the situation. Depends where the advice is coming from too. Since the gym itself is not always a great place to learn how to lift.