Dude! You are doing that wrong!- To speak or not to speak

  • Ebadger

    Posts: 39

    Oct 25, 2012 9:50 PM GMT
    I am not by any means an expert on exercises and form. I am a guy that works out and enjoys it and likes to try new things. However, before I add a new routine into my work out, I look it up, see videos, read books, talk to trainers and try it slowly and perfect the form before I go at it full force.

    Having said that, because of all I do before I jump into a new work out, I can tell when some one is totally messing up a work out because they have bad form or they are using a machine incorrectly. So my question is, if you are in the gym and see some one totally butchering an exercise to the point you know they can harm themselves more than anything, do you say something and show them the correct form, or do just look the other way and continue with your work out?
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    Oct 25, 2012 10:51 PM GMT
    Butt out.
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    Oct 25, 2012 10:59 PM GMT
    I've suffered sports injuries from working out improperly. I healed, and now do those exercises properly.

    Experience is the best teacher. Let'm suffer and learn.
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    Oct 25, 2012 11:16 PM GMT
    They probably won't hear you if you're not a professional or have a fit body. Chances are they will think you're annoying and avoid you next time.
    So just ignore them or warn a trainer or something if you think they could hurt themselves.
  • Ej101

    Posts: 444

    Oct 25, 2012 11:22 PM GMT
    I usually ignore it, unless they ask me
  • Ebadger

    Posts: 39

    Oct 25, 2012 11:49 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidI've suffered sports injuries from working out improperly. I healed, and now do those exercises properly.

    Experience is the best teacher. Let'm suffer and learn.


    Darwinistic approach, I like it! lol
  • Ebadger

    Posts: 39

    Oct 25, 2012 11:52 PM GMT
    Caslon21000 saidButt out.


    So the gym is a space where we have no social responsibility to our fellow men?
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    Oct 26, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    I mind my own business. But ask, and thou shall receive.
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    Oct 26, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    Ebadger said
    Caslon21000 saidButt out.


    So the gym is a space where we have no social responsibility to our fellow men?

    Oh you're a quick learner.

    Nobody wants to hear from you. Just mind your business.

    Dont you have earphones?
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    Oct 26, 2012 3:54 AM GMT
    Look, most people don't like to admit they're wrong. And they certainly don't like to be told what to do. Especially at the gym. As far as bad form, it's a lose-lose situation in most cases..

    Out Of Shape Guy: Dude! You are doing that wrong! Hey, let me tell you how to do that exercise properly.
    Bad Form Guy: (why is this clueless jerk telling me how to exercise?)

    Really In-Shape Guy: Dude! You are doing that wrong! Hey, let me tell you how to do that exercise properly.
    Bad Form Guy: (why is this egotistical jerk telling me how to exercise?)

    Personally, I only bud-in if the person is doing something really dangerous and could harm himself, me, or anyone else around him.

    Another approach that I use is, if I see a person writhing in pain after doing an exercise improperly, I might ask in a very friendly way "Are you alright?". Then try to engage in conversation. After a couple of minutes of breaking the ice and talking about fitness, I'll offer some tips.
  • Ebadger

    Posts: 39

    Oct 26, 2012 1:41 PM GMT
    xrichx saidLook, most people don't like to admit they're wrong. And they certainly don't like to be told what to do. Especially at the gym. As far as bad form, it's a lose-lose situation in most cases..

    Out Of Shape Guy: Dude! You are doing that wrong! Hey, let me tell you how to do that exercise properly.
    Bad Form Guy: (why is this clueless jerk telling me how to exercise?)

    Really In-Shape Guy: Dude! You are doing that wrong! Hey, let me tell you how to do that exercise properly.
    Bad Form Guy: (why is this egotistical jerk telling me how to exercise?)

    Personally, I only bud-in if the person is doing something really dangerous and could harm himself, me, or anyone else around him.

    Another approach that I use is, if I see a person writhing in pain after doing an exercise improperly, I might ask in a very friendly way "Are you alright?". Then try to engage in conversation. After a couple of minutes of breaking the ice and talking about fitness, I'll offer some tips.


    I think you are right, there needs to be an approach and that's what I was trying to get. You don't stop some one in the middle of a set to tell them they are doing it wrong but as you said if they are hurting themselves or could hurt some one else, we must say something one way or another.
  • Rowing_Ant

    Posts: 1504

    Oct 26, 2012 2:03 PM GMT
    As a Personal Trainer we were told to NEVER tell soemone what they were doig was wrong but rather notice bad technique and say

    "Hey! I notice you're doing [insert exercise] have you thought about doing it like this - you'll get better results"

    Going to someone and telling them they're doing it wrong is only going to get their back up. Even implying they're doing soemthing wrong "Hey can I help you" instantly turns people off.

    As a PT I have a duty of care to people in the gym; if someone wants help they'll ask but if someone is doing something really badly or going to hurt themselves then its a case of having to show them, but positively. I very nearly got punched by some steroid freak whose wife I was showing how to row - she was really struggling and her technique can at best be described as Bamib on the Ice. Really bad - but her husband had showed her how to row and he was all "What the fuck ar eyou doing dude? Are you coming onto my wife? are you? I showed her how to row? The fuck man, YOu saying I cant row" etc etc......
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    Oct 26, 2012 2:27 PM GMT
    Gourry saidThey probably won't hear you if you're not a professional or have a fit body. Chances are they will think you're annoying and avoid you next time.
    So just ignore them or warn a trainer or something if you think they could hurt themselves.


    This.
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    Oct 26, 2012 2:57 PM GMT
    Men are sensitive ego driven creatures. I don't correct unless I'm leading a class or asked.

    It's like dating, (or baby sitting). Fragile egos require reassurance and telling them they are the fittest, hottest, beefiest, manliest, smartest man around with the biggest cock I've ever had and the sex is the best I've ever had. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Oct 26, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    I think I've only said something once. It was another person trying to use a machine and they were actually sitting on it backwards. I finally walked over and explained that they need to turn around for it to work. They were appreciative, probably embarrassed but I said, no problem, and continued my workout.
  • TheAlchemixt

    Posts: 2294

    Oct 26, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    No I wouldn't say anything unless it was my friend and I was working out with him. Some guys really don't like to be corrected in the gym, so I let them do their own thing.
  • Dominican_Gen...

    Posts: 379

    Oct 26, 2012 3:38 PM GMT
    Sometimes it is an obvious misunderstanding on how a machine works... go ahead and point out the part they are missing.

    For free-weights, I personally would disregard your advice UNLESS you have an obviously better body than mine.

    At the gym there is this one personal trainer with gut/roid-gut/belly. I don't even know how he gets clients to hire him icon_rolleyes.gif When you are in the fitness industry your own body better be your business card.
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    Oct 26, 2012 3:55 PM GMT
    The answer to this question lies in determining a few variables. What is the intent, is it simply to correct them? Or is the way they're doing something likely to lead them to seriously injure themselves or someone else and the urge to say something comes from a sincere desire to help? Next assuming that the intent is right and that it is a situation that could cause harm; are you good enough with people that you can approach them in such a way that they don't feel criticized or corrected? Some people have a natural knack this with this, they can walk up to someone and say "hey bro, awhile back a buddy of mine was doing that in a similar way and he tore up a rotor cuff pretty bad, if you adjusted your form just a little bit you might save your shoulder and you'd probably get a lot better gains. I just thought I'd throw that out there in case you were open to a suggestion that would help you out." Last can you read people and situations well enough to have a fairly good prediction of the response. A lot of guys including myself, would be completely open to the suggestion if you approached me like that. There are some ego maniacs, or groups of high school kids that would not take it well. It's all about intent, seriousness of the situation, reading the person and situation, and having the people skills to make the right approach. If this isn't your strong suit and they are really risking serious injury, you could always ask a trainer (if available) to go check on them..

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    Oct 26, 2012 11:14 PM GMT
    Bad technique is endemic, and I'm not talking about relying on momentum to cheat (common) but working every muscle but the target one (people flying forward on ab machines and working their back, women working hips instead of glutes on the buttblaster pushing with their toes, not tensing their working cheek and doing reps in the lower range of motion, people working their forearms and low backs during curls and lat pulldowns, etc.). I mind my own business because people resent being interrupted for anything, so you can imagine how they'd feel about what could be perceived as a criticism. If people can't be bothered to look up how to perform an exercise on YouTube (since its existence, no one has an excuse for bad form!) who am I to try to teach them? The only time I ever intervened was when I saw an octogenarian on a pullover machine flinging the bar down into his gut while simultaneously bouncing his knees up pumping the positioning bar with his feet for reps - an accident waiting to happen.
  • Dominican_Gen...

    Posts: 379

    Oct 27, 2012 3:18 PM GMT
    Last night at the gym I violated my own free-weights rule (see couple of post above) and talked to somebody who was doing standing barbell curls with waaaay too much weight and was more like doing lowerback/shoulder swings than biceps.... I said to him that by positioning one foot a little step in front of the other he could achieve more stability and reduce the risk of an injury. He thanked me and put the advice in practice right away.

    However, some background: Even though he DOES HAVE a better body than I do, I know for a fact he hasen't been doing weights for more than two years.. because we have been bumping into each other from the day he started and he has transformed in front of my eyes from this overweight timid guy into this gorgeous stud. icon_razz.gif
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    Oct 27, 2012 3:21 PM GMT
    I know personally I'd likei it if I'm doing something wrong for someone to say something to me and though I'll be embarrassed as fuck (and it will be visible!) I'd be grateful in the long run.

    However, I will not correct someone else. The other day I did see an older woman using an oblique machine - she was sitting in it rather then kneeling in it so essentially she was just swiveling in a chair. Won't say a word. I think someone like myself has no right to correct someone else when I have the body that I do. I have no authority.
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    Oct 27, 2012 3:30 PM GMT
    Ej101 saidI usually ignore it, unless they ask me

    This*^& what benefit does advice on proper form have, if you yourself haven't seemed to benefited from it to before preaching it? If you don't have friends at your gym, you should try making some; than you can understand how quickly you may lose them from approaching people this way.
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    Oct 27, 2012 3:35 PM GMT
    Rowing_Ant saidAs a Personal Trainer we were told to NEVER tell soemone what they were doig was wrong but rather notice bad technique and say

    "Hey! I notice you're doing [insert exercise] have you thought about doing it like this - you'll get better results"


    This sounds reasonable to me. I've usually worked out in gyms with just hard core, serious lifters, so I've not seen any real accidents waiting to happen (inexperienced lifters).

    A weird little pencil neck dweeb (maybe 100 lbs.) once came into our gym and told my buddies and I (H20-polo players on our university team) that we were all doing everything wrong. The poor little twink said he was an exercise physiology major - and he had news for us and some instruction advice! Hahahahaha. We tolerated him for awhile before one of the guys showed him the door.
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    Oct 28, 2012 9:02 PM GMT
    Ej101 saidI usually ignore it, unless they ask me


    you look like you belong on musclehunks.com, seriously!