HOW TO MEET FRIENDS + LOVERS AT THE GYM

About three years ago I decided to move cities every month. This has caused the need for me to make friends much quicker, more efficiently, and in a wider selection of venues than otherwise needed. Because of this, I’ve created a process to meet both friends and lovers in the gym environment.

Update: this has the bonus effect of increasing my motivation to go to the gym. Because of the social aspect, I more look forward to going to the gym.

It’s common to hear from someone that they don’t want to meet people at the gym, usually in reference to meeting lovers. “I don’t want to shit where I eat!” This makes 0% sense to me and I think is more associated with intimidation. I specifically want to meet people in a gym environment who share a similar mindset as me in the most important aspect of my life: health.

Our goal is two-fold:

  1. To form platonic friendships
  2. To meet romantic partners

Finding + Introducing Yourself To Your New Gym

First, visit a few nearby gyms at the time you will normally go to the gym. This accomplishes three things:

  1. You can see who is there at this time to help you decide if you want to join
  2. You can get a feel for the energy
  3. The regulars (who you don’t know yet) see you for the first time (remember to be friendly looking and smile!).

[bctt tweet=”Visit a new gym at the gym time you would normally go to the gym. The clientele can vary drastically.” username=”dannybooboo”]

Bonus, it’s not uncommon the gyms will have a female trainer show you around. Maybe even it’s a strategy as it seems to happen more often than not. Regardless, you should befriend her as the first person you know at the gym or, if the vibes are right, you can make some bold comments to find out her reactions/interest level.

Be friendly looking (smile) and say hello to everyone. A simple ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ is fine at the initial stages (this is important. Say ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ to anyone, especially an attractive girl, nearby you and whenever the opportunity arises/when you first enter the gym and walk to your first exercise).

But, do this to everyone. Especially when you are walking around in the beginning and getting familiar with the gym, make eye contact and smile at a minimum. Don’t look lost or confused as you might in a new environment if you’re not cognizant. You’ll be surprised at how often this turns into a conversation.

Fodder for those conversations can be you comparing/contrasting your experience at other gyms (for example, in Australia, all gyms allowed you to choose the music or in Estonia, none of the gyms had water fountains and all the dumbbells were on the ground where it took you 5 minutes to locate two matching dumbbells).

First, make friends with the receptionist, trainers, and maintenance folks. Get on a first name basis with them. For trainers, you can simply go up and introduce yourself by saying that you are new to the gym and wanted to introduce yourself. Half the trainers will be dicks and non-responsive, half will be friendly.

Next, make friends with regulars (men), less attractive/older women, and gay men.

Finally, you can approach more attractive women. For the hotter girls, you want to be seen as the social guy. The guy who entered the gym and all of a sudden has many friends. This will make her more receptive to you when you approach. Also, you won’t feel like a creep only approaching the hot girl.

[bctt tweet=”New gym strategy: befriend the receptionist, the trainers, the cleaning staff, the gay men, the regulars.” username=”dannybooboo”]

How To Make Friends At The Gym

It boils down to engaging them in conversation and allowing them to allow you to engage them in conversation. It is 100% your responsibility.* You make the initial step and gauge how interested they are with their reaction. Here’s what I do:

