Sunday Sweat Talk {Helping or Harassing}

Hey guys, it’s time for our little weekend fitness date. If you’re new to the F&F world, I recently started this Sunday Sweat Talk series as a way to chat about any fitness topics that are on my mind, check in on how everyone’s workouts went from the previous week, and let you guys have a place to chime in about any fitness things you want. Or anything really. I just like to hear from you guys and read your comments!

Sunday Sweat Talk

Let’s talk about…

Helping or harassing

This topic actually stems from last Sunday’s Sweat Talk post on January Joiners. Sarah left a comment about how she’s been seeing a lot of “scary stuff” in the gym this month such as poor form, puzzled faces, and a lack of general fitness knowledge from the beginner gym goers. I couldn’t agree more with this. It’s really scary because some of the “technique” I’ve seen in both the weight and cardio room makes me REALLY nervous that someone is going to get hurt.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the gym on a Sunday afternoon to do 20 minutes of cardio and then lift. In the cardio room, I noticed a man flailing on the treadmill (I honestly don’t know what he was doing), a woman set up on the spin bike very incorrectly, and a guy whose knees were facing out on the row machine with every rep he did. In the weight room, there was a girl on the mats doing glute raises on all fours, but she was arching so badly that I was nervous she was going to throw out her back in the process. Oh, and then there was the personal trainer I saw having a newbie do squats to knee raises…with weights…on a box. The poor client’s form in her squat was so bad, and the trainer just stood there and let her keep going!! What!? This was a woman who very clearly needed to be working on bodyweight air squats first to build some confidence with form before progressing to the other levels. I bet that poor lady never comes back. I seriously was pissed I saw this happen.

Now let me ask you guys. I never know what I’m supposed to do in these types of situations. As a certified fitness professional, should I have tried to help? I could have easily approached any of the people in the cardio room to offer assistance, and I could have asked glute girl if she minded me sharing a tip to make the move more effective. But I never know how people are going to react. Maybe they don’t want to be bothered, maybe that would annoy them, and maybe then I look like the girl harassing everyone at the gym. And I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened if I said ANYTHING to that personal trainer. But with my background, am I under an obligation to say something to any of these folks? It’s not like I was there working a floor shift. I was there on my own personal time to do my own workout. It just really bothers me to see some of the stuff I’ve seen this month, and I genuinely want to help people when I can. If someone approached me in the gym to offer a pointer, I would be psyched. But I’m already confident navigating the gym, so I think I’m in the minority here.

I guess everyone’s different, so most likely some people would react well and appreciate the advice while others would most certainly take offense. I really just want to encourage anyone out there that’s new to the gym world to seek the help of an experienced professional. If you really have no idea where to start or how to do something, a personal trainer will be MORE than happy to help you get acclimated. Even paying for one session to learn basic form is WORTH IT to avoid injury. Most gyms also offer some kind of “get started” program where someone will teach you how to use the equipment and machines you’re most interested in. Let’s just hope you don’t get the trainer I saw that day.

I’m curious to hear what you guys think about this. Is approaching someone to advise on their form helping or harassing? What would you have done? How would you gauge whether someone will react well or not? For those of you who aren’t certified instructors or trainers, how do you think you’d react if you were working out on your own and someone approached you with a pointer?

Moving on.

Let’s talk about…

My workouts from last week

Sunday
Emily’s 20/20/20 class

Monday
Lauren’s spin class

Tuesday
Two A Day – Took Liz’s kickboxing class then taught these timed circuits in my class

Wednesday
Rest

Thursday
Taught stations in my 6am…

stations

…and then since I didn’t do the stations workout with my morning class, I went back to the gym at night to do 25 minutes of cardio, chest and back supersets, and abs

Pullups

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Monique‘s kickboxing

Let’s talk about…

My workout plan for this week

  • Sunday: Cardio, legs and shoulders, abs
  • Monday: Spin class
  • Tuesday: Two A Day (class format requests?)
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Teaching in the morning (class format requests?)
  • Friday: TBD
  • Saturday: Lift or maybe try a class somewhere

Readers, time to talk! Share something fitness related in this post. Did anyone try any new fitness classes this week? How’s everyone doing with their 2014 fitness goals? What are your thoughts on the helping versus harassing topic? What’s the worst gym form you’ve ever witnessed?

Hope everyone’s enjoying their Sunday!