Top Considerations When Choosing a Public Gym


top considerations when choosing a public gym

Only around 20% of the US population exercises daily. This is a shocking number considering exercise is a daily requirement for both mental and physical health, right? If you’re looking to make 30 minutes of daily exercise a regular occurrence and take steps towards a healthier and happier lifestyle, you might consider joining a public gym. We are exploring the top considerations when choosing a public gym.

But, how do you choose the right gym for you based on your daily schedule and personal preferences?

Keep reading for the top considerations when choosing a public gym, including entry systems, amenities, pricing, and other features you should be considering when starting your fitness journey with a new gym.

Considerations When Choosing A New Public Gym

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What makes a gym great? Let’s explore some of the main features that make a gym better suited to you when starting your fitness journey.

Touchless Entry

When you work out, you may not have much time to work with. Some gyms operate using codes and pin pads with their key fob entry system, while others use biometrics or facial recognition technology for credentials into their gym.

If you’re in a hurry, you don’t want to rifle through your bag to find your phone or search your email to find your entry code. With a touchless entry system, access readers use cellular, Bluetooth, and WiFi communication to ensure you can enter the building on the first try.

The system operates using mobile credentials as digital access keys, so you won’t have to remember your key fob should you wish to work out – all you need is your phone.

You can enter while your mobile device is stored in your gym bag or pocket; as with these three communication methods, your device does not have to be presented directly in front of the reader to be detected.

If entry is easier and more convenient, there will be no long queues for admission at your gym’s reception. You will get more time in the gym, and you won’t be late for your other responsibilities throughout the day.

Flexible Hours

Everybody’s schedule is different, and you need a gym that fits in with your day-to-day. If you like to work out before you go to work and need to be at work by 6 am, you may need a gym open 24 hours a day.

Most gyms that are not open 24hrs a day run from 6 am to 9 pm as standard, which may not suit your lifestyle.

You shouldn’t choose a gym that doesn’t fit seamlessly into your schedule, as if you need to interrupt your regular sleeping pattern for the gym, likely, you won’t be able to commit to a consistent workout schedule. To keep things easy for yourself and ensure your gym subscription doesn’t go to waste, only consider gyms that are open when you’re free (and awake).

The Amenities Offered

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Your new gym needs to be appealing enough to you that you visit as often as possible. If you grow tired of using treadmills, and there’s not much else on offer at your gym, you could end up bored and unmotivated.

To keep yourself interested in going to the gym, it’s best to opt for one that has a variety of amenities, classes, and equipment available for you to use. When you hit a motivation wall, it can be handy to mix things up and try something new. Some of the amenities that gyms might offer include:

  • Tennis courts
  • Swimming facilities
  • Weights
  • Cardio machines
  • Yoga classes
  • Workout classes
  • Spin classes
  • Spa facilities

Figure out which of these amenities appeal most to you and whether they will make it easier for you to motivate yourself and get to the gym as much as possible.


Not all communities offer free public gyms, meaning you will have to consider your budget when choosing your new gym. You need to evaluate your commitment level before investing in a higher-end gym. If you’re just starting and unsure whether you will stick, it’s best not to break the bank. So, stick to the lower budget gyms unless you’re prepared to use the gym regularly and consistently.


Gym building design should include ample parking for users. There’s nothing worse than showing up to the gym only to find that there’s nowhere to park. To prevent this from happening, you should look at gyms within walking distance of your home/work or gyms with plenty of parking spaces.

The Atmosphere

gym atmosphere considerations

You need to consider the type of atmosphere you’re looking for in a gym. Are you looking for a family-friendly gym, or something a little more exclusive? You need to think about how you will be using the gym, and what feeling you would like to gain from the experience.

Consider the following gym atmospheres, and which one would be best suited to your fitness journey:

  • Family-friendly – some gyms offer daycare for children and family-friendly activities. If you have young children and struggle to find the time to work out, it might be best to invest in a gym that offers family-friendly services. Likewise, if you do not have any children, and would prefer not to be surrounded by children at your gym, then you should look for an adults-only gym.

  • Luxury – if you’re looking for a gym that promotes wellness, fitness, and relaxation, then you might consider investing in a luxury gym. A luxury gym is more exclusive, so if you hate visiting a busy gym, then you might enjoy a luxury gym.

  • Bootcamps – if you’re looking for a more rigorous and regimented exercise routine, then you might consider joining a gym that offers bootcamps for its members.

  • Personal training – if you don’t really know what you’re doing at the gym yet, don’t worry! You can opt for a gym that has on-site personal trainers. A personal trainer will help you to keep your form correct and avoid injury when trying new exercises.

There are many kinds of different gyms, each with its own unique atmosphere. The best way to guage the atmosphere of your new gym is to visit in person and ask for a tour. You will be able to see how busy the gym is, or how kid-friendly it is.


A clean gym is definitely one of the top considerations when choosing a gym. If the gym is usually very busy all day, this could indicate that the cleaning staff won’t have time to clean the equipment properly. So, always opt for a gym that has quiet hours.

You should visit the gym in person to check out how clean the amenities are. Are the showers clean? Are the lockers clean on the inside? Take a close look at the equipment to see if it is dirty.

In light of the recent pandemic, you should also ensure that your gym has many hand sanitizing stations, along with cleaning materials. Gym members should be encouraged to wipe down the equipment before and after use to ensure germs are not spread.

Your gym should also offer hygiene-based technologies such as automated wellness verification. Automated wellness verification integrates with access control to provide digital surveys that members must fill out before entry.

The digital surveys will question members based on their symptoms.

If a member is showing coronavirus symptoms and hasn’t taken a negative covid test, the system will recommend that they take a test and restrict their access. Your health and safety is of the utmost importance at the gym, and you don’t want to be exposed to coronavirus while you are working out.

The Member Profile

A lot of gyms are now targeting a certain demographic. There are several mens-only gyms that offer mostly powerlifting and heavy weight training equipment. Or, there are female-only gyms that offer classes, personal training, and cardio equipment.

You must consider the member profile of the gym before joining. Would you like to join a gender specific gym?

Or, would you prefer to work out with a variety of people? If you are a senior citizen, you might prefer a gym with a seniors-only member profile that can give you the assistance you need.

Extra Features

Many gyms are now offering extra features to draw in more members. For instance, some gyms offer health foods at their restaurant, or others offer protein shakes and smoothies at their juice bar. If you want a gym that promotes a social atmosphere, you should consider joining a gym with these extra features.

Some gyms even offer on-site physical therapy and massage. You will likely have to pay additional charges to access these features. Take a look at the extra features on offer at the gyms on your shortlist. Which ones appeal to you most? The extra features could help you to decide between your top selections.


Your fitness journey can be exciting! You will experience elevated mood levels and decreased stress, and your body will look better. Choosing the right gym is important if you don’t like your gym or the gym is inconvenient. So, keep these top considerations when choosing a gym in mind, and you’re sure to find a gym you love!

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Terry Asher

Owner & Founder at Gym Junkies LLC
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
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Top Considerations When Choosing a Public Gym
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Top Considerations When Choosing a Public Gym
Are you looking to join a new gym? We got you covered! Keep reading for the top considerations when choosing a public gym.
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Gym Junkies LLC
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