"You're doin' it wrong"

CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄ƷDer Millionendorf- Icrontian
edited September 2008 in Fitness
I don't know the protocol.

I see the same people in the gym over and over again. People who must have a similar schedule to mine, or are just always there. I don't know them. I don't even know their names, but I recognize that they're always there. Sometimes, I'll notice that one of them is doing an exercise incorrectly over and over again. I'll see them doing the same wrong thing every day, usually with the weight machines.

There is an old guy who sets the weight on the leg press machine really high, then pushes on his knees with his hands in order to be able to lift the weight.

Another guy does the butterfly press at an insanely fast speed, as if he's trying to fly away.

There is a woman who uses the upper back machine by, rather than keeping her chest against the pad, pulls back the handles by leaning back in the seat, without moving her arms.

There is a young guy who does the Lat pull down machine by squatting with his elbows locked above his head, and the seat set really low.

Those are the ones that stand out most in my mind. Soem of them are just silly, but a couple of these people could really hurt themselves, if they keep doing it the wrong way... I keep thinking that maybe one of the personal trainers or employees will notice, and let the person know, but no one ever says anything. I'm tempted to say something to them, but I'm not sure of the etiquette in these situations. It would feel rude to tell them something like that, when I'm no expert myself, but it seems wrong to let them keep going when there's a chance they could hurt themselves.

Have any of you ever told a stranger at the gym that they were 'doing it wrong'?


  • EssoEsso Stockholm, Sweden
    edited March 2008
    But I have heard my x gf. saying that, a couple of times before she left :D

    Serioulsy, I told my friend a long time ago that he was using too high gears on his bicycle.
    He didn't took the adwise, until he had problem with his knees, later on.

    Sometimes people will listening other times not.
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited March 2008
    As much as you want to, it's seriously bad gym etiquette.
  • NomadNomad A Small Piece of Hell Icrontian
    edited March 2008
    Never inform a person what they are doing is wrong, even if they will eventually hurt themselves.

    It is not your problem, you are at the gym for yourself. I am no authority to sit around and police half/quarter-squatters and other people, if the establishment I am a part of sees fit to allow it, my opinion does not matter.

    That all aside, the person may have specific goals and training implements you are not aware of. Knesiology is not a fixed science, and telling something what they are doing wrong is insulting and rude. As an example, about four months ago I was deadlifting--an uncommon exercise in most public gyms--and doing warmups until I hit 355. Afterwards, a guy tapped me on the shoulder and said, "You are going to hurt yourself." I was stunned, especially after the week previous I'd trained with a group of competitive power lifters through my university.

    No matter how much it pains you, focus on you.
  • sharkydartsharkydart KY Icrontian
    edited March 2008
    If you are concerned with the ones that might hurt themselves, you could ask one of the trainers to take you through the correct operation of the machines (even if you already know what you're doing). Have them explain the correct way to do the exercises to you, while you just happen to be on the same type of machine, and conveniently within earshot of someone using it drastically wrong. I wouldn't talk to the people doing their own thing, but the employees are there for a good reason... If the people in the wrong care at all, and haven't already convinced themselves that they are using the machines correctly, then they'll pay attention if they know what's good for themselves.
  • GHoosdumGHoosdum Icrontian
    edited March 2008
    If someone approaches me at the gym with pointers or technique refinements, I try to keep an open mind, but I usually only listen if it's someone I talk to regularly who is also in better shape than I. Regardless of the etiquette, I'm going to ignore advice from the lardass who tells me I can squat more weight if I don't squat as deeply.

    Even though these are people you see regularly, they'll probably be pretty hostile unless you also usually talk to them when you see them.
  • LawnMMLawnMM Colorado
    edited March 2008
    I like being told by old fat men that I need to improve my breathing on the bench press when I'm lifting 2-3x the weight they are.
  • ClutchClutch North Carolina New
    edited March 2008
    I have never told someone they were doing an exercise wrong unless it was my friend who asked me. I don't think I have ever seen anyone at my Gym do that come to think of it. I have seen people do different exercises wrong, but you just got to let them be. People seem to take offense really easy when it comes to things like that, mostly guys, it's an alpha thing I guess.
  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    edited March 2008
    It depends on the situation, if I was at the school gym and saw someone doing something that was potentially dangerous to themselves (besides just sore muscles, we're talking breaking things here) I'd step in and let them know they were risking serious injury.

    That said, if someone just wants to be a bonehead, be my guest...
  • KhaosKhaos New Hampshire
    edited September 2008
    Agree 100% with what Nomad said.

    So the guy nearly takes flight on the fly machine... Seems silly, sure, but for all you know he is specifically training that way because he's a competitive ping pong player and wants to improve twitch response as much as he can. *shrug*

    If it is obvious that someone is inexperienced and endangering themselves, then it is on the people who work at the establishment to intervene. Not the fellow patrons, who are merely peers. After all, they pay the insurance bill.

    If somebody seeks advice, that's another matter entirely.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    edited September 2008
    One of the reasons I love running - very hard to 'do it wrong'
  • KhaosKhaos New Hampshire
    edited September 2008
    UPSLynx wrote:
    One of the reasons I love running - very hard to 'do it wrong'
    I run for free cheeseburgers and fires.

    But only if the fire is serious enough to warrant the running.
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian
    edited September 2008
    UPSLynx wrote:
    One of the reasons I love running - very hard to 'do it wrong'

    Tell that to my knees and ankles. I have to walk with a cane some days because I ran wrong in junior high school, and seriously damaged my joints.
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