Pitting this one fat guy at my gym

I know what you’re thinking: “He’s pitting someone because he’s fat! What an asshole!” Well, not exactly.

I’ve seen this new guy at the gym recently. He’s quite fat and horribly out of shape. But he comes in at least three times a week and busts his ass, even though he’s doing everything wrong. And I mean everything. His dumbell presses are almost flys, he goes down way too far on squats, and when he does bicep curls his shoulders do all the work.

But at least he’s trying, right? I commend him for that.

What I have a problem with is him bringing in his girlfriend (I assume) and “training” her. He’s got no idea what he’s doing, he’s in terrible shape, yet he’s teaching someone else. Ever seen an obviously out of shape girl trying to do hyperextensions while holding a 45 pound plate? Hell, I don’t even use any weight on that exercise, and I’ve been training for well over a decade now. He’s got her doing squats with too much weight, running on the treadmill way too fast at way too high of an incline, and doing serratus crunches (for those who don’t know, the serratus is a tiny muscle that nobody but bodybuilders who compete professionally should bother training).

As a former employee of the gym and someone who knows more than the average person about lifting weights and training people who haven’t worked out in forever, I went up to him one day when he was there by himself (didn’t think it prudent to call him out in front of his woman). I mentioned my concerns and recommended a friend of mine who still does personal training at a reasonable price. His response? “Mind your own fucking business, prick.”

So fuck you, you ignorant asshole. Are you trying to hurt her? She’s going to have a hernia or slip a disc and it’s going to be all your fault. At this point, I can only hope that you get hurt before she does or that she dumps your sorry ass.

At this point you may want to talk to the girlfriend herself. If you don’t want her injuries on your conscience, that is. But your approach needs to be tactful and non-judgemental. “You’re doing it wrong” is not as good as “Can I show you a way to do that so that you get more benefit from it?”

If that doesn’t work, then mind your own fucking business. These people are beyond your help.

If it bothers you so much, why don’t you just show him how to do the exercises properly? I mean, I’m sure you meant well by recommending a trainer, but perhaps he can’t afford even one who is reasonably priced.

On the other hand, he didn’t have to respond to you so snarkily. But perhaps he thought you were being biased towards him because of his weight.

I hate when people do that. It seems like you were polite, and you’re obviously trying to help. He seems like the kind of person who can’t take criticism, or what he percieves as criticism.

Maybe you should say something to someone who works at the gym next time you see him doing this? While it is his own responsibilty to make sure he’s doing things right, I’m sure that trainers at the gym don’t want to see anyone get hurt. After all, he’s not only setting himself up to get hurt, he’s doing the same for his girlfriend. He might take advice better from someone in “authority” better than someone who he sees as just another gym rat. He, after all, doesn’t know that you used to work at the gym (unless you told him, but you didn’t mention that in your OP).

Well, I’m sorry, but I agree with him. Mind your own business at the gym and don’t criticize other people’s routines. Especially not in front of their girlfriend.

Reread my OP. I made a point of not calling him out in front of his girlfriend.

The OP specifically mentioned not mentioning it in front of his girlfriend. And also, the criticism was out of fear of him hurting himself or his girlfriend.

He didn’t do it in front of the girlfriend,

I don’t know how Lord Ashtar has time to see what other people are doing at the gym. When I’m lifting, I concentrate only on my form and the weight. Mind, I have headphones on the whole time and I avoid all interaction during my workout. I commend his concern, but he did his duty, now let the fat guy and his girlfriend suffer the consequences.

Why the girlfriend is taking workout lessons from someone who clearly isn’t a devoted lifter or a licensed trainer is beyond me.

Try actually reading the god-damned posts properly. He already said he approached the guy when his lady wasn’t around.

I hope the fat ingrate gets a hernia!

He went out of his way to NOT do it in front of his girlfriend! Sheesh!

To the OP:
I think you should speak to her, too. Tactfully, of course.

You said yourself he was a “New Guy”. I bet when you were starting out your form wasn’t perfect for every exercise. Over time he’ll refine his form and figure out what works for him. It sounded like you just wanted to cop some ego points by being Mr. Know it All. All in all; RUDE.

[QUOTE=Lord Ashtar]
he goes down way too far on squats,


Sorry, but had to nitpick, there is no “too far down” on squats. Ass to the floor is the best way. Are you one of those pansies that only go down 1/4 the way and walk around with your lats flared because you can do lots of weight?


There’s a difference between a routine not being “perfect” and a routine that’s going to get him or his girlfriend seriously hurt. It is NOT rude to try and keep someone from getting hurt. It’s precisely because he’s a “new guy” that he needs advice from someone who knows more than he does. Weight lifting form does not get better on it’s own, he actually needs to learn how do it properly, and the only way to do that is to educate himself (which he’s obviously not doing), or to get advice from other people.

What you probably should have done is tell one of the gym employees and ask them to say something.

You ever heard the expression that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink? This is what it means.

You made a reasonable effort to help the guy out, and he’s not interested. Let him suffer the consequences.

To continue the hijack, while it’s true that lower is better on squats, you need a fair amount of flexibility to safely squat deep. For someone who’s not flexible enough, there really is such a thing as too deep.

Ooops, my mistake.

My original point still stands. It’s none of your business unless he asks you for help. I see people doing shit wrong at the gym all the time, and it’s their call. The ergs (rowing machines) are especially bad for me, I can’t help but wince while watching people do things that are going to mess their back up.

The thread could have been titled “Pitting this guy at my gym” and the OP wouldn’t have had to pre-apologize to the obese.
Or are only the fat out-of-shape people at the gym ignorant of training methods?

Yeah, ergs novices are my favorite. Particularly when I sit down next to some 6’2", 200 pound guy and totally kick his ass 'cause I’m using proper technique.

I dunno, tough call for the OP. I’d hate to see someone get hurt but I’d never try to correct anyone unless they specifically ask for my advice. Maybe a word to the gym staff (if it’s a staff that cares) but they’re gonna be reluctant to do much either…

Oh, how fun! I haven’t played dueling cites in a while.


I go until my legs are parallel to the floor and I don’t squat more than 315 anymore, since I’m no longer an offensive lineman and I train for fun more than anything else. I suppose you could go all the way down, once the tendons and ligaments in your knees have developed sufficient strength. I would never allow a beginner who I’m training do that.

A newbie with too much weight on the bar going all the way down = kneecaps flying out and breaking the mirrors.

You’re probably right about that. I guess it’s just the former trainer in me. I don’t do it often, only when I see someone doing something really wrong out of (what appears to be) sheer ignorance. 99% of the time they’re grateful and I have a new “hey guy”. You know, where you never really talk, you just nod and say “hey” as you pass during your workout.

So far, this guy is the only person to have rejected my help.