How to Avoid Doing Stupid Stuff at the Gym - Ivana Chapman

How to Avoid Doing Stupid Stuff at the Gym

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woman with glasses with weight on head

It’s frustrating for personal trainers to see silly things going on at the gym.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve seen a number of gym atrocities performed by people who clearly don’t know what they’re doing. Lousy technique, no particular exercise order, and bodies swinging around in dangerous positions of flexion and rotation – just generally stupid stuff. Guys who don’t know what they’re doing (and let’s face it, it’s usually guys, because women are busy reading a magazine while spinning slowly on the elliptical) move back and forth through the weight area doing some Men’s Health magazine routine or just randomly move their arms in various directions.

Whenever I see someone walk into the gym and start a workout with concentration bicep curls (no warm-up, not even an arm rotation or two) I quickly realize that I’m in the presence of someone who doesn’t have a clue about exercise.


Why should this behaviour annoy a fitness professional like myself?

Why should a lawyer roll his eyes when someone decides to defend themselves in court?

Why should an accountant sigh when someone does their own taxes and gets audited and fined large sums of money for accounting mistakes?

Why should a dentist get upset that someone does their own root canal?

Ok, that last one probably won’t happen but it serves to define the idiocy of doing something potentially dangerous with your body when you’re not qualified to do it.


Smart people always hire professionals to guide them because they realize that they can’t be experts on everything.  If you’re not sure what you’re doing in the gym, hire a professional coach to give you the right program for you. No, a 1hr induction with a newbie trainer at a chain gym that involves him/her walking you around the machines will not do it. Your buddy who once did CrossFit doesn’t count either. It takes time to learn the basics of proper weight-training, but it’s a lifetime investment in your health and physique.

Hire a professional fitness coach.  Or don’t get annoyed when we laugh at your antics from the other side of the gym.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 6-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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