Whether you’re training for that next race or looking to lose a few extra pounds, getting a gym membership should be one of the first few things on your to-do list. Many people don’t know where to start, so today I’m going to go over the best way to find the right gym for you.
Where to start?
You might be new to this whole gym thing and you may be wondering where to start. First, you have to ask yourself what are your goals? Are you looking to just lose some extra pounds, or are you looking to level-up your fitness? Are you an athlete, or just a regular Joe looking to build some muscle and shed some fat? Your goals will determine what type of gym you’ll need. See below for some common goals and what is required for each.
- I want to lose weight and/or tone up. So you might be thinking that all you need is cardio, but in reality you will need cardio and strength training. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn when doing nothing!
- I want to build muscle. This one is pretty straight-forward; you will need a gym that has a sophisticated and developed weight lifting area. In addition to this, perhaps some very knowledgeable personal trainers to help you along the way.
- I want to prepare for this fitness event. Depending on the type of event determines what you need. If you’re training for a triathlon, you’ll definitely need a pool as well as a treadmill and stationary bicycle. If you’re training for playing on the Olympic Basketball team, you will need access to a Basketball court in addition to the regular gym amenities.
How to find the right gym for you
Ask yourself what’s important to you. Do you need a gym that’s open 24 hours because of your hectic schedule? Or perhaps a gym that has daycare so you can drop off the kiddos. Also, location location location!! You want a gym that’s convenient in your life. Generally, a gym that is within a few miles from home is your best bet, or close to your job so you can hit it on the way to or from work. Do you prefer a smaller, more intimate gym environment, or big box gym where no one will bug you? Do you need a gym with multiple locations, i.e. if you travel a lot? Or would the cute Ma & Pa local gym work for you? Also, how much does the gym cost and does it fit within your budget? Keep in mind that most gyms charge an initiation fee in addition to that monthly charge. And some gyms charge you a yearly membership fee as well.
Ask these questions
When looking at gyms, it’s helpful to have a trial period of at least a few days. Most gyms will give you a free week. I would recommend you try out a few gyms to see which is the best fit. And while you’re there, get the answers to these important questions:
- What’s the size of the gym and classes? Do you feel comfortable working out there?
- What are the hours of the gym? Are they convenient?
- What amenities does the gym have? Do they have everything you need to achieve your fitness goals?
- How much is the initiation/membership fee? How much are the monthly costs? What do they include?
- As for the machines and equipment, is everything in working order? If not, is the gym on top of repairing the broken equipment?
At the end of the day, it’s up to you! Find a gym where you feel like you’ll do your best at. I’ve been a steady member of LA Fitness for about two years now and I love the flexibility of working out where-ever I want to. The only thing that does suck at times are the hours, but I have a regular daytime shift job so I can easily find time before or after work to hit the gym.
What gym do you go to?