Gyms have long been known as hook-up hotspots—and not only because of the endorphins.
“People let their guard down,” says Workout Mingle creator Brian Pedone. “On the dating scene, they’re self-conscious, but in a workout class, they’re focused on what they’re doing and aren’t concerned with looking pretty.” (Well, some people.)
But the explosion of group fitness has made finding a guy where you work out more complicated. You’ll rarely spot a man in barre class, for instance, and you’ll mess up your drishti if you check out a guy’s muscles during yoga.
The kind of class you choose really matters, says Pedone, who plays matchmaker by bringing groups of sweaty singles to classes around New York—from boot camps to boxing. We asked him to help us determine what makes a workout OkCupid-approved. Here are the six best (and no-so-great) workouts for meeting a guy… —Lisa Elaine Held
1. Boot camp, not barre
If you want to tone your tiny muscles, stick with Physique, but don’t expect a sea of guys to be tucking and toning alongside you. (You’ll have better luck at the bar.) Boot camps, on the other hand—from Barry’s Bootcamp to City Athlete to The People’s Bootcamp—tend to be an even mix of men and women. “There’s group competition,” too, Pedone says, which fosters interaction. And sometimes more.
A competitive aspect can also be found in Flywheel’s indoor cycling classes, where you can tease a muscly guy with your higher Torqboard score. Popular instructor Natalie Cohen told the New York Post she regularly introduces riders as love interests. And while both studios foster a feeling of community that makes it easy to chat people up, SoulCycle is just overrun with estrogen—and behind almost every guy, it seems, is the Soul-loving girlfriend who brought him to class. (Though we do know of a couple that met at Soul and got engaged, so that does suggest pretty excellent hook-up odds.)
Pedone was inspired to create Workout Mingle after watching men and women interact in a boxing class. It’s athletic and appeals to both sexes, and “almost anybody can punch.” Plus, if he ends up being a creep, you’ll be able to handle it quickly. So forget about shaking your booty for a potential mate at Zumba. (Maybe stick to the dance floor for that?) “Guys don’t want to feel foolish in front of the opposite sex,” Pedone says.
(Photo: UFC Gym NYC)
If you’re going to hop on a machine, choose an erg over a Reformer. “Yoga and Pilates are so individual,” Pedone says. “You get in your own zone and don’t want to be bothered.” On the flipside, dudes love rowing, and it’s the kind of workout they’ll want to talk to you about after. (“That was SO hard!”) Good news: There are about to be many more places around New York for you to get rowing.
CrossFit is known for its cult-like community, which means it tends to draw men and women with interests and personality traits in common. Barbell set-up and post-WOD outings also mean lots of time for socializing, and boxes have now become famous for leading to hook-ups and weddings. And even if Tracy Anderson says otherwise, how many guys do you know who’d be into grapevining?
Pavement-pounding is often the best kind of alone time. But if you’re looking for love, run clubs are ideal. It’s easy to talk while you run (unlike during burpees or yoga) and clubs often following training sessions with social events. Plus, “anything goal oriented is great,” says Pedone, because you can talk about each others’ progress as your heart rates rise together.
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