"You have the WORST form I have EVER SEEN!!"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:39 AM GMT
    So I am in the gym today getting my "lift on" and I happen to have pretty exceptional form. I do the exercises the way they are supposed to be done, keep my back as straight as possible, etc...you get the point.

    In my gym, the Lat Pulldown is directly next to a spot for someone to do Tricep pull/push downs and there is this guy who is BLATENTLY performing this exercise with possibly the worst form I have ever seen in my life. I mean he is throwing his entire body into trying to push down 40 lbs. (Picture someone leaning into the cable then pushing down the bar, elbows not at the sides...basically on tiptoe.) Astonishingly awful form.

    Now I am not a personal trainer nor do I claim to be - but I have done enough tricep exercises to know when someone has correct form and when someone looks like a jackass and is going to hurt himself. Plus he was such a distraction to everyone in the immediate area that someone needed to alert him to his lack of proper form and care.

    The person was of course, myself.

    I asked him (politely) if he was trying to work his triceps - he of course said yes and I let him know that his form was improper and that he should be doing it "this way". Now I know people hate to be corrected but when you could hurt yourself by doing the exercise the wrong way, you figure help is help. He thanked me for the advice but went right back to doing the exercise the wrong way. Simply atrocious.

    As an afterthought, I thought maybe I was in the wrong and that he didnt want or ask for help so maybe I did the incorrect thing in trying to correct him. I dunno.

    Thoughts?
  • jmanorlando

    Posts: 205

    Jul 15, 2008 4:10 AM GMT
    As long as the message was passed in hospitalbe way, then you did the right thing.

    I see so many bad forms ranging from entire body swings on curls to the example you gave and many more.

    Most likely the guy didn't want to try to correct it in front of you. My take is that at some point he compared his arms to yours and then decided what to do. The other take is that he is more likely to digest your input after he completes the exerise and then maybe change it next work out.

    It sounds stupid, but guys like to think they came to their own conclusions, maybe you'll see him in a week and he will thank you or... maybe not.
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    Jul 15, 2008 4:15 AM GMT

    Lol, this guy is a real man after my own heart. I sometimes do the exercises wrong on purpose too so that hot guys'll try to correct me.icon_razz.gif
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    Jul 15, 2008 4:28 AM GMT
    you did the right thing, you were polite and non-confrontational.

    there's so much bad form going around, it's the least you can do.
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    Jul 15, 2008 4:31 AM GMT
    I would welcome someone like you to share appropriate form. Nice of you to take the time and care enough to share your views! Good job.
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    Jul 15, 2008 5:01 AM GMT
    I agree. If you were polite and only trying to help, then it's his loss. Hopefully he corrects his form before he really does hurt himself!
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    Jul 15, 2008 5:15 AM GMT
    If he is cute, I say let him hurt himself and then nurse him back to health
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    Jul 15, 2008 5:43 AM GMT
    I think it depends on the situation and the people involved, but I don't think you were wrong at all. Most times, especially when guys are using free weights incorectly, I just back completely out of their "circle of danger", so that when the weights get dropped or they fall off and the bar flips up, or any number of other mis-fires, or because they are using bad form, too much weight, or just being dangereously inconsiderate, I and the others I warn around him are not going to get injured. My approach is probably MORE offensive.....but the point gets made real fast too, when I am proven right.....
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    Jul 15, 2008 5:53 AM GMT
    A good friend of mine is like that. We began working out together almost 2 years ago. He has the worst form I have ever seen. He heaves his entire body into every exercise.

    When we started, he was in much better shape than me. I had had trainers over the years, so I knew how to use good form. I tried to give him pointers, but was informed that since he was in better shape, he must know better.

    Well, it wasn't long before I was completely out-lifting and out-performing him on almost every exercise. He began getting pretty frustrated. I went behind his back and had a personal trainer friend of mine "happen by" to give us some pointers on form. He promptly shut her down (she is an award winning body builder!!). She says I'm on my own.

    So, he complains frequently about soreness and aches and keeps getting frustrated with his lack of progress, while I have gained 4 inches in my chest, two inches in my arms, and lost 3 inches in my waist, and gained 20 pounds of muscle.

    I continue to use my good form and just ignore his. Sometimes, I make excuses to go to the gym by myself so I won't be distracted.

    So...Live and let live I guess.
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    Jul 15, 2008 6:14 AM GMT
    One of the reasons one has a personal trainer, is too keep check on Ones posture.

    If you did this for me. I would of said thanks mate. You can give advice, but people don't have to take it. You did the right thing......
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    Jul 15, 2008 10:09 AM GMT
    I can do better...

    I had to inform to girls after they came in on a third day with the impression that the purpose of the assisted pull up machine was too put assistance greater than their body weight and use their legs to force the pad down and let it back up with the loudest clanging noise.


    They were quite happy to be correctedicon_lol.gif


    I've only been corrected once, huge guy told me I would work my triceps better as opposed to my chest if did dips straight rather than at an angle, he was right I thanked him.
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    Jul 15, 2008 10:27 AM GMT
    AMT87 saidI can do better...

