Selecting the right gym can make the difference between getting in shape and giving up your fitness quest altogether. A good fit is essential.
In an effort to help you get the best possible start – and be motivated to follow-through – we’ve put together a list of 6 criteria for finding and choosing your perfect gym. Hopefully, by considering the following, you’ll find a gym that allows you to meet and exceed your fitness goals.
It often proves easy to come up with excuses not to work out – it’s late, your favorite TV show is on, you don’t want to mess up your hair…
But one of the biggest is the thought that the gym is too far away and that getting there will be too time-consuming. For example: “If it takes 30 minutes to get to your gym… then 30 minutes to get back… then an hour workout… shower…” Those hoops are often enough to dissuade even the best of us from working out.
Hours of Operation
What time are you most likely to exercise?
Some of us are morning people, so a pre-work session makes sense. Others are night-owls who wouldn’t think twice about pumping some iron at 10 p.m. When selecting your perfect gym, ask about their hours of operation. Are they open before, during and after work? Are they open on weekends? Make sure the gym’s schedule is consistent with when you’re available and most likely to exercise.
Yes, it’s annoying, but unfortunately not all of us have won the Mega Millions lottery (yet).
So at some point, money becomes a factor. Consider how much of your budget you can dedicate to a monthly gym membership and go from there. Many gyms offer incentives for joining, such as a discounted fee for a few months or some free personal training lessons. These are great value-adds, but the “regular” membership cost is something you should consider as well.
Are you a boxer? A dancer? A swimmer?
Evaluate which activities interest and motivate you, then make sure your prospective gym has the infrastructure to support them.
Classes and Training
If you know you’re going to want some assistance with your fitness regimen, ask about which classes the gym offers and whether personal training is available. (And as previously mentioned, many gyms will offer a courtesy personal training session or two.)
This very well could be the most important criteria.
You need to join a gym that feels comfortable. Some gyms are more aggressive than others, with uberfit people who may make you demoralized (or inspired – depending on your mood). Some women prefer to workout with only women – consequently, gyms like Curves are extremely popular. Consider how the gym makes you feel when you visit; can you imagine yourself working out with the clientele?
Ultimately, the answer to choosing the right gym is to join the one you’re actually going to use. But hopefully by considering the elements above, you’ll find that perfect fit.
What do you look for in a gym? Fill us in below!