Going to the gym has incredible benefits for your physical and mental health- but it can be incredibly frustrating to go when you have guys staring at you at the gym.
It may make you feel scared, worried about your safety, or even disrupt the flow of your workout.
In general, when people workout- they zone out. So quite a few people that look around the gym actually pay no attention to you- even if their eyes are looking right at you.
But, most of us can agree you can tell when there is just a guy staring at you nonstop repeatedly- and that’s when things get dangerous.
Obviously, since none of us really care about the occasional glance- this post is oriented towards solving the issue of that weirdo that thinks you don’t see him staring the whole time you do squats- every single time.
Here is a full list of what you can do to stop guys staring at you in the gym. I’m going to start this list off with some more conventional methods, and get more intense as we move down.
#1 – Tell The Gym Owner
While this option seems the most obvious, a lot of women don’t actually do it because they fear that:
- A) Nothing will happen
- B) That gym owners don’t care
The truth is, gym owners prioritize things like this. Gym owners want to have ALL of their members feeling safe, even if it may not seem like it. If you don’t feel safe, chances are you will tell other people and they will stop paying for that gym too.
Furthermore, some places like Anytime Fitness, SNAP Fitness, or even Planet Fitness will fire the gym owner if they don’t take the safety of their gym members seriously. That means- even if they own the gym- corporate will kick them out and they will be out of not only an investment, but a job.
Honestly, most gym owners these days do genuinely care about their gym member’s safety (30-40 years ago it may have been different) regardless of the risk of them getting fired. This means that if you do lodge a complaint to the owner about someone repeatedly staring at you, it will probably get fixed.
Lastly, gyms are more popular than ever. Gyms don’t have to “fight” for customers anymore like they used to. They can revoke someone’s membership at a moment’s notice and not even worry about it. And a lot of gym memberships are slimey enough that they will charge a fee if someone gets kicked out.
What does this mean? Well, in the 21st century, gym owners can kick a member out without losing a monetary investment or causing the gym owner to struggle with their bills. Honestly, these days gyms will kick you out for bringing a friend in the doors once (talking from experience…), so they are more than willing to kick out a member threatening someone’s safety.
How Do I Do This?
If you’re anybody like me, you’ve probably seen your gym owner about 0 times in your life. I swear these guys work 3 hours a month max (it’s their millionaire fastlane mindset), and their office hours are so strange (4:35AM-4:36AM).
Most places however do listen to all of their voicemails and read their e-mails daily. Some gyms even have a suggestion box that they check (although, I wouldn’t rely on this for an immediate response).
The best idea is to come in during business hours and sit down face to face with the owner or one of the staff members. This will make sure that your complaint is heard.
If you’re unable to do that, calling during business hours and/or leaving a voicemail or e-mail should do the trick.
If they don’t respond to that, call their corporate office and even leave a review of the gym stating what is going on. (They will be quick to respond to that one…)
Now, the gym owners can’t just kick out the person you want right away without investigating. So, it’s a good idea to provide as much details, timestamps, and information as possible.
The best way to file the complaint is like this:
Write down what times you go to the gym and when you’re seeing that individual. Explain when the individual is looking at you, and what you’re doing when they are looking.
Most gyms have high-quality cameras for insurance claims already, so they will be able to see everything that’s going on.
(I used to be friends with a gym owner of a SNAP Fitness, and she told me her locations regularly got vandalized [machines broken, ripped apart, etc] so they all usually had good camera systems so they could get the insurance claim accepted. Unfortunately, she still had to pay for quite a bit with her own money…)
My point is, however, that if you give them the right information, they will be able to see his head staring right at you during those situations and make the right call to talk to him or get him out.
Usually, if they yell at the person they will learn their lesson not to do it. But, when they are a genuine creep- you can usually tell and they will get them out right away. (You know what I”m saying? The difference between a high school boy going through puberty versus a 30 year old unshaven man who hasn’t showered in 3 weeks and has 6 restraining orders on him)
This should fix the problem, but if it doesn’t we have a few other solutions (but it’s probably a good idea you move gyms anyway for your own safety).
#2 – Go With One of Your Guy Friends (or make a guy friend at the gym!)
Say you’re working out with a 300 lb meat monster with arms the size of Rich Piana. This guy will suddenly not want to be caught staring at you.
This also doubles as a way for the guy you’re with to confront the other guy. Men are much better at confronting other men. This means if your guy friend is with you and notices it, he can immediately call out the behavior and the accused person will likely be running scared.
- Read: Can Bodybuilders Fight?
Usually, when women argue, it is just vocal. But when men argue or challenge another man, it usually results in a physical altercation. Generally, creeps at the gym aren’t too muscular or strong anyways- and if they need to creep on women at the gym, they probably have a low testosterone level anyways.
What does this mean? The accused stalker will likely want to avoid confrontation at all costs (most creeps do) and knowing that there is a guy who has your back- he will likely get out of there fast.
It ties back into that whole thing our moms have told us about having a police officer or one of your male coworkers escort you to your car if it’s dark outside. These creeps know they will get their teeth kicked in by any real man- so they avoid attacking you when you have a guy with you.
