The gym is a peculiar place where people from all walks of life gather. Over the years I have seen a wide variety of specimens in the weight room – professional bodybuilders, recreational steroid users, fat powerlifters, biceps brahs, celebrities, lawyers, drug dealers, whores, semi-whores, soon to be whores, whales, bears….etc. The list is very long, and bigger facilities usually offer even more diverse freak shows.
How realistic is it to make friends in the gym?
On paper, the gym attracts people with common interests. Therefore, there is a pretty big chance to meet more of your kind.
We are always looking for “more of us” in our friends and “less of us” when it comes to girlfriends and boyfriends. People are more likely to add you to their friends group if you share similar characteristics. Examine your current and/or former friends. Chances are that you have more common traits than you think. Meanwhile, when it comes relationships, the opposites attract better. That’s why “the good girls cry for the bad boys”.
You may not make a single friend in the gym, but you will definitely meet a lot of rivals. Those would be the type of people who remember what you are lifting and for how many reps. They are a human training log, but not because they love you. No. Because they want to beat you. Truth be told, most people in the gym fall in this category until proven otherwise. Can some of them become your friends? It’s possible. Sometimes rivals get together. Nevertheless, most will simply give you the “iPhone treatment” and never say a word to you.
Truth be told, most people in the gym fall in this category until proven otherwise. Can some of them become your friends? It’s possible. Sometimes rivals get together. Nevertheless, most will simply give you the “iPhone treatment” and never say a word to you.
NEW FRIENDS ARE ALWAYS HARD TO MAKE
Making friends cannot happen through force. You can’t just say “I am going to make this person my friend.” and go do it. It’s not as straight forward as losing a few pounds. There is a strong fate factor in friendships and relationships.
Usually, people don’t have more than 1 or 2 really good friends throughout their whole lives. Moreover, similar connections require years of repercussions to be fully tested. Consider yourself lucky if you have built a long-lasting friendship with someone.
In the gym, you can make a lot of rivals/lifting buddies, but just because somebody spots you on the bench press and tells you cocaine and sex stories, it does not mean that he is a real friend. There is a world of difference between a friend and a lifting buddy.
Real friends are as rare as a 500lbs deadlift.
THE LOUD-MOUTH GUY
In 90% of the gyms I have visited, there’s always a guy who never stops talking. He seemingly knows everything about politics, and why the world is such a bad place, even though he is essentially a low-life loser. The loud-mouth guy goes to the gym early and stays until noon while doing about 5 sets worth of training. Most of the time is used to drink coffee, spread gossip and annoy people.
The loud-mouth guy may enjoy the company of many lifting buddies, despite being an irritating broken clock, but he has no real friends.
HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE?
It’s a lot harder, depending on your profession. When you are in school, you meet people of similar age and social background. It’s a place where socializing is relatively easy. This is one of the reasons why most people make the majority of their long-lasting friends there. Once you are outside of the system things change – you are kicked into the big ocean.
When you are finally in the free for all world, it becomes even harder to socialize with people, except on small “islands”. One of those small islands could be the gym – a place attracting people with common interests, motivation, and insecurities. Similar islands are rarer than you think. We only have a few.
Honestly, I consider the gym one of the better places to socialize and meet potential friends. Yet there are no guarantees.