June 3, 2013
Two weeks ago was MDW which, despite being in no way the official start of summer, we all treat as official because as a collective we hate winter so much that literally any summery impostor date will do. That means it’s time for grilling, drinking outdoors and, most importantly, skin. My skin. Your skin. All of our pallid, disgusting fucking skins on display for the world to see, which is why right about now is when humanity as a whole looks down at its newly-exposed gut and says “Shit, I need to lose some weight. Better hit the gym.”
We react this way, in part because we believe that anything good may only be achieved through great turmoil and physical hardship, but also because we believe that a positive result is the consequence of a positive action, rather than inaction. So, instead of just putting ourselves into medically induced comas for the first two weeks of June in order to slim down, we act like hamsters on wheels in an effort to “work off some pounds,” despite this being the least efficient method of weight loss possible.
When the issue of gym-going arises, inevitably people start to wonder how they might go about using their gym membership to coax another human being of the opposite sex into stimulating their parts. Or, at least that’s the case if my inbox is to be believed, with the understanding that my inbox paints a very dark portrait of our world. I get lots of emails that are some variation of “how do I meet guys at the gym?” or “how do I get guys at the gym to notice me?”
The short answer is that the gym should be pretty low on your list of places to meet people, somewhere between the hospital and prison. But, it’s not impossible, I guess.
The kind of guy who goes to the gym to hit on girls is the same kind of guy who injures himself by trying bench press more weight than the guy next to him because… who knows? I would imagine the kinds of girls who go to the gym hoping to get hit on are the ones I see on the elliptical machines, with suspiciously perfect hair and makeup and not a drop of sweat anywhere. Do not be one of those girls. For normal girls, the reason you’re not getting approached at the gym is not because you’re all sweaty or red-faced or whatever the fuck. It’s because normal guys, much like you, are at the gym to get in, work hard, and get out as soon as possible. We go in, we pick heavy things up and put them down, and we leave. It’s a place for exercising, not socializing.
That said, if you want to become more approachable or have an excuse to do the approaching yourself, you have to be seen as “a person who goes to the gym” and not “that hot girl at the gym who isn’t even hot anymore because she’s always in my fucking way.” If you’re going to be there, you should be working hard, taking it seriously and, most crucially, putting yourself where the guys are. As unsavory as it may sound, that means tearing yourself away from the cardio equipment and, yes, doing some actual exercising, aka strength training.
Don't be this girl.
Though the prospect of entering “that section” of the gym might be intimidating, think of the benefits. Strength training helps with bone health (which I understand is an issue for women), improves posture, and just makes you look better, even if you’re not down to your “ideal” weight. Despite what many women fear, you’re not going to get gigantic, rippling muscles unless you’re doing it wrong. Speaking of which, if you’re avoiding weights because you’re not sure what to do, talk to the staff. They’re usually happy to help and knowledgeable. Or, just search literally anywhere online. Hell, email me and I’ll tell you something to do, it doesn’t matter. The point is, don’t be afraid to get in there and do some squats, both for the health benefits and the fact that it puts you in a position where you can have a normal, un-contrived conversation with any guys you might be interested in.
If you see a guy on a piece of equipment you want to use (or have decided you want to use because that’s where this guy is), simply asking if you can “work in” (alternating sets of exercises with the person) does two things: One, it shows that you understand gym etiquette, which in this context makes you more attractive than any amount of primping ever could. Two, it give him an opportunity to continue the conversation. The same goes for asking “how many sets” a guy has left, or asking for a spotter (someone to watch and make sure you don’t drop a weight ant hurt yourself). Most guys will chat you up if you give them an opening, which just won’t happen when one or both of you are pounding away on treadmills. You may not get a date out of it at first, but over time you can build up a rapport because you’re a normal, cool chick who understands what the fucking gym is for. When that happens, the sky’s the limit.
Like I said, the gym is far from the best place to meet new people, because most guys are there to work and assume you are too. But, it’s still a (somewhat) social place filled with people you might not see anywhere else, so you never know. Just mix up your workout a little, take it seriously, and let the chips fall where they may.