How to Talk to a Girl at the Gym: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

How Young Is Too Young to Go To The Gym?
How Young Is Too Young to Go To The Gym?

This article was co-authored by John Keegan. John Keegan is a dating coach and motivational speaker based in New York City. He runs The Awakened Lifestyle, where he uses his expertise in dating, attraction, and social dynamics to help people find love. He teaches and holds dating workshops internationally, from Los Angeles to London and from Rio de Janeiro to Prague. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Humans of New York, and Men’s Health.

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You’ve been going to the gym and have noticed this really cute girl working out at the same time as you. You want to approach her and get to know her better, but also don’t want to offend her or get shot down. By being aware of the common pitfalls people make when hitting on girls at gyms, you can raise your chances of landing yourself a date.


Scoping out Your Approach

  1. 1Find a way to work out inconspicuously near her. Be careful not to follow her around or keep using the same equipment as she is, as she’ll probably notice. When you’re in a nearby area, you can take the opportunity to learn more details about her that will later become good conversation starting points.[1] X Research source
    • If you’re in the same class, try to grab a spot near hers. Afterwards the class will be a shared experience to comment on.
    • Notice things like whether she seems to be focusing on a specific category of exercises or whether she watches a certain show while she’s on the elliptical.[2] X Research source
  2. 2Use opportunities to show how polite you are. By following normal gym etiquette, you can demonstrate that you’re considerate of others. This includes wiping down equipment after you use it and wearing decent gym-wear and antiperspirant.[3] X Research source For example, you might say the following:
    • “Hey, would you mind if I worked in with you on this machine?”
    • “You can go ahead and fill your water bottle first.”


  3. 3Avoid showing off, being condescending, or leering. The gym is a place where a woman should feel safe to focus on being healthy.[4] X Expert SourceJohn KeeganDating Coach Expert Interview. 5 November 2019. This is hard to do when somebody is grunting excessively nearby, making a scene by doing half reps with heavy weights, or trying to out-lift and out-run everybody at every turn.[5] X Research source
    • Don’t ask her if she needs to be spotted; it makes it seem like she isn’t self-aware enough to ask for assistance if she needs it.
    • Unless she seems in immediate danger of severely injuring herself, don’t correct her form because it will make you seem nosy and critical.
    • Don’t do anything that could be construed as crude, like staring when she bends down, gazing at her chest, or commenting outright on her appearance.
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Beginning a Conversation

  1. 1Wait for a convenient time to get her attention. It will be hard for her to speak to you when she’s concentrating on an intense set or is out of breath from a tough run. Most girls will be annoyed if they are interrupted while they are wearing earphones, so wait to speak to her until she’s taken them off.[6] X Research source
  2. 2Approach her confidently but without aggression. Confidence helps others relax around you, and is one of the most attractive qualities someone can have. Communicate confidence through body language by avoiding fidgeting and maintaining good posture and appropriate eye contact. A smile and a quick “hey” or short lingering eye contact should be enough to get her attention.
    • Remember that since you’re both at the gym, you know you already share an interest in pursuing a healthy lifestyle!
    • Do not, under any circumstances, lead with a pick-up line. It will make you come across as somebody who is impersonally trying to hit on every cute girl you see.[7] X Research source
  3. 3Make an opening comment about something in the area. This can be anything from a response to the music, to a brief opinion of the gym or a goofy gym member. You can also bring up the equipment, how a class went, or talk about her gear in an impersonal way. Try phrases like these:[8] X Research source
    • ”Wow, that spin class was tough.”
    • ”I’m dying to know, is that a Marvel reference on your shirt?”
    • ”I’m glad they’ve added more weights recently.”
  4. 4Keep any compliments non-physical. People can feel particularly self-conscious about their bodies at the gym. Furthermore, physical compliments may make the girl feel objectified, like she isn’t being seen as a person.[9] X Research source Compliments on how hard she’s working will make her feel noticed in a positive way, and encourage her to talk a little about herself. Try saying something along these lines.
    • “You really killed it on those chin-ups!”
    • “Whoa, you’re so focused. Are you training for anything in particular?”
  5. 5Ask the girl for help with equipment or an exercise. People who can admit they don’t know everything come across as both self-confident and humble. This request can be about anything from how to use the squat rack, to the proper form for a lat pulldown. You can even ask her to spot you, just make sure she can actually help you with the amount of weight you choose.[10] X Research source Request help by saying things like this:
    • “Hey, would you mind teaching me how to do that stretch?”
    • “Sorry to bother you, but could you help me figure out this machine?”
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Setting up Future Conversations

