Finding the perfect gym that caters to how you prefer to work out is no simple task. There are a variety of factors that play into what kind of facilities are worth your investment. This can be a troubling aspect at times, especially for those who are recently trying to get more active, but aren’t sure what to even look for in a quality gym. Whether it’s going with an athletic club just because of its close proximity or choosing one that features a variety of perks ranging from free shirts to a complimentary massage, here are some of the primary factors that should play into choosing a gym:
Even if you have a car and are willing to drive a little ways to get in your workout, having a gym that’s extremely close does wonders for staying motivated to exercise. When reviewing all the health club options in your city, be sure to map out the total distance between the facilities and your home so you can get a better idea of how long you’ll have to walk, bike or drive to get your workout fix. Just because there are cheaper options farther away doesn’t mean you’ll be more inclined to visit there, especially if you have to drive 15 minutes after a long day at work.
Talk to the staff
Whether you’re a veteran of the weight room or are finally opening up to the idea of using a treadmill, any athlete can benefit from having a qualified and properly trained staff hanging around the gym. For every athletic club you visit, make sure you go around and talk to multiple staff members, not just the manager who is trying to get you to sign up. Ask them any questions that spring to mind, from their knowledge of equipment to what their favorite types of workout are. If they appear to be shy or lack general insight as to what their relationship to physical activity is, it might be better to move on to a new gym. Be sure to inquire about whether or not they have personal trainers on hand, and whether there’s a cost difference in utilizing their services or not.
Observe the environment
Sometimes you can get a great sense for a gym just by walking in it and making a few observations. If you’re spending money every month to make use of a gym, you want it to be an environment that best suits you, not one that either intimidates you or that you find to be uninspiring. Consider what type of athlete you are. Are you someone who prides themselves on staying toned and maintaining an exceptional physique? Then going to a place that’s empty half the time or full of beginning exercisers may not help you summon the motivation you need to thrive. The same can be said vice versa. If this is your first time stepping foot into a gym in quite some time, it’s probably best to stay away from clubs that appear to have members who look like they could be professional wrestlers.
You probably know which types of workouts you’re trying to partake in, so always take some time to evaluate the variation and quality of equipment every gym has. If you’re someone who values evening jogs on the treadmill, make sure the facilities have dozens of rows of running machines so you can always find one even if the place is packed. Athletes who focus more on strength training should take note of how extensive the dumbbell or weight lifting sections are. While a widely spaced gym might give the impression that it has everything you need, making the rounds to ensure it has the equipment you like to use is what will seal the deal.
Facilities and perks
It’s important to understand that most of the services available in each gym will depend on your budget. If you’re looking for the cheapest club possible, you’re probably not going to find that the place has tanning salons or fancy showers. Anyone who is willing to spend a little more to ensure their gym has pristine quality should evaluate what types of services and perks are available, which can separate gyms from the rest of the pack. If you come across two similarly priced gyms, but one offers monthly massage sessions for members while the other one provides a free T-shirt, maybe that makes or breaks your decision.
Many gyms require that you commit to being a member for a specific amount of time, while others only operate on a month-by-month basis. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you’re on the fence about finding a new gym. If you commit long term to a club, only to not be satisfied with it in a few months, you may have to pay a fee to opt out of your contract. Only sign with a gym if you’re completely sure that this is the right athletic investment for you.