Ugh…. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. To be honest it can depend on whether it is a man or a woman. Woman are usually more receptive to a woman stopping to help. I find that men are not always so willing to take the help/instruction. They treat me as if I couldn’t possibly know what I am talking about. You get the yeah, yeah, thanks…..
I agree, that unless someone is hurting themselves, I don’t step in. But, one of the facilities that I train in is the YMCA. If a trainer is not with a client, we are expected to assist a member who is struggling with form. The few times this has come up, I always ask first if they would be open to being coached and it is always appreciated.
I have been in that situation myself more than once. As with most of the other people answering, I have a sliding scale I use to respond to the situation. What it boils down to is that the client who is paying for my time always takes precident. If I am assisting them, I may notice someone else’s ‘bad form’ but will usually not approach that person unless a) my client is on a long break or b) my client’s session is over. In one case, however, I saw someone get stuck under their bench press. My client and I were the only people in the general area and I dropped everything to assist the person. I believe this falls into the “life and limb” category!
I agree with Kurt that if I were on my own time I might try to offer some general guidance, especially if I knew the person was a novice. It can be a great opportunity to drum up new business. When I see poor technique in a member that uses the weight room regularly, I’ll often strike up a conversation (if they seem receptive) and ask them about their exercise regiment and what goals they’re training toward. This usually gives me a chance to give them advice that’s appropriate to their personal situation, especially if I compliment their good efforts. In the few cases I’ve intervened I’ve asked for the person’s permission before talking to them or demonstrating anything. If they say no I just hit the road.
I love reading the responses on this forum. Some really well thought out, intelligent answers all around.
I am in agreement with all. If it’s not a life or serious injury threatening mistake, I tend to stay out of it. However, as Marcus mentioned, using a slightly louder voice with your current client is not a bad way to put the hint out there for someone nearby practicing poor form.
Personally, if my job responsibilities included anything that is synonymous with managing or supervising, then I would say something. If not, I would mind my business.
Perhaps that individual might get lucky and the manager, assistant manager, supervisor or supervisor might see it and offer constructive criticism.
It might be better received from someone who has that responsibility as opposed to someone who has the same responsibilities as you do have.
I tend to lean toward handling situations in such a way that promote collaboration. We have enough drama between personal trainers going on already.