Picking a gym can be a hit-or-miss experience. Let’s look at how to choose the right gym for your needs, so you can stick to your training plans.
Picture the scene - in a burst of enthusiasm and motivation, you decide you are going to finally do something about your fitness and body shape - both common reasons why people join a gym. So you start researching online, focused on choosing the right gym.
You excitedly sign up for a monthly membership at a place with a snazzy website full of beautiful people and shiny, gleaming equipment.
You turn up for your first workout and… what’s this? The place is absolutely packed full of sweaty, unwelcoming, grunting meat-head bodybuilders who are hogging all the weights and cardio machines. This won’t work at all for you.
The wheels have fallen off your Grand Plan To Get In Shape before you even got started. But fear not, because choosing the right gym is possible. We just need to do our due diligence before signing up for any gym membership.
How to choose the ‘right’ gym: Try Before You Buy
What I mean by ‘due diligence’ is trying the gym out for a typical workout before you sign up for a membership. You can do this by buying a day pass, or a weekly or one-off month membership for example.
When picking a gym, it needs to tick these boxes for you:
Practicalities of Getting There & Back
We want the process of getting to the gym, working out, showered and getting home again to be as simple as possible. The prospect of long commuting times, parking problems, a long wait for showers, etc can all lead you into deciding not to go at all and therefore not sticking with your plans.
How Busy Is It?
Even if you are thinking of choosing a gym with a ton of amazing equipment and machines, that won’t matter if you never get to use any of it!
Some gyms can get crazily busy at peak times (right after work or at weekends), and do you really want to exacerbate your lack of sleep by having to get up at the crack of dawn just to make it to the gym before it gets busy?
What are other members like?
Is it important that other members are your age, gender, or experience level? What kind of atmosphere do you like in a gym? Only by seeing who else is training at the times you would be, can you know if picking this gym will work for you longer term.
What equipment do you need?
You need to ask yourself what equipment is actually important to you in a gym for your planned number of workouts per week.
If you plan on doing strength workouts does it have the range of light or heavy dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells you need?
Does the gym have the cardio machines you need (and enough of them to cope at busy times?).
Doing Your Due Diligence Will Pay Off In The End
Armed with all this information you can be sure you are choosing the right gym for you and your goals. You are much more likely to stick with your training plans and be happy with the gym membership you’ve chosen if you’ve made sure it ticks all of your boxes before signing up.