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7 Tips For Finding The Right Gym
Health & Fitness
Finding the best gym can be compared to forging a new relationship. With a bit of personal reflection, pre-planning and some vetting you’ll be on the path to what stands to be your match made in heaven (at least when it comes to this key element of your fitness journey).
You are investing your time, money and energy into a gym. You want to be certain you’ve made the best choice for you and your training goals. You may be enticed to base your decision off of online reviews or friends’ recommendations. That’s an excellent starting point, but there should be a few more components to consider.
First and foremost location is paramount. You know how you’ll be commuting to the gym and when. Do you need it within walking distance from your home? Close to your workplace for a lunchtime cardio session or the first stop you make after you clock out? The more convenient you make it for yourself the more frequently you’re likely to go, getting more bang for your buck. Coupled closely with location are the gym’s hours. If it doesn’t work for your schedule it won’t work for you.
Go ahead and judge a book by its cover (or the inside cover). It’s hard to see all the bells and whistles of a gym from the outside so a drive by won’t cut it. Go see it for yourself inside especially during a time of day you feel you would visit. What are your first impressions? What are your instincts telling you? Take note of the layout, head count of gym goers, cleanliness, etc. If there is anything that stands out to you that you can’t live with or you see being a problem, cross it off your list. And fire away with questions towards your tour guide – that’s what they are there for.
Sizing up gym staff as a whole is a potentially unfair assessment. Feel free to ask what staff qualifications include or at the very least if there is a go-to person if you have general fitness questions. The staff aid in setting the tone of the gym.
Equipment is one of the main reasons someone joins a gym. Knowing what types of equipment you currently need along with what you’d potentially like to use in the future is vital. While on your tour, take note of what’s available, overall condition and quantity of more popular pieces such as squat racks, machines, treadmills and the like.
Services & Amenities
If you’re someone who needs instruction or structure you may be looking for a personal trainer or a class or two to throw into your workout mix. Locker rooms, showers, saunas and such can be considered luxuries at some gyms. If any of these things make your must-have list, confirm their availability and cost (if any) before you sign on the dotted line.
Gym fee structures can vary deeply. Once you find a gym that fits into your budget verify a few details to be sure. Along with membership fees, do they have any additional fees for instance, an annual equipment maintenance fee that gets tacked on, what about cancellation fees? If you decide to take a class or two, is that included? Here you want to make sure there are no surprises. Paying extra money unexpectedly can leave a bad taste in your mouth and potentially a hole in your wallet.
The members of a gym are difficult to assess from the onset of a tour unless you’re looking for one that markets to a particular sex. You may be spending multiple hours a week in the gym. No matter what, you want to be sure you’re in a welcoming, comfortable and encouraging environment that will only make you want to come back again and again.