At the gym--are you social or anti-social?

I am in general a pretty outgoing person, easily make friends, etc. Put me in almost any context and I can strike up and carry on a conversation. It just comes pretty natural to me.

However I have been a member of my gym now for over 8 years and I couldn’t tell you the name of a single person there. At my gym there is a group of people who go there I think mainly for the social aspect. They are all buddies, chit-chatting, etc for much of the time they are there. I found it kind of interesting as I maybe give the quick head nod to acknowledge someone, or as I am getting stuff in/out of the locker I might say something like "tough workout’ or something equally bland to make conversation, and that is only because they are right there and it almost seems rude to not at least acknowledge them. But I generally am not very social while at the gym I have to admit. I think wearing my ipod probably deters people from talking to me and being all sweaty!

I guess for me I view the gym as a necessary evil. I don’t hate it, but I can’t say I enjoy it. I go there for a purpose. To work out, and if I drag my sorry ass in there then I am going to take full advantage of that time to work out–not to socialize. I go everyday (except Sunday) so I see the same people. In any other situation where you seem the same strangers everyday, like the bus, or ferry or subway I have always made friendships, etc. I just found it interesting that I don’t at the gym.

It made me wonder if people there view me as anti-social? I honestly don’t think of myself as anti-social. If I met them in a bar or at the grocery store I would talk to them. The gym, not so much.

So are you a talker/social person at the gym, or are you like me–there to ‘work your ass off and don’t talk to me’ kind of person?

Just curious more then anything.

I don’t even like going to the gym with friends I already have. I find it throws off my whole workout. That having been said, there’s about a half dozen people that I vaguely recognize there and will say hi to. My squash club is also in the same complex, so I’ll run into people I play on court and chat with them a bit, ask them if they want a game later in the week. That’s about it!

Basically anti-social. I say hello to people who are regularly in classes I take, but that’s about it.

I think that’s the tone of the whole place at the times I go to the gym (mid morning), maybe it’s more generally social at different times of day.


I had a friend who wanted to come walk with me (I lift and then walk) but her asking made me realize what a bubble I put myself in when I go to the gym. I put on my iPod and do my thing and that’s exactly what I like to do. Alone.

Also funny is that I tell people that I like going to the gym instead of just doing aerobics at home, because it’s the only time I get out of the house (I work from home). And the only time I am around people. But I don’t interact with those people at all…I just watch them.

It’s even worse when I swim because I’ve got my headphones on (waterproof) and my glasses off and I can’t see or hear a thing. I am TRULY in a bubble then.

I am quite polite and I smile at anyone who smiles at me. Sometimes someone will stop me and help fix my form, or ask me a question. I’m never rude, I just don’t converse.

I’m like you.

I’m a fairly social person in general, but I’m all business at the gym. I go there to get my fat ass in shape, not to make friends. I don’t know the name of a single person there either, because I don’t care. The most I know about anyone at my gym is this one girl is apparently one of the few people who’s actually serious about her resolution to lose weight. I have seen this lady shrink right before my eyes. It’s kind of cool, and I almost wanted to congratulate her, but I don’t know how without sounding like a patronizing ass.

At my own gym, completely anti-social. I’ve tried saying hi to people but get the cold shoulder every time. I don’t even try anymore. At my parents’ gym, pretty social. People are friendly there.

I think it’s the difference between Harvard students and southerners.

At my gym ,we have told the front office they can send any new member downs to the racketball courts and we will work them in to our group. We have about 20 racketball players who come and go now. Eight of us play steady Mon., Wed., and Friday for 3 hours. You play in a court then wait for an opening and then play in the next game. In and out and lots of players. It has lots of social aspects. We play singles and doubles.
Since the game is both social and competitive, we look forward to going to the gym. When i was doing a 3o minute stairmaster, i did not look forward to going to the gym. I looked for excuses not to go.

I am not even social to my wife at the gym. We both get there and go our separate ways. We do very different workouts and so we just do our own thing and get together at the end of the hour at the locker to go home. I don’t even pay attention to her while I am there (well other then occasionally to look at her booty and think—I should shag that girl then remembering that I do shag that girl!).

