Do’s and Don’ts When Approaching Women at the Gym

Do you wish you were more comfortable approaching women at the gym…

But you also don’t want to be overbearing or look like a fool?


You may feel similar to a reader of ours who asked this very question:

I want to meet people in real life. Can you give us ways to meet girls in the gym? I work out every day, and I don’t have time to do many social events.

I need to find ways to meet girls where I go already. Aside from literally getting to know everyone at the gym over the course of the year, is there any smart way to meet women at the gym? It is so hard because I don’t think that women want people talking to them and they have headphones in.

What I’ve heard before is just try to talk to every single person in the gym so that when you do talk to the ones you’re attracted to, they’re not like, ‘Oh, this is the guy who only talks to the girls and hits on all the girls.’


Totally understandable, right?

You may feel the same way. Approaching women at the gym is a great option for guys who are already frequent gym goers. Reason being, it’s not only convenient to your schedule; it is also a great way to meet women with a similar value: fitness!

The issue is, it can be difficult to do, for all the reasons our IA reader stated above, and more.

So let’s get our bearings with the only four situations possible at the gym. This will make approaching women at the gym easier to do.


There are only four situations a woman can be in while at the gym:

  1. In the middle of a workout (actually lifting weights or running on the treadmill). If this is the case, do not disturb them.
  2. In between sets (taking a break between the intense moments of a workout). As for this case, she might be open to talking (details below).
  3. In a workout class with you. You can go to classes as a great way to approach girls at the gym (details on how, below).
  4. Walking around (getting water, walking to or from a workout). This can be a good time to approach.

We’re going to cover all of these situations and offer our pro tips throughout this article.

Let’s get into it!


First, here’s what *not* to do:

Knowing what *not* to do will set your mind at ease, because you already knew there were big “don’ts”…

So let’s educate ourselves to make sure we’re prepared to do this right:


Don’t approach a woman while she’s in the middle of working out.

If a woman’s working out, if she’s in the middle of her rep, that’s definitely not the time to approach her under any circumstances.

Definitely never bother anyone when they’re actually lifting a weight.

That said, when she’s between sets, that could be a great time! More details below.


Don’t ask a question you don’t mean.

Sometimes when people are between sets, they may be open for a small conversation. Especially if she sees you and she finds you attractive, she may make eye contact. At this point, you can ask a sincere question.

And yet, don’t make up a question you don’t mean. But if you want to know if it’s okay for you to be right there, for example, asking if anybody’s next to her or if she’s using that spot, as long as it’s sincere, that’s okay.

Some people will tell you, “Just ask her for directions, even if you don’t need them.”

Oh my goodness. That is not sincere, and so it’s going to seem really awkward for everybody because it is.

So if you have a genuine question, that’s great. But if you don’t have a genuine question, you can simply make eye contact and smile if she’s available for that.

Many times, somebody may be available for that. She’s taking a breather. She’s taking a break for 30 seconds to a minute between sets.

So that can be a great time to start a connection. Then you can just keep gauging, does she seem open or not? (For more on reading a woman, check out our article on flirting signs.)


Don’t talk to her if she has her earbuds in.

Even if she has her earbuds in, if she’s quite open to you, she may take them out.

But think of this:

Every move that she makes is a bold one on her part too, so she might be shy, but we kind of have to wait for her to do something like that.

Otherwise, you’re really kind of cutting into her space, and many women definitely don’t want that.

If she wishes that you would talk to her, she needs to have the sense to take her earbuds out.

Especially today, talking to a perfect stranger who is purposefully keeping their earbuds in is just not something that people feel comfortable doing or would want to do or would be welcome to.

So if she wants you to talk to her, she needs to take that step.

You can help her take that step by being extra friendly and making eye contact and being encouraging for her to do that if she has earbuds in.

If she doesn’t have earbuds in, then you can make small talk between sets a little bit (more details below), but you still want to be respectful of the fact that she’s still not done with her workout yet.

Then as she wraps up, she may linger a little bit. She may take her time putting the weights on the rack, or if she’s wearing gloves, she may take those off and kind of linger a little bit or drink her water or something.

That’s when you can start a conversation, if she’s lingering after she seems to be finished.


Here’s what *to* do:

Now onto what you *can* do and be completely respectful and feel great, while also making sure she feels great around you. Yay!


You can make eye contact with her.

While she’s between sets is a great time for this.

Another time that you can be approaching women at the gym is if they’re in a class.

Even if you have your own routine, you can still perhaps take a class just for the social aspect of it, especially one of those classes where you get into groups and you all rotate through something together.

Then as the class finishes up, you can make small talk about that class.

It’s great, because you’re already all there together. It’s a social situation. So that’s the easiest and most social way is you guys taking a class.

Before the teacher starts or after things are wrapping up, you can make small talk. Here’s how.


If in a class, you can start sincere small talk.

For example, you can say…

Have you taken this class before?

You can talk about it beforehand, and I’ll share more examples of things you can say below, which apply to while you’re in class or when you’re just around the gym.


If in a class, you can offer to take her mat/weights

A lot of people here would be like, “Oh, then she’s going to think I’m sexist.”

No, she’s not.

You guys just did a workout class together. Clearly, she’s strong and can handle her own mat.

You are being a gentleman if you offer to take it.

That is so nice of you, and if you do that, then she may wait around if she is so bold, so as to walk out with you if she finds you attractive.

Or you can walk your mats together over there and start a conversation and have the walking-over time and space to keep it going.


Pay attention to the vibe here.

The gentlemanly way is great, but you want to pay attention to what the vibe between you seems to be and what her vibe seems to be.

Does it seem like she may wait around and want to talk with you afterwards, or does she seem to hope that you catch up to her? Or are you already talking, and then you can just talk your way to putting your weights or mats up?

