Turns out, you can get so much more from working out than just good health and a mean set of abs.
A survey commissioned by US fitness center chain Blink Fitness has found that 25 percent of respondents have considered dating someone from the gym, and for 32 percent, the possibility of meeting someone there would make them more motivated to head to the gym.
These findings are not surprising: With today’s young people becoming busier and busier, the gym now doubles as a social space where you can meet new people—it’s no longer just a spot for you to ugly-sweat in peace.
Plus, according to a survey by online dating site Zoosk, 83 percent of people who work out regularly want an S.O. who shares their penchant for exercise—and gyms and other fitness and athletic facilities do a great job of getting you closer with people who value fitness just as much. And if that fitness buddy ends up finding you hot even when your veins are popping and your pits are dripping? You know he’s a keeper.
Below, we got nine couples to share how getting fit has led them to finding love. Be inspired by their stories and go sign up at a gym or take up a new sport—who knows, you might just find your own swole-mate!
“I looked forward to seeing her, to the point that I started going to the gym more often—from three times a week to six times a week.”
Kiko: I am not fond of small talk. When at the gym, I would often leave immediately after my one-hour workout, avoiding anyone who would stop me to talk.
One day, I noticed a new staff member at the gym’s front desk. Mickay was my complete opposite; she could talk for hours, even after the tedious eight-hour job she had to do on the daily. Because she was beautiful—and loud—it was hard not to notice her.
At first, our interactions were limited to the mandatory hi-hello between customer and staff, but eventually it started to become something I looked forward to—I had developed a crush on her. I looked forward to seeing her, to the point that I started going to the gym more often—from three times a week to six times a week.
One day, I went to the gym at 1:00 p.m. and found it relatively empty. Because there was no one else around, I grabbed the chance to start a conversation with her. Like I said, I normally dislike small talk, but I found myself enjoying it with her.
One night after my workout and after her shift, I invited her out to dinner. That dinner would spark a series of events that would change my life: Later when we were already dating, Mickay would confess that that night was the moment she began to have a crush on me, too.
After months of dating, we became boyfriend and girlfriend. As she is also into fitness, we would exercise at our gym together, too.
Never did I think I would find somebody to share my life with at the gym, but here we are.
“There were many times that I would catch him looking at me while I was working out.”
Debbie: It was late 2016, at the peak of my fitness journey, when I first met Maverick.
One day while I was working out at the gym, Maverick walked towards me and started asking questions about my training, diet plan, and supplements. At the back of my mind, I thought, “What is this guy trying to sell me?” But he was good at conversation, and within a few minutes, he had invited me to join him in other activities like circuit training and boxing.
We started training together with his friends. I never really thought that Maverick would like me because I had a boyfriend at the time. But soon after, my boyfriend and I broke up because of mismatched lifestyles. About a month after, Maverick started giving me little gifts like protein bars with notes attached to them. And many times, I would catch him looking at me while I was working out.
Months later, Maverick and I had become so close that I realized that he was the one I could share my interests and passions with, my peanut butter and protein shakes with. He became my companion in everything, until one day, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Of course I said yes!
Now, he’s my boyfriend, best friend, workout buddy, AND business partner—we’ve started a business where we help people in their fitness journey by cooking their meals and training them.
“She was this funny, badass National Team player. And I couldn’t even catch a ball!”
Rayna: I got into rugby a few months after a summer fling ended. When I was still new to the sport, my club signed up for a tournament. A guest coach, Aye, came in, and I immediately had a schoolgirl crush on her.
She was this funny, badass National Team player. And I couldn’t even catch a ball! She was way out of my league.
We didn’t interact after the tournament. But a few months later, we saw each other again at the Cebu Ladies 10s Rugby Festival.
The day after the game, all the teams went to the beach. We were all drinking and having fun. At some point, she put her head on my lap. I realized that my crush on her never really went away.
During a drinking game, our common friends dared us to kiss. It was so silly and innocent. But turns out, that kiss actually got to her.
Now, we’ve been together for a year, splitting our time between each other’s homes. Our babies are her motorbike, our two mountain bikes, and my dog.
She’s my person, and honestly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Rugby still plays a huge part in our relationship. We watch each other’s games (I’m so proud and kilig when she plays national) and occasionally play against each other. Even if we tackle each other on the field, I know I’ve found someone who’ll forever be in my corner.
“After hiking up mountains, slogging through mud, conquering obstacles, and getting bruised and exhausted, I was still absolutely sure that she was one of a kind.”
Chris: Almost five years ago, I met Keshia at the office. I liked her right from the start, but I quickly realized that I wasn’t her type, and all our common friends said that I should just move on.
One day, our office barkada decided to join a gym together. I figured, why not? I needed to lose weight anyway, and it was another excuse to try and spend time with Kesh.
Fast-forward a few months, and going to the gym had become a routine for Kesh and me. The constant time together was starting to break the ice. We started to do more activities together, like signing up for the Spartan Race. On top of that, our own little circle of fitness buddies started growing into our own tight little community.
There was still something missing though: I still wanted to be something more to her. So at one of our fitcations, I decided to separate from the group and take her on a lunch date. I figured, after hiking up mountains, slogging through mud, conquering obstacles, and getting bruised and exhausted, I was still absolutely sure that she was one of a kind. So I asked her to be mine.
Getting fit and going to the gym is about consistency. You know what else consistency gets you? Dreams coming true.
“I asked our manager to let me be trained as a fitness trainer, and she did. Guess who was assigned to train and orient me?”
Kathleen: I was working as a nutritionist at a fitness center, but I myself had a sedentary lifestyle. It was ironic because I was counseling people to have a healthy lifestyle, but I seldom exercised.
