We get it. Amped by testosterone and endorphins, not to mention the flesh-friendly outfits of Lululemon's newest collection, most men fall in love at the gym at least 10 times per visit. But, let's put this question out there, how many couples do you know who met in the free weights section when he decided to wander over and break into her workout with a compliment about her lats? Or the invitation of a green juice after?

We'll tell you how many none, nada, zip, the amount of interest that major gym chains show in you once you're on direct debit. Wanna know why? Because this is a functional space - at least in the eyes of the women who go there. Whereas for men, there is the persistent fantasy of form plus function - the ability to work out and maybe chat to a moist stranger. A 3D Tinder if you will.

We're not saying it's impossible to hook up - even with long-term results - at the gym. It's just trickier than advanced Bikram and many men disqualify themselves from the running before the game's even started. Mainly because they are unwitting gym douches. See if any of the following tell-tale signs seem familiar

Shot happens

How to tell if you're a gym douche

There is only one permissible use of a mobile phone in the gym area and that is to listen to music. Got that? If you have to get off on your bulging whatevers, glance discreetly at the abundant mirrors but so help us if you whip out your phone to take a shot of yourself, every woman in the place will immediately think "wanker". Which incidentally will be an apt label as none of them will even think about dating you later. And if you have to take a call in mid workout, stay in the one goddamn place instead of pacing around and trying to make yourself heard over the beats. "I SAID WE NEED TO GET THOSE COSTINGS TO THE 2IC ASAP!" Dick.

Thanks, but no
Do you work at the gym? Are you an accredited fitness instructor? No? No? Then she doesn't need your help. With anything. If you want to say hello, do it but this maiden in distress pretext is as much of a turn on as Aldi catalogue.

Give the staff a break
That physiotherapy student pulling a double shift at reception is probably juggling a mounting HECS debt, the need to pay her/his rent, the small matter of eating and trying to be vaguely profesh to boot. Just give her your card to swipe and move the hell on. She really doesn't care that her eyes are looking particularly green today or that you have a twinge in your dorsal.

Water wise
No one's denying the importance of hydration. But there's etiquette to be observed when it's via a communal bubbler. Simply put, if your lips touch the spout, they probably won't be touching those of the woman waiting in line behind you. Ditto the rim of your water bottle hitting the bubbler faucet. It's just gross, bro.

How to tell if you're a gym douche

Leave it as you found it
What you probably don't understand champ is that women are awake to minutiae of behaviour that you are on pure autopilot for. It's apparently called Emotional Intelligence - or some such, we weren't really paying attention. Point is, your most simple gestures, or more importantly lack thereof, reveal genuine insights to your character. Which is what will get you across the line when it comes to romance. Fail to wipe your sweat off a bench? Inconsiderate. Leave the pins in the weight for someone else to move? Self centred. You getting the picture? Because she is.

How to tell if you're a gym douche