There’s no crying in weight lifting.

Okay, there is a little bit of crying. At least for me anyhow, and I’m not really a crier. But as I said before–this whole weight loss/get healthy journey just brings me to it. There’s a crazy amount of emotion involved. Been through it? Then you know what I’m talking about! So yeah, sometimes right after I leave the gym, I cry because I can’t believe where I am at this point in my journey and how far I’ve come. You know, happy tears.


there's no crying in weight lifting


But then, sometimes right after I leave the gym, I cry because I’m so pissed at myself for not knowing more about weight lifting. I mean, I’m a certified trainer. I dropped a good bit of cash and spent a good bit of time studying to get those initials after my name–I want to be worthy of them. Last Tuesday, I didn’t feel worthy at all. Cue the non-happy tears.

It’s been quite apparent to me that book smarts about personal training and street gym smarts about personal training are two very different things. I’ve known this for a while and I’ll be the first to tell anyone that where strength training, muscle building and weights are concerned, I’m learning as I go. I try to soak up every bit of information I can get from, Oxygen Magazine, and Muscle and Fitness Hers, fellow bloggers that know their sh*t about the weight room, and from {secretly} watching the trainers at my gym.

I knew making a transition from a Cardio Queen to an Iron Maiden was going to take some work, but I felt like I was doing okay so far. After all, I must be doing something right because in the three months since I’ve joined the gym and began weight lifting my body looks light years better than it did from 12 months of running in 2012. {SERIOUSLY–why didn’t I start weight training sooner??? Can we chat about that?! I’ll save that for another post.} So while I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I thought I’ve been doing it all right–especially my exercises. There’s only so much you can tell about form from a magazine, so I make sure to watch videos on YouTube {again, from peeps I trust} to see if I’m doing the workouts correctly.

hurts so good tank

So last Tuesday, while I’m feeling all confident, kicking butt right through my workout, looking all fly in my Hurts So Good tank top and legwarmers, imagine how wet behind the ears I felt when a trainer stopped me mid-work on the assisted pull-up machine to call me out. It went like this:

Trainer: {shaking his head and motioning to me to take out my headphones} No. No…you’re going going to hurt yourself. All that floppin’ around. You’re seriously going to pull your shoulder. That’s not how to do it. Let me show you.

Me: {removing headphones} But I like doing it this way–it gets my heart rate up. [ And now my heart rate really IS up as I can see a few people turning to look at us and listen in–acccckkkk embarrassing!] I think it is the Kipperling. Kiplinger. Kippie. Kip–

Trainer: You mean Kipping and that’s some Crossfit sh*t. Yeah, don’t do that. {He then proceeds to get on the machine to do me how to do the assisted pull-up correctly} See–controlled. No flopping. No using any other muscles to help you pull yourself. Look straight ahead. Good posture. Leg/knees straight.

Me: {punching him in his bicep which is bigger than my head} Of course it’s all easy and controlled for you. You’ve got guns!! {He then gives me the “I mean business” look, so I pipe down. He makes me try it–the RIGHT way–and then approved.}

I thanked him for his help–he really is an awesome trainer and is the one that gave me my first tour/tutorial when I first signed up at the gym–and he went off to work with his client. I just felt dumb. This seemed like it was one of the simplest machines in the gym and I was even doing THAT wrong? Argh. I then performed some more of the assisted pull-ups the correct way and was sooooo happy that the machine was facing the wall. The tears were coming.

snap fitness assisted pull up dips machine

Was this a reason to start to well up? Umm, no. So I stopped myself almost as quickly as I started boo-hooing. I was like, “For real, Cherie? Pull up your big girl panties and accept the constructive criticism for once. He HELPED you. He could have just kept on walking by and never said a thing. Maybe making fun of me in his head or grouped up with the other trainers across the room. But he didn’t. And by him helping me, I become better. A better weight trainer and just a better trainer period.  I wanted to scurry out of the gym right after this, but I didn’t. I finished the rest of my workout and made sure to find him on my way out that night and THANK HIM.

It would have been easy for me to take the next day off. Though I was almost over the whole thing, I somehow felt embarrassed still. He knows I’m a trainer…did he think I was a complete idiot? But of course I still went to the gym and marched right in to get to work. Shortly there after he spotted me. He came over, put his large arm around me and gave me a side hug. JEEZE. Did he have ESP, too and know that I was feeling sheepish?!! Anyhow, I tried to take the upperhand and mention the whole sitch first, “Thanks again for yesterday. I told you I was a Cardio Queen. Well, reformed anyhow. Just let me know if you see me doing anything else wrong, okay?” He said he would, punched me on the arm, and sent me on my way. I yelled out, “Thanks! I mean, I can’t pay you of course, but thanks!”

So yeah, I don’t know everything, which I already knew. But I love, love, love learning. And good grief do I love when someone calls me out. Though I may not like it at the time, lol, in the end I’m better for it. I feel surrounded by “Yes men” {and women} at times, so this was a refreshing change. Change is good.

If you see someone with horribly bad form, do you say anything? How do you feel when someone corrects you?

Comments 17

  • Do you ever have issues with your HRM – such as loss of signal?
    I have the same and it’s terrible during lifting.

    • Hi Selina, nope–the only time my FT7 stopped was when the battery was low or the strap was getting dry (and that was mayyyybe 3 times in the year and a half I’ve had it). I have had trouble with my FT4 but I’m hoping it was a fluke as I’m getting another one!

