Making Friends at Fitness Classes

Some friends and I at a Flywheel studio in Miami!

Some friends and I at a Flywheel studio in Miami! (I’m on the right.)

I recently got a 30-day free trial for ClassPass, a monthly service that gives users access to dozens of fitness studios across New York City. So I’ve been trying to take advantage and load up on as many workouts as possible! This week, I’ve been to indoor cycling classes at two different studios (and a third one at my gym—I don’t know when I turned into such a cycling junkie!), a yoga class, and an aqua cycling class (where the bikes are in a 4-foot-deep pool!). Sadly, a pool-side yoga class I was supposed to take Wednesday morning ended up getting canceled because of rain.

It’s been fun trying lots of different workouts, but one of my favorite things about the experience so far has been talking to other people in the classes. For whatever reason, it feels a lot easier for me to strike up a conversation with someone at a fitness studio or in a class than it does at the gym when I’m on the elliptical. I guess classes are just an inherently more social setting, so I don’t feel like I’m disturbing people as much. Here are some of the gym friend pickup lines I’ve used:

  • “Thanks for keeping me motivated during class!” Last night, I took a cycling class at a studio called Flywheel, which records your torque and RPMs to calculate a total score for you—and a few times throughout the class, they’ll post the standings so you can see how you stack up against other people. I was in second place the first time our scores were posted, then I moved up to first place. I ended up slipping into a close second, but I went up to the girl I’d been trading spots with afterward and thanked her for giving the drive to push myself harder during class. We ended up talking about our favorite instructors and what times we usually go to Flywheel classes. Hopefully I’ll see her again!
  • “Do you think I should grab water before we start?” This morning was my aqua cycling class! And let me tell you: You can’t exactly set a water bottle on a bike when it’s under water. (There were a lot of logistical issues I was unprepared for, but that’s another story.) I noticed one of the girls set her water bottle on the edge of the pool, though, and decided to ask her advice about whether I should have my water bottle nearby, too. I read somewhere once that asking someone for advice or a small favor helps endear you toward them. If nothing else, it definitely helped me start a conversation this morning!
  • And of course: “Have you been here before?” It’s basically like asking “Do you come here often?” But you know what? It works! I used this one after a rowing class last week while another woman and I were waiting for the elevator. We ended up taking the subway home together and chatting the whole time.

Do you usually talk to people during workouts, or do you prefer to keep to yourself? Do you have any tips or tricks for how to turn fitness studio chats into actual friendships? That’s a bridge I haven’t crossed yet, but I’d like to soon!

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