10 Factors of Choosing a Gym

by Bitley Shawn
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Please be aware that you do not have to join a gym. It is quite possible to set up a home gym and that you can get a complete workout. Also a home gym offers a level of privacy that a gym designed for the public just can not match. With that being said here is my list of the ten things I look for in a gym.

1. Location

No one, myself included wants to drive too far to workout. I have made this mistake before, it was a fantastic fitness center that had everything. Two swimming pools, a restaurant, massage therapist, even a rock climbing wall and a whole host of other activities and amenities. Just one problem, it was roughly 45 minutes away. I was soon to find out that was 45 minutes during slow traffic times. A round trip was now taking me about two hours. Eventually I had to find another gym. Location is important. I would recommend picking one that is in between your work and home. When you drive by you will be reminded of the fact that you should be working out.

2. Membership Cost

A membership cost can vary wildly from one gym to another. An important thing to consider when weighing exactly how much a membership costs is the length of contract. Some gyms will allow you to pay month to month while others will want a year long contract. If you are unsure of exactly how convenient this gym is going to be you might want to think twice before entering into a long term commitment. I have found that if you can wait until late summer or New Years there will be plenty of gyms and fitness centers running specials.

3. Demographics of Members

It does not seem like a big deal now, but you do need to ask about it. Some women are going to prefer an all ladies gym because they feel more comfortable. Still others are looking for a mixed gym because one of the reasons they are going there is to meet members of the opposite sex. Whatever your goals are, just make sure the gym can accommodate them.

4. Amenities

Many gyms offer additional benefits and services that go beyond a typical gym. For instance gyms now offer daycare services,massage therapy, nutritional counseling and fitness testing. There is literally no end to the amount of services that gyms offer these days. Ask if there is a charge for using the services and how much they are.

5. Operating Hours

Always be sure to check if the hours of operation are going to fit into your schedule. If you are the type of person who wants to work out at 2:00 a.m. you might very well have to join a gym that operates 24 hours a day. Additionally if you would like to work out during the holidays, be sure to inquire about their holiday schedule. There is nothing more disappointing than waking up early, downing that protein drink and getting ready to work out, only to drive to the gym to find out they are closed.

6. Personal Trainers

Having some qualified personal trainers at your gym is a great thing. Eventually you may hit a plateau and need the help of a trainer to bust through them. It is always nice having knowledgeable staff available. Be sure to actually inquire about the actual certifications these trainers. Too many gyms will hire anyone with a passing interest in fitness.

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