How to Choose a Good Gym

Have you ever walked into a gym and thought you felt out of place? Perhaps there are too many people grunting and dropping weights on the ground for your liking, or maybe there are too many treadmills and not enough kettle bells? Maybe you’ve never ventured into a gym and don’t actually know what it should look like or what should be available for a particular cost. For this reason, it is important that you consider a number of factors before you hand over your cash or contract up. Here are my quick tips for people looking out for a new gym:

Quick tips:

  • Shop around
  • Take a tour of the available gyms, preferably at your proposed work out time
  • Speak to the staff and ask questions
  • Ask for a free trial pass

In order to know what type of gym best suits you, here are some questions to ask yourself, to help you find what you are looking for:

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the gym in a convenient location?
  • Is it open at times that suit you?
  • Do the gym facilities and equipment suit your needs?
  • Are the staff knowledgeable? Helpful? Are there enough floor staff per gym user?
  • What are the different types of memberships out there?
  • Is the gym located conveniently? Are the opening hours convenient?

I recently signed on to a gym that is a ten-minute walk from home and additionally on the path to and from work. Personally, I’d say that the convenience of having a gym that is close to home or work should not be underestimated. The hours of operation are also important, as you will want to attend a gym at a time appropriate to your schedule.

Does the gym cater for the type of exercise you want to complete?

Are you a cardio-kid? A Cross-fit junkie? Looking to limber up in a yoga class? Or do you fancy a functional workout? This is an important question to consider, as it will help you find a gym that caters for the exercise you wish to complete. Are there enough cardiovascular machines (treadmills/ steppers/ bikes), weight machines or free weights? If you are more into fitness classes, you should assess what is offered at the gym and when the classes run.

What are the staff like?

There are a few things to look out for when assessing the quality of the staff at a gym, such as what qualifications they hold, how long they have been working in the industry and the age group they typically work with. You may also want to see how approachable they are, whether or not you get a free certified personal training session with a new membership, and how many floor staff are present at peak and non-peak times.

What is included in the membership? Are there other non-contract options?

Some recreation centres will have access to classes such as spin, ‘boxercise’, aerobics and yoga included in their memberships, while others may include access to pools, spas or saunas. It’s important to consider what you do or don’t get included in your membership. It’s also important to find out if the gym offers different types of contracts, and whether there are any options available that don’t involve a contract.

What are the costs involved?

As I’ve spent the majority of my time up until now as a student, fees have always been a concern for me, so I can definitely relate to anyone who doesn’t want to part with their finances. It’s best to have a look at things like sign up fees, cancel, suspend, or penalty fees, and whether or not you are required to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly. If you’ve been able to tick off the above boxes, and you’re happy to pay whatever amount requested… then you might just have found yourself a winner!