How to Talk to a Fitness Newby
The first thing you need to do when talking with someone new is get them out of their comfort zone. You have to start off slow and build up the interaction until they feel comfortable enough with you that they are willing to talk about themselves. Once they are comfortable enough, then it’s time for the fun part!
Ask questions: “What’s your name?” or “Where are you from?”
These questions will give you some basic information about the person without getting too personal.
2) Be genuine: Don’t try to impress them or make yourself look better than you are. People like being approached by real people and not robots.
3) Keep it short: A conversation shouldn’t last longer than five minutes, but if it does, cut it down a bit.
If you keep going for too long, you’ll probably just bore them.
4) Make eye contact: When making eye contact, make sure that both of your eyes stay on the same page at all times.
This means don’t move your head or shift your body position.
5) Smile: Smiling makes people feel good and it shows that you’re friendly and approachable.
You want to show a positive attitude so smile whenever possible during conversations with strangers.
6) Listen: One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they talk too much.
If you are trying to start a conversation with someone, be sure to listen to what they have to say and ask follow up questions to their answers. Get them to open up about themselves and you will learn more about them in a short period of time rather than talking about yourself the whole time.
7) Compliment: Try to find something about that person that you like and tell them.
Everyone loves compliments, even if they don’t seem like it.
8) Stay humble: Even if the person you are talking to seems to like you, never talk yourself up or brag excessively.
This is a good way to make people not want to talk to you again in the future.
9) Listen, listen, listen: The final and most important rule to remember is to listen more than you talk.
People like others who make them feel good about themselves and by asking questions and listening to the answers, you do exactly that.
Here are some good openers to use during some of your approaches:
A simple, “Hey (subject), what’s up?”
is a great way to start a conversation because it’s short and simple. It gives your target something to respond to and it’s open-ended so you can go in any direction with it that you want.
2) A compliment, although risky, can be a great way to start a conversation with someone because most people don’t mind talking to someone that likes them. Try to find something genuine to compliment about your target and then build from there.
3) If you see someone you know and want to talk to them while you’re with your target, make sure to introduce the two of them.
After the initial introduction is made, it’s up to you on where you want the conversation to go. Keep in mind that if you want to branch out and talk to other people at the bar, you should at least make sure that your friends are in a good position to join your target if they want to do so.
4) Small talk about the environment is always a good way to start a conversation.
If you see someone with a hoodie on, ask them if they’re cold, if you see someone with shorts and sunglasses on, ask them if it’s sunny outside, stuff like that. Just make sure your target knows that the question is specifically for them and not just general conversation that you’re having with yourself.
5) A simple introduction can go along way.
If you see someone standing by themselves or see an group of people that you don’t know, introduce yourself and try to join their circle for a bit. Remember to be confident and outgoing.
Opening is just the first step in getting to know someone, but it’s a very important step so make sure to use as many tricks as you can to keep your targets feeling good so they’ll want to stay around you.
Sources & references used in this article:
The very essentials of fitness for trial assessment in Canada by D Newby, R Faltin – Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 2008 – Taylor & Francis
From bar bet to fitness craze for weekend warriors: A genealogical analysis of the Ironman® triathlon by W Bridel – Leisure/Loisir, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
Design characteristics of fitness games in a Learning Disabilities context by L Liu – 2018 – eprints.lancs.ac.uk
Virtual Fitness Community: Online Behavior on a Croatian Fitness Forum by K Feldvari, A Dremel, SS Katavić – International Conference on Human …, 2020 – Springer
Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, and Anxiety by SJ Petruzzello – Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2018 – oxfordre.com
Pain and disability in low back injured individuals participating in a physical fitness program by SM LeFort – 1989 – research.library.mun.ca
Focus Groups: Attitudes towards Giving Advice on Fitness to Drive–Discussion of Barriers and Facilitators by C Hawley, N Galbraith, ML Lavery – 2010 – researchgate.net
Is tissue cross-talk important in cancer cachexia? by S Schlosberg – 2001 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt