How important is socializing at the gym, to you?

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    Feb 07, 2014 5:47 AM GMT
    I know, it's another one of 'those' threads. But I'm just at the point where I feel I'm just about over it. For one, I don't really care for crowded gyms where I don't know anyone. I try to go between 1 and 3 But today, I go in at damn near 5 right at rush hour.

    It's not so much the crowd, but it just feels so isolating to not know ANYONE at the gym. Then, on top of that, the 2 gyms near me are these suburban, White-bread...but kinda 'rugged' guys with tattoos mixed with Hispanics. I don't have an issue with the people, but I'm annoyed that I'm usually the ONLY Black person all the time...and the 1 or 2 who do pop up, they don't appear to be gay or interested in extending a conversation, etc. Typical by-product of living in an overwhelmingly White state in America. Anyway...

    I'm starting to feel that the 1 thing that would likely make me stop going to the gym entirely, is if it continues being this crowded place that I can't find any potential for connection at. It's just depressing in a way. I often feel obligated to make the 1st move since people rarely approach me, but too often the conversation fizzles, they don't ask anything about me, don't ask my name, anything. I work up all this courage to chat to someone, and they don't reciprocate.

    Is this an epidemic of 'chain' clubs, and is there someway to change it? I remember when I moved to this middle school in deep suburban Florida, I was the only few Black people too...but I made friends like clockwork. Everybody wanted to be around me. I don't understand the gyms out here. I had people coming up to me in the hallway that I didn't even know.
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    Feb 07, 2014 6:12 AM GMT
    leo_ saidSo I prefer the odd time at gym when you can expect a very few people. By doing so I am able to focus on my purpose. Guys start coming in when I am almost done.


    I know...like today I seen so much eye candy and I was really about to hit on 1 guy I seen who I was pretty confident was gay...but I thought to myself...why? I don't even know the guy. He's fucking White, everyone here is White...and I'm the minority Black guy who just 'HAS' to make it happen. If he was so interested, what's stopping him from speaking to me? Why I gotta put myself on the line, and muster up courage? Shit should just happen. I think these gyms should even have a 'social weekend' where people are all invited for a night/day out or at the gym to introduce themselves. If I was CEO of a gym, I'd mae that voluntary. If gives the chance to sense people out so it's not so anonymous.

    I know this is turning into a race tangent, but I'm saying that because that's the reality of the situation. It's really not about race, it's about why my gym has no social aspect to it.
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    Feb 07, 2014 7:40 AM GMT
    It's cool seeing people there, but it is VERY busy and the machines are always taken around the time that I go. I'm not much of a socializer at the gym, even though I like a guy that goes there, and I've just gotten used to drilling in my purpose of even being there: my fitness goals. I go alone 95% of the time and it has just grown on me to just workout and leave. I like to have privacy when I talk to people for the most part, and the gym just really isn't a great place to do that.
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    Feb 07, 2014 8:21 AM GMT
    KBM13 saidI go alone 95% of the time and it has just grown on me to just workout and leave. I like to have privacy when I talk to people for the most part, and the gym just really isn't a great place to do that.


    Well...that's subjective I guess. For some people the gym may be social, for others it may not be. I'm not saying that I want it to be so social that I don't even workout. But, at the same time I want to have some rank when I go there. I know it's nothing with me personally because I can go to a gay bar in my area and see a few people I know, shoot the shit with, and maybe even do something afterwards.

    But the issue is, people at the bar and at the gym are like 2 different breeds of people. And 2 different environments.

    leo_ saidI am absolutely not judging you. But I think its all in our mind.

    Meh, it could be. But sometimes things are what they are. you just have to be real, take things at face value...and leave it at that. I believe some gyms are the way they are because they represent the surrounding neighborhood. The 2 gyms I go to are in neighborhoods that are garbage as far as dating goes, garbage on adam4adam, garbage on grindr, there's no gay bars in the vicinity...basically nothing but a bunch of mundane, mediocre White/White Hispanic suburbanites who are all too narrow-minded to step out the box. So yeah...I shouldn't be surprised.

