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8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

A Checklist for Fitness Facilities


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  • I began at the local state of the art gym, 80 dollars a month for just me! After a while I saw that the locker room was nasty, showers full of hair, lots of hair, clumps and clumps of hair with hair in the drain so thick that you could not see the drain at all! UGH, I got out of there!

    A new gym was built at my job and am starting to see the same locker room problem, but its 20 dollars a year so I just don't take a shower there anymore.
  • #1 thing for choosing a gym. Location, Location, Location. LOL Man, I messed this one up. My gym is 100 miles round way trip. LOL But I have been there forever and love it.
  • I was going to a gym before work that fit all the author's requirements. However, the changing room was so STEAMY that by the time I would leave headed for work, I would need another shower. I changed gyms.
  • I'm slowly starting to hate my gym. It's a tiny gym with many things I've decided I don't like over the course of the last 4 months or so. Once my 18 month contract is up (*head desk*) I think I'll go somewhere else, even if it does mean I have a 30 minute one way drive. If child care is an option that means I won't miss gym time if I have no one watch my kids.
  • I thought about joining a gym near us, but the girl behind the desk new NOTHING at all about fitness herself!! That was a real turn off for me!
    Very good article. My husband and I belong to a gym that is within 10 minutes from home, and is on the way home from work for both of us. We have found that the fit is right for us as we both do a lot of the group classes, and as a result have got to know people, which has added to the enjoyment for us.

    Very rarely do I have to wait for euipment in the cardio room. One other thing I would suggest that if you live in a warmer climate is that you check whether the cooling is adequate, as the gym I attend can fail on this point in the warmer weather. They have added more fans, but they need more especially in the weights room where the sweaty bodies can make it smelly.

    Before we joined they had a 30 day trial on offer, so this was able to give us a good idea as to whether the gym was a good fit for us.

    With regards to payment we pay our membership up front as it makes us commit, and also has allowed us bargaining power when it comes time to re-sign, and also they allow us to suspend our membership whilst on holidays without charging a fee.


    The gym at the University where I work used to post a chart showing peak usage times (during the previous month or week, I forget). This was really useful for people who had the flexibility to work around peak times! That came to mind because if you were to judge the availability of workout machines this week (first week in January - everyone eager to start their new workout plan!), you might get a very different impression from May or October. Similarly, the time of day probably makes a difference in how crowded a gym is, based on whether it is primarily used by people who go before work or what have you.
    very good article and I agree that small gyms can be very surprising as to the quality of the atmosphere. I dont like large facilities if you are just a number. I like going there to see my friends. an encouraging smile, a little advice, and a supportive atmosphere goes along way.
    As the owner of a small gym, I do have to mention one very important thing you left out - Customer Service. My husband and I own a small gym in Hawaii, and we pride ourselves on knowing all of our members by name and being available to them for fitness and nutritional questions. I think this was a very well-informed article, and gym seekers shouldn't look over the small neighborhood gym with less equipment because you never know what else you may find in there.
  • Really good article. I joined 5 different gyms before I found one that met all my requirements - there really are things that aren't obvious on the first visit. I was too shy to ask all that I should have. Not any more though. My present gym is a perfect fit.
  • I bought a gold membership at my gym for my husband and me so that I can attend any gym that they have in Ontario. At first, he and I only had local memberships, but once I got married, I inquired about family rates, and it turns out that for a "gold" membership (one that includes any gym), he and I would actually pay less per month, so we switched. I now go to the gym in the city where I work in the morning, and then go with my husband in the city where we live on the weekends.

    One thing to watch out for is some clubs' mandatory fitness evaulation. This is the time where they put on the really high pressure sales regarding personal training. I have taken personal training courses myself, but the trainers who do your evalation really try to make you feel as if you know nothing, and without their $700 package or extra boxing classes, you won't see results. During my evaluation, it actually got to the point where I said to the evaluator, "I have absolutely no intention of paying for anything other than the monthly membership fee, so you can give it up." At that point, his interest in me was noticably disminished. Annoying..... My poor husband did get sucked in :(
  • This was a very informative article, want to thank you...Tina
  • I signed up for my gym based on the childcare. Big mistake. Everyone there was great except for the unbending childcare workers. My son has allergies and often has red eyes. After being refused 3 or 4 times in one month, I got a note from his pediatrician and the pediatric eye doctor stating his eyes were red from allergies, not a cold or infectious disease. Then they just seemed to have an attitude and were unfriendly. Hated leaving my son there so I quit. I miss my workouts there, though.
  • Thanks for the article. It assures me that the gym at my office building is indeed the best one for me. Location is great! (I can workout anytime I need)
    Thank you for the information. The things to look for are right on. I joined a gym recently and the location and child care are why I joined. The gym itself is a bit of a disappointment for my workouts. I wish I had looked harder.

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