Whether you’ve just moved to a new area or recently decided to add exercise to your weekly routine, choosing the right gym can encourage you to go there more often and therefore see positive results.
If you have time, it’s a good idea to visit a few gyms before deciding on one to see the different things on offer and the setup of the gym itself.
With that said, here are a few more things to consider before you sign a contract.
Choosing the Right Gym Tip #1
Rent and parking
Is the gym located in a place where you would actually go before or after work, or even on the weekends? Women tend not to attend a gym that requires more than a 12-minute drive, so make sure the gym is close enough to where you work or live.
Choosing the right gym tip #2
Are the staff polite and helpful or do they look at you in a territorial way? It is important to feel welcome by the staff or you may not want to go there very often.
What about the members? Although you can’t go there for a week straight to see them all, you can get an idea of what the clientele is like (I suggest visiting the gyms at a time when you plan to go there and work out).
Feel free to ask members if they like it, what they don’t like about the gym, and how long they’ve been a member. They have nothing to gain by lying.
Choosing the right gym tip #3
While gyms can’t be 100% germ-free, staff can make an effort to dust and clean machines regularly. If you see vents filled with years of dust or unhygienic practices, you shouldn’t join.
Are towels and cleaning products available for members to clean up in case they end up sweating on the machines?
In addition to seeing the actual gym, take a look at the locker rooms. Are the showers clean? Are the sinks full of hair and dirt? Are the toilets working properly and are they hygienic? Empty lockers full of dirty handkerchiefs and dried mud from women’s shoes?
Choosing the right gym tip #4
In addition to workout facilities, does the gym offer babysitting services, juice bars, and tanning beds? It’s amazing when your gym becomes a one stop shop for all your needs.
What about hair dryers, towels, shampoo and soap? Does the gym offer these things or will you have to bring them yourself? I’ve been to gyms that offer everything from free apples to locks for your lockers, but the membership costs were ridiculous.
Choosing the right gym tip #5
Hours of operation
Not only do you want to know what time the gym opens and closes, but you also want to go there at the time you plan to work out. This will help you determine if this is the gym for you.
For example, if you plan to do a lot of cardio at 5:30 pm, and the gym is packed and all the machines are occupied, it’s best to know before you sign up.
Choosing the right gym tip #6
weight training equipment
What weight do they offer? Do the weights go up in 2.5 pound increments or 5 pound increments (if you’re a beginner, 2.5 pound increments are better)? Do the weights look old and battered or are they well maintained? Are there many banks?
What about weighted machines? Are any of them broken or are they all well maintained? Are there instructions on how to use the posted machines or are you left to guess what each machine is for?
Choosing the right gym tip #7
Most gyms offer a large amount of cardio equipment, with the most popular being:
or elliptical machines
o Static and spinning bikes
or climb stairs
or rowing machines
Not only should you check to see if the cardio equipment is well-maintained and in good working order, but you should also make a mental note of how many machines there are. During peak hours, most, if not all, are likely to be taken.
Do you need to log in to reserve a machine or does it work on a first come first served basis? Is there a maximum amount of time a machine can use?
Also, is there an aerobics room available for jumping rope and other cardio activities?
Choosing the right gym tip #8
Some gyms offer aerobics classes as part of the cost of membership, while others charge you extra to attend classes. If yoga, pilates, tae bo, and other classes are very important to you, then you need to find out how each particular gym works.
Choosing the right gym tip #9
If you’re reviewing franchise gyms, ask about their gym-to-gym policy. That is, if you join this gym near your home and it turns out that there is one near your work, can you go to another without problem?
Some franchise gyms require you to purchase a “special” membership to attend all available facilities.
Choosing the right gym tip #10
Find out how the payment plan works. Sometimes it’s much cheaper to pay for the entire year at once than to make monthly payments, but it’s up to you to determine which option is best for you.
Also, find out about the gym’s cancellation or delay policy. Some gyms will give you a partial refund and allow you to suspend your membership if you want to go on vacation.
However, before you commit to the gym for a year, request a complimentary pass so you can experience what the gym is like firsthand.
Choose the right gym
As you can see, there’s a lot of ground to cover when looking for the perfect gym, but with a little effort and a lot of questions, you can find the perfect place to work out.
Work it out.