I’m a single guy, new in town and I’m wanting to meet more friends, and maybe even someone special, and I was wondering if you have any advice on how to do that in a gym. Is a gym even a good place to meet people? If so, where do I even start? Everyone is so intimidating!! HELP!
The gym is full of beautiful people, representing all types of beauty, that we all want to be friends with, right? But the problem is how do you meet these people when most gym-goers are focused on their reps, their music, and their selfies? It’s actually not that easy, but it can happen.
Get yourself involved in the culture of the gym because simply showing up for your workout isn’t enough. Most gyms have social gatherings every couple of months and these are great places to meet people. Pay attention to emails your gym sends out or bulletins they post about social nights (gyms do this as a thank you to members but also to help build their business) and make a point to go. If you can bring a friend, do that, as it’s always easier to meet people with a wing-man/wing-girl. Say hi to someone you recognize and literally leave it at that. No need to strike up crazy conversations yet, a simple hi can break the ice for the next time you see them.
Another suggestion is go to the classes they offer. And be consistent in the classes you go to. Pick one or two a week to attend and make a point of familiarizing yourself. After class it’s easy to chat about the class, like how hard it was or how much you liked/hated it (in a good way) and maybe it’ll grow into something more. Getting to know the teacher is also a plus. I love it when students get to know me, so I can use their name in classes and start to create a community in my class. I always try and make sure my students know who they are working out beside. Smaller classes are better so if your gym offers small group training, I suggest you sign up for it.
A lot of gyms also offer outdoor activities when the weather is nice. Running clubs, cycling groups, and outdoor boot camps are the most popular but some do other activities like group outings to athletic points of interest, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking to name a few. Get involved in something you enjoy as these groups can help you make friends at the gym. I’m still friends with many of the people I ran with and cycled with in different clubs over the last 20 years.
Also look at attending any lectures or workshops your gym may hold. I’ve attended quite a few of these in my past and it’s great to meet people who are interested in the things you are also interested in.
Recently I had my mom start going to one of the Pilates studios I teach at. It’s small, four people per class, and most of the attendees there are in a similar stage in their lives. After my dad passed she really needed to create a bigger social network and she had tried doing this at bigger community centers without much luck. After a few months of going to these smaller classes she started getting coffee with the other ladies after the workout and slowly creating friendships. Just this past month she and one of the other women she met in class went away on a 3 week European adventure. At 69! So if my mom can do it, you can do it. It just takes consistency, confidence, and a little bit of strategic planning. Just start with a hello and see where it goes from there.