A gym membership is a great way to help you stay committed to your fitness journey. Besides the fact that you gain access to professional-grade equipment for a small monthly fee, gyms are also a great place to find like-minded people to train with.
However, the difficulty of choosing a gym stems from the overwhelming number of choices that you have. There are 13,263 gyms in California alone. While choosing the wrong gym isn’t exactly disastrous, it may cost you more money and more trouble than necessary in the long run. Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a gym.
Hours of Operation
The operating hours of your gym will determine how well it can accommodate you during your free time. Most gyms operate on set hours, but some gyms are open 24 hours although they may not have personnel on-site to assist you during off-hours.
Ideally, a gym that’s open for 24 hours will allow you to work out even on a tight schedule, but you have to consider if you need a trainer to supervise you or not. Those who know what they’re doing can join a gym that’s open for 24 hours, but beginners may need to join gym during hours when trainers are present.
Different people have varying levels of fitness. This also means that they need different programs in order to get them to sweat. Some people prefer to train alone, while others prefer to train in a group. It’s important to look through the training programs and classes offered by the gym you’re checking.
Another thing to consider are the perks that come along with the membership. Some gyms offer complimentary smoothies, while others offer towers, and others even allow members to bring a friend every time they work out. Some clubs even offer massage services and other therapeutic services. It’s important to know what’s offered and what isn’t, as this will determine whether the asking price of your membership is worthwhile.
Location and Access
Having a gym near your home or your work will save you a lot of time, and will also allow you to stay consistent with your workouts.
If your gym is close enough to your house, you can simply fill up a great gym bag and walk back and forth to your workout. If you live further away, you’re going to need to invest time into driving, which could deter you from heading to the gym some days.
Some gyms even grant members access to all of their branches. Gyms like Anytime Fitness even give their members international access to each and every branch, which is especially useful for people who travel a lot.
It’s also important to consider the ease of access you have to the gym. This isn’t just from a convenience perspective, but rather, it is a safety issue.
If your gym is located in an inaccessible area, it’s likely that emergency responders such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers won’t be able to reach the area in time.
Quality of Equipment and Service
Even when you can still get fit without going to the gym, the main point of joining a gym is to benefit from the equipment and facilities that members would not be able to afford on their own. While fitness isn’t exactly a mess-free journey, it’s important that you’re able to workout in a wide space that’s safe and clean. You don’t want to go to an overcrowded gym.
It’s important to take a tour of the gym before you commit to a membership. In addition to the internal and external facilities, ensure that the gym’s parking space is well-lit and secure, and that there’s always space that’s readily available.
Check that all equipment is in good condition and that they are free from dirt, dust, and grime. This is especially important during a period when there is a real need to maintain health standards.
Poorly-maintained equipment should be a telltale sign that a gym may be failing because they are unable to keep up with maintenance costs. Rusty equipment can also become a danger. Many machines are designed to provide resistance through tension. If a cable snaps, it can cause injury to you and others.
The final deciding factor that determines which club you should join is whether all the previous features and amenities justify the membership price and the monthly payments. Not all ten-dollar gyms are equal. Some gyms offer more for the same payment. To determine whether a gym is worth the money, you simply take all previous factors into account and see if you’re able and willing to pay the asking price and if the convenience these facilities provide is worth it to you.
The matter of choosing a gym is more important than most people think. Even when you know of effective home workouts like this full body dumbbell workout, going to a gym opens your training regimen to new routines and equipment to try. The social interaction you’re able to get is an added bonus.