Cities can have thousands of different gyms to choose from, so how do you know which gym will help you reach your goals the best?
The first thing you must do is to right down your goals.
Do you want to lose weight or are you looking to build your strength and get toned? Are you looking for more classes or more weight machines?
Before you even go driving around trying out different gyms, it is important to get your ultimate goal in place first.
Next, it is important that you don’t just join a gym because your best friend is a member there. Even if the gym is having a great promotional discount for new members, it is important that you shop around and find the best gym for your pocket book that will help you achieve your health goals.
So what are the top 10 things to look for when shopping around for YOUR gym?
Location and Hours
In order for you to have the best chance at visiting the gym frequently and therefore having the best chance of reaching your health goals, it is important to choose a gym with a convenient location and hours that fit your schedule.
One rule of thumb is to only choose a gym within a 2 mile radius of your home. The close the gym, the more likely you are to attend on a regular basis. Different gyms have different operating hours which means you can pick and choose a gym that is open during the hours that are most convenient for you to go.
If it has normal business hours and you work a full time job, it might make it near impossible to work out during the week.
The staff can set the tone for your entire experience. If you want to succeed in reaching your goals, it is important to choose a place where the staff is friendly. When visiting the gyms, observe what the staff is doing.
Are they helping out the other members or are they just sitting around talking to the other personal trainers?
The staff is the key to answering any questions you may have about the equipment or any questions that may come up later on down the road that is key for your overall success. Make sure you are setting yourself up for success and not some more failure.
What is the point of joining that awesome popular gym when it is just going to kill your finances? It is better to join a smaller gym that won’t break the bank but will give you the encouragement to keep going at it!
Make sure you look for hidden costs such as initiation fees, length of commitment, cancellation fees, etc.
The other thing to be aware of is at the bigger gyms, you are most likely paying more due to the wide array of amenities, many of which you probably do not need. Take a look of what you really need in a gym.
Additional Benefits of Membership
Gyms come in all shapes, sizes, and amenities. Make a list of the amenities you would like in a gym and stick with it. You probably do not need all the extras which sound great but are they truly necessary for your budget?
Some possible amenities that gyms include are kid programs, classes, spa services, and nutritional counseling. Choose the gyms that have what you want but beware you aren’t paying for all those fancy services you don’t need.
Enough of Your Equipment
The best way to make sure you are joining a gym that will have open equipment at the times you will be working out is to visit and get the tour of the gym during that time. Take a look around to see if they have the equipment that you want to use and that it is open during the times you will most likely be using them.
The majority of gyms out there offer a free personal training session with every new membership. Take advantage of this even though you may already consider yourself a fitness expert. It is always a great idea to run things by another fitness expert.
The other benefit to taking advantage of this session is that someone else is there watching your form and making sure you are doing the exercises correctly which will help prevent injuries.
Classes at the gyms are some of the most fun ways you can get a great workout without the boring tradition of running on the treadmill. Take a look at the different classes offered and if any of them sound interesting to you.
They may be a great way to boost your workout when you are feeling bored or that you have hit a plateau. Some great classes to try are piyo, Pilates, yoga, Zumba, Turbo Kick, and many more!
Experiment and have fun!
Type of Gym
There are many different types of gyms available such as sports focused gyms, women only gyms, gym and spa, etc.
Some of the specialty gyms may cost more, but if it meets all your needs to get the results you want and it does it in an appealing way, it may be worth the small added fee. If you are a woman who hates working out at a gym, it might help boost your motivation and self confidence to be able to work out with only other women.
Try to find that one thing you could have in a gym that will help you best reach your goals.
Showers, Locker Rooms, Childcare, etc.
One of the best things you can do while looking around a gym before signing up for a membership is to really check out their showers, locker rooms, and childcare rooms. Make sure these rooms are very clean. These are most likely to be the dirtiest areas and if they are clean, you can rest assured that the gym overall will be a cleaner place.
Who wants to work out in filth? Make sure they also have spray bottles to clean equipment after use and that people actually use them!
Get a Buddy
And there is nothing better than a gym that helps to keep you motivated to reach your goals than a gym that you visit with a friend. Having a gym buddy will further motivate you to go work out and will make it a lot more fun!
Well, those are the top 10 things to look for when shopping around for your gym of choice. It is important to choose a gym that will best help you achieve your goals. What’s the point of joining a gym because you heard it was good, but then it is dirty, it is too busy that you can hardly every get on equipment, and they have no extra amenities that you would like in order to best meet your needs?
What do you think of this list? Is there anything else you would add to this list to help someone else choose a great gym? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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