Searching For A Gym?

How To Find The Right One For You

By PEERtrainer Health and Fitness Team
You’ve made the commitment to getting fit and now you looking for a gym.   How do you decide which one is the right one for you?  Before you begin to look at the different gyms in your area, think about the following:

•    What kind of gym you need: Is a small gym with free weights all you’re looking for, or do you want a large fitness center with group classes?
•    Your Budget and Membership Options: What is your budget? Figure out the maximum amount that you can comfortably pay per month or year before you go into a gym to talk membership. Are you willing to sign a longer contract for a lower price?
•    Location: Do you want a gym that is close to home or work? Do you need for the gym to be close to public transportation? Will you have to pay for parking?
•    Hours: Is this gym open when you want to work out?
•    Amenities: Do you need a gym that offers childcare? What are the locker rooms like? Would you like to be able to schedule a session with a private trainer?

Once you have narrowed it down to a few choices, schedule your visits.   Ask for a tour first, and if you are interested, you can take advantage of a free day pass for prospective members.   You’ll get an objective look at what the gym is really like. How crowded is it? Will you have to wait for equipment? Are the locker rooms clean?  Be sure to visit in the early morning and after work to get a sense of how crowded the popular machines and classes are.

When ready to join, carefully read the entire membership contract and be sure that you understand the terms before you sign. A contract is a legally binding document, so if you sign up for a year membership you'll face a stiff financial penalty to get out of it.  Be certain you are comfortable with all of the terms, including what happens if you relocate or suffer an injury or medical problem. Some fitness clubs do offer month-to-month memberships that don’t require a contract.  Smart Money Magazine, in its article “Five Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You”, notes that, “Trouble canceling membership is one of the top complaints against fitness clubs logged with the Better Business Bureau and states' attorneys general offices.”

Most importantly, choose a gym where you feel comfortable with the staff and the clientele. If you would feel self-conscious working out with the ‘hot bod’ crowd, then take that into consideration. Find a gym that is geared more towards your needs, and you will be most likely to reach your fitness goals.

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