Single Mingling in the Gym

How a nice guy can get a girl at the gym

How a nice guy can get a girl at the gym

Hey there!  I’m on vacation this week and offering up some of my favorite and most popular posts.  This was originally published last February.  Enjoy.

Today on Twitter someone asked me how a guy could ask out a girl at a health club without looking like a “perv.” I laughed.  I work in a gym, I’ve been in the fitness industry for 14 years, and I’ve seen many attempts, most of them failing badly. So I thought I’d offer some guidelines to the “Cardio Casanovas” of the world.

1. Don’t ask a girl out the first time you see her. Try to hit the gym a little more frequently and figure out her schedule. You ran into her once already so it should be pretty easy to eventually see her again. Plus, by going to the gym more, you’ll look better even if nothing else comes from it…it’s a win/win.

2. Just smile. Don’t strike up a conversation at first, just smile once or twice and let her know you’re around. Of course if she engages, by all means have a great conversation.  Just keep it light.

3. Once she gets used to seeing you at the gym, start making small comments. Here’s a good trick: if she’s a treadmill gal, ask her if she’s getting ready for a race. This is a great way to open the door to conversation. Another trick is to comment on her T-shirt; wait for her to sport a college jersey or a road race tee and then ask her about it. She’ll almost definitely respond.

4. Enlist the gym staff. If the staff thinks you’re cool, it’s likely they’ll help you. Become friendly with a couple of the staff members you see regularly. The front desk workers know all the members and are likely to know who’s available and who has a boyfriend. Wait for a quiet moment at the desk and ask politely. I can tell you from personal experience, the staff thinks it’s fun to help hook people up.

5. Another tip I wish more men would try: take a group exercise class. Look for the less “girlie” classes offered by your gym and head on in. You get lots of points for trying. Really.

Here’s why it’s so hard to hit on women in a gym setting: we’re scantily clad, we’re all pink and out of breath, we are not looking our best. We assume you are looking at the scantily clad bits and not our “inner beauty.” Dropping a quick line that might work at a cocktail party or a bar will not work at the gym because we feel more vulnerable.

And don’t forget, women who work out at gyms regularly don’t want to have to shift their schedules around to avoid you. We’ve got a lot to lose if you turn out to be a jerk, so we will always take our time before we say yes to a date from a guy at the gym.

If you’ve got any tips of your own, I’d love to read ’em. Keep them clean please.  :-)

Thanks to @runnrgrl for inspiring this post.

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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15 Responses to Single Mingling in the Gym

  1. Terrill Welch February 22, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Lisa – most sensible wise advice I’ve heard in a long time. Good luck guys!

    Terrill

  2. Kelly February 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Great advice!
    I’m not single, or mingling, but I love your advice. Hopefully this will save a lot of heartache.

  3. Kurt February 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Great advice Lisa, I too have seen so many guys go about it the wrong way. Respect will always be a key to remember.

  4. Beth February 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Another don’t: Don’t stand in between her and the mirror when she’s trying to check her form during her set. She won’t be like, “Oh hey, he’s kind of cute.” Instead she’ll be rolling her eyes and thinking, “What a jerk. Get out of the way, you inconsiderate fool!”

    A do: Wait until she’s done a set on a particular machine, then ask if she’ll let you work in between. It’s pretty innocuous and not that uncommon.

  5. Lisa Johnson February 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    I agree guys, it comes back to respect as Kurt says and Beth you definitely have the same theme … getting in between you and the mirror when you’re trying to do good form is just rude … no matter who it is …

    Lisa

  6. Erin Elberson February 25, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    If she’s wearing headphones and looks very focused-don’t disturb her. It’s very irritating if you are training hard and someone busts your groove. If she takes one earphone out, or pauses and smiles-you may have a green light to make an intelligent comment.

  7. Jason of Mens Fitness and More February 26, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Do women even want to be picked up at the gym. I go to workout not look for dates. I would think women are the same way. Though I could be wrong. Most people do not travel far to go to a gym so there is a good chance you guys work or live in the same area, maybe the best thing to do is wait for your paths to cross outside the gym, then say hello and use your bad lines.

  8. Adamsol February 27, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Hmm. I never had that problem.

    I used to get asked out, but had to turn them down because I’m quite relgious and never dated. Of course, I’ve been married now for 17 years.

  9. Adamsol February 27, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Actually, I think I may have an idea why I never had a problem:

    Because I never intended to date, I never made an effort to ask anyone out. What I did do was to just chat with people, offering help and advice here and there (having been an instructor).

    That way it just happened we would chat whenever we met. I guess that just relaxed the situation.

    I don’t know, maybe that’s the reason, maybe not.

    I guess the women on here would be able to comment on that?

  10. Aden Ford April 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Great Post, I got a ton of people asking me How do I ask someone out at the gym? So I wrote: How do I ask someone out at the gym – a step by step, how to guide:

    Let me know what you think:

    http://www.askaden.com/2010/04/how-do-i-ask-someone-out-at-gym.html

  11. Jeff November 15, 2010 at 7:22 am #

    Fun advice, taking dance class and yoga class also tips things in favour of the guys.

  12. Health Votes February 8, 2011 at 3:45 am #

    You remind me of this post:
    http://2bahealthyfit.com/2010/11/12/the-gym-creeper/
    And after reading that post i had made a mental note of not asking our the gym girls… but this post of yours seems to ignite some new possibilities, have to do it with enormous caution though…

    happy vacation, i was out myself for the last month or so, finally back and now will do catch up on your posts in my absence,

  13. Tara Burner February 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    I met my soul mate in the gym….
    and then stupidly thought he was too good for me
    broke up w/him months months later
    then recently tried to locate him only to find out he died 16 yrs ago in car accident :(
    so looks like I’ll be remaining single…
    he truly was ideal…back then I was at Bally’s at 5 a.m. wearing sports bra & shorts and getting my sweat on and we’d go to breakfast after all sweaty and it didnt bother him…he was perfect…
    sigh

  14. Kristen February 14, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    What if a girl is interested in a guy at the gym? Do the same suggestions apply?

  15. Lisa Johnson February 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

    Mostly yes, use your own personality as your guide and good luck! :)

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