|Gyms and health clubs that are medium to large sized facilities are generally geared toward the no-frills, self-motivated, meat and potato type of fitness enthusiast. These types of facilities often offer professional instruction also known as personal training. If your primary focus is to get busy, sculpt your body without the frills and/or you are possibly on a tight budget, a gym may be your best choice. Finding the right facility will determine your success or failure in obtaining your intended fitness goals. Now that you have narrowed it down to joining a gym based on your needs, it’s time to choose the right gym for you.
- Location – The gym’s location, including the distance traveled to get there can either make it a pleasant or unpleasant workout session. Once you have somewhat decided on a facility, you should make plans to visit the gym during the times you would be working out. Check to see if there is enough equipment that you would need for your workout so you don’t have to wait around to use a machine. This can add time to your workout and be an inconvenience that will lead to frustration.
- Price – The cost of membership is also a main concern. Compare and equate price with the amount of equipment in each gym.
- Gyms that sell more than three month terms without a State Bond put you at risk. This three month term protects the consumer if the gym goes out of business. It is mandatory that the State Bond Number be in the upper right hand corner of the contract. If the number is not visible and the contract is signed regardless, you put yourself at risk of monetary loss.
- Cleanliness – Is the gym clean? The gym should always look and smell clean. Check shower and locker areas. These areas should be free of debris on the floor to avoid any slipping or tripping incidents. The most important reason to avoid unsanitary gyms is because of diseases. There are many viral causing agents and bacteria that can be found on unkempt barbells, benches or any other equipment. It is very distasteful to see sweat puddles left around workout areas or to even smell the stench of body odor. For obvious reasons, it is to one’s best interest to avoid working out in that type of environment. Always make sure there is anti-bacterial soap, towels and spray bottles in cardio areas.
- Equipment – Evaluating the type of equipment at a gym is like appreciating all of the qualities that are desired in a companion. Whether you prefer a gym that has more free weights or more machines will depend on your training goals. A great way to begin is to actually work out at the potential gym of your choice. This will allow you to determine how well the equipment fits into your overall development plan. By doing so, it will help you determine:
- Is there enough variety of equipment for differing angles?
- Is the equipment sturdy and well maintained?
- Are there enough pieces of the popular equipment that you will need to get through your workout (bench press, cable pulleys, etc.)?
- Music – The background music (along with the general atmosphere) may also play an important role in your workout. Motivating music like rock or upbeat hits may help stimulate you to work out harder. For those of you who find this distracting, don’t rule out headsets.
You can equate your decision-making as being similar to going on a date and determining if that person might become a future companion of your choice. You will probably not make that determination before several dates and/or conversations. The same should be done when choosing a gym.
While touring the gym or completing your first workout, don’t hesitate to ask members about maintenance of equipment, i.e. if something breaks, how soon does it get repaired? When you walk into a gym, you should be able to “feel” the type of members. Are the members respectful to one another by not making excessive noise, stripping machines of weights and making sure weights are put away after use?
Different gym brands may offer different philosophies and training environments, but remember that there are certain fundamentals that have to be right if a gym is really going to deliver. The most important is the staff. A fitness facility is only as good as its staff. All too often, gym memberships are sold on promises of “luxury facilities” and high-tech equipment. The reality is that the staff that runs the gym will really determine how rewarding and productive your membership will be. You can ask yourself “Does the staff, commencing from the front-desk and including the locker-room attendants, make me feel welcome and comfortable?” You should be made comfortable and welcome from the minute you walk through the door. You should be greeted by friendly smiles. The attitude and demeanor of the staff can tell you a lot about the gym. Happy, motivated and enthusiastic staff can automatically motivate you for your workout. Unhappy and non-motivated staff is likely to ignore you, therefore making for a less motivating workout.
Just a few more factors to consider:
- Lighting – Is there ample lighting in the parking lot at night?
- Hours – Are the hours of operation right for your lifestyle?
- Prices – Are the prices reasonable? They should be reasonable to comparable clubs. If one is too high, you need to ask why and is it worth the extra money.
- Support – What about support after I join? Don’t be shy about asking for help or guidance. You have the option of emailing the owner or considering hiring a personal trainer.
- Membership freezes – Does the gym offer a freeze on memberships?
As you search for a new gym or health club that will help you reach your intended goals, make sure you consider everything discussed above as well as defining areas that are important to you. Remember, choosing a gym is an important investment and the choice you make can be a long-lasting relationship that can lead to unending inspiration and success or on the other hand, turmoil and eventual failure.
We at Strong & ShapelyGym thank you very much for taking the time to evaluate our gym. Feel free to email the owner, Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org for any other questions.
At Strong & Shapely, you get the best for less. After a visit to our gym, you will know what we are talking about. Strong & Shapely is the only gym that can say that. Since the opening of our gym in 1984, we have not had a salesperson - the gym speaks for itself.