The Gym Isn’t a Good Place To Socialize

| by Truth Seeker |

source: pixabay.com

If someone has told you that the gym is a good place to socialize, they’ve lied to you knowingly or not.

The stone-cold reality is that the average weight lifting facility is inferior for making human connections for the following reasons:

1. Lifting is a Solo Sport

Lifting is an offline single-player game. You’re the doer, the coach, the critic…etc.

You don’t need a “LAN card” or a Wi-Fi connection to play this game.

Social skills and good team communication are not required to reach the next level.

And when we don’t have a need or an incentive to communicate, we tend to avoid it.

2. Big Egos

What do you see when you look around in a gym?

People with headphones; daydreaming faces alluding to a psyche overclocking itself under the dictation of epic sounds.

Everyone is in their own little bubble, performing a routine that is allegedly superior to what everyone else is doing.

The Rippetoe squatters think that the pumpers are losers who will change their gender the next month; the pumpers see the powerlifting zealots as low IQ specimens with a weird fetish for exercises that look a lot like medieval torture.

Or in other words, there’s a silent ego clash that creates segregation. 

This happens because there aren’t unified rules as we see in regular sports. For example, the objective of football is to score under certain conditions that are the same for everyone. Hence why most teams play and train in a similar fashion.

In lifting, there are 500 different exercises and 50 million routines. Consequently, everyone ends up playing the same game but with slightly different mechanics.

3. Lifting is a Filter for Autists, Introverts and Overall Shut-ins

This point could sound insulting to some, but I have to put it in because it’s true.

Natural extroverts feel energized when communicating with others. Conversely, introverts feel depleted when socializing and thus spend more time alone.

An extrovert is a lot more likely to choose basketball, volleyball or another sport that includes either an opponent (e.g., boxing) or a team.

An introvert tries to minimize social contact consciously or not and goes for solo sports. E.g., Lifting, powerlifting, cycling, swimming…etc.

That doesn’t mean that extroverts don’t go to the gym. But on average most gyms are filled with introverts with poor social skills who will “show you how great they are” by deadlifting half the gym.

How do I know that?

Because that’s me. I was that person – the silent kid checking his deadlift form on an old camera (no smartphones at the time).


In Control

People with autistic tendencies want to feel in control of what they’re doing. Lifting fits the bill perfectly.

Every routine is pre-determined or at the very least could easily be. The exercises, the weight, the sets and the reps can be programmed down to the last one. Sure, sometimes you may miss a rep or add a few more if you feel strong, but the script is still pre-written.

Hence why powerlifting attracts people who often underperform in a team.

An introverted shy man with traces of autism is more comfortable following the rules of a Sheiko calculator and a YouTube video made by a permabulker than playing a non-scripted dynamic game where you have to face other people directly and interact with them.

4. Superficial Talk

Gym talk is:

  • Cheap
  • Non-necessary

There are two main reasons to communicate with people at the gym:

  • To ask if a machine/weight is taken (or to answer the same question)
  • To ask someone to spot you (or when asked to spot someone)

This could be done with minimal or even no talk (nodding in agreement or disagreement.)

5. An Illusion of Socialization

I wrote most of my two fiction books in a coffee shop. I would bring my laptop and write for 2-4 hours in one shop and then go to another. (Those were the times 🙂

This happened pre-Covid and coffee shops were full of laptop gangsters.

From the side, we looked like a team working together, but we weren’t. Everyone was doing something different and there was even a lot of silent judgment. There was close to zero communication apart from: “Is this seat taken?”

The gym operates on the same frequency. It gathers a lot of people who’re seemingly in a club, but at the end of the day, it’s a single-player game. You feel like you’re eating, but you’re just reading the labels of the foods around you.

And even if you happen to make some small talk, the connection is weak and a bond never forms.


What to do instead?

The opposite.