Levitt was one of the fitness trainers at our company, and we became friends. At the time, I wasn’t attracted to him—he had a girlfriend (but apparently their relationship wasn’t really working out), while I had a suitor (but I wasn’t really interested).
After a few months with the company, I felt bored with my work as a nutritionist and decided to become a fitness trainer. I think that, during that time, I was subconsciously inspired by Levitt after seeing the work that he did. So I asked our manager to let me be trained as a fitness trainer, and she did. Guess who was assigned to train and orient me?
Levitt taught me basic exercises, how to use machines, and how to design a fitness program. As our training went by, we became closer friends. Eventually, his relationship ended. Months later, we started to fall in love.
I realized that my mundane world became more colorful because I had met someone who not just educated me about fitness, but also inspired me to do better in my new job. We both realized that we could work together as a team and help each other succeed in our careers.
Close to a year later, we are not only each other’s partner, but also each other’s fitness coach, life coach, and teammate in achieving common goals in life.
“Since we were the youngest in the team and we were the same age, our teammates started pairing us up.”
Mariecar: Jaime and I belong to the same jiu jitsu team. He had been training with the team for around seven months already when I started training with them. I would always see him on the mats and found him attractive, but I never got the chance to talk to him.
One day, the girls on the team were having fun sparring with each other, and since he was nearby, I asked him to take an Instagram Story of us. I thought the interaction would end there, but the girls started teasing us. Since we were the youngest in the team and we were the same age, our teammates started pairing us up. Despite all their teasing, nothing really happened between us because we were both preparing for a jiu jitsu competition.
Before the competition, Jaime and I had a bet that if I won a gold medal, he would treat me to a pretzel after my matches. I only got a bronze medal, so I thought he would no longer treat me to that pretzel. But surprise—he still invited me to have pretzels with him!
After a few weeks of constant communication, he started to formally ask me out. We are on our ninth month together now.
Having your special someone as your training partner makes you more motivated to train each time you feel like you just want to binge-watch TV series. Plus, I now have an adventure buddy whenever I want to try other sports—we also do wakeboarding together now!
“I had always found him cute, and he always said hi to me, but that was it.”
Alizon: I was assigned to Singapore for work in 2015. Back then, I was obese and quite unhappy with myself
Around mid-2017, I decided to lose the weight and live a healthier lifestyle. One of the workouts I ended up loving was Fitness First’s Bodypump class. Whenever I’d come home to the Philippines, I’d make sure to attend the class at Fitness First Platinum Aura. Edsel taught this class. I had always found him cute, and he always said hi to me, but that was it.
Around the third quarter of 2018, I was in the Philippines for a vacation again, and I, of course, found myself in Edsel’s class again. We ended up chatting after the class.
Funny story: We soon found out that we were working for competing brands! But that didn’t stop us from texting, and eventually dating.
In the couple of months that followed, we’d meet up either in Singapore or Manila. We were sure about one thing: We wanted to make it work.
Towards the latter part of 2018, I was contacted by my company’s business unit in the Philippines—they were considering me for a role that had freed up. I gave it a shot and was chosen. I eventually moved back to Manila, and eventually moved in with Edsel.
We’ve been together for a year now, living with our two cats and two dogs. Our story’s a simple story of finding each other despite living in different countries and working for competing brands—all because of the gym and our common love for Bodypump.
“We immediately had our first date—just one day after we first talked at the gym!”
Jarryl: Jezreel and I met at the gym through common friends. We didn’t hit it off right away, though. Heck, we never even greeted each other hello for one whole month.
One weekend, I decided to go to the gym to work out alone. As I was going into my third or fourth round of jogging, I saw him stretching at the jogging area. He was looking at me, so I decided to say hello for once. He asked if he could join me, and I said yes because sometimes it can get boring jogging on your own.
We spent our jog talking; afterwards, we went our separate ways so we could each do our own workouts. When I was done with my workout, I went around to find him and say goodbye. I just thought he would look for me if I didn’t.
Little did I know that that little gesture would leave a lasting impression on him. He added me on Facebook and asked for my number that same day. The next day, he asked me if I’d like to go with him to an Indian restaurant. We immediately had our first date—just one day after we first talked at the gym!
We’re in an LDR at the moment (hence the picture!), but we’ve been in a relationship for one year and three months now. Good things really happen when you least expect it!
“We were both sporty, and we had a jock-and-cheerleader dynamic—except she was the jock, and I was the cheerleader.”
Jason: We met at our uni’s gym. I first saw Pat from across the basketball court; I was just working out then, while she was training for an inter-college basketball competition.
I had to go and say hi, or whatever pitiful pickup line I had in my head at that time. It turned out okay, I guess—she isn’t wrong when she says I botched this first chat, but hey, she gave me a chance! We saw each other more in the coming weeks.
We were both sporty, and we had a jock-and-cheerleader dynamic—except she was the jock, and I was the cheerleader. If we ever had to go to a costume party dressed in our old kits, I’d lose 100 percent of the time.
As it turned out, fitness would remain at the core of our relationship. Over the next several months, and even years after becoming an official couple, we bonded over getting stronger together. She introduced me to yoga (some of the sweatiest and suffer-est 90 minutes of my life), and she joined me at the start of my CrossFit, circuit training, and running journey. We (still) geek out on workouts, fan-gush over our favorite CrossFit athletes, and plan many of our dates around weekend WOD sessions.
We met at our uni’s gym, and we haven’t stopped meeting in other gyms, CF boxes, race routes, lifting platforms, and yoga studios for years now. We started a journey rooted in fitness, and that’s how we plan to keep going!