You don’t need to interrupt a conversation to then go off on your own and take her mat with you.

Reason being, then it’s kind of awkward for her to wait for you.

But if you’re not already talking, then you can take her mat. You can take her mat, and then she may wait around for you.

And if you are already talking, you guys can walk together over there.


If she’s getting water or between things, you can approach her.

If she’s between things, like at the water fountain or walking between activities, at the front desk, or having just finished stretching or wherever she is… that can be a great time to approach a woman at the gym.


You can make direct eye flirtatious eye contact.

So let’s say she’s walking, and she’s about to walk past you.

Now, again, if she has her earbuds in, the best you can do is make eye contact.

Even if she has her earbuds in, you can make quite direct eye contact, kind of flirtatious eye contact.

You can do that with a smile, because that’s the best you can do in terms of boldness.

You can’t reasonably say anything to her if she has her earbuds in, as we covered earlier.

As I said before, if she wants to be talked to, she should take her earbuds out.

But you can encourage her to take her earbuds out by being bold with your smile and being flirtatious through that.


Have you seen her before?

If she’s between things, then you can say something to her, because you already go to the gym often. So if you haven’t seen her before or if you have seen her before, you can start a conversation either way based off of that.

Regardless, you’re a regular. So that’s a constant. The variable is this:

Have you seen her before, have you not seen her before, or are you not sure?

You can just as easily start a conversation any of these ways.

Let’s go through each together now:


You can say “Hi”

If she does not have her earbuds in, then you can, if you have seen her before but you have not met her, you can start with:


It can literally be that simple.

If she’s on her way to somewhere, you can start with,

I don’t mean to bother you…

You can have a phrase like that if you want to, but you don’t have to.

You can simply say,

Hi, I wanted to introduce myself. I don’t think w’ve met, but I’ve seen you around.

This is super friendly.

You’re both at the same gym, you’ve seen her around, you haven’t met her, so great!

You don’t have to introduce yourself to every person in the gym, but this is a good thing to do with anybody that you like or feel drawn to.


Caveats on introductions…

With a woman, you should probably only introduce yourself if you feel attracted to her so that she doesn’t get the wrong idea and think you’re attracted.

But with men who seem like they have a good vibe and you like them, you can do that with them if it makes you feel more comfortable to build your way up to doing that with women.

Either way, even if you’re only doing that with women who you find attractive, that’s okay, too, as long as you’re at least talking to the people at the front desk.

Otherwise, you’re literally only talking to women who are attractive and you’re not even talking to the front desk, which feels strange.

Once you’re friendly with the front desk, then it’s more natural for you to be friendly outside of that.


If you *have* seen her before…

You can say,

Hi, I wanted to introduce myself. I’ve seen you around, but I don’t think we’ve met. I’m so-and-so.

Then you can hold out your hand to shake her hand if that feels natural.

Or you certainly don’t have to do that, especially if she feels kind of shy or she feels surprised that you’re introducing yourself.

But you can just tell her to have a great workout.

This is natural because you’ll probably see her again. If you’ve seen her before, you’ll probably see her again, and now you’ve built a connection.

So now when you see each other, you will say hi, and if she likes you or her feels attracted to you, she’ll try to kind of make herself available to you, to where you can then start a conversation and get her number.

Or you can just transition straight to getting a smoothie together or to walking to your cars together or whatever.

You can do that straight from that point.


If you have *not* seen her before…

You can say,

Hi, I’m so-and-so. I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before. Are you new?

You can kind of laugh and tell her that you’re there literally every day, if you are. You’re there all the time, and you can kind of laugh about keeping tabs or whatever, in a super playful way.

You can do that so that it’s just more relaxed, but you’re still able to say something. If she has been around, now you guys are going into a conversation.


If you’re not sure if you’ve seen her or not…

Just say that you think that you’ve seen her, but you’re not sure. Has she been coming in here for a long time? You can ask her this kind of thing.

And you can do this whether you’ve seen her or you haven’t or you’re not sure.

You can always start a conversation as long as she is between things:

  • either walking,
  • filling up her water bottle,
  • drinking her water,
  • whatever is between activities.

Any of those times, you can do this.

Also, if she’s finishing up her workout and she’s kind of lingering, definitely you can do that then, for sure.

Even if you’re still doing your workout, if she’s lingering after hers, you can definitely do that then.

So that will get you into a conversation, and as I said, you can transition it to a smoothie or walking to your cars or just getting her number.

So that’s how you can start approaching women at the gym.



To summarize, here are the Dos and Don’ts when approaching women at the gym.


  • Approach a woman in the middle of working out
  • Ask questions you don’t mean
  • Talk to her when her earbuds are in


  • Make friendly eye contact if it’s not appropriate to talk.
  • In a class, start sincere small talk or offer to take her mat/weights
  • Say “hi” and comment on whether you’ve seen her before or not, and introduce yourself.


What’s next?

If you’d like more support on approaching women at the gym or anywhere, that’s what we’re here for!

You can get started with our ebook on finding your own unique vibe to build your base level of confidence.

Once you’ve done that, Launch Your Dating Life is our comprehensive solution for developing a thriving love life that reflects and develops your best self. Sign up on that page to be the first to know when it opens next.

Also, have you seen our other posts on how to tell if she wants you to talk to her or on starting a conversation with a beautiful woman? Those are helpful too.

Thanks for reading, and reach out if you need anything! We’re at

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Sarah from IA
Sarah is founder and CEO of Introverted Alpha; the top dating coaching company for introverted men; featured by Forbes, Business Insider, Cosmo, and more. Pick up your free copy of Introverted Alpha's 22-page ebook in the box below.

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