Making straight friends at the gym

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    I'm a young guy, generally innept when it comes to working out and weight training. In about 7 months, I have lost 50 lbs. Since I don't know what I'm doing and workout alone, I see a few people at the gym and copy their exercises...while trying not to look creepy (albeit I'm not always successful). I have read a few posts and about three weeks ago, I decided that this was no longer middle school and I (a nerd) simply can't be intimidated by the cool people. So I asked a guy a few questions, saying hi to him everytime we see each other and small talk (generic workout stuff, wor), and finally I asked him if he wouldn't mind working out together. I asked for his number and we finally workout together.

    I essentially did all of his exercises and we talked, although I made sure to keep it at a minimum. I'm just concerned that I'm bugging him (i've said that a few times to him) and even at the begining of today's workout he pointed out one of the trainers and said "if you're looking for a trainer, i can introduce you to him..." (I guess I couldn't take a hint that perhaps I was bugging him) I told him that if it was not a bother, I just wanted to shadow him (I'm a recent college student, can't afford a PT).

    He was very nice, awesome, and very helpful. We talked about school, sports, work, et. al. He asked if I had a gf to which I said no (I just don't want to freak him out; I'm just looking for a platonic workout buddy) and he said he was married. He kept making references about "next time we workout..." so I guess I didn't entirely bother him and actually offered to help him with work stuff.

    The question I have is should I just leave him alone?


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    Mar 11, 2009 4:58 AM GMT
    If he game you his number (and it's really his number) you didn't bother him. Wait a while to call, and don't act all feverish and weird, but I don't see why you shouldn't call.

    I'm kind of new to actually telling people I'm a homosexual and I still don't see why it's relevent in 80% of situations. However, I sometimes get really tired of only hanging out with gay guys. Seriously, how many times do guy need to reference the fact that they like men...I get it you're gay!

    I had a workout buddy who was much older in college who told me he was gay and I didn't have the guts to say anything to him back then. He was huge, probably a much more advancedbodybuilder than I was ready for, but I learned a ton from him. When he started to bother me about competing I lost contact with him.
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    Mar 11, 2009 5:03 AM GMT
    Thanks Dig_for_Fire

    I only recently came out and don't make it a point to disclose it...especially at the gym. He asked me to text him and we did workout today. My arms hurt (we worked on triceps and biceps) so already it has paid off. We are working out again tomorrow. Again, I'm just looking for a workout partner. He is a big guy and I figure I could learn from him. I'm was the fat kid most of my life and so I kept to myself...I still don't know how to talk to people in general. This is not a gay question, it is a social-skills question taking into consideration of wanting to not weird out a straight guy.

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    Mar 11, 2009 5:15 AM GMT
    I think if there's a potential for attraction that you won't be able to handle or you're the type to develop emotional attachments to emotionally unavailable people then it's a bad idea to work out with a straight guy. Otherwise, most people don't mind sharing knowledge or having someone to chat with when they go to the gym. Don't worry about being a bother unless he says so. It's more aggravating to have someone repeat the same question than it is just to have a conversation.

    I think there are a lot of benefits to having a work out partner such as accountability, and sharing knowledge. You'll inevitably come across new knowledge that may benefit him as well. No one knows everything.

    Edit: Congratulations on your weight loss btw!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 5:30 AM GMT
    I was really little when I graduated. I was even scared to go to the gym alone, but I started lifting early in the morning with a bunch of masochist meatheads and they really kicked my ass. I learned a bunch from them though.

    One thing I started doing was wearing headphones when I work out. I usually listen to Tool, Clutch, Slipknot, Deftones...someting loud and angry. I don't want to hear anyone in the gym and I pretty much forget that anyone else is there if I have the right music.
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    Mar 11, 2009 11:25 AM GMT
    Straight guys are not as naive as you may believe. They know that gay men work out a lot and you told him you did not have a gf . Why do you think he asked you this question? He obviously likes you and wants to help you. Just be post gay. You don't have to announce it. And don't get emotionally involved with him. He is straight and married. This is a good way to f***k up a budding friendship. Now to the second issue. Most people go to the gym to exercise and not to talk or make friends. You should not smother the guy while there. You do your thing and he does his. It's okay to ask a few questions but don't over do it.
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    Mar 11, 2009 12:33 PM GMT
    On the whole, people don't make friends with people they've bumped into in the gym/on the train/ in the supermarket. People make friends through work, social organisations and through friends of friends.

