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Correcting someone's form at the gym



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TINA8605
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10/31/13 8:24 A

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I saw a very overweight person doing the circuit training all wrong. He was defeating the whole purpose of exercising. I asked him if anyone showed him how to do the circuit. He stated no. I asked him if he wanted some assistance and if he would mind if I showed him. He said yes. I saw him every day, sticking to the program. And doing it correctly. Form is soooo important, One, to benefit from the exercise and two, not to hurt yourself. I wish someone would have done this for me when I first started out.

ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING WONDERFUL IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN


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TAMARAST1974
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10/30/13 9:25 P

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I welcome the advice if it's coming from a good place.



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KKKAREN
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10/30/13 7:33 P

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I'll take all the help I can get, solicited as well as unsolicited.

Karen


 
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LOUIE-LILY
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10/30/13 6:31 P

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People should stop offering unsolicited advice. It's rude and generally unwelcome. If she works at the gym she should have first identified herself and then asked if it would ok for her to offer a suggestion. Otherwise, people should leave others alone at the gym. If they see someone doing something that could cause grave harm they should mention it to a trainer in the gym and let them handle it.

Blessings,
Nancy

Galatians 5:16: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”


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BERRY4
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10/30/13 5:47 P

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I actually had someone stop me during an exercise. She was quite kind about it...explained her background and why she felt she had to say something. Showed me some alternatives and why it was important to NOT do what I was doing.
Yes, I did feel like a bit of an idiot, but I was thankful that her goal was to help me prevent injury.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I did see another incident just last night and wondered why on earth this female was lifting as she was--jerking really heavy weights in an awkward manner AND using her back to do what her arms/shoulders should have been doing? But she didn't look open to input and I walked on by...
I personally have worked with a trainer, but I am certainly not certified to correct someone else.

"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible."
~C. Malesherbes~

"Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."
Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)





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DVDIAMOND
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10/30/13 5:16 P

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I see people using poor form all the time at my gym and I just think to myself they are going to injure themselves. I would never offer unsolicited advice. However I have been corrected by a trainer and the PT that works at my gym because I have asked them to. I said if you ever see me using poor form and you would like to correct me please do. I do not need to get an injury because my ego is in the way.
I got a great tip from one saying that the seat was too low on the bicycle. I cannot believe how much better I can perform by just raising it a bit. Now I see people that are sitting too low, but I stay quiet.



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CHERIMOOSE
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10/30/13 3:54 P

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I think it depends on how it's done and for what reasons. Some people have ulterior motives for correcting others (ego & control) or they nitpick about small issues. I've corrected genuinely risky form numerous times - respectfully, without making them feel stupid - and almost always get genuinely grateful responses. It's much like telling a driver at night that their headlights are off. People generally appreciate knowing when they're about to hurt themselves.

I don't know if it was warranted in the OP's case, but i do agree with the other poster about reassessing your form, perhaps with video. When the knees move too far forward, there often are other issues going on too, and some of them can be risky.



AZULVIOLETA6
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10/30/13 1:31 P

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Sounds like how I felt when I new Zumba instructor tried to tell me how to do the cumbia. She thought that taking the one-day instructor class made her an expert, even though she had no real dance background. What she did not know is that I used to be a professional Latin dancer and that I learned Colombian cumbia IN COLOMBIA.

In other words, people are idiots. :)

I would never say something to someone lifting weights unless I thought they were in immediate/serious danger. In all of my years of going to gyms, this has happened exactly once, and it involved an older lady who clearly had no idea what she was doing. She was lifting WAY too much. I casually mentioned to her how much I lift on the same machine, which she seemed to find helpful. I also mentioned to the staff that she was doing some dangerous things (lifting in flip-flops, lifting while wearing a swimming suit and no bra) and let them take care of it.

Dances: salsa (standard/LA), casino, rueda de casino, cumbia Colombiana, bachata, mambo, cha-cha-chá, merengue, reggaetón.

Currently learning: Mexican cumbia, danzón, Cuban rumba

Dances to Learn in the future: flamenco, tango Argentino, samba, belly dancing, bhangra, ballroom rumba


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KRISTEN_SAYS
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10/30/13 9:54 A

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Thanks for the input everyone.

To whoever asked if she could have been a PT/gym employee/instructor - I have no idea if she is a PT. I would hope if she was she would have said so, then I would have appreciated her input a little more. I know for a fact that she isn't an employee of the gym.

- Kristen
Weight loss blog: fitfoodieblog.wordpress.com/

Happiness is just a step away.


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MOTIVATED@LAST
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10/30/13 1:24 A

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KJEANNE,

Wow - that definitely qualifies as rude!!!.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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HANG0NSLOOPY
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10/29/13 11:40 P

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I would have been offended as well. When I go to the gym I am just trying to focus on myself and my workout and it is always unsettling to realize some people have nothing better to do than watch and judge you. I don't think it matters whether she is an expert in the field or not - unsolicited advice is always rude and uncalled for, unless you are seriously endangering yourself or others. I would have been tempted to come back with my own "expert" advice such as recommending a new skin care routine or haircut, she is lucky you were polite!

