The one about discouragement…

I was going to post a product review today but something has been bugging me and I feel the need to talk about it.

I follow a lot of fitness-minded people on Twitter and Facebook and am acquaintances with a few folks who compete on the fitness circuit and there’s one thing that a good chunk of these people keep doing that pisses me off, quite frankly.

I keep seeing comments similar to this:

“Don’t come in my gym if all you’re going to do is walk on the treadmill!”

“Why bother coming if you’re just going to spend your whole workout on a mat?”

“Either put down the Barbie weights or get out of the weight room!”

I appreciate that a lot of people don’t know what they’re doing in the weight room but a lot of that is a lack of experience and being afraid to ask because of people who mock the inexperienced. I see a lot of gym rats with terrible form and terrible manners in my gym but somehow when they’re doing half of a mediocre squat because they’ve loaded the bar too heavy just so they can throw it on the ground with a slam that’s okay?

You don’t know what it took for that person to get on the treadmill. You don’t why the person on the mat is focusing on building a strong core and back. You don’t know whether the person with the pink 3-lb weights has an injury preventing them from going heavier.

The fact is, that person woke up that morning and decided to work on themselves by bettering their fitness. Sure, they’re probably not optimizing their time and they may not be getting the most out of what they’re doing but so long as they feel accomplished and satisfied for the job they did while they’re in there why does it matter?

Encourage those people to keep going, to get better, to get stronger, to learn more about the human body and the exercises they can do to better play to their strengths. Encourage them to walk farther, marvel at how long they can hold a plank position or ask a trainer at the gym to suggest a heavier weight for ol’ Barbie weights.

Discouraging people while they’re in the gym just ensures that they’ll never want to come back. Is that better in the end? As healthy active people shouldn’t we want to share the satisfaction this brings to our lives? I would think so.

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