Sunday, November 2, 2014

Don't do this at the gym!

The other day I was at the gym, minding my own business, finishing up an exercise with dumbbells when I felt eyeballs on my back.  I turned around to find an older, chubby, neon-shirted man staring at me.

"Can I give you a pointer?" he asked.  "No thanks, I'm okay," I said nicely. 

He laughed condescendingly and somewhat derisively.  "I just wanted to give you a pointer," he said defensively.

I REALLY HATE THIS, even more than Competitive Man (gets on the treadmill next to you, looks to see how fast you're going, and turns his up faster), or Lonely Man (thinks the gym is and asks you out while you're trying to run). 

I started lifting weights in 1991.  No other women lifted at the tiny gym I joined; they did aerobics, bouncing around wearing thong leotards and tights, much to the delight of the guys in the weight room.  A competitive bodybuilder took an interest and taught me the core exercises I still do today.

Since then I've belonged to many gyms and lifted weights with a lot of people.  I worked with an athletic trainer for a year when I was in physical therapy.  I know what I'm doing.  The exercises I do help me carry heavy stuff up hills and dig fireline all day.  I'm well aware that there are many different ways to do most exercises, even simple biceps curls or tricep kickbacks, depending on which part of the muscle you want to target.

Just because he thought HIS way was right, doesn't mean it's right for me, just like the way he was doing lunges (extending his knee beyond his toes and letting dumbbells nearly touch the floor) might be right for him, but wouldn't work for me.

Obviously, if you see someone about to drop a bar on their head at the gym, feel free to jump in.  If you really must butt in to someone else's workout routine, talk to a trainer (they are all over my gym), and have them intercede.  If you MUST.

This man was not a trainer.  He was not fit.  I didn't even get a nice, friendly vibe from him, just a superior, creepy one.  I doubt he would have said anything to a man who was lifting.

Why do some guys think this is okay?



  1. Eurgh! Idiots! If you had wanted advice, you would have found someone in the gym who had the necessary credentials! I hope he left you alone in the end.

    1. Yes he stopped bugging me, but I could tell he thought I was being unreasonable.

  2. Replies
    1. I know, I was really annoyed and had to take it out on an elliptical machine.

  3. Even had this happen at our gym ---- from an overweight Woman rocking a 5 lb. Stretch cord, when I was using a 45# pull-down.....grrr. At least you got extra work on the elliptical!

  4. Ugh! That would've pissed me off too! I don't know everything about working out, but I sure as hell wouldn't take advice from some chubby creepy old guy. What nerve!

  5. You were incredibly polite to someone who was out of line.

    1. I don't think he thought so. I could tell he felt completely in the right.

  6. He sounds like the type who thinks he is always in the right, so I wouldn't worry much about what he thought. I started weight training in high school as part of the school athlete's program, and while I'm no expert, I do know what I am doing as far as form goes, so I don't care for unsolicited advice either. It is basically saying, "Oh, little female person, you can't possibly know what you are doing with those big, heavy weights." At least that is the vibe most people give when they try to offer advice I didn't ask for.


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