This question could be considered a bit tough as the answer could go either way. There very well may be two answers that would be right. The easy answer would be to merely say it depends on the gym and the overall attitude of its members, but the answer actually requires a more in depth look at the situation.
There are those gyms that are known for being the best places to get your social groove on, while others are hardcore and may get you seriously injured if you try to score with one of their patrons. These gyms are fairly simple to differentiate between and the members are also pretty easily understood with just a quick glance. But what about those gyms that have a mixture of both types of members, how can you decide whether or not make a move?
Common sense should make the determination of hardcore gym rat from social butterfly a ‘no brainer,’ but the ones in between can be a bit tricky and say the wrong and you are branded an outcast and might as well find a new gym. At some gyms, the personal trainers can give you a good idea of how this gym flows just by their remarks to potential clients. A personal trainer who comments on your bikini beach body potential and how they are the perfect trainer to get you thong worthy is a good indication that flirty behavior is accepted here.
In the more hardcore gyms such behavior is an irritant as its time taken away from training and more of a distraction than anything else. Personal trainers try to build a rapport with their clients to get them healthier and more physically fit. Watch the trainers, and if they seem overly flirty, then it might be all right to test the waters a bit at that gym. Never forget that a personal trainer derives his livelihood from getting the gym’s members to purchase training sessions with him or her, so take this into account when observing so as not to confuse flirtation with salesmanship.
People that are at a gym to train for a specific reason, such as a sport or bodybuilding do not want to be distracted by anything, especially someone that is trying to hit on them. Look at someone’s face, look at the sweat dripping off him or her; this is the key indicator of their focus. Even at the more trendy social gyms you need to use common sense. If you get on the treadmill next to someone who is chugging along at a fast pace with headphones connected to an iPod, it a really good bet that the really don’t want to be disturbed. People, women in particular don’t always go to the gym to make a fashion statement and meet guys, although it can be a good place to socialize if you only know when and how.
The 'when' is at that point in time when the person is not actually in the middle of an exercise or concentrating on a body part.
Some think an open treadmill or exercise bike next a pretty girl or buff guy is an invitation to flirt. It is not. If you just must make contact in the gym there are good places to do it. A smile at the water fountain is a great place to start, just remember that their heavy breathing is most likely not due to you.
The walk to the parking lot after a good workout is acceptable as well. But the best method of meeting someone at the gym is to have a friend or personal introduce you to a person in passing, this way the next time you see them at the gym you can use the best pick up line of all times, “hello.”