Going to the gym is one of the few things we’re usually happy to do on our own. Unlike going to a restaurant or the theatre, there’s almost no stigma around the idea of working out alone, probably because it’s something you do for your own health and as a form of self-care. personal.
Ironically, doing things on your own actually puts you in the perfect position to meet new people. And whether it’s during a workout class, changing places on the squat rack, or over a post-workout smoothie, the gym is a great place to meet new friends.
Meeting people in the gym means you’re guaranteed to have at least one similar interest, and it also makes it easier to start conversations, because who doesn’t like to complain about how their legs hurt or what how much does he hate burpees during a particularly difficult session? For many of us, the gym is also a place we go to regularly, often at the same time every day or week, so you’re bound to bump into the same people, making it relatively easy to maintain and the development of friendships.
A novelty of gym friendships is that they also provide an opportunity for sober socializing, something a novelty for those who always meet a friend for a drink or dinner and drinks. Being able to socialize during the week at the gym is a great way to please your inner extrovert without breaking the bank or putting too much pressure on yourself to go out and have a late night.
Obviously, gym friendships are something to cherish. So we spoke to four women who found friendships at the gym about how they met their fitness friends and what’s so special about those relationships.
Tori and Alice
“I met Tori in an F45 class in 2018,” says Alice, 30. “We pretty much laughed throughout all of the exercise stations, especially since we both sucked at the pull-ups. Afterwards, we had coffee and I don’t think we stopped talking – mostly sharing stories about our equally disastrous love lives and the awful dates we’d been on.
“Friendship in my twenties is tough. I suddenly found myself living miles away from my college friends, my school friends were all married or living with longtime boyfriends, and my closest friends are so became the ones I lived with, exercised, or met at work,” Alice adds.
“Since we met, Tori and I have continued to put the world in order at many brunches, championing each other’s lofty career dreams. She cheered me on the line at the London Marathon, celebrated my 30th birthday with my family and we hope to go on vacation together at the end of this summer.
Tori is equally sentimental about her friendship with Alice: “I love Alice’s friendship,” she says. “We bond over wellness and mental health. We can speak for England but also sit in complete silence. It looks a lot like a two-way street. We don’t see each other every week but we both make the effort.
Lucy, Laura and Natalia
“I met Laura and Natalia during group lessons in the park [during lockdown] that our personal trainer, Hannah, ran,” says Lucy, 23, from Liverpool. “We talked during class, exchanged numbers and had a group chat so we could train together in the future.
“I love having Laura and Nat because they’re the only friends I see on a regular basis,” adds Lucy.
Nikhita and Emily
“Emily and I met at a CrossFit club in Tooting in 2021 as we were both interested in competing,” says Nikhita. “We immediately hit it off and realized that we had one main thing in common: to encourage and defend each other to become better and stronger and to be proud to see each other succeed.
“When you train with someone who consistently and genuinely cares about their progress, you get to know them on a personal level,” Nikhita continues. “We walked into the gym to train together and walked out with a best friend who is present in every aspect of our lives. These are the kind of gains we never expected, but we will never take them. for granted.
Aideen and Hettie
“I met Hettie at the gym in January this year,” says Aideen, 25. “I was dreading going back to the gym alone, especially with the January blues, but I saw Hettie using the hip thrust machine I wanted to use, and asked her if I could watch her use it. “
“It started a great conversation and we clicked right away, so we planned to hit the gym together the next night,” she continues. “Five months later, we train together between three and five times a week and socialize outside of the gym as well.”
“Having a best friend you go to the gym with is unlike any other,” Hettie says of her friendship with Aideen. “Not only is Aideen my gym buddy, who’s a sidelined cheerleader, encouraging me to do those extra reps I didn’t think I could do or increase the weight on the next set, but we use also our gym sessions to discuss health and nutritional goals, unload all our worries of the day and have a heart to heart.
“No matter how I feel going to the gym, when I come out of a session with Aideen, I feel so relaxed, refreshed and so much happier,” adds Hettie. “Apart from Aideen, no one could get me out of bed for a 6 a.m. gym session.”
Images: Tori Porter, Nikhita Kumaros, Lucy Greeves, Aideen Sweeney