We asked you to tell us about the times you were left red in the face at the gym — and not from the cardio.
Sometimes taking the plunge to flirt with a complete stranger can pay off big time. No pain no gain, right? But all too often it seems like things don’t quite go to plan…
These are our favourite cringey gym romance moments to get your pulse racing:
1. The Fat Burning Faux-Pas
“I used to train in a mainstream gym that had a running track inside. This guy kept smiling at me and I thought he was giving me the eyes, so I smiled back as I was running around the track. I then came around the track again and he called me over.
I thought my luck was in, but oh no…I’d been on fad diets and the like, and was currently taking fat reduction tablets. To my horror, I noticed all too late that I had a… erm… stain in my shorts and he was actually laughing at me! Not to mention he wasn’t even gay. Other than that, never any luck… dating, gym and life!”
– Anthony O’Reagan
2. The Spin Class Gone Wrong
“Early last year I was talking to a friend about the best ways to pick up girls in a gym, and he thought it would be a good idea to do a spin class because, according to him, “they are always full of girls”.
I got on one of the bikes next to an unbelievable girl who I thought was giving me the eye (she probably wasn’t). Anyway, after peddling my heart out I got off the bike, felt a bit dizzy… and passed out. Next thing I know I wake up with everyone surrounding me not knowing what went on.
Needless to say I didn’t get the girl and I have never done a spin class again!”
– Harry Chambers
3. The Untrustworthy Gym Pants
“So, I had been making eyes at a guy at my gym for about 3-4 weeks and always smiled at him, but thought I’d take it to the next level one day by asking him to spot me whilst I squatted. That day I’d worn my favourite and most flattering pink leggings because I knew I’d be seeing him, but I didn’t realise they had a slight tear in them.
Whilst my crush was spotting me and we were having a conversation (he even asked me to grab a coffee afterwards), I went down to squat and heard the sound of my leggings ripping. Right along the bum seam.
I was mortified and tried to play it cool by laughing it off but he wasn’t smiling. So I ended my set and immediately left the gym. Not seen him since.”
– Rhianna Mann
4. The One Who Tried To Pull (Literally)
“I had been banging on about it being ‘pull day’ in my WhatsApp chat with my mates. All was going well on this Tuesday, until I start making casual chat to this gorgeous lady who was using the squat rack next to me.
Now it’s ‘pull day’ remember (significant part of the story). So, I’m there trying to chat up this lady whilst deadlifting and my mates all come into the free-weight room, clock I’m chatting up this woman and start staring at us and laughing.
So me being me, the immature one in the group, shouts back to them “It’s cool, I’m pulling”. Hearing this, the woman I was chatting to looks at me and walks out, leaving me one side of the room and my mates across from me hysterically laughing. It’s safe to say I’ve never spoke to this woman since and we avoid all eye contact.”
5. The Big Ouch
“Around five years ago, I was at the gym and texting the girl I was going to go on a first date with later on that day. As I was distracted, I dropped a 20kg weight directly on my big toe. At first, it hurt, very much. It was that kind of hurt where your body and eyes tense up and you can’t even scream out because you’ve already gasped in lots of air in that moment. Plus, I wouldn’t have let myself scream in the gym anyway.
I decided to carry on my workout as if nothing had happened, but after a rep on the bench press I could tell something wasn’t right. I took my trainer off and saw that my sock had turned entirely red. I awkwardly hobbled to a trainer and asked if they had First Aid, having to awkwardly explain why.
Not only did I end up having to go to A&E and cancel the date, for a month I had to walk around with an oversized shoe on for the swelling, with the top cut out so the toe could breathe.
During this time, I did actually hobble to a date with that same girl though!”
– Ryan Plant
6. The Third Wheel
“I recently went on a ‘gym date’ with a girl and we decided to go to a different gym to my normal one. We both agreed it would be best to keep the date quiet to avoid any gossip as it was quite new, so when one of my friends found out where we were going he assumed it was just a casual gym session —and tagged along!