But I see lots of couples that go together and do everything together at the gym. I have talked to my wife about this and she said she would resent if we stayed together, we work at different paces and she would feel like one or the other is holding the other back–and I would have to agree with that assessment.

If nothing else it would be embarassing for her to see me cry when I can’t lift that last set, or even worse if she pushed more weight then me! Just better to do our own thing and then hook up afterwards. Makes for a much happier marriage overall I think.

Generally I’m anti-social. I’ll smile or nod at people who cross my path, but for the most part I’m all business. There are definitely people I recognize from the time of day that I tend to go, but I’ve never actually spoken with any of them. It’s a bit different in a class setting, where I might strike up a chat with people while we’re waiting for the instructor, but during solo workouts I’m on a mission.

The only exception would be if I see someone who is obviously struggling and needs help with using a weight machine or something. It’s usually pretty easy to tell because people usually have the sheets from the new virtual trainer software we have available at my gym (ActivTrax). That’s also the only time that people have approached me - when I’m obviously having trouble figuring out how to do something.

I’m also anti-social at the gym (as well as on my commuter train), but social most everywhere else. I’ve been a member of my gym for 15 years and still don’t know anyone by name except for the extremely hot girl that makes my shakes. Similarly, I’ve been taking the same train to work for 13 years and only interact with acquaintances that I already know. I recognize many, many faces in both places.

The weird thing is that if I bump into someone on the train that I know from the gym, and there is mutual recognition, I feel the need to smile or say hi (even if I never smiled at them or said hi to them the dozens of times that I saw them at the gym previously).

I’m not terribly social at the Y. I say “hello” to people I recognize (though I know only a few by name). I don’t take classes there; I’m either running on a treadmill, or working on the weight machines, so I’m not really getting opportunities to interact with folks. There are quite a few people at my Y (mostly older folks) for whom I think socializing is part of the entire experience for them (I wonder how many of them live alone), but I’m trying to get in there, do my workout, and get back out.

So antisocial that we have a treadmill, stationary bike, and weight bench in our basement.

I feel vulnerable at a gym in a way I don’t feel elsewhere. I’m wearing clothes that are utilitarian and I’m sweaty and exerting myself to my max. The gym is a personal place. I assumed other people felt this way too.

That said, it is nice to have a gym buddy who you go there with. Seems like I always get a little more done when I have someone looking over my shoulder.

Anti-social. I’m there to lift, not talk. There’s always the same group there at the same times as me, and we all know each other, but even when we are trading sets we don’t talk much.

And I am always reading when I am on the treadmill, so I don’t talk then either.


Social - at least with the people from class. I go to several “boot camp” style classes with the same instructor. It’s the same 20 or so people who regularly attend, and we’re all pals.
Chat before class, wheeze out encouragement during, and chat after.
I really look forward to it.

Oh I’m social! I really appreciate the environment, because a lot of my friends don’t lift weights like I do, and I love talking about my workout regimens with other people, and trading suggestions and complaints and encouragement.

I’ve exchanged phone numbers with a few of the people there, and we’ve done a bit of partying and cooking out together. We tend to be conscientious enough to see when other people are busy. Lengthy conversations about our life will only come in before or after the workout; during the workout there’s pretty much a smile and a “hey how are you?” and that’s about it. But I appreciate the friendly environment, and getting to know like-minded people.

Moderately social.

I nod or say hi to most of the regulars, and there’s a few who i shake hands with and exchange a few pleasantries. I’m also happy, if the occasion presents itself, to make some small talk with those people between sets.

But where i draw the line is allowing the chat to interfere with my workout. Once my 45-60 second rest between sets is up, i pick the weights up again. There are some guys at my gym who are happy to interrupt their workout for 10 or 20 minutes just to shoot the breeze, but i refuse to do that. I want to be in and out in about an hour, and i want to get in as much work as possible during that time.

I’m anti-social in the gym. Just like when I’m not at the gym.

Anti-social. Between sets I sniff glue, start fights, and torture animals.

I don’t think it matters if I’m social or anti-social because there’s no one at the gym without their music in their ears. It wouldn’t do me any good to try to talk.

The gym I use is on a college campus, so that might make a difference - these kids don’t go anywhere without being plugged in.

And get off my damn lawn!