gym floor
How to choose the right gym for you. Photo: virginactive.co.uk

It’s nearly that time of the year when most of us begin to consider joining a gym. Whether it’s because you want to improve your general fitness level, sculpt your body for the summer holidays or want to pursue an active hobby in the New Year, choosing the right gym is vital in achieving your goal.

Before you part with your hard earned cash and sign up a lengthy contract, you need to explore your options. To help you make a decision, here’s my guide on how to choose the right gym:

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU JOIN A GYM

Joining a gym is a big commitment and to avoid disappointment and pouring money down the drain, make sure you:

  • MAKE SURE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE

    When you are doing the gym tour, take a note of the general cleanliness, lighting, car parking and anything else that is important to you. Are you comfortable in the presence of the other members, are the members of staff pleasant, can you see yourself as a member of this gym?

  • VISIT THE GYMS BEFORE YOU JOIN

    The above steps will help you make a shortlist of the gyms you like to consider joining. The next step is to pay them a visit. It’s a good idea to ring and make an appointment rather than just turn up and expect to be shown around the gym.

  • ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FRIENDS/FAMILY/COLLEAGUES

    Now that you have an idea which gyms are near you and you have read the online reviews, it’s time to ask your friends/family/colleagues for recommendations as some of them may be going to a gym near you. It’s worth asking them about it.

  • FIND OUT WHICH GYMS ARE NEAR YOU

    The chances are that you are within a short distance from a gym. If you are not aware of any gyms near you, then ask the Internet. If you are employed or a student, then consider gyms near your workplace and/or college/university as it may be more practical for you to go to the gym before or after work/lessons.

  • FIND OUT ABOUT THE COST

    Using the gym facilities comes at a cost and you need to be aware of that. Find out the membership costs, joining fees and any other costs you may encounter upon joining. Most gym memberships are based on a yearly contract and charge a joining fee while others are based on pay as you go basis.

  • “INSPECT” THE FACILITIES

    When you go on your gym tour, make sure they show you all of the gym’s facilities. Don’t be afraid to have a closer look at the machines and other equipment. Are they new, well maintained, clean? Do they all work? It may sound silly at this stage but that’s what really matters. You don’t want to join that gym and then discover that the equipment is not up to scratch.

  • CHECK THE SMALL PRINT

    At the end of the gym tour, the member of staff who was showing you around is likely to invite you for a chat. They will explain the different membership options, facilities, classes and anything else they think you need to know before joining. Don’t feel pressured to sign up as a member at that point. Use this chat to find out about their cancelation policy, special offers/promotions, discounts (especially if you are a student) and anything else that’s important to you.

  • ASK FOR A DAY PASS

    Doing a gym tour is a must but If you are serious about joining the gym and working out, you need to ask for a day pass. That will give you the chance to go back and experience what it’s like to be a member there. You can workout, use the facilities and talk to other members. If you are still happy and feel comfortable, then it’s time to become a member.