    I had to inform to girls after they came in on a third day with the impression that the purpose of the assisted pull up machine was too put assistance greater than their body weight and use their legs to force the pad down and let it back up with the loudest clanging noise.


    lmao..... this put a serious smile on my face this morning
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    Jul 15, 2008 12:56 PM GMT
    LaSalle, there needs to be more guys like you in the gym. I would completely welcome advice. I asked for a spot one time from this huge muscle dude (I couldn't believe he said he would) and during the exercise - inclined dumbbell press - he said, "You'd get a much better press if you extended further and opened up more." I thanked him and said if you ever see me doing something stupid again, feel free to comment.

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    Jul 15, 2008 1:16 PM GMT
    yeah i hate when i see the REALLY bad form- i mean everyone can tend to slack off a bit toward the end of a workout, but when a guy is using the full momentum of his entire body when he's supposed to be more/less isolating a muscle group, it makes me cringe. like the guy who does crunches at a feverish pace with his head gripped in his hands (so bad for the neck!), jerking himself forward in tiny, rapid fire movements- never even fully going back down! or the guy at the free weights doing biceps curls and throwing his whole body into the effort of lifting the thing, wriggling and undulating in place. stand with your back against a wall if you have so little self control! or the guy doing pull-ups who swings his entire body in a wave like motion to propel himself up there- then never really comes more than half way back down before the next spastic movement up again. drives me crazy.
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:01 PM GMT
    I've seen many a people at the gym who have bad form, and more times than not, it's the bodybulders. Needless to say at my 5' 7" stature and measly 158lbs build, I don't say anything. However, I'd say you went about the situation the right way. If he didn't take your advice, he may soon enough when he throws out his back or injurs his elbow. You did your best to give him helpful information in a polite manner.
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:19 PM GMT
    I'd rather someone let me know, politely, just like you did, than let me keep doing something wrong. Need to find guys like LaSalle to help me out.
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:23 PM GMT
    I say good for you LaSalle! I wish more guys at the gym would do that. I always appreciate good advice. When I am at the gym, I have walked up to guys that are doing certain exercises and asked them to show me how to do them. Most are pretty helpful. I have only had a couple that didn't have time. It seems to be a rule at the Gym that guys don't acknowledge other guys. I guess it is a macho thing.
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:45 PM GMT
    Good shit!! There's BAD form ALL over the gym! I know I fall in to that one at times and I appreciate when someone is polite and let's me know, so I say KUDDOS to you LaSalle!!!
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    Jul 15, 2008 2:53 PM GMT
    my gym is full of octogenarians that practice poor form, but they're moving around light weights and still being active so I really don't want to rain on their parade.

    I have, however, had a few guys at the gym approach me and compliment me on my form after telling me they'd been watching me for a while icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 15, 2008 3:20 PM GMT
    I say let the guy hurt himself. I tired correcting a guy in the gym once doing a shoulder shrug/lateral delt type exercise of some sort w/50lb dumbbells but he straight up told me, and I quote "this is what makes it burn, so I'll just do it my way" in a really shitty tone! FUCK YOU I said to myself, go on with your 6'0 145lb frame. I was a certified trainer at one point and I know a few things about bio-mechanics so I'm not talking out my ass. Anyhow, I'll never correct anybody ever again unless asked...
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    Jul 15, 2008 3:33 PM GMT
    I am still kind of new to this, so I would be happy if someone corrected me and showed me the correct way to do something.
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    Jul 15, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    I'd like to think I know what I am doing, and place huge emphasis on perfect form.

    But, just a few weeks ago, ripped guy at the gym corrected my bench press, I guess I was using my shoulders too much. And since then my pecs have been filling out much more.

    So as long as you're cool about it, how can someone get mad? They're trying to help.
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    Jul 15, 2008 4:10 PM GMT
    I had a similar incident in my company's gym, a couple of years ago. The guy was doing leg presses w/heavy weights. He kept jerking the weights up (vs. a smooth press) and locking his knees. On the return, he kept slamming the weights down after each rep. It was both annoying and hard to watch. I approached him, and suggested that he shouldn't lock his knees to avoid injury (I didn't mention the issue of slamming the plates down). He gave me a dirty WTF kind of look and just grunted. What an ass. However, I read in one of my fitness magazines that it's almost never good etiquette to correct another member's form. Unless they are in imminent danger of causing harm to self or others, I'd say keep the comments to yourself.
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    Jul 15, 2008 5:36 PM GMT
    You did the right thing LaSalle.

    Better he gets the advice (and choose to ignore it) than to not know he was doing it wrong.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Jul 15, 2008 6:08 PM GMT
    Very well done. Full marks!! You did the right thing!!

    As a PT it can be hard to approach someone about poor technique and not come over as confrontational as a lot of guysinthe gym have huge egos and can also be very very delicate especially if you appear negative.

    Ive found its a case of saying whats good about someone's technique an then analysing poor bits or sayih "hey look, have you tried doing this exercise like this....you'll get better results".

    Mind you a lot of guys think you are either trying to get them as clients and not offer advice or are too stupid to listen (particularly the big meat heads). One guy threatened violence after I offered his wife some rowing coaching tips - she was rowing apalling, couldnt do it and as a professional trainer and rowing coach I offered advice but her husband went off on one, how I was coming onto her, how she didnt want a Personal Trainer and how he had shown her the technique etc etc and who did I think I was etc.