The Hallmark holiday spirit is filling the air, and every girl deserves a date to celebrate the love. But for reasons we’ll get into in a minute, the gym isn’t probably the best place to look for a good catch.
Dating and working out were never on the same page until the day I went on a really bad date with this guy I met at the gym. It was so bad I had to get my brother to come pick me up. Otherwise, there’s no way I could escape him.
It wasn’t until the end of the date that I found out he’s 37 – that is, if he wasn’t lying, and that he’s possibly married.
I was 19.
Here’s a brief sketch of his intro: I was blasting Above & Beyond on my Nano while doing a circuit with the dumbbells and with minimal rest. This guy, of physical attributes that I won’t describe any other than he’s BIG, interrupted me from behind with a tap on my shoulder, asking, “Why would you do your jumping jacks while you’re here? You can always do that at home with a pair of water bottles.”1 Then we started talking about exercises in general, and he began explaining to me what kind of regimens would do best for my body.
While I wasn’t the least interested in whatever the dude was saying, I kept up with the smile. I thought I was the one with the attitude problem because I shouldn’t be so repulsive, but inwardly, all I really wanted to do was just to get done with my circuit. So before you know it, he’s already asking for my number, and I gave him instinctively. I couldn’t say no from my part of seeming impolite or disinterested, even though I did smile all the way through his talk.
Putting all details aside, he was kind of creepy, and to think that I was the polar opposite of the cold, cautious, and reserved person that I am today, it just goes to show that friendliness without mindfulness doesn’t do any good for yourself, even if you’re just trying to be nice.
While the last thing I look for in a fitness center is a potential date, there are certain characters best embodied by the 37-year-old man you see over and over again from one gym to the next. Usually I switch to new centers because I’ve relocated, whereas other times I’m on trial at a friend’s gym. It doesn’t matter if you work out in the northernmost part of the city or the southern suburbs, you can’t help but notice these types of guys reappearing on every location.
Just imagine the awkward relationships you’ll form with the guys you meet at the gym:
The Greek god, or Mr. Hercules.
He heaves, he grunts, and he’s bulky.
The big guy owns the spotlight with his signature growls and earth-shattering steps. However, don’t expect to enjoy a good cardio sesh with him.
He’d pound and sprint and bolt on the treadmill or the stationary bike anywhere near 5 minutes, sans warming up and cooling down, and proceed with a series of thumps toward the heaviest barbells in the weight room, crumbling the gym floor on every step, and lift. He’ll heave, and grunt, and bulk up even more, what with the Herculean proportions and all.
Unless you’re really hot for those quaky testosterones of his, the relationship will always be about him.
The protein shaker.
I often mistake him for the Greek god, but he’s often the less bulkier stud and much more hot and bothered than Mr. Hercules.
Each time he’s done with a set, he shakes his gallons of chocolate milk with scoops of protein powder in a manner as if he’s conquered the world. Then he guzzles the mix straight up like there’s no tomorrow. Immediately he went on to tackle his next set, and that’s before burping milky breaths and deciding to get some steak for his post-workout meal.
But hold on. He’s got 2 more sets to go before that feast, plus 2 more rounds of shaking dat feisty shake of his.
I mean, how weird are your fetishes?
The I-leave-my-sweat-on-every-machine guy.
Let’s assume he’s a forgetful chap because he keeps forgetting his towel.
Your job is to wipe off his marks on each territory he’s prowled.
Also known as the personal trainer who’s either uncertified or not a resident at your gym – or both. He’ll stop whatever he’s doing, even if he’s in the middle of a badass burpee circuit, just to stand up and correct your poor form.
If by any chance he’s friends with Mr. Don Juan, he’s probably touching you in places already.
The teacher’s pet.
Perhaps this is the closest thing to the average guy outside the gym.
It’s easy to spot this minion standing somewhere near the teacher with his arms crossed, watching the teacher going from one machine to the next, demonstrating the right moves and the right postures.
Either he’s watching that or a rerun of Girls Gone Wild on TV.
The one who stares at girls.
Probably the #1 reason why women-only gyms exist.2 Remember that time you feel someone peering across the room the whole time you were doing a set?
Yeap, he’s there, and he doesn’t blink.
Even on days you’re wearing long sleeves and sweatpants, the starer is still there. So really, you’re much better off saving your downward dogs at home.
The one who picks up girls, or Mr. Don Juan.
It’s that chatty guy who smiles a lot at you, follows whatever workout you’re doing, and asks for your phone number. To Mr. Don Juan, your headphones are invisible, and that Benny Benassi is squeaky silent. Even if you’re just being polite, he’ll keep talking about himself until you tell him you have to go to the ladies.
Unless you want to leave your workout undone, bear for another 5 minutes of him humblebragging before aborting your current mission. You can always come back later when he’s repeating the same thing with another lady.
The one who skips leg day.
You’ll instantly recognize this guy from afar – it’s either the slip-on sandals or the canvas shoes, a ridiculously small hips and feet and an insanely humongous upper half. He swaggers around with his fists closed tight and his shoulders rounded forward, and all you can see is dat chiseled chest.
There’s a great chance you might suffocate yourself in his hug.
The one who checks himself out in the mirror.
If you’re anywhere near the mirror, it’s easy to catch him doing his thing in real time, i.e. pulling up his shirt and flexing his biceps in the most flattering angles. Otherwise, his shots are everywhere on your Instagram feed: #gymtime #picoftheday #gymswag #absofsteel #fitspiration #hardwork #nofilter #mefirst #selfie
And finally, there’s the hot guy who’s just working it out.
But if you’re darting your eyes around the room at all, you’re sure to stop at this guy. It’s that guy you’ve been stealing glances at now and then.
You see him at exactly the same time on most days of the week, mostly in the mornings. He’s lean, well-built, and proportional.
Maybe he’s de-stressing from work. Maybe he’s training for a marathon. Or maybe he just doesn’t like seeing the doctor. Most likely, he’s just working the muscles that need to get stronger in order to avoid injuries, lest he have to stop playing his favorite sport.
What’s for sure is that he’s at the gym for one and only one reason: to exercise.
Have you met any of these guys at the gym? If so, ever wonder how it’ll be like getting into a relationship with them?