You need an activity that creates a situation where other people need you one way or another for completion of the “scenery” or a goal:

Here’s a list:

  • Any team sport
  • Any sport where you have to fight an opponent (chess and similar activities  are included if done offline)
  • Dancing
  • Studying in class
  • Crafts (drawing…etc.)
  • Cooking

…etc.

Stay away from solo sports such as:

Cycling

Cycling is an isolation sport and just like lifting filters lots of introverts. Hence why it boomed due to COVID.

Sure, you can go on a group ride, but group rides do not make the sport a team sport. They’re just like cycling in the gym except you’re outside. And don’t forget that the law says that cyclists should ride in a single file to minimize the space that they take on the road. Thus, you can’t talk while riding unless you scream.

Also, many people will show for a group ride and then ghost the group forever.

I’m a cyclist and know all of this from experience.

Note: BMX riding is an exception. BMX and skating are good for socializing even though they’re solo sports. When I was a skater, I had a huge social circle (30+ people) without even trying. Just being at the park every day allowed me to make lots of acquaintances.

Powerlifting

Powerlifting is the ultimate nerd sport and doesn’t improve your social skills much.  Most powerlifters spend lots of time online doing weird calculations and then go in the gym judging everyone else for “being a pussy” pumping reps on the pec deck machine.

If you want to socialize through lifting, Oly lifting is better because you need a real coach, not an online calculator. Thus, at least, you have to talk to him. Also, Oly lifting includes lots of practice and opportunities to meet people in the downtime.

Good luck.

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31 comments

  1. M

    Great essay, nice topic.

    >performing a routine that is allegedly superior to what everyone else is doing
    Dang, why would u think like that? I’m just about to do my thing and later proceed to the exit. Done, moving on.

  2. anon

    The sauna can be a good place at the gym to meet people. Talking helps you stay in there longer.

  3. mattsk1

    As an introvert I really don’t miss the gym. I like my home set up and don’t have to drive anywhere or be distracted by other people doing routines that don’t make sense to me and deal with compairing me with other strength focused people. Now when I hang out with friends at Kareoke, then I don’t mind at all being around other people.

  4. Steven Crook

    > People with headphones; daydreaming faces alluding to a psyche overclocking itself under the dictation of epic sounds.

    Can’t speak for anyone else. My gym has piped music. It’s awful and was starting to rot my brain. So I wear headphones. If I’m going to rot my brain, I want to choose how it’s done…

    Otherwise, spot on.

    1. Jonathan Matthews

      Glad you’re not one of the zombies/sheep that has no discernment for anything. I myself resonate much more with people who are awake vs the halfdead masses.

  5. Dongdongdong

    Why does everyone spell cov*d in all caps?

  6. Wordtobigbird

    Its funny you write this and it probably explains why i always stood out so much in whatever gym I was in. Im a major extrovert and good at socializing but also love lifting; even powerlifting for a short while (until I hit the steroid free reality wall and stopped that nonsense).

    Probably explains why my success rate with girls in the gym has always been fantastic. Guess it pays to be the only guy that actually talks. In the land of the blind the man with one eye is king.

    1. Lemmings

      Lol your humility is staggering.

      1. Wordtobigbird

        Just the truth. Success rate isnt as great in bars or clubs though.

        1. Jonathan Matthews

          That’s great to hear! You seem like a cool person. I’ve been able to talk to chicks at the gym and pulled numbers here and there. I like to think of myself as a cross of an introvert and extrovert (ambivert is the term I’ve heard thrown around). I do like to be social in general but I love having times when I’m alone either when I’m researching/studying or just reflecting/blowing off steam on a night walk for instance. Working out at home or a gym is also an outlet for me and it can be a social occasion depending on if I make it one or not lol

    2. twp

      Not surprising at all. As TrueSeeker said the gym is full of egocentric guys with poor communication skills who are easily offended and can’t take or pass a joke.

      1. Wordtobigbird

        True story there. Just think of how many times you see some roid monkeys facing off in some kind of bravado staredown or smack talk. Like almost everyday at the goodlife I used to frequent. Funny every time.

