This woman's technique for discouraging men at the gym is brilliant

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Megan Murray
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Two women have been praised by social media users for their hilarious and unique way of deterring unwanted attention at the gym. 

If you’re looking for a new tactic to discourage unwanted attention from men while you’re working out (or otherwise), Twitter has a creative new approach for you to try.

Olivia Cole, an author from Kentucky, US, had been at the gym, when she had an interaction so brilliant, that she felt compelled to live Tweet it to spread the word.

Writing to her 27,000 followers, Cole explained that she was in the gym and had just overheard a conversation between two friends which was interrupted by a male gym-goer.

Setting the scene, Cole described how a guy with “flirtatious eyebrows at the ready” made his way over to the two women, presumably to strike up a conversation – which as we all know, is the last thing most people want when in the middle of a workout. 

But instead of nodding along awkwardly or feigning an excuse to leave, behaviour that many of us have adopted when put in this kind of situation, these ladies stood their ground - and pretended to fart instead. 

That’s right. The novel technique to keep people away from your workout zone is to let one rip (or at least, make them think you have).

Summing up the story perfectly, Cole wrote, “GUYS. Just now. In gym.

*guy approaches two women working out, with flirtatious eyebrows at the ready*

Girl 1: UH you might not want to come over here, dude. I just farted. It’s bad.

Guy: *looks horrified. leaves.*

Girl 2: omg did you really?

Girl 1: psh no.”

Cole continued to share some further details, praising Girl 1 on her “creativity” and “finesse”. 

Despite being delighted by what she’d just heard, Cole stifled her laughter in a true sign of solidarity to keep her fellow gym goer’s secret under wraps. In a third tweet, she added, “I literally screamed in the gym. Turned it into a cough so I didn’t give her away.”

It’s no surprise that the tweet was an instant hit, amassing over 131,000 likes and over 22,000 retweets. Hundreds of Cole’s followers replied with a whole host of GIFs and tweets expressing respect for Girl 1 and her friend for not letting a man interrupt their gym time.  

Most women have been approached by a man looking to engage them in an unwanted conversation, whether it be in the street or on a night out. But to prove how much situations like this actually occur in the gym, other women shared their own frustrating experiences highlighting that, although this example is funny, this is a genuine problem women face. 

One Twitter user gave a different example of how she deters men speaking to her while she’s working out, which unfortunately doesn’t often work, writing, “What’s worse is when you are still approached WITH headphones on…continue to ignore and yet they stand there motioning you aggressively to take headphones OFF! 

She continues to make the point that if she wanted to speak while working out she would be initially receptive, “If I was interested in talking…I’d take them off on my OWN.”

Another Twitter user recounted how she was mansplained to at the gym about lifting weights, and even recommended a move to “lose” her “belly”, which in fact was a baby bump. 

“I’m SO doing this. Had guy approach me to tell me my form was “off” & if I did it his way, I’d also be working my abs to lose my belly. I held out my dumbbell & he nearly fell over taking it. He left it on floor & I said, “I’m pregnant. I lift everyday.” Haven’t seen him since.”, she tweeted. 

Of course, some people enjoy socialising at the gym, but this just shows how many women feel targeted by unwanted attention and the lengths they have to go to avoid it. 

For many the gym is a place of focus and self-care, and some men seem unable to grasp the notion that if a woman is getting on with her work-out, she’s probably not up for a chat. 

So Girl 1, hats off to you and your no-nonsense approach. We may well use this trick. 

Images: iStock


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.