You made the choice to get in better shape; kudos to you! But now you face a bit of a dilemma. Which health club should you join?
Actually not everyone faces this choice. Some towns are small and have only a single facility. But larger metro areas can have a whole slew of options including standard chain gyms and specialized fitness locations. The right choice will help you attain your goals; the wrong one is a great way to waste hard-earned money.
So how do you choose?
Start by reading the rest of this article for our tips on how you should be evaluating your gym. From there you can make an educated decision based on how they all compare to each other.
Keys to Evaluate
- Distance – Ideally you want a 15 minute drive or less to get to the gym. More than that requires that you have an extra 30 minutes beyond the available time needed to actually workout. Also a longer distance reduces your commitment and makes it easier to skip a session to avoid the drive.
- Take the Tour – You always want the guided tour of the gym. Let them sell you on how great it is and give them a chance to show you everything and answer your questions. Understand what features you will need to use then consider if your monthly dues are really worth it for what you will actually take advantage of. Sure having a pool is awesome, but if you will never use it, why would you pay for it.
- Test Drive – Always get at least a free pass for one-day as a trial. Then hit the gym at the time you normally would be there to get a feel for how crowded it is and the general vibe. The atmosphere can change based on the crowd so checking it out during your prime time is very important.
- Look for Your Double – Ideally you want to have people that are similar to you working out i.e. age, fitness level, etc. You want to not feel like an outcast plus these are the people you can question for insider information during your trial.
- Eyeball the Staff – During your trial is a great chance to check out how the staff treats the regular customers. Do they greet people and say goodbye? Are they roaming around keeping the floor clean and being helpful? You need to know what you can expect from them on a day-to-day basis after signing up.
- Check the Spatial Arrangement – A busy gym and empty gym look completely different. You need to get a good idea of whether you will be working out comfortably or are expected to be in too-close of quarters. The same goes for classes and the locker rooms. Being in other peoples’ personal space can be uncomfortable.
- Review the Trainers – Even if you don’t want or need training you should still review the top few people they have working there including their credentials. If they are willing to hire top flight talent, it says more about them as a serious business.
Check all of the gyms in your area and rate them based on the above keys. Then from there consider which gym will be the best fit for you. More than likely if you follow this list then the decision will not be that difficult. The right gym for your needs that you feel comfortable in should just jump right out at you. You want to take the time for a good choice that leaves you with the right gym instead of the wrong one.