  7. Alex

    Hey truthseeker,

    I know it’s off topic but could you give your thoughts on what this youtuber called Leo Gura says about how to approach women? I’m struggling a lot with that and some things he says have got me discouraged. I don’t know I’m super confused. I don’t know to what extent the things he says are accurate. Maybe you could write an article talking about that. Thank you.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      What is he saying? What are the main points?

  8. KJJ

    I would add that running as most adults practice it also fall into that category, although I definitely had tons of fun doing it in high school with my friends.

    1. Greywolf

      @KJJ. I agree about running not being a good way to socialize especially since people have their own pace. Rock climbing while not my thing, is a good way to make friends.

  9. Alex

    His video is very long. Fortunately someone in the comments post the takeaways. I’m copying and pasting it here:

    ——-

    Here are some of my personal key takeaways:

    *Don’t underestimate the importance of inner game*
    Reasons you’re not getting laid:
    1. You are not being social enough (meet at least 100 new girls/month)
    2. You’re not going out
    3. You’re not approaching
    4. You’re communication in a very business matter – not in a flirty manner
    5. You don’t understand what attracts women
    6. You have a deep victim complex, limiting belief and you have deep insecurity about yourself, you doubt yourself about your ability to get laid
    7. You are not willing to work hard to grow yourself, into the kind of man that women would find attractive
    8. You don’t believe that you deserve to be with an attractive woman
    9. You’re too scared to start taking serious action

    How attraction really works:
    1. Study evolutionary psychology
    2. Male/female dynamics and differences
    3. The women needs something from you, much deeper than your physical features
    4. 1. She needs masculinity, strength, leadership
    5. 2. “You are not not getting laid for being short, but you are not getting laid because you are insecure about being short”
    What women are attracted to (ALL of them):
    1. Masculine energy
    2. Strength
    3. Confidence
    4. Charisma
    5. Charm
    6. humor
    7. Cocky/funny
    8. Wit
    9. Fun/adventure/romance
    10. Highly social guys
    11. Playfullness
    12. Positivity
    13. Emotional stimulation – to experience a wide array of emotions
    14. Strong personality
    15. Passion
    16. A guy who is able to express himself in an un-pre-mediated way, spontaneously and exhibits a strong personality authentically (regardless of what that personality is) – does not hold back on his authentic personality
    17. Leadership and decisiveness
    18. Authenticity/vulnerability and deep intimacy – developing that bond, telling your life stories
    19. Balls / edginess and boldness
    20. High value
    21. Status
    22. Reputation
    23. Celebrity
    24. Social approval (a lot of people who like you around you)
    25. Eye contact
    26. Men who are detached
    27. Men who finds their life purpose more important than the girl
    28. Well groomed / smell nice / sharply dressed / clean / fit

    What repeals women:
    1. Neediness / desperation and attachment to her (putting her on a pedestal)
    2. Being too nice
    3. Fear / insecurity / meekness / shyness / lack of balls
    4. Explicitly sexually vulgar and gives sexual compliments
    5. Being desired only for sex / if you get her to feel slutty
    6. Trying to impress women / a fake front
    7. Fakeness / being too gamy / trying too hard
    8. Bragging about yourself – in fact, you should do the opposite, self deprecation
    9. Boring logical talk / serious guys – they want to relate to you in an emotional way, not logical
    10. Forcing her to lead
    11. Ungroomed / smell bad / sloppy style
    12. Creepiness
    Ultimate solution for getting laid:
    1. Envision yourself attracting cute girls
    2. Study the principles of attraction
    3. Go out and socialise every week
    4. Work on your victim complex and all of your limiting beliefs – question them until they are all destroyed and go out and talk to girls!
    5. Be tenacious and DO NOT quit. Keep going until you get the results that you want

