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Old 01-03-14, 07:18 AM   #1
Myosmith
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They're Baaack ! ! !

The resolutioners that is. The population at the local gym has once again exploded with people I haven't seen since last February. Now, I'm not knocking resolutioners, they are a huge benefit to the gym buying year long memberships that only get used for a couple of months, thus bringing in a lot of money for equipment and services. But this is also the time of year that I want to get myself an indoor trainer to avoid the crowd of leisurely exercisers who sit on the spin bikes while checking their Facebook account on their iPads or tweeting on their smart phones.

This isn't a rant and I do have a question: Our gym offers, but does not require, orientation for new members. I live in a small rural town that has a really pretty decent gym but as with most small facilities, it is often understaffed and offers limited training for newcomers. I have to bite my tongue as middle-age men swing way too heavy of weights with bad form and women "tone" by bouncing with very light weights on the Nautlius equipment. What bothers me the most is the teenagers who come in who obviously have no idea what they are doing but grand ideas of losing 50 pounds in 90 days or packing on 20 pounds of muscle in six weeks, fueled by bad advertising in weight loss and muscle magazines or online.

When you see someone who is obviously at risk of hurting themselves at the gym, do you speak up and try to offer advice, or just look the other way? I've tried both with mixed results.

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Old 01-03-14, 07:29 AM   #2
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I haven't been to a gym in 3 years, but I'm in the best shape of my life
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Old 01-03-14, 08:54 AM   #3
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I have belonged to two different gyms over the years -- and checked out a number of others...

None of them offered any serious training for newbies. The best of them simply gave a quick tour of the equipment and even showed you how to use it -- but did not offer training advise. For that you needed to pay one of the their trainers...

As for advising somebody who is not doing things in a safe way: Rather than just jump in, perhaps striking up a conversation to see if they are interested in advice would be best. And, once the conversation is going, it becomes easier to slide in a casual tip -- and, if they respond with a question...

But, I agree: when my mom was in a nursing home there were some family members who were there every evening 365 days a year. We called holidays like Christmas and Easter "Amateur Day"
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Old 01-03-14, 10:27 AM   #4
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No. No unsolicited advice. They'll only resent you, and they'll hurt themselves anyway.
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Old 01-03-14, 12:13 PM   #5
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I'm not a fan of unsolicited advice, but if someone looks like they could get seriously injured, I may step in.

If a guy is using his whole body to do barbell curls, leave him alone. If a kid loads 405 onto the bar and quarter squats it, you may want to step in. Silly injuries can cost the gym owner his business, cause your fees to go up, and most importantly, someone is getting hurt.
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Old 01-03-14, 12:48 PM   #6
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I'll mention something if they are obviously hurting themselves. On stationary bikes I often see people with the seat way, way too low and/or mashing the pedals at 30 rpm. Makes my knees hurt to watch.

On the other hand my buddy was told my a new gym staff member that he was riding the stationary bike wrong. He said that the seat was too high and he was spinning too fast. Bill mentioned that he rode his road bike about 5K miles last year while spinning that fast and that the stationary bike was set up as closely as practical to his bike.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:25 PM   #7
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First ... I tend to avoid gyms in the month of January if possible. We're planning to get a gym membership, but we'll get it in early February. By then all the resolutioners should have cleared out.

Second ... I don't give advice, however ... if there are some staff members about, and if the person really looks like they might hurt themselves or the equipment, I might consider pointing the person out to the staff member.

On thinking about it ... I have mentioned to the person beside me on a stat bike that the seat is adjustable when they've been struggling with a saddle too high or too low.

One gym I went to had a mandatory orientation ... you could not set foot in the gym area without it. But that was rather unusual, most don't have that.
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Old 01-03-14, 06:44 PM   #8
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The issue with offering any unsolicited, or even solicited advice, is that the liability for any injury that may be sustained then moves away from the gym to you. You may well offer the correct way to use the equipment, but if an injury has been sustained anywhere along the line beforehand, and the user sues, the gym or its insurer could quite reasonably come after you.

By the way, I am not talking about simple injuries, but incapacitating ones, such as spinal issues, tendon and ligament ruptures, etc.
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Old 01-06-14, 10:53 AM   #9
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Second ... I don't give advice, however ... if there are some staff members about, and if the person really looks like they might hurt themselves or the equipment, I might consider pointing the person out to the staff member.
+1

People are more likely to accept advice from a gym staff member as opposed to some random stranger who comes up out of the blue and tells them "You're doing it wrong!"

Even then, they might not take the staff member's advice. People are going to do what they want to do. I teach spin classes at a gym and no matter how many times I give instruction on correct form or posture, there are still people who ride the bike while draping themselves on top of the handlebars with their head staring down at their feet. Or better yet, lay their upper body on the handlebars as they're standing up on the pedals.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:48 AM   #10
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I've belonged to a few gyms over the years. One high-dollar yuppie gym would get crazily crowded in Jan. The current grittier Gold's Gym I now occasion, not so much.
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Old 01-06-14, 12:12 PM   #11
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My gym is my back yard. It's very rarely crowded, and when it is, I just tell the kids to pick up their toys. That clears things out pretty fast.
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Old 01-07-14, 10:16 AM   #12
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One thing I've noticed is that newbies like to exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Classes on those days are turning people away. Tuesday/Thursday classes have plenty of room.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:14 PM   #13
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I did go find a staff member once when a middle aged lady was clueless in a dangerous way in the weight room. The trainer went in right away and helped her out, which made me feel much better.

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Old 01-13-14, 02:08 PM   #14
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No. No unsolicited advice. They'll only resent you, and they'll hurt themselves anyway.
Yes, I agree. Have been tempted to say something many times, but always fought off the temptation. I really "hate" this time of the year at the gym. I'm there year-round. I bet for the next 2-3 months we have 40% more attendees in the evenings. They fall off after weather gets a bit nicer. I really need to retire so I can go to the gym in the off hours.
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Old 01-13-14, 02:16 PM   #15
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I haven't gone to the gym regularly for a few years, but when I did I usually went at 4:30 AM. There was less than a handful of other people there at that time and all of them were regulars.
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Old 01-14-14, 12:24 AM   #16
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I noticed that while they pedal getting nowhere fast, nobody shovels the sidewalk outside very well, which the elderly couple who owned the former Frostop drive in that was there for maybe five decades previous to that did an excellent job of.

I ate there when I could afford to and made two outstanding friends.

I have to use the street at that block until I can cut in through the driveway across the lot now.
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