The Lost Art of Picking Up Girls at the Gym

The gym is a terrible place to pick up girls. Weekly exposure to that hottie you keep running into will inevitably result in attraction (what the hell else are you supposed to look at between sets?), but the presence is tantalizing: despite being sweaty and scantily clad, no one goes to the gym to get hit on. The challenge is successfully asking someone out without coming off as a sexual predator, a difficulty compounded by the reality that the best looking tend to be the type who would rather lick the sweat stains off of the bench press than be interrupted on the Stairmaster. However, that doesn’t mean that gym pick-ups are impossible. For the benefit of you, my hopeless brother, I have carefully studied the most successful mating rituals of the gym-going and created a fool-proof 43-step plan of attack guaranteed [1] to win you the gym-girl of your dreams.

1)      Learn her schedule. Accidently run into her until she begins to recognize you. Bide your time and wait for that perfect opening to drop that perfect line you have been so busy perfecting, which isn’t ready yet.

2)      Focus on building your body for 2-12 weeks, depending on how jacked and tan you are. Start ‘roiding if necessary [2].

3)      Work that mysterious stranger angle. Never make eye contact, unless it is in a mirror. You aren’t at the gym to talk to girls. You are all business.

4)      By now, every other person at the gym with a penis is looking at your gym-girl. If you think you are going to have a better shot than the next Tony, you need to get your pump on. No sleeves, all biceps [3].

5)      Why aren’t you drinking protein?

6)      Why aren’t you taking pre-workout?

7)      Why aren’t you getting spray tanned?

8)      Why are you still wearing sleeves?

9)      Do at least 100 suspended leg lifts per day until you have cultivated a solid V [4].

10)  Clothing can only impede you at this point. Lose the shirt.

11)  You’re ready for your first move. At the end of her workout, post up by the exit. Wait until she is leaving, and there you are, propping the door open. If she smiles, look away. You could care less if the girl you’ve been waiting to walk by for the past twenty minutes acknowledges you.

12)  Now that you’ve almost interacted with her, take a step back. Don’t come on too strong; take a week off from the gym. For good measure, make it two.

13)  Memorize Shakespeare’s 18th and 116th sonnets.

14)  Learn French. Italian couldn’t hurt either

15)  You’ve been out of the gym for a while, so you should probably put in another month before you even start thinking of showing your face in front of her again. Go at odd times so she doesn’t catch you off your a-game.

16)  You call those biceps?

17)  When you are the most jacked and tan guy at the gym, your big return is ready. Plan to arrive a few minutes before her next workout. Actually, you’ve been out of the gym for some time now, so it’s possible that her schedule has changed. To increase your odds of catching her, best to stop by early in the afternoon. When she walks in, there you’ll be, rocking a casual lean by the front door. She will be swept away with gratitude to have that wonderful guy who held the door open for her that one time back in her gym life.

18)   Your phone starts ringing. You’re getting promoted?! Feign surprise and modesty. Make a remark about the company jet.

19)  Invest in a new suit and a pocket watch. Wear them to the gym and take the least direct route in heading to the changing room to ensure she sees both. Walk by again if you think she missed you the first time. Or the second.

20)  Maintaining appearances will be imperative from here on out, so start selling drugs to your kid sister’s friends to help finance [5] the swag.

21)  You’re looking good and feeling fine, but you can’t let her think that you are soft. Prove your toughness:

  • Tattoo your arms. If she’s got one, get two. If she’s got two, get your whole arm done. Something classic like wisdom in Chinese or a tiger spitting fire.
  • Next time someone is using a bench press in her vicinity, let him finish his set, then swoop in, throw on another 20 lbs., and bust out one more rep than he did. Make sure you can actually do this weight first.
  • Start buying MMA shirts for your workouts. Remove the sleeves. Scissors will get the job done, but it’s more effective to rip them off and achieve that highly-sought “I bought this shirt at Kohl’s but I’m still a thugg” look.
  • Find the biggest [6] guy in the gym. Cut in on his machine when he is between sets. If he gets upset, challenge him to a fight. Win. Boast, mildly to moderately.

22)  You are ready to make an open statement of your desire. Be warned: this is a delicate part of the process. You can’t be too forward, but you can’t be too subtle either. Find the squat rack nearest to where she is exercising. Stare until she returns your gaze.

23)  While maintaining eye contact, squat deeply and slowly. Return to starting position and pelvic thrust.

