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Finding a gym is easy. Anyone can walk in, get signed up and be a fully-fledged member. If only working out regularly proved as easy! Instead of joining the first gym you find, you need to find the right gym, and that is a lot harder than you think. Gyms are experts of the hard-sell, getting you to sign up to long term memberships before you’ve even realised that there isn’t enough equipment to cope with the Tuesday night rush!
Here we look at the best ways to go about choosing a gym. We consider the issues of membership, day passes and weekly gym memberships and how to avoid the pitfalls that many have suffered before you. Let their mistakes help you make the right decision! Interested to learn more, then read on.
Being overly keen to get going often leads to mistakes. January is the prime time for this when people have resolutions to get fit etc. They think getting fit means joining a gym, but come February many have quit, yet still pay their monthly membership fees – the ideal gym member (for the gym) by paying not to go!
You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, so why join a gym without first going? Instead of joining the first, visit a number, utilise weekly gym memberships to “try before you buy” and make sure that you visit at the times that you will be actually training. There’s little point in attending the gym on a Monday morning when you’ll be working out on alternate nights after work. This is a “trick” used during gym inductions – showing you around during quiet periods. So be warned.
The further away your gym, the more likely you’ll find an excuse to miss a session. So find one that is local. If you are going to go after or before work, find one near the office and go straight there.
You may think that gyms are the place where you go to sweat right? Of course. But so does everyone else. Be certain that the only sweat that you encounter is your own. If a gym is not cleaned regularly, or the users do not clean up after themselves, think about finding another location. Germs love unclean gyms and nothing stops you training quicker than an illness.
This will probably have never crossed your mind. Few people walk into a gym thinking about a heart attack or other medical emergency, but vigorous exercise can of course bring about the unexpected. Be certain that your potential gym at least has trained first aiders and, where possible, a defibrillator (and someone trained in using it).
If having tried the gym, utilised the weekly gym memberships and shopped around, you want to commit, then make sure you check the agreement. Think of what happens for example if you’re injured and cannot use the gym, or need to stop paying because of a change in financial circumstances. If the agreement doesn’t factor in these benefits for members, then you might want to find somewhere a little more understanding.
People And Equipment
It will not matter to you that the gym has 14 treadmills if you are aiming only to utilise the free weights. Likewise, if you don’t swim, do you really need to join a gym with a pool – you are paying for other people’s enjoyment in part as pools are expensive. If there is a good variety of equipment which is all available at the tines you want to train then this is a good sign. If there are big queues then move on!
As for the people, gyms are always full of characters. There are those that want to use the machine you’re on, because you’re on it; those that know all about training, yet look less than 100% fit; and those that like to be seen to be training rather than actually training. People are people and there is nothing wrong with character, provided it doesn’t interfere with your training. Remember whilst it’s nice for people to be friendly you are at the gym to train and not as a social event.
These tips are just a starting point to use in the selection of your ideal gym. Remember, it is you that will be going, will be training and moreover will be paying the subscription and therefore it is only your opinion that matters. If a gym doesn’t feel right, try another. Do not commit unless you are well informed and certain, that way you’ll enjoy your training and more likely stick with it long term. Good luck.