    In your case, your reasons are valid. But do you consider that, "all in YOUR mind?".
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    Feb 07, 2014 2:02 PM GMT
    To me going to the gym isnt about socializing. I'm there for a purpose . During that hr or so its all about me . After the workout is done thats fine.
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    Feb 07, 2014 2:12 PM GMT
    I'm just there to train lol.
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    Feb 07, 2014 2:48 PM GMT
    I never socialize at the gym-- it's my workshop, and the weights are my tools. I'm there to craft the best results I can, and go into a total zone where all my focus is on my routine. The other guys at my gym respect that and keep their distance. Lol

    I'm otherwise a pretty friendly, approachable guy, but when I'm lifting, get the fuck out of my face. icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif
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    Feb 07, 2014 2:53 PM GMT
    Headphones in, no body else exists. I'm shy and hate working out in public.
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:03 PM GMT
    I don't always open my mouth/socializes except a Hi/Bye to the front desk person, but I do have honest/kind gym men approach me on my workout correcting my technique/methods where I really do appreciate them ones cause I'm solo other youngsters my age are just:

    A. either they have Buddies or

    B. the NO1curr kind. icon_rolleyes.gif

    What more can I do to when they are Big Super chunky ones, and the muscular ones like to wear short shorts. *like really!? That I don't understand.
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:10 PM GMT
    I long to have somebody to socialize with at the gym, hoping to meet another gay man to be friends or more with. Even other just friends, since it gets kind of boring being all "alone" there. I love the (all male/adult) jacuzzi especially, with all the naked men icon_smile.gif Nothing is going to happen there, but it just feels nice but it's hard to chat somebody up there. So far, met one nice guy who I like who seems promising icon_smile.gif Would love to be able to talk to him every time and get to know him better. So, I guess I'm going there in part to workout and partly to meet a good man icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:22 PM GMT
    The gym is no place for socializing. The ppl that do usually hold up machines while chit chatting about weekend events...lame!
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Feb 07, 2014 3:23 PM GMT
    I know I have a better time if I have someone to talk with during rests and in between exercises (they do too). I'd say it's not important, but quite beneficial. (some of my friends only go when they have people with them)
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:24 PM GMT
    Even when I go with friends we keep socializing to a minimum. Other than a few words of encouragement from a spotter to get a couple more reps in we all stay focused on why we are at the gym in the first place. Lots of time for chit chat after.
  • pablo69

    Posts: 10

    Feb 07, 2014 3:32 PM GMT
    I have same problem. It makes me depressed and I feel submissive when see gangs of guys talking and laughing in gym . Once I was thinkng that I pay for one of my friends and ask him just be there with me.
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:36 PM GMT
    When I worked for a gym super important but when ever I tried to get a workout I would get stopped by everyone which can be counter productive and a pain in the ass. Now that I don't I typically socialize with my gym mate in between sets and we keep to ourselves
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:50 PM GMT
    You're going to get nothing but extreme opinions on this topic. Most people are going to say "I'm just there to workout." I think a lot of people say this to make themselves look more serious about their workouts. But I'm a very social guy and it's just bizarre to me to not be able to speak to people in such close surroundings. I quite my last gym because everyone began walking around with headphones stuck in their ears. And because of this, the gym stopped playing music. I felt like I was working out in a library full of zombies. I began dreading the gym.

    Then I found CrossFit. Headphones are not allowed. Period. And at the beginning of every session, we all stand in a circle facing each other. The coach instructs us to tell our name and then asks us to answer a random question he makes up off the top of his head. The question can be "what's your favorite color?" or "what are your plans for the weekend?" or whatever. This makes it so easy to initiate a conversation during a break. "Hey, I'm going to that play too. I have an extra ticket. Want to join me?"

    If CrossFit doesn't appeal to you, I would suggest checking out different gyms, because different gyms have different atmospheres. I have a membership at a traditional gym also. I only go there once a month or so to use the pool or steam room, but it's very social too. Hell, there's even a full service bar inside!
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:52 PM GMT
    The saying is that the gym is the gay church and, like church, there is a social aspect of the gym that is entirely appropriate and may be even necessary at times. Sharing workout advice, giving and receiving encouragement, and getting inspiration from others at the gym are all important to me. It's why I don't just set up a workout space in my basement...
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:54 PM GMT
    If I owned the gym first thing I would do is ban headphones and ear buds. Even if one doesn't want to socialize a bit it sure makes if difficult to ask someone if they're done with a piece of equipment or if someone else in the gym gets stuck on the decline or flat bench of a piece of equipment breaks and on and on. Just for safety reason alone I think you should be able to hear what going on in your environment.
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    Feb 07, 2014 3:56 PM GMT
    Scruffypup saidYou're going to get nothing but extreme opinions on this topic. Most people are going to say "I'm just there to workout." I think a lot of people say this to make themselves look more serious about their workouts. But I'm a very social guy and it's just bizarre to me to not be able to speak to people in such close surroundings. I quite my last gym because everyone began walking around with headphones stuck in their ears. And because of this, the gym stopped playing music. I felt like I was working out in a library full of zombies. I began dreading the gym.