Oh, and for what it's worth, I have read in several sources lately that your knees going over your toes in a squat is nothing to worry about.
www.biomechfit.com/2012/02/09/3-squatting-
myths-that-refuse-to-die




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SIMONEKP
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10/29/13 2:06 P

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I try to mind my own business at the gym but I wouldn't be offended by someone saying that to me, unless the person did so in a mean or demeaning manner. I don't have to accept the suggestion if I don't agree.

Simone

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams

No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch!
Source: unknown



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LEC358
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10/29/13 12:42 P

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w0w That's ... I don't even know the polite word for that situation. Props to you for not responding in an equally rude manner.



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KJEANNE
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10/29/13 12:26 P

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I did have a fellow member correct my form for upright rowing. I was ok with that and even said thanks for the input. I continued on using the same form as taught to me by my trainer. And she stood over me and had a conversation with a fellow member as to what I was doing wrong. NOT COOL. VERY RUDE.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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BAREFOOTGRL
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10/29/13 11:46 A

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It probably wouldn't upset me but I don't know that I would trust what she said either. If you have any doubts about your form, ask a trainer at your gym. You look great by the way, I'd say your form is probably right on!



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SIMPLELIFE2
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10/29/13 11:15 A

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I wouldn't let it upset me. First, I would examine if the comment had any credibility or worth. If it did, I would see it as a helpful suggestion and try to learn from it. If not, I would just ignore it as not being useful. I really can't see myself being upset or annoyed by it. The only issue is if another gym member was doing on an ongoing basis, especially if he or she was not a personal trainer (and even then I wouldn't automatically accept it).

Why do you think it bothered you so much?

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ARCHIMEDESII
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10/29/13 10:57 A



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Hi, Kristen !

Is it possible the member could have been a PT or an instructor getting in their own workout ? As a personal trainer myself, if I see someone doing an exercise with really poor form, I will correct them so that they don't injure themsevles. BUT, I will identify myself first. I won't say you're doing this wrong. However, I would introduce myself and say that I am a personal trainer, would you mind if I showed you a more efficient way to perform the move ?

Most times, I don't bother people while they are working out. Someone really has to be doing something really wrong for me to correct them.

Isn't that what most people want ? Don't they want personal trainers and instructors roaming around the floor correcting them for form ? I remember a time when PTs did just that. Of course, with the poor economy and everyone cutting back on stuff, most gyms don't do that. But, I do remember when I went to the gym a PT corrected my form and I appreciated that that person was there to help.

So, the question is whether or not that person who suggested a tweak in form was a PT or just a member who thought you might hurt yourself. Ideally, if you're going to correct someone's form, you had better be able to back up any suggestion with PT or instructor credentials. I suspect that this person really didn't mean any harm and that they were trying to be helpful if they were just another member.

Like I said, don't we want people to be more helpful to others ?





KRISTEN_SAYS
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10/29/13 7:39 A

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was rude/uncalled for.

- Kristen
Weight loss blog: fitfoodieblog.wordpress.com/

Happiness is just a step away.


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MOTIVATED@LAST
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10/29/13 6:54 A

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Although their underlying intentions were probably good, correcting somebody's form is definitely rude.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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BUBBLEJ1
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10/29/13 4:06 A

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I'd be pissed. Last time someone told me to 'be careful' I pointed out the trainer who designed my programme and showed me through it and suggested they take any concerns to the professional. They never did.

~Jess~

There are no shortcuts. No magic bullets. No secret spells. What works is hard work, dedication, and a daily dose of chocolate.


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ZORBS13
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10/28/13 10:45 P

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I would probably flash a really big fake smile and say, "Thanks for the GREAT advice, that was REALLY helpful!"

but yeah I work at the gym and I NEVER correct anyone's form who isn't my client. If someone came up and asked me if doing (insert really ridiculous/wrong move) was a good idea, I always start by saying, "what are you trying to achieve by doing that?" usually they can't answer and then you can gently correct them. This method works extremely well on my husband :)

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 10/28/2013 (23:04)
“Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us.” - Deena Kastor

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KRISTEN_SAYS
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10/28/13 10:33 P

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I want some opinions - I was at the gym earlier this evening doing barbell squats, I finished my two sets and another member came up to me and corrected my form, telling me my knees were extending too far beyond my toes. I said okay, thank you, and continued on. Isn't it kind of an unwritten rule to not correct someone else's form at the gym?? It kind of ticked me off. I guess I can appreciate her concern but unless it's one of the personal trainers who work there, I really don't want to be bothered unless my form is so horribly wrong that I'm going to hurt myself. Am I wrong to be ticked off? Has this happened to anyone else, and if so, did you appreciate the correction or were you annoyed?

- Kristen
Weight loss blog: fitfoodieblog.wordpress.com/

Happiness is just a step away.


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