So there’s me, my date…. and my mate. Awkward. Didn’t get a second date!”
– John Gilchrist
7. The Elephant In The Room
“I trained for the best part of a year with a young, enthusiastic PT in a high-end gym. He was actually a really good, young kid and had great body too. Plus, he really used to critique my form and I progressed miles.
I used to intentionally try to make him blush by making inappropriate jokes because it was 6am and honestly my mind lives in the gutter, but we got on really well. However, there was always an awkward moment when he would put the barbell on my back for walking lunges and there was, er…. something that got in between us.
Needless to say he was perplexed why I went into fits of giggles every time we did walking lunges (soon turned to tears of pain), and even my husband saw the funny side.”
– Ruth Brown
8. The Big Bang
“There’s a guy in one of my classes who I’ve always had a crush on, and one lunchtime he went to the gym when I also happened to be there. I spotted him right away and had to stop squatting and doing hip thrusts because I was too embarrassed.
Instead, I went over to the back of the gym to do some rope straight-arm pulldowns using the machine and it basically broke on spot. I was changing the weight of it and the heavy metal handle literally fell right on top of my head as I was sitting underneath it and made the biggest bang you could imagine. (Thankfully my brain’s just about okay).
Everyone looked over and someone even turned the music off to see what happened. There I am sitting on the floor looking like a flushed tomato whilst catching direct eye contact with this guy.
Although I completely embarrassed myself and lost a couple of brain cells, we’re now kind of talking so maybe it wasn’t all bad!”
– Aline Arnold
9. The Lurker
“So, I matched with someone on tinder and noticed that one of their pictures was in the gym that I train at. I thought oh crikey this could be awkward, but I had never seen him in there so went for it. (I train at 6am, and it’s not a pretty sight.)
We started chatting, and it eventually came up that he went to the same gym as me. Then, the day before our planned date he turned up to train at exactly the same time as me, lurking nearby trying to awkwardly initiate conversation.
He literally slipped in without me noticing and then boom he was on the bench just behind me. Didn’t say hello or anything. We had the most awkward conversation in between sweating and grunting of sets. Needless to say, the date didn’t go too well. And I haven’t ‘bumped’ into him since funnily enough.”
– Abigail Aldhous
10. The Awkward Wink
“I developed a crush on a younger guy who I trained with as part of a powerlifting team — he was a favourite of most of the female population there. My assumption was that he was in his mid-twenties and I engaged in some harmless flirting. He was polite but when I found out he was actually 19, I stopped and felt like I needed a really cold shower.
The next week we were training like normal and I ended up staring off into space. I hadn’t realized that I was looking in his direction when my eye started to twitch. He thought I was winking at him so he winked back at me multiple times. I didn’t get it at first until my friend clued me in.
I laughed and turned to wink back at him, however I will freely admit my winks are in no way sexy or seductive. All I could do is watch as his face turned away in horror at my awkward stroke face. He finished his set, left, quit the team and I haven’t seen him since.”
– Christina Coughenour
11. The Dumbie-Bell
“After a few weeks in the gym I noticed this really pretty girl started coming. I tried to impress her by dumbbell bench pressing a heavy weight and ended up almost dying! They were so heavy so I threw them to the ground almost hitting her toes. Bear in mind these were both 40kg dumbbells, and as they landed she literally ran away.
Now she loves giving me dirty looks and avoids working on any equipment within a 5m radius of me… it’s a harsh world out there.”
– Miles Thompson
12. The “Cool” Guy
“So I walk in the gym, trying to look as cool as I can because I can see my gym crush at the squat rack. Now this was my first leg day in a while and, trying to be funny but also impress her, I put 60kg on, look over and wink saying, “better start light”.
I step back from the rack and catch my foot, fall over and drop the bar making a huge sound and a fool of myself. I went completely red in the face and immediately walked off. Never spoken to her since.”
– Joe Davies
Do you have a gym story you think we’d like to hear about? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org