Making Friends At The Gym

Do you go to the gym and see the same people day in and day out?

My gym time is usually around the 4-6 pm range, and I always see the same people.

Recently, I was reading Women’s Health Magazine, and one of their tips was to “chat up the girl you always run next to on the treadmill” in order to make a new friend.

I always see this girl working out, and we both run regularly and lift. I saw her yesterday and thought of this piece of advice from Women’s Health. I wanted to tell her I really liked her hot pink sneakers, but I’m just not someone who talks to random people. I always feel awkward and like they will think I’m creepy!


make friends at the gym

I’d love to meet someone with the same passions for health and fitness. I’m sure my boyfriend is sick of hearing how much I benched today, or how far I ran yesterday ;)

Well, I did a google search for “making friends at the gym” and found this great post by Healthy Tipping Point! Here are some of her tips for meeting new people without seeming creepy:

  • Listen to earbud cues:  Don’t stroll around the gym blasting music.  It makes you seem unapproachable.   Similarly, if a potential friend has her earbuds in, don’t interrupt her – she doesn’t want to chat.  Some people use the gym to socialize, and others use earbuds as a “No talking” sign.  Be aware of your signals and others, too.
  • Take classes (and show up a little early):  Find a class you enjoy and attend it regularly.  You’ll become a familiar face and other regulars will notice.  Say hello to people when you walk in and ask them how their weekend went – be engaging!  By arriving earlier, you’ll have more time to talk.
  • The best opener:  I always open conversations with a stranger with a genuine compliment.  “I have those sneakers, too.  I love Brooks – aren’t they great?” or “I love your ring – when are you getting married?”  It’s hard to turn down a compliment.  :)
  • Take it outside the gym:  Once you establish a connection with a gym buddy, try to move the friendship outside the gym after a few weeks.  This will probably happen naturally, but if it doesn’t, jokily saying something like, “We should probably hang out outside of these crappy fluorescent lights and yoga pants one day.”  Go for a post-workout smoothie or coffee.  Or suggest trying out a yoga studio or going for an outdoor run.
  • Read her full post here.

Going along with this topic, does anyone feel like making new friends when you’re out of college is a lot harder? In college you had automatic friends from your dorm, you made new friends going to parties, and perhaps in small classes. In the “real world,” I feel like it’s harder. People already have their group of friends, and meeting people randomly (like in a dorm situation) just doesn’t happen anymore.

While I think I would feel kind of creepy talking to someone at the gym, as I read through the comments of the above mentioned post, a lot of people are saying they wish they could make a friend at the gym! People want a workout buddy, and someone who is like-minded in terms of healthy living. So perhaps I’ll work up the courage to one day talk to someone at the gym ;)

Have you made a gym friend?

Do you think it’d be weird if someone randomly talked to you at the gym?

Do you make new friends easily? Share some tips!


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  1. I tend to be shy at the gym too! It’s weird because if someone were to start chatting with me, I’d love it! But for some reason I think that if I’m the chat-starter, I’m just going to bug people haha.

  2. Patty – I never talk to anyone at the gym – even people I’m already friends with. LOL. I don’t mean to be antisocial, but my gym time is 5:30, 5:45am. Not too talkative at that time. and I’m typically in a rush to fit my workout in before heading to work.

    I am trying to get better with making running friends a least. I recently joined a running group as a social member. we’ll see how that goes. :)

    • lol I’m in the zone at the gym too, or usually working out with my brother, so I don’t know when I’d talk to someone. But I’ve been thinking about starting a running club in my town so I have people to run with!

  3. I totally agree that it’s harder to meet people in the “real world!” I haven’t made a gym friends yet, but would probably love it (and not think it’s creepy) if someone talked to me at the gym since I’m not the kind of person to approach others.

  4. I’m totally the standoffish person at the gym, but I’d love to make more friends! These are great tips.

    And yes, making friends post-college is SO hard. Even at work, I’m just too shy and awkward to know how to start hanging out with people haha!

  5. Making friends after college is so hard! I remember a friend who was a year older than me saying that it was tough because it was awkward to ask someone on a “friend date,” and I remember thinking that seemed so bizarre. But it’s so true! Like, even if you do have a conversation with someone cool, do you ask for their number…? Do you ask to hang out again…? totally strange. I’ve never thought about approaching people at the gym, though. Great idea! Now I just have to get up the courage to try it :)

  6. I am such a wimp in Barre3 class – I always want to talk to other people but everyone seems to come in pairs and I’m the only loner :( I did make friends with the instructor and we always talk after class about non-work related things, does that count? Haha but seriously, I will try this out this weekend at my next class!

  7. I’ve been thinking lately now hard making friends after college is. In college you’re surrounded by people coming into a space you’re already really comfortable in, like your dorm, so talking to them isn’t nearly as scary as a one time meeting a the gym.
    Meeting friends before classes is a great tip. I’ve become friendly with a lot of people in my Zumba class (regular classes are kind of a “comfortable space”); I don’t know most of their names and they approached me, but hey, it’s a connection of some sort! :)
    When I was running I made some friends through a training group. That’s a little easier because everyone has a common goal so we at least know we have running to talk about.

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