    Then I found CrossFit. Headphones are not allowed. Period. And at the beginning of every session, we all stand in a circle facing each other. The coach instructs us to tell our name and then asks us to answer a random question he makes up off the top of his head. The question can be "what's your favorite color?" or "what are your plans for the weekend?" or whatever. This makes it so easy to initiate a conversation during a break. "Hey, I'm going to that play too. I have an extra ticket. Want to join me?"

    If CrossFit doesn't appeal to you, I would suggest checking out different gyms, because different gyms have different atmospheres. I have a membership at a traditional gym also. I only go there once a month or so to use the pool or steam room, but it's very social too. Hell, there's even a full service bar inside!
    Screen%2BShot%2B2012-11-21%2Bat%2B1.20.1


    "But I'm a very social guy and it's just bizarre to me to not be able to speak to people in such close surroundings. I quite my last gym because everyone began walking around with headphones stuck in their ears. And because of this, the gym stopped playing music. I felt like I was working out in a library full of zombies. I began dreading the gym."

    VERY much agree.
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    Feb 07, 2014 4:45 PM GMT
    The gym to me is generally the last place that I want to socialize at. Generally I just want to get in and get out as quick as possible and I think a lot of people are like that. I mean that is what gyms primarily are, places to focus and build serious muscle. Before I moved to the city though, I went to a small gym where everyone would talk to each other because it was a small town and everyone knew each other. It was cool don't get me wrong, but was also annoying at times as it took tons of time away from working out espcially when I wanted to get a workout in before work or something. Now when I'm at the gym and I see someone I may want to interact with I ask them about routines or exercises they're doing and keep it on the short side. This has worked a lot and the next time we see each other the conversations get more in depth to the point where we meet outside the gym. I suggest you give that a try and see what happens. But again first priority on everyones mind at the gym is working out and everything else falls on the wayside. Expect a more social atmosphere at a club.
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    Feb 07, 2014 4:47 PM GMT
    I don't talk much to anyone in the gym. I go there to work out, not socialize.
    Gym time is Me time.
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    Feb 07, 2014 4:58 PM GMT
    I don't socialize much at the gym but I do go the same time everyday. I go in the middle of the day and the people there are always the same. I feel comfortable because I've seen these same people for so long. When I go elsewhere or at a different time, I feel out of place, much like you're referring to. I have met a couple of guys there that I speak with occasionally so, socially, I'm fine with that but I usually keep to myself.
  • mont_33r

    Posts: 40

    Feb 07, 2014 5:04 PM GMT
    As an introvert, I find socializing with people rather draining, requiring either prep time beforehand or downtime afterward. And like many in this forum, to me the gym is there for a purpose, with anything else secondary.

    Even so, I've found that group-fitness classes serve as a way to get to know people without having the focus be on interaction. I'm there to take RPM or BodyPump or the like for an hour, and then it's over. I happen to meet great instructors and classmates, and we encourage each other. For me the class is a controlled environment, whereas out on the workout floor proper, I'd feel out of my element. But such is the introvert condition, at least for me.

    See "Caring for Your Introvert":

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/03/caring-for-your-introvert/302696/

    Good times.
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    Feb 07, 2014 5:36 PM GMT
    GigoloAssassin saidI don't talk much to anyone in the gym. I go there to work out, not socialize.
    Gym time is Me time.


    Right here.

    I don't really care to socialize much when at the gym. I do sometimes to talk "shop", ie. workout tips, etc., but, overall, gym time is me time.

    My intent isn't to be antisocial or rude. I just get into my zone with my music and work out. For me, it goes beyond just the workout though. My work at the gym is just as much about working through a problem on my mind or relieving daily stresses as it is about the physical benefits.

    Banning earbuds and the like seems a little extreme to me, but I am glad people have found alternatives to gyms where the people do not interact much or at all.

    I think everyone has their own ideas and expectations of what their gym experience should be... Some need that social or group experience in order to find it rewarding, while others prefer a more isolated experience - neither are wrong, just different.
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    Feb 07, 2014 5:39 PM GMT
    Ive really never spoken to anyone at the gym.