As challenging as it is to prepare a workout routine, it’s equally as difficult to find a gym that fits your lifestyle and meets your exercising needs. Thankfully, there are plenty of gyms available—now it is time to pick one that aligns with your fitness goals. Here’s what to look for when joining a gym.
Most gyms take you on a tour before you agree to purchase a membership. That’s why it’s imperative that you know what your gym goals are before heading to a new gym; you’re going to need to ensure that they have all the right equipment. Take note of how many machines, treadmills, squat racks, and benches are located at your potential new gym. You’ll also want to consider how busy the gym is and get a feel for what equipment is heavily used.
You want your trip to the gym to be as painless as possible, so make sure it is close to either your home or work. Especially if you are just starting out—if it is a chore to drive out of your way to get to the gym, you will probably not go.
For many, this is the most important thing to take into consideration. Be sure to inquire about how much membership costs per month. Typically, gym memberships cost anywhere between $10 to $60 a month. Take your monthly budget into account and determine how often you plan on visiting the gym per week.
Look into the gym’s operating hours—especially if you like to avoid crowds. Not every gym runs 24/7, so if you like to work out early in the morning or late at night, ask when the gym opens and closes.
Not every gym is created equal. Some gyms may offer locker rooms, showers, spas, saunas, pools, basketball courts, and other amenities. Others might just have the bare bones. Before buying a membership, think about how much you plan on using the amenities. If you only plan on using the exercise equipment, why pay for stuff you aren’t going to use?
Getting to the gym only gets harder as you get older—particularly when you have kids. Luckily, many gyms offer childcare, so you can fit your workout into your busy schedule. Ask to check out the gym’s childcare facility to determine if it is safe and has enough fun activities to keep your kids occupied for an hour or so.
The gym can be an intimidating place, and if you’re feeling self-conscious, it is hard to encourage yourself to go. Get a sense of the environment around the gym—it is important to feel comfortable while you’re exercising. Depending on if you’re just starting out or are looking to take your workout routine to the next level, ensure you’ll be able to surround yourself with people who are on a similar path to yours.
If you’re nervous about heading to the gym, check out a gym’s available programs. Whether you want to join a class or hiring a trainer, these additions can make the gym a lot less frightening. A gym with many programs also provides you with an opportunity to learn and try something new.
Getting a membership can be a big commitment but following our guide on what to look for when joining a gym will ensure you end up with a great workout experience.