Finding love at the gym is a lot like lifting heavy weights: Not as intimidating as it seems, and totally worth it. Some people feel more comfortable approaching people at a gym or workout class than in a noisy bar, because there's no pressure to go home together that night. Plus, being surrounded by like-minded people who share a common interest and lifestyle is comforting, and one 2015 study found that participating in group exercise leads to better social bonds. And social bonds can also lead to romantic bonds, right?
But just because a person is out in the open at the gym, doesn't mean they want to talk to you (or anyone, for that matter). "If they're not engaging, they're clearly not interested or would rather be focusing on their workout than a stranger," says Danielle Lohmann, vice president of the Body Positive Fitness Alliance, who owns a gym in California. "Know when to leave, and don't take it personally."
That being said, people are usually friendly at the gym, and you shouldn't let their headphones and sweat intimidate you (though maybe don't try to talk to them if they're still wearing those headphones). Here are a few clever ideas for one-liners that can totally work in a workout class — no locker room talk involved. These aren't sure-fire wins for every single person you might encounter at the gym, but they may at least spark some ideas.