It might not seem like one of the most important factors and it doesn’t get talked about enough but selecting the right gym for you can be crucial when it comes to finding success in your fitness journey.
1. Where is the gym?
This may strike many readers as obvious but how many times have we all been in a situation where the brick and mortar store that fits your needs or has the employees you like is on the opposite side of town from you and you can’t justify making that trip every time because of the time commitment. Even small details like how many lights do you hit on the way, does the gym have ample parking, do you need to make any turns that make you uncomfortable? For most of us, we are going to need a gym that is close to the rest of the responsibilities we have. As a good rule of thumb, you should find a gym that is no more than 10-20 minutes away from your work, apartment, kids’ school, etc… so that you won’t find yourself running all over your town for hours. People oftentimes look for excuses to get out of going to the gym and you don’t need the distance or time it takes to physically get there being another potential excuse on top of all the others! By picking the right location you won’t have any problems stopping there after work or post dropping your kid off at school.
2. Gym times?
24-hour gyms are definitely the way to go, no questions asked, because there are so many factors that might keep you away during the day that won’t be there in the evening. The one that affects most of us is working 9-5’s, if you don’t have a gym in the office you most likely won’t have the flexibility to leave in the middle of the day to head to your gym, and if that gym has hours between ~8-6 then you’re out of luck. In a similar vein, the gym might be open when you do have time outside of work but they might only offer classes that could be free or that you need to pay extra for, either way, it most likely won’t fit your needs. Often times those classes require that you signup beforehand or have an additional membership so if you’d like to be flexible that will not work.
3. Does the gym have everything you need or want?
This is one of the most important factors in determining what you want out of your gym. Are you looking for a place that has personal trainers on staff, classes, do you want a sauna, shower, basketball court, yoga rooms, certain separations, etc… gyms are so elaborate these days and so much is possible you should really find one that fits with your exact needs. Maybe you want something that just has the bare minimum but comes at a very cheap cost (think planet fitness). When it comes to classes maybe it’s important the gym offers 1-4 classes a month for free or at least lets you try them before officially signing up. Something else that oftentimes gets overlooked is if the gym offers limited or unlimited guest passes. If you are new to working out a lot of the time it helps to have an accountability buddy or someone that can help inspire you to go at least a couple times a week and it would be great to bring them along without needing to pay for an additional membership.
Let us know in the comments if you’re new to hitting the gym and what your health and fitness goals look like.