When Is a Personal Trainer Hitting on You?

Is he just trying to get your business? Is he trying to get INTO your business? Or does he genuinely like you?


Those of you who have been following me for a while know I spend too much time at the gym.* But since I work from home--and since my neighborhood is in the middle of nowhere (though I'm moving next week!)--there are some days when I have to go to the gym if I want to have any human interaction.** Anyway, last night, as I was approaching the facility, waiting for the light to change, I noticed some guy getting something out of his car. He was only wearing a tank top and shorts but he could get away with it, despite the fact that it was bundle-up cold, because he was smokin' hot. In fact, anyone with his physique should really wear that kind of outfit all the time, in order to lift the spirits of the masses. Though I didn't let him catch me looking at him, I took my time crossing the street--as he locked his car and walked into the gym--so I could make the most of my opportunity to objectify him. Once I finished licking my chops, I entered myself.

After about 30 minutes of working out, I got off the bench, where I'd been doing some arm exercises, and--it was quite late by then--let out an enormous yawn. I was holding dumbbells, so I didn't cover my mouth, although I did kinda shrug my shoulder, like I was acknowledging that I should've covered it. As someone went past me--on his way to put away some (much larger) dumbbells--he said, "You trying to show off your biceps?" I said, "No, I was trying to show off my tonsils, actually." He laughed ... and I realized it was Mr. Tank Top himself. By then, however, he was wearing a T-shirt with the gym name on it, thereby covering up his fine-hewn shoulders--and severely diminishing the morale of a certain female exerciser. The new gear also marked him as a physical trainer.

I went about my business for another few minutes before Mr. TT came over to talk to my about my "form"--I wasn't doing my lat pull-downs correctly, apparently. So he told me how to do them--and got on the machine himself to demonstrate as he did, asking me to put my hand in the center of his upper back so I could feel how the muscles were supposed to move. And let me tell you, I felt it. Then, to show me the proper way to hold the bar, he put his hands on mine, of course, and also felt my upper back muscles to make sure I was doing it correctly. (I'll show you doing it correctly, buster.) Then he asked if I was a dancer, saying, "I always see you stretching over in the corner--you gotta be a dancer, anyone as flexible as you are." (Uh-ho! Do I?)

Anyway, he's undeniably smokin' hot. With perfect gleaming teeth, and an almost-perfect smile, all the more perfect for its one tiny flaw--one side of his lower lip is slightly thinner than the other, which makes him look a little shy and sheepish--adorable!--when he grins.

All the same, I know that what I am feeling is only physical attraction. I tend to be more compatible with writers, artists and other creative wankers, so I don't really have a crush on him.

Also, I've done the physical trainer thing. Back in my late twenties, I had a brief affair with an outrageously sexy puffy-lipped, sweet TWENTY-YEAR-OLD physical trainer--I've always been a cradle-robber. And in my early twenties, I smooched a different trainer ONE TIME ONLY after he'd been hitting on me for about a year, right before I was about to leave the gym where he worked, after he talked me into letting him give me a free massage. (Never ever innocent--an offer of a massage.) Two trainers is probably more than enough for one lifetime.

But ... oh, Mr. Tank Top!

do kind of wonder if he has a crush on me--or if he's just doing his job.

Like: Physical trainers: are they talking to you because they like you like you, or because they need a new client?

One thing about Mr. Tank Top: After our initial contact, he came over to me a few different times during the night, to offer me different exercise tips. But he never once said he was a physical trainer. He told me his name--but he never gave his card or told me his rates.

With the two physical trainers from my past, before they could even introduce themselves, I told them that I wasn't interested in training sessions and that even if I was, I couldn't pay for them. Despite that, they both keep chatting with me every time I went to the gym where either one worked ... and we got to know each other over a period of many, many months before anything happened. So ...

I guess what I'm saying is this: When any physical trainer starts talking to you at a gym, assume he's guilty (of only being in it for the business transaction). If he keeps talking to you after you've made it perfectly clear you're not going to hire him--and he keeps talking to you--and makes a few offers to take you out for dinner--and a few months pass ... I suppose after that, you can start to let your guard down.

That leaves the question: Is it ever wise to date physical trainers--with their perfect bodies, and their access to the bodies of women everywhere, and their smooth-talking salesmanship?

Welll ... my Baby Trainer was a sweetheart. Mr. Massage, on the other hand, was a player extraordinaire--which is why I didn't do anything but kiss him, and not even that till the very last night I worked out at his gym. As with so many things, I think it depends on the person.



*I make the most of it: I've been reading Love in the Time of Cholera

and Great Expectations on the summit trainer this week, and I've been trying to memorize vocabulary words while I do the nautilus machines.

**Also, exercise helps you keep depression under control.


dear commenters:

-Ellen: I meant have the guy help you give your friend directions to the party you're already at ... ? Think that works? Nice job, picking up Baby Bar Guy.

-Phillay: I think you're right--being nice and interested in someone else rarely hurts. (Except in NYC. People here are all into power--and by flattering them, you concede that they are powerful, and the game is over--they're done with you! So you have to flatter ... and then pull away.)