In your best Tarzan voice, repeat after me:
You petite female. Delicate little flower.
Me big strong man.
Me protect you in this tough place.
Welcome to the world of the gym, where at least one guy reading this has approached a female stranger and decided to “train her” without her request.
If you’re a woman who likes to train with weights, then chances are you’ve already experienced this kind act of generosity.
But instead of making her reach for her mobile number, what you are really doing is making her reach for her rape alarm.
Years of experience in the fitness industry (and watching this situation go down countless times) have taught me that if she wants your advice, she’ll just ask you for it. And if she wants a personal trainer, she’ll try something wacky like, hiring a personal trainer.
The whole “Hey babe, I’ll train you” thing is kinda like approaching a woman in a dark underpass to ask if she needs any help staying away from weirdos.
Newsflash, cockwaffle – you’re Exhibit A!
So what about if you are the female in this situation?
Most women are too polite to say “Fuck off mate” and it can make you intimidated to go to the gym again if you feel like there is going to be someone leering at you next time you do squats.
Check out this email from website member, Sophie:
I recently started lifting weights and I’m loving it! One problem – there’s this guy at my gym who keeps coming over and trying to get me to change my routine. He won’t stop. How do I get this guy to leave me alone???”
First of all, don’t be too hard on the guy. As males, we are programmed to be complete motherfucking doucheburgers. But here are a couple of tips to make sure he doesn’t bother you again:
- The Ignore Method
- The Debunk Method
(Don’t worry, I explain these below. How harsh would it be if I just left it at that?!)
1. The Ignore Method
At first I advise simply ignoring him.
Remember, he’s not really coming over to you because he wants to train you. He’s either coming over because he wants to tell you how great he is, or he’s coming over because he wants to bang the shit out of you.
The gym allows guys to go back to basics – we throw things around, we eat protein, we grunt. Add a nice girl into the situation and it’s a recipe for awkward silences.
As soon as he realizes you’re not interested – ignoring usually works – he’ll usually move on to the next person. But then there’s the ones who don’t move on. And then it’s time to kick his ass with the second method.
2. The Debunk Method
Yep, occasionally “that guy” is much more stubborn.
He has taken on the form of a gym character I like to call The Teacher, and he made a brief appearance in my piece on 7 People You Will Meet (And Hate) At The Gym.
The Teacher is on a quest to tell you his training methods are “better than everybody else’s” and he won’t stop badgering you until you bow down at his holy grail of fucking bullshit.
This is when you need to pull out your secret weapon: science.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m always encouraging you guys not to get too aligned to the Muscle Magazine approach to training, which will see you doing 3 sets of 10 reps for the rest of your life. There are a million different ways you can get fit. And likewise, I encourage you to avoid the polar opposite end of the scale, which is the “stick your head in a book and look up infinite amounts of studies, but don’t actually do any lifting” approach.
I advise you to fall somewhere in the middle of the two.
So if you’re following a workout plan to help you build muscle, chances are you already know why you are using certain techniques or performing the exercises in your program, because your program at least gave you the basic information.
Using this knowledge will scare off The Teacher once and for all.
Because this is where you’ll find that he is nothing to be afraid of.
You see, people who truly know their stuff realize that there is more than one method you can use to achieve a goal. So smart people they focus on what they are doing, and don’t feel the need to walk around gyms badmouthing everybody else just so they can give themselves an imaginary pat on the fucking back.
Cool Story, Bro
Before I was a trainer, I remember a guy telling me that high intensity interval training was terrible.
He spent 3 hours a day on the bike doing a workout that looked like a scene from The Walking Dead.
“That’s useless, mate. It’ll burn muscle. You should be doing light cardio, which will burn more fat and keep your muscle!!!!”
So basically he kept telling me to ditch HIIT and do long, slow cardio every day after training instead.
After a couple of months – yes, I lasted that long – I grew tired of his incessant interruptions and I decided I was no longer going to give him a friendly “Oh, right” response. So I asked him to show me proof that his approach was as vastly superior as he was claiming.
You see, I wasn’t training blindly.
I may have looked like a total fudge pudding, in my Guns N’ Roses ‘Appetite For Destruction’ tee in which all the skulls were wearing Santa hats (because Christmas) and my jogging bottoms which I’d washed too hard and now looked like they’d been sprayed on, but I knew exactly why I was performing a combination of strength training and HIIT.
And I can show precisely why I perform high intensity interval training instead of old fashioned aerobic cardio, both through my results and through that it has been shown in several clinical studies to be superior to aerobic cardio for fat loss and also retaining lean muscle tissue. (1, 2)
The Teacher never interrupted my session again.
To join Sophie and the thousands of other women using my online workout plans, visit RussHowePTI.com.
- Trembalay, A., et al. Impact Of Exercise Intensity On Body Fatness And Skeletal Muscle Metabolism. Metabolism, 1994; 43(7): 814-8.
- Wilson, J. M., et al. Concurrent Training: A Meta Analysis Examining Interference Of Aerobic And Resistance Exercise. Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research. 2011 Oct 13.