We get a lot of questions like this, which give essentially zero relevant details about the trainee's workout program, abilities, or recovery, yet ask how to fix their programming and recovery so that their abilities improve. (By including weights and reps of two exercises, the linked question is already far better than most instances of this phenomenon.)

This naturally results in a predictable pattern:

  1. OP: "Exercise X isn't going well, how do I fix it? That's all I'm telling you."
  2. Everyone: "Please tell us something, anything, about your programming/abilities/recovery"
  3. OP, maybe, after a day: "I choose to ignore your questions, except to share <one tiny fact about one exercise they do>"
  4. Some people: "From that we can say these broad truths that are not very actionable and probably miss the actual issue"
  5. Other people: "Maybe try <random suggestion>"
  6. Other people: "Could you tell us literally anything more?"
  7. OP: <silence>
  8. OP, weeks or years later: "I fixed it by <giving up my attempt to harvest nutrition solely from sunlight | not running that daily marathon I forgot to mention | following a program instead of working out randomly once a month >"

Is it possible to require certain information when someone asks this type of question? Either automatically or by policy. Voting to close without a standard mandatory level of info doesn't work.

  • There's a close vote reason stating that the question "should include more details and clarify the problem". But the problem is that askers see a closed question as something that should be abandoned, when it should in fact be seen as "on hold" pending improvements.
    – Alec
    Sep 6, 2020 at 13:04
  • Good point. I think that a clear minimum that we can communicate at all stages (while writing the question, in comments/close votes) would help. This is standard on lifting forums where people ask for help – "you must post your current lifts and bodyweight"; "your form check video must follow this format" Sep 6, 2020 at 13:08
  • <giving up my attempt to harvest nutrition solely from sunlight> -- lol
    – C. Lange
    Sep 9, 2020 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


In this meta question (completely unrelated), the answer field is pre-populated with what you need to do with respect to the question requirements.

Maybe it would be possible to have the answer sections pre-populated with fields for the user to fill in? It might only be useful for certain tags though and I'm sure if anything like that is possible.

Something like this, possibly smaller, could sit at the bottom of questions:

Age: [0-100]
Gender: [M/F/X]
Height: [ft-in/cm]
Weight: [lb/kg]
Years Training: [0-100]
Current Program: [SS, 5/3/1, Custom]

Whether users kept it would be up to them. Some may not feel comfortable sharing all that information. I usually check profiles to see if any additional information is posted. Most of the time it's not, though. I agree, though, most other forums I've been a part of pretty much ask for this information off the bat before even helping you.

Other ideas:

# Years Training: [0-100 years, 0-12 months]
Current Training: [SS, 5/3/1, Cardio, Custom]
Performance Metrics: [# 1RM/5RM, # min/mile, complete n00b?]
  • That's exactly what I'm talking about. I'd like to quibble about the contents of the pre-set but this is the direction I'd like to go in. Sep 14, 2020 at 15:10
  • E.g. I'm thinking "current training" + "current performance metrics", but it is hard to communicate that XRMs make sense as well as "I'm a noob" or "I can jump rope for five minutes" Sep 14, 2020 at 15:11
  • 1
    @DaveLiepmann Agreed. I just wrote in the contents to give the idea. For most questions though gender/height/weight are probably irrelevant. I could see age being relevant when the difference is between 20 and 70. Those individuals usually mention age though.
    – C. Lange
    Sep 14, 2020 at 15:58
  • "Goals" is important too.
    – RoundHouse
    Jan 11, 2021 at 7:42

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