Is it ever okay to tell someone they’re working out wrong at the gym?

Lifehacker asked readers whether it was ever OK to tell someone at the gym that they are not exercising correctly. Readers answered loud and clear: 90 percent of the time, the answer is never, and they explained why. However, there are exceptions. First, we take a look at why you should never do this, and then then three exceptions where it is OK:

Why You Should Never Tell Someone They’re Not Exercising Correctly:

  1. You don’t know them. Maybe they are using some super advanced technique you’ve not heard of, or are rehabbing an injury, or they’re just new and clueless. It’s best to just stay quiet and do your reps.
  2. You don’t know the lift. You may think they are “cheating” on their lift, when in fact they are using a technique you’ve never heard of. Don’t be the person that says something.
  3. You aren’t the know-it-all you think you are. Maybe those workout moves you learned ten years ago have been debunked, or were wrong to begin with. Trainers are as fallible as the rest of us.
  4. You’re mansplaining. Guys, just don’t do it.

The Three Times You Can Say Something:

  1. When you know them. If you are on friendly terms, and a suggestion would seem like normal conversation coming from you, go for it.
  2. When they ask. Advice is totally OK to those who’ve indicated they are open to it.
  3. When they are actually, literally about to die. If you’re seeing purple faces, heavy bars pressing down on a neck area, limbs going directions they’re not meant to go, or someone breaking gym rules that pose real danger to them or others, then you can say something.

 

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