    Commitment you must make:
    1. I commit to talk to 30 girls a week
    2. I commit to go outside of my house at least 3 times a week to a bar/club and you socialise
    3. I commit to finding my dream girl through this process

    Thanks for the value, Leo🚀

    —–

    So what do you think about all of that? Trying to find a solution for this matter is driving me crazy. I really don’t wanna go through all this shit just to find a gf. It’s madness. I just wanna find true love, and I don’t see true love in any of these things. Everything seems to boil down to pure self-interest, everything is treated like a business. And I’m completely averse to all this shit. I’m not crazy for money, success, power, fame, status, possessions and a life of luxury. All I wanted is to find a girl who also had this mindset of mine. Sorry man I’m just getting it out of my chest.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Hello, Alex

      This advice is obviously very logical as it boils down to – improve maximally and approach maximally. It’s nothing revolutionary since this is the only thing that a person can do at the end of the day.

      What if I tell you that I’ve done all of that without meaningful results? You probably won’t be very happy about that.

      It’s easy to put on paper what one should do, but practice is a whole different game. We’re not robots.

      ——-

      The brutal reality is this:

      1. Women have more leverage than men in the dating world. The person with the most leverage always dictates the rules of the game.

      2. Since society and nature have appointed women as the choosing gender, they filter men according to their criteria.

      3. The religion of the modern person is called Consumerism. Consumerism is present in the dating world too. People open a catalog (e.g., dating app) and pick the best product that they can get. And since women are wired to want the top 10-20% of men, the rest are fighting for….

      4. If you need to completely re-wire your brain, take steroids and become rich to get a chance to play the game, then you know something’s terribly wrong with this world.

      5. I’m not going to say that you will or won’t find the love that you’re looking for, but it’s highly unlikely.

      6. The modern human is transactional. Hence why everything feels like a business.

      7. The better you look and the richer you are, the better character you will have in people’s eyes.

      8. Approaching and dating in general is a feminized concept. The man mold himself to a woman’s desires and then goes out to approach.

      Or in other words, the so-called player is changing according to the requirements set by his “victim”. Thus, in the end, women always end up with more leverage even though some player might think that he is “gaming” them.

      9. I have no concrete advice for you. IMO it’s down to trying and trying and eventually getting lucky. If you can become richer and more attractive do it. But even then do not expect “real love”. You will simply be allowed to play.

      I don’t sell PUA books and thus have no need nor desire to sugarcoat what I’ve learned to be the reality of the dating market.

  10. Alex

    Well, I guess if you’ve posted my text without replying it, it means you’re not gonna reply it anymore, isn’t it.

    Well that’s ok. I put myself in your shoes and if I received lots of messages as you probably do I’d probably only answer the most relevant ones to me for the sake of time. So, keep posting nice articles. Your articles have given me some good insights. I’ll continue what I consider my journey to find answers for these mysteries. Lol. So have a nice day. I wish you good luck.

  11. Alex

    Oh I’m sorry, i just noticed my last message was posted immediately after ive sent it.

    I thought no message would be posted in the website without being checked by you first. Thats the reason i wrote it. It was not because im impatient lol Please ignore the message.

    And please feel free to not replay my other message if you want to. I totally understand. Maybe you could make a new article if you think that guy said something interesting. But that’s up to you.

  12. Alex

    Thank you for answering. Well said. Unfortunately I have to agree with what you said.

    I’ve been spending most of my time in thinking hard in order to find an acceptable solution for this problem. Or even some sort of way out as for example: seeking comfort on religion, philosophy, logical thinking.

    For example, I try to remind myself that, at the end of the day, everything will pass. Nothing will last forever. That all the pleasure and happiness of having a nice gf/wife will soon start to fade away. I see it in my parents for example. Having someone to share life is not something wonderful for them anymore, as it probably used to be on the time they’ve started dating.

    When I think of all the gf I’ve had, which was just a few, and all the good moments we’d have together, I notice that time has faded most of my memories to the point where it’s as if those moments have never even ever happened.

