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8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

A Checklist for Fitness Facilities


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  • I was a member at the Y but it was too much for me. I loved it. But now I go to this school where I pay less and my whole family can go on that price. They just don't have as much as the Y. Great article.
  • I wish I could afford a gym with classes. The Y is so expensive and it looks like it is always busy.
  • I love Curves for Women. It is designed for women and targets their fitness issues. The machines are easy to learn. You can get in and out in 30 minutes and have a complete workout. There is no spandex or people trying to win a fitness appearance contest. The coaches are great consultants but there is no pressure to join or upgrade. Occasionally they have a "free month" promotion. You can start at your own pace and move up when you are ready. I have lost weight with their program and all my other issues are improved as well: went from diabetic to "Pre-diabetic" in my glucose measures, off my cholesterol medication, etc. This is my 6th fitness effort and the only one I've been able to stick with for a year.
  • My advice would be to have a chat with the receptionist. They know EVERYTHING, like when the gym is busiest, quietest, the best trainers to work with. Also, chat with people who work there, like the trainers. They should be friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • As a gym owner it is always nice to get an objective list of what potential gym members consider when choosing a gym. My personal priorities are gym cleanliness and safety. Thank you for your Insights!
    I tried a few of the no-contract gyms, but it just wasn't for me. Then I looked into the YMCA and that was just a little too over the top. I found a good medium that is actually 24hrs so I'm willing to pay the extra because I don't want to work out in an environment that doesn't fit me.
  • 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.

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