Starting the new year off on the right foot often means taking stock of one’s own habits and lifestyle, and deciding to make a healthy change for the better. For many, that means thinking about signing up for a gym membership. More people join a gym in January than any other month of the year, and that means these space will be crowded — for at least a couple of weeks!
The key to finding a gym you’ll like — and actually go to rather than just pay for — is to seek one out where you’ll feel comfortable day in and day out. The process can be intimidating if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. So, we’re here to help you find the best gym for you.
It’s Not Just About Price
Think about what you’re getting for your money, and what you’re not getting. As the old adage goes: You get what you pay for. And, of course, before you hand over your credit card for automatic debits each month, double-check the contract to make sure you are not getting swindled into something outrageous if you decide to terminate your agreement earlier than agreed to.
Convenience and Amenities
You want to make sure your gym is close to home or work — preferably both — so you’ll actually go and stick to going. Find a gym close to home, and visit it during a prime workout time to see if the crowd is too much for you to handle day in and day out. Get a guest pass and see if it works for you for just a day or a week. You test drive a car before you buy it, right? Why not your gym? If you enjoy spinning classes, make sure the gym has a cycling studio before you sign up. You can immediately eliminate any clubs that don’t have the amenities you need, whether it be a swimming pool, a sauna, or hip hop aerobics.
Cleanliness and Preparedness
Check for clean facilities (this includes bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers). How’s the maintenance? Is someone actively cleaning when you stop in? You also want to see the shape of the machines. Are they in disrepair? Are their free weights strewn all about the gym floor? How’s the lighting? Harsh? Dank? Is the music overbearing or is it just right?
Friendliness and Attitude
This includes staff and fellow patrons. Do the attendants at the front desk smile and greet you when you arrive? Are there meat heads banging weights and screaming and grunting incessantly? See what the gym’s overall vibe is through social media and its reviews to see if the place jives with your sensibilities. Ideally, you should find a facility that goes above and beyond to make its members feel great while getting their fitness on!
The best way to be sure to crush your goals is to plan. Getting a gym membership is no different than figuring out what diet is best for you. The answer is different for everyone. Write a list of your must-haves and find them. You will be glad that you did.