    Then I conclude that things are good only during the moment they’re happening. Then after that we have nothing, only memories. And memories don’t satisfy.

    I notice it happening with food, videogame, movies, everything. There’s an element of illusion in all these things.

    I know a lot of old couples who have lost their spouse and is forcing to face the end of their life alone. Then I think: what’s the use of finding someone and losing her when I’m old, returning to that life of loneliness I find myself right now?

    I know these things sound very morbid and pessimistic and I hate them. But unfortunately it’s still reality. If women only “knew” these things, that life is short and focusing in materialism, money, status and a luxury life is not worth it. It’s all an illusion that will leave them completely empty handed at the end of their life.

    If women sought for more valuable and noble things instead of seeking the illusion of consumerism, competition among them, a life of appearances, of showing off etc. Things would be much different.

    Anyway, this world is terribly wrong and cruel in all of it’s aspects. But I think as long as we’re here, trying to figure out the best and most wise way of living our life is the best thing to do. I think we are smart guys, for not many people are interested in seeking what’s true. So I believe we’ll eventually find a place of contentment, peace and satisfaction. Whether we be with someone or not. Cause I’m convinced that having the important things is life (like wisdom, knowledge of the true, peace, contentment, satisfaction, doing what it’s right etc) has little to do with having a person at our side.

    I’ll continue to try to find someone nice, but I’ll do it knowing that it’s not the thing that will ultimately give meaning or complete happiness and satisfaction to my life. 😊

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      IMO, the most valid, practical and yet deep reason to be with a woman is not to go to the park together or watch movies, but to procreate.

      This is the main purpose of a relationship. If that’s not on the table, the relationship is guaranteed to become unbearable at one point.

      Men and women get together to create favorable conditions for a new life. Everything else you can do with friends or family members.

      I would even argue that a man is better off living alone than being in a sexless, childless marriage/relationship that constitutes of consuming.

      Some people want to create the same effect by adopting cats and dogs, but that is just not possible. Pets are not kids and won’t be.

  13. mattsk1

    Alex,
    I can attest to being more social which helped me meet my Wife. I ditched dating and focused on community which for me was 3 nights a week going to Kareoke at a bar, one night a week going to a gaming bar, one day for Church and another for House Church along with working full time and going to College. I actually did not do that to meet a girl, but to feel better mentally cause I delt with social and performance anxiety and what I was doing was giving me lots of exposer thearpy which helped out my confidence and letting myself be accepted by others. I met my lady one night at House Church. Trust me. I met many women and talked to many women in this process of three-four years and got attention. I did need to assert myself by asking a table of people to sit with them quite a few times. Its not easy stepping out of the comfort zone and meeting new people but it can be fun and you can learn alot. I would recomend finding some kind of weekly social gathering you can partcipate consistantly and talk and hang out with them for bit and build from there.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Of course, the classic offline life can never be killed, but the problem is that the madness of the online world exists whether you want it to or not.

      For example, you can open a store without caring that Amazon or another e-Store is selling the same product for much cheaper with free delivery, but your business will be affected nonetheless.

      —-

      Or in other words, you can ignore online dating, but it will continue to affect your dating options whether you want it to or not. Also, women are women, the same way men are men. A woman that you meet in the church is not guaranteed to be different than a woman that you meet on an app.

      —-
      Still, I get your point, and realize that this type of existence will be better than swiping online in your bed every night.

    2. Alex

      Interesting points guys, I’ll reply both of you in this one message.

      So, truth seeker, I had to stop and think about what you’ve said for sometime. Cause I’d never thought from that perspective.

      I think what you said about the most valid, practical and yet deep reason to be with a woman (and being it the main purpose of a relationship) makes totally sense as long as we analyze this matter from an evolutionary perspective only.

      If the main purpose is to create favorable conditions for a new life, then once the children develope, becomes adult and go away, there would be no more reasons left for a couple to continue together.

