Going to the gym anytime soon? But you are still unsure about the whats, where, and when of the gym? Or maybe you do not know how to critic well a gym?
Well, you are on the right page! Here are the top 10 tips for choosing your best gym.
1. Location and Accessibility
The farther away the gym is, the less likely you will find yourself going. A 45-minute workout plus thirty minutes to and from the gym each day will only be your excuse in the long run.
Think about when you are likely going to exercise and consider a facility close to home or your office. This may be more convenient for you, so you can stop at the gym in the morning on your way to work or after on your way home.
If driving to the gym becomes a hassle, it will also become your first excuse to skip a workout. So choose the closest to your convenience.
2. Opening and Closing Hours
If you plan to exercise before work, but the doors to the gym are still not open until 9 a.m., it’s not going to do you much good. It is also important to consider evening, weekend, and holiday hours that might compromise your workout schedule.
Some gyms are open 24 hours for their members and this may be something you will want to look for.
Inquire about their holiday gym hours. Are they closed on all statutory holidays? What about weekends?
Depending on your dedication to working out, you may want to look for a place that stays open on most days of the year.
This factor is going to be an important one for most people. Many people out there today cannot afford the high priced memberships and personal training fees that some elite clubs offer. This does not mean you have to shy away altogether, however. If you are smart about it, often you can find ways to lower the cost.
First, consider initiation fees and monthly dues. Then, ask what is included in that price. Do you get a fitness assessment, personal training sessions, or access to fitness classes? Ask about discounts or special packages offered. Do not get locked into a long-term contract with costly termination fees.
This may not seem like that much of an important consideration, to begin with, but once you are there and working out, if the gym has not been maintained and cleaned on a regular basis, you will find yourself uncomfortable using much of the equipment.
If the bathroom is dingy and there’s dirt or dust-bunnies in the corners, upkeep is an issue. Another point to take note of every facility should provide a means of disinfecting equipment after use. Look for gym wipes or a spray bottle and towels, and see if anyone actually uses them.
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5. Equipment and Classes
Are you looking for a specific group fitness class or do you prefer a certain type of equipment?
When looking for a gym, one thing you should make sure you do is to go inside and take a good walk around. There are so many different types of equipment out there today and you will want to be sure that the gym has the ones you most often use.Follow up by assessing the quality of the equipment and instructors available.
6. Amenities and Extra Features
Do you enjoy swimming or pick-up basketball? If yes, check out the quality and availability of the swimming pool and basketball courts. Other considerations might include outdoor fields, parking, child care, and locker rooms.
Some gyms will also offer added features to their members such as daycare, massage or physical therapy (usually at a cost), and a juice or snack bar.
If you have a young child that you have a hard time finding a babysitter for, this could be a very strong factor in your decision in choosing a gym.
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While touring the facility or talking with a membership representative, ask about the number of people who use the facility and when they do. The workout you have planned for 6 p.m. might coincide with the height of traffic on the equipment and machines. That could turn a 30-minute workout into an hour of waiting around instead of working out.
8. Member Profile
More gyms these days are catering to only a specific group of people. There are gyms that are targeting women only, seniors, competitive athletes, or men.
Many women feel slightly intimidated lifting weights among the stronger male population and will end up bypassing this part of their workout.
They may also feel uncomfortable going to a mixed gender gym as they find that they are constantly being objectified by the male population and would rather spend their time working out rather than worrying about what others are thinking of them.
9. Personal Training Options
Gyms offer many different types of personal training options. Some offer plans that come right with your membership whereas with others you buy separately as a personal training package.
Often there are also deals, where the more sessions you book, the cheaper each session is.
Find out if there are discounts for group rates, and if you have a friend who trains at this gym as well.
10. Trial Period
Ask for a week or two of access to the facility prior to committing to a membership. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the staff, other members, and the atmosphere of the space.