Choosing a new gym to join can be a surprisingly difficult process. Pricing structure are all over the place, and it can be hard to know which fees are really worth the features and amenities they support. Additionally, you’ll undoubtedly find that some gyms offer the exact practices and perks you’re looking for but are lackluster in other areas, and you’ll see that some gyms are great with the basics but lacking in specialties. There’s just a lot of variety out there, and the fact that so many different gym chains seem to survive year in and year out indicates that people are flocking to all ends of the spectrum.
So how can you actually go about picking the right gym for your needs? No one can give you a complete answer, because it really does depend on your specific needs. But there are some general tips that are worth considering for anyone making this decision.
Remember That Convenience Matters
We’ll put it simply: you’re more likely to exercise consistently if the gym you pick is near where you spend most of your time. This is why there’s actually some fairly lively debate about whether it’s best to join a gym close to home or close to the gym. But you’ll notice you won’t find much debate about whether it’s wise to join a gym close to home or one half an hour away. That might appear to be a pretty obvious point, but it’s still an important one to remember. The nicest gym in the world might be a 30-minute drive away, but you’re probably doing the best thing for your fitness if you choose a mediocre one closer to home (or work).
Find A Gym That Solves A Problem
You can actually consider how a gym in the area markets itself when you’re thinking about this tip. Some gyms – particularly those with national reach – rely on their names to attract customers, simply because they’re big brands. Other gyms, however, will employ a direct response marketing approach, which is to say they’ll offer solutions to particular problems. That might mean they have special training staffs, unique amenities, or even cutting edge workout equipment that the average national chain doesn’t invest in. It can be interesting to keep an eye out for these kinds of features, and at least take a look at the gyms that offer them. They can sometimes provide a more dynamic and effective workout environment.
Join With Friends Or Family
You may like to do your workouts privately, and that’s perfectly fine. For a lot of people an hour at the gym is a way to recharge, and that’s best done with headphones on and focus devoted purely to exercise. But if you’re determined to start a routine, you might ultimately find that you’ll be more disciplined about sticking to it if you join a gym with other people. Sometimes that might mean you’re going to the gym every day with a workout buddy, or sometimes it might mean you’re just going with the knowledge that you could run into someone you know. Either way, you might have a bit more incentive to stick to the routine.
Consider Health Beyond Exercise
Not every gym has health and nutrition components, but you might want to at least ask about them as you’re checking out your options. That’s because it’s simply more convenient to take advantage of these kinds of things if there’s a staff to talk about it with. Finding health supplements or protein shakes at a gym counter ensures you of their legitimacy, and gives you the opportunity to ask questions about ingredients, effects, etc. In an ideal scenario, you can even go over these nutritional extras with a trainer so as to combine nutrition with your fitness routine.
Do Trial Periods If Possible
Last but not least, remember that you can always ask for a trial period, and most gyms will oblige. That could mean that you take on a few sessions with a private trainer, in which case you’ll probably have to pay for the time. But in some cases you can simply use a gym for a few days in order to make up your mind about whether or not you want to join. Even if you’re well aware of the range of features offered at a given gym, actually using the facilities is the best way to get a feel for how comfortable you’ll be there.