      And the man could leave his wife (since now she’s not able to procreate anymore) and look for another woman to continue creating conditions for more new lives, and by then he’d continue to be able to live a “meaningful” relationship.

      Anyway, as I said, I look for truth and comfort wherever I can find it (philosophy, religion, logical thinking etc).

      IMHO, I believe that neither philosophy, evolution, science, logical thinking etc are able to give a truly satisfactory meaning when it comes to a relationship between a man and a woman.

      That said, I’m gonna tell you guys what I’ve found to be the most sublime and wonderful meaning for such relationship.

      And this meaning I’ve found in the Bible. Now, I wanna make it clear that I’m not preaching the Bible here. But, as I said, I’ve found in the Bible the most satisfying answer about the meaning of a relationship than I’ve ever found anywhere else.

      So, according to the Bible, God not only has created the woman as a procreator, but also as a companion, a helper, someone to become one flesh with man. Someone who will do good for her husband and not evil all the days if her life.

      Someone of whom we men are meant to love as our own body etc.

      Now, here’s the best part. The Bible says that marriage is a representation of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the believers (called Church). And the church is said to be the wife and Christ the husband in a spiritual sense (I don’t claim to understand that, but sounds like something very big).

      Now, as you guys may know, the bible says that God so loved the world that he gave his own son Jesus Chtist in order to save us.

      Can you guys see what im trying to say? So, for this reason, i believe that the purpose of marriage is so that men and women can represent the love of God for us. It’s not only to procreate, although it’s included.

      For that reason, a man and a woman is meant to love each other with the same love of Christ. Because of this, the couple is meant to treat each other with love, peace, joy, goodness, kindness, forbearance. Never with malice, selfishness, anger, discord etc.

      And this is what would really make sense to me. For i can’t imagine a purpose more wonderful than that. Only procreation is too mechanical, too cold, too selfish, too “dead”.

      But the purpose the Bible gives to marriage is noble, great, sublime, fantastic, wonderful, glorious, complete, it’s like a dream.

      This is the kind of relationship i dream of. Not just joining a woman in order to procreate and that’s all there’s. That would be very boring and uninspired.

      —-

      Now mattsks1, thank you for your advise. I agree. I have to confess that because im the introvert type, I avoid social situations. They give anxiety. And i haven’t pushed myself in order to get out of my comfort zone.

      But im already working on my mind in order to put myself in a more right mindset.

      Guys, I hope this discussion has been helpful for you as it has been for me. I know very well that this world is in a terrible condition. Getting worse and worse. And I know it’s not gonna get better.

      People are becoming more and more deluded in all departments of life.

      But i still have hope. For im convinced that, even though the vast majority of women, very unfortunately, behave like truthseeker has been describing in his website, there’s still many women out there who’s able to see the truth and refuse to conform themselves to all the evilness (to use a biblical word) there’s in this world.

  14. Jason Blaha

    You are wrong. We know from studies that training for STRENGTH is better for health and longevity than ANY other sport. Also, you are trying to devalue squats which makes me think that you are a con-man. Compound movements are the best exercises. That’s just the simple reality. NON-NEGOTIABLE.

    1. Lee

      Ha, ha. You sound just like Jason Blowhard.

  15. GreyWolf

    I only scored one date from a gym and she turned out to be a psychopath feminist teacher who believed there were no biological strength differences between men and women. Had my car not been in her locked garage I would have bailed out of her car at a gas station and ran away before the end of the night.

    Anecdotes aside, I agree and think the gym is a barrier to improving one’s social standing. After working 8 or 9 hours a day, by the time I drive to the gym, park, work out return home and shower, that doesn’t leave anytime for any social activities in the evening.

    In the past I’ve substituted gym works for martial arts classes and they definitely provided more social interaction. Hopefully I can move into an apartment with a mini fitness center to cut down on time spent commuting to the gym.

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