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Is gym “hook-up” culture real or imagined?

by Athena Yap

A LOT of gym goers or so-called gym rats spoke up on Tiktok after Liezl Ongsing, a content creator, alleged on the platform that there was a hook-up culture in the gym.

“First of all,”  she said, “hindi masama ang pagkakaroon ng hook-up culture, marami yan, guys”

Ongsing’s post caught the attention of so many netizens. They bashed her. It prompted her to delete the post after she received flak from other gym goers.

Hook-up means having any form of intimacy with your partner that is not considered a girlfriend or boyfriend. It is a term usually used by millennials and Gen Zs nowadays when they make-out or have sex with someone who is not their partner. It is also used when they simply to meet up with someone they find interesting.

A  gym, of course, is a place where people exercise and meet with fellow fitness enthusiasts. But then, it seems that some people see it as their hook-up spot, a place to see and be seen. And those who do become the  talk of the town; well, at least among gym regular habitues.

In his Tiktok post, Chico Cruz, another gym enthusiast and content creator, dismissed the claims of a hook up culture in the gym. He said there was no ongoing noise about hook-up culture allegedly found in fitness centers. Well, at least in his favorite gym.

But Cruz said that he was alarmed about the viral issue on Tiktok about the alleged gym hook-up culture.

“Yung totoo, tayong mga gym rat, naka-focus lang tayo sa workout natin at improving ourselves,” he said.

“This was my experience both sa bakal gym at commercial gym.”

Chico said he has so far never encountered someone whose goal in going to the gym was just to have a date. He posted these comments, he said, only to raise awareness and let no one fear going to the fitness centers.

“I think it is such a small minority, not even considered a culture, hindi siya defining for gym goers,” he said. 

There is no such thing as hook-up culture going around the gym; perhaps it is a rare instance. But it could happen anywhere, he said.

“It (hook-ups) could happen anywhere, it’s not specific to the gym. Pwede siya mangyari sa Starbucks, in the mall, in the libraries, bookstore,” he said.

Chico received mixed comments in his post and some even tagged Liezl and because of this. He kind of wanted to turn off his comment section because he personally did not want to attack his fellow content creator, he said. He just wanted to clear up the issue about why people go to the gym.

“I was just clarifying yung perception ko and hopefully walang ma-intimidate sa pag-gym. Yung iba naman na sobrang, nagalit, I hope they don’t bash her (Liezl),” he said.

Chico gave his two cents’ worth to people with a partner who loves going to the gym.

“Just don’t give the number,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it is always up to the person to decide.”

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