Before you choose a gym, think about your needs. Are you interested in group classes? If so, what type of class? Are you only interested in body building? Do you want to be guided by personal trainer? Here are 8 things you should consider when you’re looking at fitness centers.
Of course, now that you know what you want, the first thing you should do is check if it’s available at the gym.
+ Find out about the classes they offer; do they have yoga, aerobics, dance and spinning? Do they have a towel service?
2. Opening hours and class schedule
Make sure the gym is open during the times that suit you best, especially if it’s early in the morning or late at night.
+ If you end up having to adapt your schedule to their opening hours, or if you choose a class solely because it fits into your schedule, your attendance might dwindle pretty quickly.
3. Location and accessibility
If at all possible, choose a gym that’s located no more than 10 minutes from your home or your place of work.
+ If it’s too far away, you might get discouraged easily, especially in the winter. Make sure it’s easily accessible by public transportation or that there’s plenty of parking available.
+ What is the membership cost for one month? For the year? Are there extra fees?
Does membership include access to the equipment only, or does it also include classes?
Before you choose a gym, enquire about the expertise of the staff.
+ Ask if there will always be a staff member on the premises, and if they are certified in emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
6. Fitness Equipment
Make sure there’s enough equipment of each type so you won’t have to wait in line.
+ At the time of your visit, were any machines out of commission?
+ Ask about workout etiquette: do you need to reserve equipment?
+ Is there a time limit for each machine?
You’ll enjoy your training more if you like the feeling of the place.
+ Do you like the music? Is it too loud?
+ What are the customers like? Are there too many people?
+ Do the large windows facing the street make you uncomfortable?
Check out the locker rooms and the bathrooms to make sure they’re clean.
+ Take this opportunity to see if there are enough lockers and showers for everyone.
Ask for a free trial
The best way to choose a gym is by trying it out. Most gyms offer at least one free trial visit; take advantage of any such deals and conclude your homework with a bit of real-life action.