I’m a trainer. It’s what I do, it’s what I’ve done for over 20 years and it’s my mission in life to help others become fitter and healthier. So when I see an individual in the gym who clearly doesn’t know what they’re doing or about to hurt themselves, I will occasionally step in and make a ‘gentle’ suggestion. Bu I’m not always welcomed with open arms. Some people HATE being ‘corrected’ while they’re working out…
So for today’s Angry Issue I’d like to ask YOU – do you take suggestions from others in the gym?
Now of course I’m a trainer and I’ve had some people tell me it’s my duty to essentially police the gym floor and ensure everyone is doing the right thing. There’s only one Angry Trainer and I can’t be everywhere all the time! It’s obviously a touchy subject and some people that I’ve approached are downright rude and basically tell me to ‘kiss off.’ It seems as though there’s a lot of pride at stake when it comes to exercise routines and people just can’t take constructive criticism very well. I get it, I really do. But as I’ve learned the hard way, the best asset a trainee and trainer can have is an open mind.
Of course it’s not always trainers who are the ones dispensing advice! Often it’s another gym goer who tries to intervene and tell another trainee how or what to do. This is actually a two-fold issue. For one, I’ve had to sit there and listen to someone who doesn’t know what he or she is talking about ‘teach’ another person something totally wrong. And from a member’s standpoint, who wants to listen to another trainee dish out advice? You know this person – it’s a member who thinks he or she is a trainer and spends more time dishing advice and correcting people than actually working out. I’ve actually had one ‘correct’ me!
To be fair some gym members are absolutely knowledgeable and quite capable of helping other trainees. Maybe they know a great exercise, have personal experience with a diet plan or learned a modified way to perform an exercise due to injury. And on the flip side, as I’ve said numerous times, there are many trainers who shouldn’t even be wearing the shirt or helping anyone at all with anything related to fitness. So it really becomes a challenge for the trainee because no one likes to feel like they’re doing something wrong and they’re unsure whose advice is sound. Especially in a gym, where there are a lot of people, it kind of puts people on the spot and I think some of the defensiveness I see is just plain embarrassment.
So here’s my solution. You should take any and all suggestions in stride. You’d be surprised whom you may just learn something from. Now if someone approaches you and is condescending and rude, I’d politely say thanks but no thanks and walk away. But if their approach is friendly and comes from a place of genuine concern and a desire to help, surely a few minutes of listening can’t hurt. It’s all about the approach. I simply tell people I’d like to share something with them that I’ve learned. I actually don’t mention that what they were doing was wrong or poor, just that I have a different way that they may like. It stops people feeling like they’ve done something wrong and instead makes it feel like they’re learning something new. There’s a huge difference in the two approaches.
So how do you feel? Have you been approached in the gym by a trainer or member? Did you take their advice? Or just dismiss it? Share away…
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.