4 Things to Look Out for When Choosing a Gym

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finding a new gym

So you’re on the lookout for Choosing a Gym…Maybe you’ve moved to a new area or maybe you’re tired of the place you’ve been attending.

Either way, there are things you really need to research before putting down money…especially if it’s for a contract.  Check the list below to see what most people miss when signing up for a new gym and looking into gym workouts.

Choosing a Gym…

#1 Are There Discounts They Pray You Won’t See?

I joined a Mixed Martial Arts gym recently that costs about $85 a month, which isn’t bad at all for the value you get.

Online, I saw they had a Groupon deal that would give me a free month for $25, which was tempting, even though I knew the price would only be temporary.

At the same time, a friend of mine told me, “Hey, I can get you a free day pass so you can check it out.”

I ended up going with the $25 Groupon instead, which had some interesting results.

On the first day of attending the gym, I was given a one-time offer:  Pay $300 now and the entire year is paid for.  That comes down to $25 a month, which was a no-brainer for me.

Now do you know what would have happened if I had gone with my friend’s day pass instead?  I would have had a single free day, followed by an invitation to sign up for $85 a month… and that’s it.  That $300/year deal would not exist.

The lesson is that you have to make sure you do your due diligence on the place before you even walk through the door.  By the time I used the free day pass, I would have disqualified myself from the Groupon deal and been paying over three times as much for life.

Make sure that before entering a gym, you’ve signed up for Groupon, LivingSocial, Yelp Deals, and any other local trial coupon service.  You can even set a filter in your mail to only send you deals where “gym exercises” is mentioned so your inbox doesn’t get clogged up.

#2 Is There Flexibility to Change Workouts?

If you asked me what gym equipment I needed in 1998, I would have demanded a lot of machines.  Chest press, leg extensions, calf lifts, and bicep curl machines.

I wouldn’t go near any of those now.  Just give me a bunch of free weights and benches and I’m set.

However, I’m aware now that my workout does change over time so my current gym also has plenty of kettlebells, ropes to climb, and exercise bands.  I don’t use them much now, but I can always adjust when I change routines, and that’s what you get when you choose a gym that allows you to grow in your goals and practice.

Right now, you may believe you’ve discovered the best workout on earth and will never want to change.  That’s a sign that marketers have done their job.  However, even if you have discovered the best workout on earth, you will need to change things up to keep growing and you don’t want to have to switch gyms every time you find a new exercise guru.

#3 How Crowded is it During Your Free Time?

chest day workouts

I know plenty of people who have made the mistake of visiting a new gym in off-hours.  Meaning they thought, “Hmmm I want to make sure I get a good look around the gym without bumping into people.  I think I’ll visit it on my day off.”

You may think it’s a great idea to tour the place while it’s nice and quiet and there truly are advantages to this.  You can ask your tour guide all the questions you want and move through the place very easily.

However, it’s a MUST that you visit the gym at the times you plan to work out the most.  If you’re in the “after work” crowd, there’s a good chance the place will be totally mobbed at 5:30PM and that you won’t realize this until after you sign up.

You can’t just look at the amount of people in the gym at 3:30PM and then double it if you work out at a different time.  I’ve been to places where a fitness class at 9AM has four people and a 6PM class has sixty.  Since each gym is different, you have to take a little time to make your decision and visit during the days and times you’re most likely to go.

Which brings us to…

#4 How Much Are You REALLY Going to Go?

There really is no more important factor for a gym than lifestyle convenience and you must search for a beginner gym workout first.

It doesn’t matter if they give you a private room with every weight you need and a free personal trainer to guide you every session.  If it’s even 25 minutes away from your house, you’re likely to skip sessions.

If it’s 5 minutes from your house, but the front desk man is creepy and drools every time you wear a tank top, you’re likely to skip sessions.

And if you have to take more than a minute to find a parking spot, you’re guaranteed to skip sessions.

Listen… every time you get up to go to the gym, you’re going to try to talk yourself out of it with a list.

The list might be…

“I don’t have enough time to go to the gym… first I have to put my clothes on… then I have to drive XX minutes, then I have to find a parking spot on the street, then I have to swipe my card behind the line of 10 people…”

Anything you can remove from that list will double your chances of hitting the gym.  Anything you add to it will cut your motivation in half.  So if you have to pay a meter every time you join the best gym on earth, you’ll just never go.  Make sure it’s stupid simple to get in, work out, and get out at all times.

Flex Banner

There’s plenty of other things to consider, such as price, cleanliness, and amount of equipment, but I’m sure you’ll be on the lookout for that anyway on your first visit to a fitness center.  Use your common sense along with the rules above and you’ll find a great place.

-Terry Asher

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Terry

Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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13 COMMENTS

  1. Great advice. I don’t have a gym within 20 minutes of my house, so I never joined because I knew it would be a waste of money and I wouldn’t go. I just put some of that money into buying some equipment for the basement and I make sure I go use it regularly.

  2. It really does help to visit the gym you’re considering when you’re planning to go. As the article points out, this is the only way you’re going to get a real idea of how full the gym will be when you try to go. Although, if you can’t choose a different time of day to go and the gym is swamped at that time, then you might consider choosing an independent trainer that can rent out a room for the two of you to use.

  3. Thanks for the helpful advice on how to choose a fitness center! I especially liked the advice to check out the gym when you would normally go work out. I hadn’t thought about it before, but it makes sense that you’d want to make sure that it isn’t too crowded so you can get the equipment you want without having to wait too long.

  4. I like that this article mentions choosing a gym with a variety of equipment, such as free weights and ropes to climb, so that you can ensure they’ll work for whatever routine you want to do. This would be important to ensure you can enjoy your workout and use it to get the skills you want. In order to see what the gym has to offer, you’d probably want to check out their website and visit them, which could also give you the chance to learn about any programs they have available.

  5. It’s so awesome that I stumbled upon your post on how to look for the right gym. My buddies want me to go to the gym with them. However, I am still waiting for a discount, if there’s any, so I can start my diet as well.

  6. I agree that you should consider the flexibility of workouts when you are finding a gym. You want to make sure they have enough equipment to allow you to do different workouts frequently, like you said. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I find a good fitness center.

  7. I like the tip about seeing how crowded the gym is during your free time. You should visit the gym during the day when you will be working out, like you suggested. I agree that you should avoid taking a tour of the gym during the most quiet hours.

  8. I have read through other blogs, but they are cumbersome and confusing more than your post. I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone! I believe a lot of people will be like to read this article!

  9. I agree that you want to find a gym that is flexible. It would make sense to find something that is going to be easy to manage as well. My husband and I are looking for a new gym, so we’ll have to find someone who is flexible.

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