How to Pick the Perfect Gym

What should you do when you decide that you would like to start an exercise program? For many, the first logical step is to join a gym. This can be a little tricky because picking a place to train is not something that you should do frivolously. There are many things to consider before joining one. First and foremost, you should consider location and convenience. Will you be working out in the morning or in the evening? Will you be there on weekends? Is the facility close enough to your home or job that you can get there quickly and easily? Once you have approximated where your gym needs to be, then the true process begins. Here is a step-by-step rundown of things to consider when choosing a gym.

Figure out what features (i.g. free weights, cardio equipment, classes offered, amenities, spa, sauna, nutrition counseling, personal trainers, babysitting, parking) are most important to you, then check your local directory of gyms in the area and begin compiling a list.

Contact each facility to find out the cost. This may require an actual visit because more often than not gyms offer different packages. How long you are willing to sign up for, whether you are joining with a friend or have a friend who is an existing member and being a student can often get you a better deal on your membership. Also, here is where your homework of figuring out what features are most important come in handy. For example, if your primary goal at a gym is going to be weight training and you have no interest in a sauna or classes, then you may opt for a no-frill gym and save the cost on amenities that you won’t be using anyway.

Take advantage of your visit and look at the people there–Does the gym seem too crowded? Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Do the patrons seem enthusiastic and pleasant? Do you feel comfortable in the environment that they’ve created? These are all things to seriously consider.

Narrow your list down and then see if they offer a free trial period–if so, take them up on it. A few visits at a gym will definitely let you know if it’s the place for you.

What should you do when you decide that you would like to start an exercise program? For many