  • I have been doing this for over 30 years & for me it is always learning! Don’t feel bad!! Isn’t it cool to learn new stuff! With weights though, ya got to be controlled in all your moves to get the most out of it & not injure yourself… 🙂

    I do agree that street smarts sometimes help vs. book smarts but all around just learning is great! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Friends, Weather AND YMX!My Profile

  • It does sound like he was helping you, but it is embarrassing and it sounds like he was a bit condescending. I think that there is a right and wrong way to be corrected in the gym. I would have maybe cried too.
    Kaitlyn recently posted..My 30-day trial dairy-free dietMy Profile

  • What a wonderful trainer. I mean, really….showing you the correct thing to do then following it up the next day with the hug. Shows he is not being superior or a know-it-all but that he spoke up because he actually cares.

    This is exactly why you were afraid to do to the gym in the first place, the fear of hearing criticism. Now it’s happened, and you survived. And got a good lesson on how to handle things when the day comes that you are the one wanting to approach someone who could use some advice.

    I would have reacted in exactly the same way. A little bit of tears but no running away. Coming back the next day and getting right back on the horse. You done good. 🙂

  • I get really embarrassed when I’m corrected, but I know correct form is going to benefit me WAY more than having my pride get in the way. I have the same cry-thing with the gym, too! I’m either crying because I can’t believe what I just accomplished or how far I’ve come, or I cry because I’m just so freakin’ pissed off about something haha
    Molly @ Just Your Average Athlete recently posted..My 10k Training: Week 3 + Upcoming RacesMy Profile

  • I get really embarrassed when I’m corrected, but I know correct form is going to benefit me WAY more than having my pride get in the way. I have the same cry-thing with the gym, too! I’m either crying because I can’t believe what I just accomplished or how far I’ve come, or I cry because I’m just so freakin’ pissed off about something haha
    Molly @ Just Your Average Athlete recently posted..My 10k Training: Week 3 + Upcoming RacesMy Profile

    • Kudos to you for sticking it out when you wanted to hide. 🙂 I had a complete meltdown on the elliptical one day…. Thank goodness there was nobody else there to see me, but I don’t know how I got lucky there. Loud gasping wrenching sobs. Ugh. (Mine was over a potential blind date whose main interest in me was that he “heard I had great big boobs.” Seems I was talking to a big boob on the phone. ) I was so mortified.

      Great of him to help you out, though it made you doubt your own credibility. You’re right about the difficulty of learning correct form from flat pictures!
      Valarie recently posted..Love Never DiesMy Profile

  • You have developed such a positive outlook on life, sis! 🙂 (Maybe not always immediately, but you get there in your own time and that’s all that matters.) Yay to that trainer for being one of the good guys and helping you out!

  • Cherie, my first thought as I was reading was this young man was to be applauded for coming over to assist you. Then you confirmed he was the same one who gave you the initial tour, so he is consistent…and I like that. Kudos to him.
    Secondly, as you know I am a spin instructor so I see a VARIETY of bad forms when I teach. To address the incorrect form, I approach the member and tell them I would like to suggest they try it another way and if it hurts or isnt comfortable, they can revert to what they were doing. Usually they try it and they stick to what I corrected. Do they continue outside of my class? I would hope so, but spinning can vary from instructor to instructor.
    As for people correcting me, like you, I welcome feedback, but I also go a little deeper, because I am inquisitive and want to know why a particular form versus another, the target areas, are they the same, etc. Sometimes I feel stupid, as I should know, being a now lapsed-personal trainer certification individual, but knowledge is power. Many times I am tempted to tell folk their form is off but many times, I walk away…I dont want adverse confrontation. But just the other day I saw this guy bench pressing weights all kinds of wrong and HAD to address it, (fortunately, he was receptive) so I guess there is a time and a place for everything. Keep up the good work! GenuineFeedback

  • I do Crossfit. There’s always a coach there watching and correcting (that’s what you’re paying for) so in that environment I love help. But if someone came up to me in a gym like that, I totally would have cried and run away.
    You’re doing awesome! It’s hard as heck to learn something like weight lifting from books and videos, so the fact that you’ve learned this much is stellar.
    There is definitely crying in weight lifting, though.
    KaraHadley recently posted..Cowfish and DropkickMy Profile

  • I totally know how you feel! I always feel uncomfortable at my gym because it’s full of frat guys just lifting weights and standing around talking, so if I’m trying to do a faster workout to get my heart rate up I feel like everyone is staring at me because I don’t fit in. I wish I could say I’ve gotten over it like you, but I don’t know how!

  • Please please please check this article out and thank me later…yeah it’s THAT good. It will tell you everything you need to know about weights and gets you started on a program.

  • Oh and an amazing group of ladies on FB that are just absolutely fabulous and are all about Deadlifting, squats, bench press, pull ups, shoulder presses (compound movements basically) with HEAVY weights is Oh please check them out too and it will change so much for you. I’ve done a half marathon and ran 5k’s and not only until I started lifting did I change the way my body looks. Cardio gets me smaller but weights sculpts my body
    Christabel recently posted..Fitness Update (with video) – March 2013My Profile

    • I agree–the running got me smaller, but the weights are sculpting away! I wish more ladies would listen to that! I’ll check it out. 🙂