  • Ask a few trainers or regulars to spot you on your heavier lifts and always ask them for their names before or after the lift. Remember to remember their names! I create a little note pad where I write down their names right away so I don’t forget.
  • Ask someone what the wi-fi is (I try to ask either a hotter girl or a guy who seems to be a regular).
  • Ask where the scale or water fountain is (doesn’t matter where it is, even it’s behind you just smile and say thank you).
  • If I’m learning the local language, asking them for help can be applied to any situation where the person is nearby you. I use flashcards on my phone and I’ll show the relevant flashcard to the person with the question.
  • Moreso for women: Ask them what they’re listening to. Simple as that. You should be in the same area as her anyways with your current exercise. Approach, smile, and ask. Alternatively, if she’s not listening you can comment on this (I notice you’re not listening to music. If she’s interested, she’ll say something as to why not or give you a very friendly smile) as most people listen to music.
  • Say ‘You are strong’ or ‘you work out hard’: this is something I say to hotter girls who seem to be harder to approach. Just comment and move along. Remember, always with a smile (and eye contact!).
  • Comment on a gym accessory. For example, in Latin America, a lot of girls wear belts around their abs. Or if they are wearing special gloves, ankle weights, etc.
  • If there is a sitting area or bar, you can go hang out for 10 minutes before or after your workout. This gives someone the opportunity to sit near you, giving you the opportunity to start a conversation.
  • The stretching area is a great spot to meet both men and women as they stay in the same location for a while and generally it’s at the end of their workout when they have more time and more willing to engage in conversation.
  • On Mondays, you can ask people you already met ‘how was your weekend?’ On Fridays, ask about weekend plans.
  • Once you get a bit more familiar with someone, you can ask them about local questions: recommendations for date spots (this is good with guys, you can lead into asking them if they want to hang out one day and meet women at the recommended spot), local events, things to do on the weekend, anything specific you notice about the city, help with the language, etc.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t overcomplicate it. If they’re friendly, then they’re by default friendly and it’s not important what you say.” username=”dannybooboo”]

*As an aside, it’s 100% on you to make conversation. If you’ve ever had this thought (I have many times!) “why do I have to always say hello? Why don’t they say hello to me?” Well, two things: One, you’re boring and they’re not interested in saying hi to you. Trust me, they say hi to some people, you’re not one for this reason. Two, you can stick with this mindset and put your life/happiness/friendships in other people’s hands or you can take initiative.

Other Miscellaneous Information

If you smile and she smiles back, the likelihood of a successful conversation is high. This is a non-verbal opener and is powerful as it telegraphs the success of a future interaction. With the really attractive women, they seem to be aloof most of the time, in their own world and uninterested in meeting anyone, so while walking past I usually stare at them and give them a big smile when they look which oftentimes doesn’t happen until I give a big smile anyways.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t forget about non-verbal openers: a smile.” username=”dannybooboo”]

Don’t worry so much about having to meet the hot gym girl. Unless she’s absurdly hot and the only hot one in the gym, she probably doesn’t even know it. Remember, making a female friend is just as good, if not better than forming a romantic relationship with a gym girl. Most girls can’t judge their attractiveness, or they’re self conscious or both. The value of making female friends and those females coming up to you to say hello is priceless when it comes to increasing your social value in the eyes of women and men at the gym.

For reference, here are some ways I’ve created the initial spark to friendship or more:

  • Asking receptionist upon joining about local activities.
  • Apologizing (jokingly) to girls using a machine directly behind who had to stare at my butt while I was squatting. On the same machine with guys, telling them it’s a great spot of just chill to meet girls because they love this machine.
  • Asking gym goer to spot me.
  • Asking gym goer about a local spot (ie outdoor gym), asking if they’ve been, and then asking if they want to go together.
  • Asking a trainer when she works out (as they’re usually training someone else) and then tell her that you want to work out with her one day. She’ll get the hint.

Don’t overcomplicate this. It’s easier than you think. Your only responsibility is to create the beginning part of the interaction. A question. A statement. A smile. Everything else works itself out. Some people will be receptive, some will not. A few will be rude. Everyone is in their own world and some of them notice you but are too shy to say anything. They want to meet you. All you need to do is let them know you’re normal and friendly.

 

Have you ever made a friend at the gym? A girlfriend? How did you do it? I’m especially interested to hear from my female readers.

Danny Rusteen Administrator
Almost 1,000 nights in Airbnbs. This sums up a lot of what Danny is – nomad, minimalist, entrepreneur, Superhost. He\'s also an Author of three books, Airbnb employee #700, and Airbnb property manager. Danny has visited 33 countries and 57 cities. Follow his journey on Instagram @dannybooboo0
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