    Prepare yourself for him not to want a 'shadow'. And prepare yourself for him being friendly now and unfriendly later, because by the fact you've posted this up, it sounds like it's important to you.

    Personally, I like going to the gym alone. It stops being intimidating after a while. If you don't know how to use the machines have a look at some of the info on this site and also this....

    http://www.coopersguns.com/videos/exercise-encyclopedia/


    That's a brilliant graphic.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 11, 2009 12:54 PM GMT
    Well in watching others at the gym, you can make friends, primarily through repetition.. being there, working out and being friendly.

    It sounds like this situation has gone well for you. A little unusual, but I'm glad to hear it. You need to think about what you want from this. Learn from this man, befriend him, but give him some space. At some point you really need to give him some space and you need to implement your new found gym knowledge on your own (meaning your own workout). He will probably feel comfortable seeing you are genuinely using the information he gave you and you have other friends in the gym. I'm not telling you to back off at all, I'm just saying that at some point he will expect you to "do your thing". That said, you might develop a real friendship, but it needs to be about more. I would talk to him about other things with you when it feels natural.

    And by the way, congrats for taking the initiative, most wouldn't do that.
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    Mar 11, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidTo find out if they're REALLY your friends and accept you for the person that you are try striking up a conversation about what you did last night.

    Went to a leather bar, talk about how doing single legged lunges is really making your glutes look quite plump in leather chaps. Or how your leather arm band is getting too tight because you've successfully added 1/2 to your biceps.

    Keep it all related to progress in the gym, of course. See how he responds. If he runs, he was never really your friend in the first place.

    Why do I sound more odd than usual today? I have my reasons...



    Mmm I wouldn´t do this... you will scare the guy. Be normal, don´t hide or "show" being gay. It´s just who you are.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2009 1:44 PM GMT
    Lost_and_Found: THANX!! for posting that link to the workout vidoes. Great website!
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    Mar 11, 2009 2:29 PM GMT
    StudlyScrewRite saidLost_and_Found: THANX!! for posting that link to the workout vidoes. Great website!


    http://www.coopersguns.com/videos/exercise-encyclopedia/

    Cool, it's a brilliant graphic isn't it? The other good site is exrx, but it's kinda complicated to use.

    I also like clicking on that guy's body parts... icon_wink.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Mar 11, 2009 2:37 PM GMT
    I wouldn't worry about bugging him. When he doesn't want to work out with you, he'll let you know. Don't pester him, just let it happen.
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    Mar 12, 2009 3:07 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice. We worked out again today. I really isn't about seeing him in an intimate light or potentially having feelings for this guy. Like I said, I was the nerdy/smart fat kid all my life and until 7 months ago I decided to hit the gym.

    Today's workout was the most intense ever, due in large part to wanting to keep up with him. He was very helpful, patient, and like I said, it is like the geek trying to be friends with the cool guy. I kept the conversation to a minimum, only talking when I had a question about technique. I'm still cognizant of the possibility that I will annoy him but like you said, until he says otherwise.
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    Mar 12, 2009 3:25 AM GMT
    Trust your gut. If you feel like you may be bothering him, just leave him alone. It isn't too hard to figure out. And I think a lot of these guys replying may be reading a little to much into what you said (at no point did I get the vibe of you having feelings for your buddy). Good luck.
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    Mar 12, 2009 2:49 PM GMT
    I had a straight training partner in college. We met after I had been cruising him from afar for a few days, but he never noticed this. Once I knew he was straight, I never made any sexual advances and kept it about training. I didn't tell him that I was gay until we had been friends for over a year, and by then he had pretty much figured it out on his own. The fact was that I was a good training partner even though he was more advanced and much more developed than I was, and we both made good gains working out together. I suggest you keep your friendship strictly about the gym and helping each other get bigger and stronger. Eventually, you may decide to open up more about the rest of your life, but not until you're both sure there that you aren't looking for something more.
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    Mar 12, 2009 3:24 PM GMT
    You know in carefully reading your post I also didn't get the idea that you have any illusions about wanting more with this guy. Something else did stick out though to me.