  1. 1Watch for hints of disinterest or interest. It’s easy to get offended by rejections, but keep in mind that girls don’t go to the gyms to have extended conversations with everyone that walks by.[11] X Expert SourceJohn KeeganDating Coach Expert Interview. 5 November 2019. Staying laid back is crucial because being overly eager can be off-putting at best and frightening at worst.[12] X Research source
    • If you tried to exchange names and she answered with silence, she probably isn’t interested and you should move on.
    • If she keeps trying to go back to her workout and maybe even moves to a different area, she probably isn’t interested and should be left alone.
  2. 2Exercise patience and don’t spend excessive time talking. 1 to 3 minutes is a good range. The gym is not intended as a first date location.[13] X Research source Your goal is to create a connection with her that will open the door to interacting more with her at a later time. Speaking too much to her too early forces her to fake being friendly or express disinterest as obviously as possible.[14] X Expert SourceJohn KeeganDating Coach Expert Interview. 5 November 2019.
  3. 3Avoid asking for her number or asking her on a date immediately. This may make her feel rushed, intimidated, or threatened. The goal of these initial exchanges is to make yourself more familiar to her without making her feel uncomfortable.[15] X Research source
    • By giving her time to get to know you a little, you give her the opportunity to realize what a nice person you are without outside pressure.
    • After speaking with her a little, leave when the conversation seems to be dragging or she seems distracted.
  4. 4Build on previous conversations in subsequent days. For example, if you talked about a show the first time, tell her about another good show you’ve recently watched. If she recommended a workout class to you and you attended it, let her know how the class was. After the initial ice is broken, talking to her at the gym should be a bit more like talking to a girl anywhere else: listen carefully to what she says and be yourself when you’re responding.
  5. 5Invite her out after a couple more conversations. Two or three interactions should be sufficient. Whether or not she shoots you down or shuts down, you know you’ve put yourself out there with confident politeness.[16] X Research source
    • Try asking her out by saying something similar to the following: “We should go out/get a drink/work out together some time. Can I have your number?”
    • You can also suggest grabbing a drink at the smoothie or juice bar, since everybody’s hungry after the gym.
    • If she says she’s busy, ask to meet up another time in case she really does have other legitimate plans.
  6. 6Don’t be discouraged by rejection. There are many other great girls out there! If things don’t quite work out with this one, there will be other chances. Being rejected is perfectly normal and doesn’t mean anything bad about you as a person. All it means is that you and this particular girl weren’t a good fit at this point in time.
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Expert Q&A

  • QuestionIs it OK to talk to a girl at the gym?Yes, it’s totally okay to talk to a girl casually at the gym. Just don’t interrupt her while she’s working out and don’t follow her around or anything like that. If the two of you are in the same class or you’re working out near one another naturally, that’s fine. However, you don’t go up to her randomly and try to force a conversation. It’s not going to work, and it’s kind of a creepy and rude thing to do. She’s there to work out, not chat with strangers.
  • QuestionHow do I approach a girl at the gym?I wouldn’t necessarily recommend “approaching” her. If the two of you are near one another and the conversation develops naturally, that’s totally okay. I wouldn’t recommend directly going over to her and starting a conversation that way, though. The gym just isn’t the location for that.
  • QuestionWhat do you say to a girl at the gym?Keep it super casual and short unless she seems to be actively trying to develop a full conversation. Something like, “I’m so happy to be back at the gym,” or “It’s kind of empty in here today, I wonder what’s going on?” Throw out little things like that to see if she engages. If she doesn’t, let it go. If she does, let the conversation develop organically on her terms.


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  4. ↑ John Keegan. Dating Coach. Expert Interview. 5 November 2019.
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  2. ↑ John Keegan. Dating Coach. Expert Interview. 5 November 2019.
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  5. ↑ John Keegan. Dating Coach. Expert Interview. 5 November 2019.
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