24)  Repeat 2-7 times, depending on the strength of your thrust.

25)  You are ready to initiate an approach. The most successful ones are those that cater directly to her activity:

  • If she is engaged some variation of 5 lbs. dumbbell curls, be hanging casually by the water fountain until she gets thirsty. Act like you are about to take a drink, but then offer to let her go first when you suddenly realize she’s waiting.
  • Just because she is on a treadmill engaged in strenuous activity, half out of breath, and listening to her iPod [7] doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to talk. If either of the neighboring machines is open, hop on and start running- this lets her know that you have a shared interest, paving the way forward to great treadmill conversation. Set your treadmill to the same speed she’s running at.
  • If she’s in a yoga class, you’re golden. Girls love sensitive guys who love yoga! Show up to class and fight for the spot next to her. Bring your own mat. Let her see how flexible you are, how centered. Tree pose. Headstand. Compliment [8] her on her poses during the session. Use phrases like “mindfulness,” “tantric,” and “kama sutra.”

26)  Initiate conversation by asking her what music she is listening to. Be listening to the same music.

27)  Remember this artist for later.

28)  Tell her where you work, where you live, and where you went to college.

29)  Make a joke about getting a drink later. Or coffee. Or maybe dinner.

30)  In order to get closer to her, you must become her personal trainer.

  • To avoid actually having to become a personal trainer, break into the gym’s staff room after hours and steal a shirt.
  • Alternatively, you may jump an actual personal trainer on his/ her way home and steal the desired garment off of his/ her body.

31)  In your new attire, find gym-girl during a workout. Tell her that the club is offering a free training session for select members and that you think she has “real potential.” Make sure she knows that your personal training job is only a side hobby to your real job, which you were just promoted at.

32)  If she accepts, study to become competent in physical education. Sorry. You can’t fake everything.

33)  Deep breaths: time to make your move. At this junction, you are going to have to do some assessment.

  • If you think that she is warming up to you, proceed directly to step 34.
  • If you don’t think she is sold just yet, jump to step 39.

34)  Remember that artist she was listening to that one time you asked? Buy two tickets to their next concert. Contact the band’s manager and secure backstage passes [9], bartering favors as needed. A little fellatio goes a long way.

35)  Use mouthwash, thoroughly.

36)  Repeat 2-7 times, depending on the strength of your mouth.

37)  When you next run into gym-girl, offhandedly remark that your friend who is top-tier record company exec had some extra tickets lying around that made you think of her.

38)  If she wants to go, be awesome.

39)  Arrive at the gym around the same time she does. Say hi, but maintain a cool distance.

40)  Your biceps are looking saggy. Lift like its your last pump on earth.

41)  Wait until she finishes her workout. Follow her to the changing room and wait outside.

42)  Undress.

43)  When she walks out, you will be standing there naked, helicoptering [10] [11]. She will be so impressed with your boldness that she will have no choice but to accept you. If she doesn’t, well, you probably didn’t have a chance to begin with.

There you have it, guy. Never has picking up girls at the gym been so simple and streamlined. Follow these easy 43 steps today and win the gym-girl of your dreams!

Or, you could try walking up to her and saying “hi.”


[1] Or your dignity back.

[2] Just kidding. It’s always necessary.

[3] Known in some circles as the “Golden Rule.”

[4] A “V” is a bodybuilding term referring to the shape that the lower-portion of well-defined abdominal muscles makes on guys. Bitches love the V.

[5] Even if it’s not strictly necessary, you just know the market is going to be hot amongst this demographic.

[6] Preferably one of those gentle giant types. If you pick the wrong guy and he actually wants to fight you, it’s back to step one after a sure beating in the parking lot.

[7] If she puts her headphones back on, don’t get discouraged- go do a set then try again.

[8] Avoid the temptation to make stretching/ sex jokes, unless she seems like type who likes stretching/ sex jokes. Want to work on some poses together? How ‘bout a penis?

[9] Unless the members of the band are males, because then they are automatically cooler than you. You and gym-girl are both fucked.

[10] “Helicoptering” is a common mating ritual where the male places his member in his hand and spins it in a clockwise motion (a “Reverse Helicopter” refers to spinning with a counterclockwise motion).

[11] The key to an effective helicopter is choosing the right rpm. You want to pace yourself in the healthy 120-150 range. Not too fast, not too slow.

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