By: Rylee Bellmon, Skylar Dowdy, Traviah Matthews, Shaje Moore, Stephanie Smith, Megg Taylor and Jasmine Wood
The more comfortable you feel at a gym the more likely you will be motivated to go. When using your free pass that most gyms offer, go during your ideal time when you will be working out i.e. at 6AM before school or work. This way, you get to experience the environment you will be working out in. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
What are my fitness goals?
Decide what your goals are and make a list of what equipment you need to accomplish them. Do you want to tone and where do you want to tone? Look for machines or weights with lower weights. Do you want to lose weight? Look for great cardio machines. Do you want to make some gains? Check out the squat rack and the lifting equipment available.
Are you a social butterfly?
If yes, maybe check out some fitness classes. Do they have classes you like? When are the classes? Do they work with your schedule? Look for a boot camp class or yoga class that works and will help you reach your goal.
Do you want a personal trainer?
If you do, look for a good trainer. Google trainers with great ratings, ask around. Ask around your potential gym and see who seems to match your fitness needs and who has the best reputation. Then talk to that trainer. What educational background do they have? Do you like them? Do they seem like your style? Check them out on social media and see what other people are saying about them. Check if they have a portfolio online as well. Personal trainers usually cost extra so make sure you budget and find someone you are willing to pay to work with you. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask them questions!
What gym vibes are you looking for?
Gym atmosphere plays a big part in choosing your home gym. You need to ask yourself what vibes are you wanting. For instance, if you want a judgment free zone you might ponder gyms who do not tend to have many “swole” members. However, maybe competitiveness drives your success then look for a gym that has a competitive environment. Members can feed off each other’s energy and use the competitive drive to push themselves. If you are looking for more of a family oriented vibe, you should consider a smaller and locally owned gym.
Picking the perfect gym is a difficult process; every gym offers different amenities to meet different needs. Amenities are one of the main reasons people choose to become members of a particular gym. You need to look at your goals and what you are looking for in a gym. Find the gym that offers what you want. A few major amenities that need to be taken into consideration are steam rooms, pools, Jacuzzis, daycare facilities, smoothie bars, tanning beds, massage chairs, and indoor tracks. Some gyms offer free childcare and group fitness classes while others only offer cardio equipment and a weight room. Weighing out the pros and cons of each gym and deciding which amenities are priority to you are important when selecting a gym.
When choosing a gym pick a place that has a price and a contract that fits your lifestyle and monthly budget. Remember to check important dates and deadlines, if any. There are some gyms that have contracts to join and there are others that do not require any commitment. Some gyms allow you to bring one guest, and some gyms will allow you to try out their facility with a free seven-day trial. Make sure when picking a gym that you set a monthly or annual budget and decide if you want to sign a contract or not. The best option is with more benefits at a lower cost.
When thinking about where you want to work out most people note that they do not want to travel far and they want it to be as convenient as possible. Location is key when you are trying to use your lunch break as your workout time or if you are trying to go from home but don’t want to fight traffic to get there. Research states that most individuals do not want to participate in a gym that is more 15 minutes from their house or office (Shilton).
When looking for a gym, knowing the available hours can really affect the times that you can go. Here are a few questions to ask regarding the hours of a gym.
Are they a 24-hr. gym?
When the gym is open 24 hours a day, you have the entire day open for you to choose when you want to work out. This will allow you to find the time best for you and your schedule. This is probably best if you don’t have a regular work schedule.
What are the peak hours?
Most gyms have peak hours, or times of the day that they are packed. Is this something you would want to avoid? Some people enjoy the peak hours because of the busy and lively atmosphere but this may cause conflict with certain equipment that you enjoy using being occupied.
Is it near a busy area, like an office building or college?
This can influence the times the gym is busy. This can also influence the type of clientele that is most likely to use this gym. Selecting the right gym is so important because it often becomes an escape. This is a place where you release stress, become stronger, and better yourself. Find a gym that you love, that works for you, and that makes you want to come in and burn some calories and build muscle.
Shilton, A. (2015, Jan. 11). How to find the right gym for you. Retrieved Feb. 19, 2018.