How to Make Friends at the Gym

Toronto firefighter, wife, and super mom of two busy kids, Lindsay Hamilton, has been hitting the gym since she was a teenager. Enrolled in army cadets when she was twelve, Lindsay knew she either wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter and was going to be prepared for either.

Physically fit woman sits in a meditation pose wearing black on a black background.

Reebok CrossFit Firepower Gym

Now a member at the Reebok CrossFit Firepower gym in Milton, Ontario, Lindsay doesn’t shy away from a tough workout. So much so that you may even recognize her from the gym’s Foundations Program video, performing deadlifts, squats, suspension training, kettlebells, and rowing. “I would like to enter a CrossFit competition at some point! Maybe soon!”

Not only is Lindsay loving the CrossFit gym for the health and fitness benefits, she’s also making friends and gathering support. “I love the great family and social atmosphere the CrossFit classes provide. [The people at the gym] welcome you into their family!”

Physically fit woman performs a bicep curl wearing black on a black background.

She might be on to something here. If you are looking to get fit, but are busy like Lindsay, and the last time you made a new friend was on the booze cruise your first week of college, then you probably could benefit from making friends at the gym.  You are more than likely going to get along with the people there because they are like minded, have shared interests, value exercise, have similar lifestyles and, quite possibly, similar goals to you. Making friends and being social at the gym works for busy individuals because it combines two activities into one without having to worry about squeezing more things into an already jam-packed schedule. It’s multitasking at its finest. And it might just give you a reason to keep showing up to the gym and push you harder while you’re there. “[My CrossFit family] helps push me to keep going when I’m tired and try harder while I’m at the gym.”

Physically fit woman preparing for a kettlebell exercise wearing black on a black background.

Active Inspiration

Lindsay says that her CrossFit family is her inspiration to continue working out and being active. “My biggest inspiration is all the beautiful girls at the gym who are always there with you, pushing you harder everyday to try your best!” It’s also an outlet for support for Lindsay when she needs it most. “…The gym provides support through coaching and friendships.”

Physically fit woman prepping for a deadlift wearing black on a black background.

It’s the support, inspiration, motivation, and family environment from the gym that makes Lindsay want to work out. But it’s also the health benefits. “I just want to live a long and healthy life! I know I feel better physically and mentally if I can get a workout in.” In addition to the gym, she will also “…make an effort to run or workout everyday before work.”

It’s not just running and hitting the gym that make Lindsay as fit as she is. “I think that your diet is 90% of your overall health.  You are what you eat!” Similar to Jessie’s diet, Lindsay likes “…to stick to a diet of lots of vegetables, lean meats and fruits. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day, oatmeal, with fruit and nuts, which gives me lots of energy to start my day.”

Physically fit woman sits on the floor wearing black on a black background.

Active Family Life

The physical and mental health benefits of CrossFit exercise translates into her work life too. “I find CrossFit to be the best workout for getting great results and providing the fundamentals I need for my work.” She also finds it beneficial for her family life: “We encourage our children to be outdoors and play any sport that interests them.  We are an active adventure seeking family!”

Physically fit woman holding a medicine ball push up wearing black on a black background.

Quick Q & A

What’s your favourite exercise outfit?

Lindsay: I love to wear shorts and a tank top, since I get really hot when I work out.

What’s your favourite brand of active wear?

Lindsay: I have CrossFit Nanos for working out and I love my Brooks Runners for getting out on the trail for a run!

Where do you shop for your gear?

Lindsay: I like lululemon for yoga, and Reebok for fitness apparel.

Physically fit Woman Holding the Tree Pose in a foggy autumn field.

What is your favourite piece of equipment in your gym?

Lindsay: Weights. I love doing Olympic lifting.  I love the commitment it requires and the practice involved to become skillful in these movements.

Physically fit woman holding a weight wearing black on a black background.

What is your favourite exercise?

Lindsay: Squat cleans, back squat, deadlifts.

What songs are on your workout playlist?

Lindsay: The gym has their own music and each instructor has their own style! When I run, I never run with music, it’s my time to think. I love 80’s pop though!

Do you have a snack food vice?

Lindsay: I love salt, so chips are definitely a vice.

Physically fit Woman stretching in a foggy autumn field.

How Busy People Stay Active

If you’re reading this article because you’re wondering how to fit exercise and nutrition into your busy schedule, Lindsay has some helpful tips. “Just take it one day at a time. Make small goals for each month and try to reach them.  Keep practicing, you can achieve anything!”

Physically fit Woman ready to run in a foggy autumn field.


Don’t forget to check out the next post in my photo series, Using Fitness to Battle Breast Cancer, featuring Michelle Goldrick, a personal trainer in London, Ontario, mom, & breast cancer survivor shares how she used fitness to battle breast cancer.

If you lead an active lifestyle and would like to be photographed by Julie Whelan Photography, contact us to book your photo session now.

About Julie Whelan

Julie Whelan, professional photographer of over fifteen years, has had the opportunity to shoot all over the globe--from capturing portraits in Vanuatu to shooting off rooftops in Maui to photographing products in Calgary. She now finds herself in Ontario photographing outdoor adventures and the active lifestyles of athletic individuals and athletes in competition & training. Julie has also worked with professional athletes such as Don Cherry, Darryl Sittler, and Roberto Alomar. When not behind the lens, Julie likes to unwind with a good book or spending time in the garden.

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