If you would like to start going to the gym, the first step to make sure you won’t give up before you even started is to find a gym that’s right for you. You won’t keep showing up at the gym a couple of times a week if you don’t feel comfortable there, so I put together a few points to consider when choosing your gym:
Think about your schedule and decide when you could fit the gym in. Would you like to go early in the morning before work? Then you need early morning opening times! Would you like to go later in the evenings? A gym that closes at 9pm might not be the one for you. Make sure that the gym you choose has opening times that fit your schedule, so that you won’t end up paying the membership fee for nothing because you can never actually make it to the gym.
Just like the opening times, the gym’s location should be as convenient as possible for you. Depending on where you live, you might not have much of a choice, but if you do, make sure to choose a location that’s as easy to get to as possible. The best locations are probably either close to your home, close to your work, or on the way from your home to work. That way, travelling to the gym won’t be an issue and cannot be used as an excuse not to go.
Obviously the gym you choose needs to be affordable for you, but when thinking about the price, also consider the convenience and quality of what you’re getting for that price.
Before signing any contracts, see if you can have a look at the gym so that you get an idea of the available space and equipment. Do they have all the equipment that’s important to you? Is the equipment clean and in good condition? Are the free weights all over the place, or are staff paying attention that they are put back where they belong?
There’s nothing worse than being at the gym and not wanting to use the toilet because it’s too disgusting to deal with. Okay, maybe touching equipment and getting some unidentifiable dirt on your hands from it is worse. Have a look around the gym floor and the toilets and showers to get an idea of what you can expect before signing up.
What suits you in terms of services offered depends very much on how you’d like to train. Do you particularly enjoy group exercise classes? Then go for a gym that offers them. Would you like some help with your training or even personal training sessions? Choose a gym that offers that. Would you like to have your body composition measured from time to time to see how you’re progressing? Maybe you can find a gym that offers that! Do you already have tons of training experience, and all you want to do is lift weights by yourself? Then maybe those things aren’t something you care about.
This is an important one. Try to see potential gyms at their most crowded time (usually around 6pm when people go there after work), to see if it would still be possible for you to train there at that time. Long lines for machines and equipment and a gym floor so crowded that you can barely find an empty corner for yourself will make trying to work out there feel like hell, and it will make you not want to go. You’ll also waste a massive amount of time just waiting around.
This one again depends a lot on what you’re looking for. Do you like a gym that focuses on training for health? Or do you prefer the testosteroney vibe of a bodybuilder gym? Do you feel comfortable with mixed genders, or would you prefer a women’s only gym? What vibe does the gym give off? What kind of people do they seem to be catering to? What kind of vibe do you get from the people training there? Make sure you feel safe and comfortable in the environment and around the people there when choosing a gym!
What do you consider when looking for the right gym?