(Not trying to say women can’t defend themselves, but scientifically and genetically women are just much weaker than men. And it’s not a good idea to risk your safety)
The same premise applies here. If this creep at the gym sees you with another muscular guy, he will probably back off just in the fear of getting hurt.
- Read: Are Gym Scales Accurate?
If you don’t have any guy friends, don’t worry. Most guys at the gym care about the safety of everybody around them too. If you’ve seen a regular there for sometime that you can trust, you might want to talk to them about the creep who has been looking at you. 99% of the time they will talk to him for you or offer you protection from him.
#3 – Call the Police (Yes, 911.)
If the gym owners aren’t responding, it may be time to call the police about it.
Truthfully, there is a very low chance that any charges get filed against the perpetrator- but the gym owner having a police officer banging on his door demanding an explanation will likely fix the situation very quickly.
Furthermore, it may help in the event that this creep starts following you outside of the gym. Having a documented trail with law enforcement may help in a restraining order case.
Additionally, if the person already has a history, is on probation/parole, or is a registered sex offender- they may be sent back to prison for potentially violating the terms of their agreement.
For instance, some sex offenders cannot go within 1 mile of an elementary school. However, it’s not just limited to places like school, depending on what they were charged for- it could even include gyms or places that other women frequent.
Now, the most likely result is that your gym owner gets a notice from the police which will likely fix things instantly at your gym. But, you are also helping anybody else that may feel threatened by him too by providing a history for the courts to look at.
#4 – Talk to Other Women in the Gym About It
Chances are, this creep may not just be creeping on you. There may be other women at the gym that feel incredibly uncomfortable by his actions or what he is doing.
You could collect a group of people that could petition the gym owner to act, or even create a larger police report.
Bare minimum- you get a support group that can help you through this. Being crept on or stared at while working out can seriously ruin someone’s gym experience.
#5 – Stare at Him Back (Not recommended)
Now, I don’t recommend this for the risk of your own safety. I mean, absolutely please do not do this.
But, if it’s an instance where it’s just some young high school boy, a stare may be all he needs to learn his lesson.
I do have quite a few women friends that practice MMA like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and can wrestle anyone out cold. I also know quite a few of my women friends use concealed carry handguns in their purses. If you are one of those women- it may be worth it to stand your ground.
I personally, again, do not recommend this at all. But, many other women online on forums, blogs, and discussion boards have talked about it working.
Like I said, I think there’s a case to be made that this works for some of those people that ‘stare’ but aren’t really ‘creeps’ (such as a 14-year-old boy)- but if it’s anything more than that I highly recommend you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.
You really have no way of knowing someone’s true intentions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and NOT confront them directly/alone.
#6 – Wear The Baggiest Clothing You Can Imagine
I hate suggesting this, as I think you should be able to wear whatever’s comfortable in the gym (heck, I just go in sweatpants and a white t-shirt, it may be unfashionable but it feels comfortable).
But, the truth is- if you wear super baggy clothing where the creep can’t see anything- chances are, he will back off. I really only recommend this if you have no other option available (no other gyms within like 40 miles).
At my gym, one of my friends comes in wearing XXL basketball shorts and an XXL hoodie, she keeps her hoodie up the whole time and you’d never even guess it’s a woman working out. She is also very aggressive to anyone that stares at her, and will frequently scare those creeps out of the gym. I respect her a lot.
I don’t know her story, but I feel like she has been hurt in the past, and I really like that she stands up for the other scared women in the gym and chases those creeps out.
While I don’t like that she is forced to wear that to the gym, I see why she does it. And ultimately, if you have no other option, it’s worth a shot.
Like I said though, it’s probably best you just switch gyms to get out of harm’s way. But if you are sitting here telling me you have absolutely NO OTHER option, this may be your temporary solution until you can get away from that creep.
#7 – Switch Gyms If All Else Fails
Look, I’ve been gifted to have a life where I have traveled the country and have met literally hundreds of thousands of people. And I will tell you first hand, so many women overestimate their safety.
There are some seriously messed up people out there. And your safety is not something you want to be toying with. If the creep isn’t kicked out of your gym or whatever the case may be, it’s much better to just switch gyms so you can be safe.
It’s not worth your life or safety to stay at that same gym, even if you have to drive another 10-20 minutes, your safety is invaluable. Do NOT put yourself at risk for the small price of changing gyms.
Everybody says, “It will never happen to me”. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way, many of these men often have nothing to lose- so jail time is nothing to them. Be safe and be smart.
Having guys stare at you in the gym can be one of the worst things to experience. It isn’t just a ‘stare’ sometimes- it can be much more than that.
For someone who isn’t necessarily a threat to you, a stern stare may be all they need to knock it off. But, I recommend first and foremost contacting your gym owner, getting a guy friend at the gym to work out with, and even contacting the police if you’re being crept on hard enough.
Don’t put yourself in danger, use the proper resources to ensure your safety. Your life is invaluable, and there are some messed-up folks out there- so stay safe.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any other ways to get the creeps to stop staring, and I will add it to this post.