Becoming a member of a gym is an investment and I mean it! You’re investing in your health and wellbeing therefore you got to be so picky when it comes to choosing the right one.
Luckily, there is a wide spectrum of gym types around the world and in some specific geographical regions it is harder than others to choose a suitable one. Ranging from simple weight yard to gigantic multi sports gyms and studios; the common denominator is that they are aggressively competing to score more members and keep them satisfied.
Picking up the right gym that would enable you from reaching your fitness goals, give you the motivation you need, and still be at a reasonable price to afford is not as easy as you might think; that’s why we gathered top 8 things you should look for before signing a gym membership.
1- Pick a gym where you are a member not a number
The most common problem with today’s Gyms is that you are a number not a member. Today gyms are focused on sustaining large number of member which in many occasions comes at a price of other services such as free coaching, monitoring and tracking your workouts therefore avoid those specially if you're just joining for the first time or you’re ending a long sedentary stage.
Nowadays high end gyms and big fitness chains are investing more in member satisfaction and their offering ranges from providing newcomer package (which in many cases includes 1-3 personal training sessions), fitness assessment, nutrition services and sophisticated member management process platforms and heath smartphone app that tracks all aspects of your health. If you're lucky you will find an affordable gym around, which leads us to the second important factor.
A very important factor when choosing a gym is how far it is from your home or work, since the further the gym is, the less-likely you would commit to it. Choose one that is -at most- 15 minutes from your home, also imagine how you would arrange gym time in between other places you have to go to before or after the gym, take a drive or walk to test how long it would take you.
When it comes to cost, many factors interfere, but in general you should look at what you get from your membership in return to what you pay. If you are in a low budget; pick one that offers you the best and most of (what you need) for the fees you pay, don’t pay for things or extra features you will not use or need. Also avoid signing up the membership in high demand seasons; at spring beginning or winter peak.
4- Equipment and classes
The equipment you should care about are the ones that matter to your fitness goals and preferences; make sure that there are enough of them for everybody at the gym in times you’re planning to come in, that they properly maintained, and that classes are not too crowded for you’re planning to join them.
Need help with planning your workouts? Learn how to design your own exercise program.
5- Operation hours
There is no use of a gym that isn’t working in hours that are most convenient to you. Not being well-acknowledged about the operation hours including their system in weekend and official off-days would end up with you paying and not accessing the gym.
Gym cleanliness is very important factor; cause if you don’t feel comfortable exercising in your gym, you would soon lose the motivation to exercise there. Check out how clean facilities, sinks, bathrooms, showers and equipment are.
7- Gym spirit
Take a tour or a test visit to check out the atmosphere at the gym -preferably in the time that you would most probably be in it to workout-, pay attention to the staff, people exercising, music playing, and anything that might make or break how good you feel in there.
This might be one of the least spotted points when visiting a gym for the first time, but one of the really annoying ones once you experience it badly. Points like adequate ventilation, enough room for everyone to exercise comfortably, proper lightening –especially if sun light has no access-, smart distribution of equipment and facilities in the gym. All these can affect how comfortable it is to be there.
Visit couple of gyms and fitness centers in your area, compare between them before you choose. Read the contract lines very well before you sign it, and don’t hesitate to question any of them, or ask to change the ones that don’t suit your interest.
Do you need help with choosing the best gym? Or have any question regarding, training, fitness and nutrition? Ask in Fitnessyard’s forum.