For many, it takes courage to join a gym. The expectation of critical members sizing you up as you enter for the first time is enough to put any new trainee off entering a gym. The comfort of your own exercise equipment at home, albeit limited, may have newfound appeal. Not all gyms are the same. Whether they are big or small, upscale or community based, there’s sure to be one that suits your personal requirements.
Factors You Should Consider When Looking For a Gym
- The Price of Joining a Gym. Be aware that a more expensive gym where you feel happy to attend regularly is a better investment than a cheaper one you will never attend. Be upfront with requesting membership prices when shopping around for a gym. Even seek a complementary workout or two to evaluate if that gym is right for you. Pay for what you need. If there’s an aerobic room, pool, sauna, etc and you don’t intend to use these, maybe your money is better invested elsewhere. Choose a gym that meets your specific needs.
- Gym Location. The closer it is to your home or work – the better. This will give you much less excuses to skip workouts. Consider also if the gym is part of a chain which allows you to train at multiple locations. This is a must consideration for individuals who travel as part of their job.
- Gym Opening Hours. Look at the opening hours of the gym and relate these to your schedule. A 24 hour facility can be a real asset when you work varied shifts, or if you use the excuse of there not being enough time in the day to work out.
- How Crowded is The Gym? Visit the gym at a time that you intend to train there. This will give you a feel for just how busy it can be, and will help you get a feel for how you feel to be there. Ultimately, no matter how good a gym is, if it is too crowded when you intend to train there, chances are you will have to wait a long time to use equipment, and this can be demotivating. Also check on parking availability whilst you are there.
- Gym Equipment. Ensure that the equipment on offer is a high priority for you. Don’t fall for faddish equipment – look out for quality weights and machines. Also look out for a well laid out facility.
- Gym Atmosphere. Choose a gym where you feel comfortable, whether it be a hardcore bodybuilding gym or a more fitness minded environment.
- Gym Management. Look for management that is open and honest, and keen to please. Some gyms seem to make you feel like a number, not a valued member. If this is the case, keep looking.
- Gym Clientele. Look at the clientele and get a feel for if you feel comfortable around them.
- Gym Hygiene. Is the facility clean and tidy? If it is, chances are the establishment is well run and respected by members. Check the toilets are clean and that the water pressure and heating of the showers is adequate.
Does Joining a Specific Gym Suit Your Needs?
When looking for a gym do your research considering all the above aspects before signing away on the membership application form. After all, you want to feel comfortable and happy with the facility. Chances are, if you aren’t, your money will be wasted, and this will negatively effect your training, and most importantly results. Before signing, request a complimentary visit so that you can test that the centre meets your expectations. Also be wary of lock in contracts. Read the fine print before signing. Good luck and here’s to finding a gym that will inspire some quality workouts from you.