    What I think may be the issue for you, is giving up your identity as the fat/geek guy. You've lost a lot of weight, you aren't that fat guy anymore. It's time to give up that identity. Eventually, that identity will stall your progress. Your beliefs about who you are, are powerful influences on your subconscious and on your body, and on your relationships and in fact your entire interaction with the world around you. The other thing is that it kills your self-confidence, and others somehow sense this, and they usually don't sense it in a positive light. It can come across as being needy, socially awkward, geekish, or just lacking in self esteem. People like to be around people who make them feel good, and people with low self esteem rarely make others feel good.

    You have a lot to offer, you seem like a reasonably intelligent guy, at least you can compose a post with a fair command of the english language. You obviously have some motivation, dedication and discipline to achieve those kind of weight loss results. I suggest that you start focusing on the fact that this isn't junior high anymore and different things make people "cool" in the adult world. Given that we are a nation of obese, self absorbed thugs, you just might be climbing the ranks of cool people.

    Seriously, take some time to look at your beliefs about yourself, make a list, then from that list make a sub-list of all the ways those beliefs are not helping you and are no longer congruent with who you are. Make another list of what would happen if you replaced that belief with another more constructive belief. Come up with all the reasons the old beliefs are no longer true, and why the new ones are true or could be true. The best way to smash outdated unhelpful beliefs is to establish for yourself that they just aren't true anymore.

    I really see the underlying social skills issue here as not being about being gay or about attaching to unavailable people, I see it about needing to redefine yourself and drop the fat guy/geek identity for something that is more closely aligned with who you are now then who you were in past years. If you do this I think a lot of the social issues will take care of themselves.

    Congrats on the weight loss, amazing job bro, and congrats on taking the initiative to approach others socially, that can take a lot of courage. Keep up the good work man.
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    Mar 12, 2009 3:32 PM GMT
    It reads as if you're in denial about something. I won't address it because it's just my opinion, but don't become a stalker. There's nothing wrong with working out with him on occasion, but don't take advantage of his kindness. Doing so will only come back to bite you square on the ass.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 12, 2009 3:36 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidIt was also sort of indirectly meant for HndsmKansan as he has this growing fascination with leather and kinky sex. icon_smile.gif



    Where in the world is this coming from?
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    Mar 12, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Thanks for your post guys. I especially want to thank YngHungSFSD. I'm working out with this guy again and I'll be a bit more cognizant about those character nuances.

    Thanks
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    Mar 16, 2009 4:01 PM GMT
    Hi guys,

    It is Monday. This guy at the gym that's been letting me workout with him texted me on Thurs telling me he would be going earlier because he had to be somewhere later that evening-he said we would meet up again next week (this week).

    Again, I don't want to come off as nerd/needy as many of you have cautioned. Should I casually text him or just wait until later this afternoon to see if he does (and if he doesn't, it's fine).

    Thanks
  • Tennis_Tom

    Posts: 59

    Mar 16, 2009 5:37 PM GMT
    whoa, i think youre really overthinking things now. If i were you, Id go to the gym on my own and do a workout on my own today. If he hasnt texted you by after it then send him a casual text saying, 'hey just had a good workout today, headin again tomorro, will you be around?'. but dont get too much into anxiously waiting for texts and looking too far into messages. been there, dont that, its NEVER good

    in general though it sounds like youre approaching the whole thing right. He's doing you a favour in helping you with technique, exercises etc and I assume youre helping him out with his exercises etc. Sounds like its a two way beneficial street

    as for the gay thing, bring it up if it gets to a point where its even remotely relevant, which i doubt it ever will be
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    Mar 17, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    I went to the gym but he was working out with a friend of his (he introduced me last week, so I didn't bother him...I'm the king at ruining someone's fun/routine).

    I texted him, letting him know I'd be away on business this week and when I would return. I asked him if he "will be around" tomorrow. He said he didn't know what time he was coming in but that he would let me know.

    Is there a book or something where I can learn how to not come off so creepy? Still hard to grasp the notion of anyone actually wanting to be friends with me. Always felt like the outside looking in.