Sunday, August 24, 2008

Choosing a Gym

Recently I read an article on choosing a gym and I thought it was far too limited. It only talked about a few aspects when, there are so many factors that influence you decision to work out. Also a gym membership is a serious financial investment. Here is a list of things you need to ask yourself. I have also created a check list to open up and print out and take with you when you visit gyms so that you don’t forget to ask them anything.

1.) Location – Try to find a gym where it is easy to get to from home and from work. Parking should be close so if it’s raining you can’t use that as an excuse, but it may be helpful for it to be within walking or bike riding distance. Also, if you work far from home, multiple locations would be a huge benefit. Some gyms that have programs like there are: YMCA and Ballys

2.) Initial Fitness Assessment – How much will the fitness professionals help you with your fitness goals? Do they conduct fitness and health assessments? Do these services cost extra?

3.) Cost – Don’t think that the more expensive a gym is, the more likely you are to go to it because you invested so much money in it. If it’s too out of the way, or awkward to get to, you will be less likely to go to it.

4.) Classes – Look at the class offerings and the times. Are you interested in any of them? Are they an extra cost? Sometimes an expensive gym includes classes that make the cost much better.

5.) Population – You will want a population of fellow gym goers that you are comfortable with. Some gyms are geared to families, so if screaming kids running around under your elliptical machine isn’t what you want, you may want to avoid these. There are also some gyms like Curves now that are women only, so if you want to avoid the man factor check these out. Some gyms have plenty of young professionals or if you’re more comfortable with a middle aged population.

6.) Hours – What are the hours the gym is open, and are they different on the weekends? What are the hours of the pool? What times are the classes?

Finally, if they give you a free trial visit, save it for the busiest time typically between 7:00-9:00 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM. You don’t want to see the empty machines and pool lanes at some random hour and then get there at your normal workout time and realize the place is packed. Here is the checklist for you to print out:

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