The gym date is to athletes what a coffee date is to regular people, with the added risk of her seeing you at your sweatiest. If you can get past that, it’s also one of the most rewarding of non-dates, allowing you to get to know each other on a whole new level without too much commitment. Here’s how to manage the pitfalls of the tricky gym date so it all works out.
Make a plan
As with most non-traditional dates, you should talk over what it will look like. One tried and true format has the two of you meeting up before the workout begins, allowing you to sweat it out individually and banter a bit when your paths cross. On the other hand, you may choose to stick together and attend the same yoga class instead. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re on the same page—and both physically fit enough to complete any exercises you want to do together.
Don’t sweat how you’re dressed… too much
You won’t want to show up for a date at a gym wearing a ratty T-shirt filled with holes and a pair of basketball shorts you dug out of the dirty laundry, but you don’t need to worry too much about your clothes as long as they’re functional. Your shorts should fit you well and shouldn’t sag. Your choice of T-shirt shouldn’t be too tight or too baggy. If you can get those two simple rules down, you’re set. Oh—and wear deodorant.
Split up if you need to
Like when you’re at an art gallery or a museum, you have to give her some space so you can each do your own thing. If you’re trying to combine your workouts, start with a session of stretching and smalltalk to warm things up. When your workout requires you at the pull-up bar and her at the free weights, go for it. You can always meet back up to spot each other at the bench press. If she’s a fellow gym junkie, she’ll appreciate that neither of you have to put your training schedule on hold. If you’re worried that you might lose track of one another, just agree to meet up for smoothies after.
You don’t have to impress her
You’ll feel some added pressure now that you’ve got an audience, but make sure you stick to your current training regimen and don’t attempt to go above the usual weight you put up. After all, nothing is worse than getting injured or failing an attempt at an unfamiliar exercise just because you wanted to show off.
Don’t be judgemental
You’ll sweat. She’ll sweat. You’ll both sweat, so get over it. Neither of you will look your greatest after a hard workout, and you’ll certainly be more acutely aware of the little extra flab you’re carrying. However, don’t let that dampen the date—you and everyone else are there to better themselves and get fit. Speaking of which, nothing is more of a turnoff than poking fun at other gym-goers. She won’t appreciate it.