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8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

A Checklist for Fitness Facilities


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  • One of the reasons why I don't do a gym contract is because I'm not paying for something that will turn out to be totally wrong for me. That's why I use monthly memberships from social coupon sites.

    The first gym I joined, I loved. It had up to date equipment, was well-maintained, and there was never a line. The second gym I joined, I HATED it. Machines were often broken, the machines were located too close to each other, the staff was rude, there were often long lines to use equipment, and the ladies locker room was a madhouse. Plus, I didn't like how the other gym members felt "skanky." The only thing it had going for it was that it was extremely conveniently located.

    I don't think I'll be tempted to join a gym again.
  • I also didn't see if it mentioned avoiding gyms (or at least be ware of )that offer free trials then hit you with the hard sell right off the bat- that happened to me at a local chain got suckered into a locked in contract what a scam!!!
  • Great article! All valid points, depending on your needs. :)
  • Location, pool, members, trainers... having belonged to now three different gyms in town, I recently returned to the first one I had belonged to... for all those reasons. Good article.
    Great article! I love my gym because of the location, the members and the staff. My current gym I have been going to for over five years.

    I am glad to see that members made the list. At the last gym I went to, it was more like a meat market then a gym. I hated that and it was the primary reason I left after my year membership was over.
  • My main problem is the salespeople. Going for a tour or trying to use their free pass is like attending a timeshare presentation. OMG, I was high pressured to join & I hadn't even gotten the tour. Seriously, the guy thought his 20 minute speech, on how great this gym is, should be enough for me to join. The topper was he offered me a great price, but I had to buy right then. The offer was a one time only deal.

    Why do they have to be so obnoxious? A great gym should sell itself.

    Also, I think it's really important to read online reviews of the gyms your interested in. These are members who felt strongly enough ( pro or con ) to take the time to write a review. If you see enough of a common theme, you'll know it must be true.

  • Most important thing to me? Environment. I need a gym that doesn't have children running around or people grunting and slamming weight obnoxiously. Planet Fitness is pretty good about this sort of thing :-) you have to be at least 13 to enter and they actually have an alarm you can push when people are being annoying in the weight section/
  • Child Care!! That is a HUGE factor for me as a single mom! Especially now that my kiddo is getting 9yrs old...That's why I fork over more for a Y membership...he loves it- they have the "hub" for him (5 & up)- it has pool, video games, arts & crafts, board games, etc...(they also have a nursery for under 5 that we used when he was younger) and 8&up can be in the pool alone as long as the parent is in the building. He loves when I go workout so he can play :) so worth the extra money to me.
  • I was just writing about this topic last night in my health journal and used this article to really think my way toward joining a new gym with a more affordable price. This article was really helpful.
  • I just recalled I can use the (unsupervised)gym at the "big building" (as opposed to the one I work at) where I work FOR FREE. Going to try it out after work on Friday.
  • I would add "parking situation" to this list. I found a conveniently located gym I liked, only to realize that during the evening the gym was big enough for the rush but the parking lot was not. Spending 20 minutes circling for an open spot before my tour was enough to drive me away before signing up.
  • My gym sold me when I looked at the ladies' locker room. If it is attractive, well-maintained and super clean, either they have cleaning services come in all the time or the members really care about the gym or both.
  • A very good article, with important points to consider when joining a gym. Unfortunately, the first point is the only one relevant for me -- Location, location, location! There are no gyms located where I live, work or anywhere in between. So either I have to choose an inconvenient gym (and hope I have the time and stay motivated) or forget about joining a gym.
  • Excellent article. I never thought about comparing a gym to a restaurant. Excellent tips. Shared them on facebook. This is why I like sparkpeople so much. Very informative, motivational, uplifting. Thanks for existing!!
  • Great Checklist to use when choosing a gym!

    Mine definately fits within the checklist - it's right on my way to & from work, which makes it very practical.

    Clean, new equipment, and price is right!

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