Unsolicited advice - and why you should ignore the same

A couple of months ago, I was training my exercises hard at the local park. I was doing one of my usual routines, routines similar to those mentioned in Fast and Furious Fitness and was finishing off with a set of tough core exercises.

Now, I was doing some hard exercises and I was naturally out of breath, and grunting through my repetitions. If someone were to ask me to sum up my workouts briefly, I'd respond "Blood, sweat,tears and a lot of grunting". And that's what a workout is supposed to be like - provided you do it right. (Hint: doing step aerobics with one eye on the TV and gossiping with the fellow next to you on the pec deck about last night's part is NOT the right way of doing it).

But, I'm getting ahead of myself here.

So there I am, finishing off a set of tough leg raises, when this gentleman comes up to me, and asks me "May I have a word with you?". Now, I'm all for friendly conversation - but not when I'm working out - my focus is on the workout, and NOTHING else (and certainly not idle chit chat, which I see most people doing during their routines). The sky could fall down on my head and I wouldn't notice - I stay that focused. So I try and politely ignore the guy, and he repeats himself. Being that I wanted to get rid of him, I oblige him, and the first thing he asks me is why I'm doing these "strange" exercises.

So I tell him why I'm doing them - strength, plus cardio benefits, but of course he wasn't having any of it. He didn't look too happy, and shook his head in a sad sort of way, and told me "There's no point doing these intense exercises. Nothing much comes of it". And he then proceeded to tell me a long story abouthis frozen shoulders, and how he supposedly cured the problem by doing nothing other than "light aerobics" and drinking certain herbal juices. Apparently he made no modifications to his diet other than chugging his juice daily, and yet ended up trimming his waistline down, as well as getting "other health benefits" which he wasn't kind enough to detail.

At this point my workout had already been interrupted enough, and I was getting annoyed with the constant flow of nonsense (which is unfortunately common these days when it comes to training), so I stepped away from him with a polite "well, OK, thats great" sort of neutral statement. This is the sort of nonsense I hate, even more than folks interrupting me during my workout.

Anyway, on to the funny part of it all -

I then went over to another section of the park to refocus myself, looked behind to see if the guy was gone or not, so I could continue with my routine.

And what did I see?

Lo and behold, the guy's trying to do a hanging leg raise himself - the same exercise he was telling me not to do. And I mean "trying"; he could barely even hang on to the bar for a second before he let go, and looked around to make sure no-one was watching him. After he tried this, he moved on to the parallel bars, and did a sort of "swing" on it while awkardly attempting to jump up into the top position of a dip (which he had seen me doing earlier on in my workout). At that angle, I could even make out his slight paunch - so much for the "aerobics" he had been doing, and the benefits he got from it! And THAT was the point when I just had to bust out laughing - might as well get what I could from the moment.

Anyway, the guy saw me observing him, so muttered a few comments under his breath, and walked off shortly. I'm sure he went home and told his wife (or significant other) how he saw this guy doing these hard bodyweight exercises which really have no benefit, as well as the response to the free (unwanted) advice he dispensed.

I still see the guy sometimes when I train, and we both make it a point to avoid each other. And with good reason, methinks!

The point of the story is this: Unsolicited advice is more common than you'd think, and it usually comes when you are doing something the other person would rather be doing (and benefiting from) but is usually too lazy to actually DO it. This holds especially true when your doing tough exercises that others shy away from doing - such as the ones detailed in Fast and Furious Fitness.

IGNORE such foolishness, at ALL costs, and stick with what you are doing. This is negative behavior at it's very best, and the type thats best avoided. As I said above (and as has been proven over and over again by my own experiences) this sort of thing stems from the other person being insecure in his/her own abilities to perform the exercise and being too lazy to actually work at it - so they badger others that are doing the right thing. They want a solid grip, but aren't willing to work for it. They want to have better stamina, but aren't prepared to put in the hard work. You get what I'm saying.   .    .

So to cut a long story short - again, ignore unsolicited advice, and remember that if you're getting it, it's probably not worth listening to anyway. Do what others fear to do - tread where others dare not tread - and you'll be better off for it. I have no doubt this has been said by others as well, but thats the Fast and Furious version.

Rahul Mookerjee