Before you start your search, make a short list of the amenities you require of your new gym. Your first step should include identifying your health and fitness goals. Do you need free weights? A pool? An elaborate or decadent spa? If you go into your gym search blindly, you could end up paying a lot more for things you aren’t even interested in or would ever use.
Here are seven great tips on how to find the gym that is right for you:
Look for a gym that’s in a convenient location for you, either close to home or on the way home from work or school. You are much more likely to go if your gym is in a convenient location. If you plan on working out in the morning before work, ensure that your gym has adequate shower and locker facilities. Be sure to consider the time of day and days of the week that you’d like to workout and plan from there. If you select a gym that you must “travel” to, you may use the distance as an excuse not to attend on those low energy days. If you choose a gym that is close to home, you are much more likely to keep your attendance up. Parking may also be a problem, so ensure that your new gym has adequate parking, especially at peak times (before 9 AM and after 5 PM).
Don’t commit to spending more than you can afford. Some employers and health insurance providers will put money towards a monthly gym membership so that’s a great way to lower your monthly dues. Another great way to save money is to prepay a 6, 12 or 18 month membership package. It will cost you more up front, but your monthly bill will be lower than if you just pay month-to-month. Consider how many visits to the gym you will realistically make each week or month and calculate the price on a cost per visit basis. Many gyms make you sign up for a twelve month contract, if you decide to join a gym using such a contract make sure that you thoroughly read the contract, and understand the specific cancellation terms.
If you enjoy spin classes or boot camps or yoga, check your gym’s schedule and make sure that the classes you like are available and at times that are accessible to you. Not all gym classes will suit your individual needs, but find a gym that has those you would enjoy and help you achieve your goals. Are these classes included in your monthly fees? Or do you have to pay extra?
If a pool is important to you, ensure that the pool caters to what you would like to do in it. Are you a serious lap swimmer? Or do you just want to jump in and float with the kids? Make sure you know pool times and when the pool is open to kids. The pool may also host a variety of healthy classes.
Are you interested in Personal Training, Nutritional Advice, and Alternative Medicine? Many larger health clubs will also offer massage, chiropractic services, beauty therapy, hairdressers, and much more.
Although often overlooked, comfort and atmosphere are important to attending your new found gym – you need to feel comfortable in the club. The best way to find out how you “feel’ in the gym is to ask for a guest pass and train at the gym at a time you normally world and experience it for yourself.
All gyms should provide (and encourage) a guided tour and allow you to have a look round before you join. You will also have the chance to ask any questions that you might have. Some gyms, if you ask, will also give you a free day or week pass before you join so that you can try all the various facilities and amenities before you join.