One thing that wasn't on the list for people looking at a gym membership is to NOT be pushed into commiting right away. If the person showing you the gym demands you sign up now or you'll lose their special amazing offer, just walk out. In my experience, if they do that there is something hidden in the contract that they don't want you to see. In my case, my nice $32/month fee would jump upto almsot $70 after 8 months. Ouch!
Just like you wouldn't let a car sales man push you into buying a car you don't want, don't let the gym rep push you into a membership you don't want. Take time to read the contract and if it doesn't seem right, walk away. :)
I'm another one for whom this articel was timly. I did some shopping around last month and plan to join in the next week now that I'm back from Christmas. I went for a gym that is between work and home and has classes at good times for me, has a massage therapist I like, has plenty of free weights and is reasonably priced.
I recently quit a gym that had all the bells and whistles- pool, sauna, numerous classes, circuit training, super long hours, but I didn't use all that. I recently "down sized" to a smaller gym. No extras, but it has all the equipment I need and use! Plus, I am saving money!
I learned to make sure not to pay for more gym than you use!
These are the basics of finding a good gym, but my current gym met all this criteria and I'm still not happy there. The reasons: 1. Trainers come around and try to sell you stuff while you're in the midst of your workout. Even trainers who I've never even seen before. 2. The girls at the desk are very loud on the overhead speakers (which cuts out the music when used) and they often play on those speakers. 3. They actually give extra fitness classes in the area where people are supposed to go for stretching, mat work, and work with the swiss ball. They don't confine their classes to the rooms designated for this. Then they holler, yell and scream during their classes and over the loudspeaker as if everyone in the gym was part of it. Soooo annoying!!!
Thanks for the information, I really needed this because I am considering going out looking for a GYM to fit my needs. I really hope this work in my area.
12/29/2008 1:10:11 AM
Great article. Am reading this after enrolling at a gym, but atleast i am glad that my fits everything thats mentioned here.
12/19/2008 3:48:00 PM
In full disclosure, I own a gym and am a NASM certified personal trainer.
Things you should consider most people don’t thing of.
Most individuals starting a fitness program are surprise, not in shape. You should ask if the gym you are going follows all state laws regarding health and safety. In California, we are required to staff the facility at all times with an AED/CPR certified employee. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you emergencies happen more often than you think and age is not necessarily the factor. More often than not it involves new members not eating before exercise, drinking energy drinks or caffeine, or underlying conditions members didn’t know they have. We all train with our local EMS.
And yes unattended facilities called “key clubs” are illegal in California, the law just doesn’t provide for enforcement.
#2 Qualified Staff
Don’t assume that just because someone is a “certified personal trainer” they have a clue what they are doing. You can get a certification online in hours for as little as $49.00. Our club only uses the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Training (CPT) program because it is based on a methodology that has been developed for over 20 years. We know the methodology works producing superior results while avoiding injury.
#3 Borden you concept of what a gym should do for you.
Most customers want to lose weight or improve their fitness level. A good gym should do a lot more for your, using corrective exercise techniques it should:
a) Restore proper movement b) Reduce or eliminate joint pain c) Re-establish neuromuscular control and improve your balance d) Improve your reaction time (avoid accidents)
#4 Don’t be a loner
Your odds of sticking with an exercise / nutrition program are significantly better if you workout with someone else. Does the club have a workout partner program? Get into a group exercise class where you can make friends. Hire a trainer. From a business perspective, we love it when people connect because they stay with the club longer, have more success, and provide more referrals.
I have yet to find a gym with classes offered from times in the afternoon. A class from 2 to 3, or 2:30 to 3:30, 3 to 4, or 3:30 to 4: 30 would be PERFECT for me (teacher). I want to go to the gym right after school, and get home in time to fix dinner for my family and attend my daughters' sports/games. Any gym I've belonged to (except Curves, which in my town has very odd, sparse, inconvenient hrs), has classes during a working person's day, and then not again until 5 pm. I get bored from doing just cardio equipment every day after school. I recently went back to my old gym after a 6 month membership at a newer, trendy gym. Classes like Pilates, spinning, bellydancing, and tai Chi were only offered during my work hours or later in the eve. than I wanted to be at the gym.. I'd love a floor class from 3 to 4!!!!!!
Another thing to do is visit the gym during the hours you plan to be there - a gym can look like it has enough equipment, but if at 5:30 pm or 7 a.m. every machine is in use and that is the only time you can workout, then it may not be the gym for you. I am in this situation and I had to start going to the gym at 5 a.m. to be able to workout on the machines that I like!
For me one of the most important thing was finding a facility that was family friendly and could grow with us. The gym that I picked was not the closest, but has great facilities for my child. The hours are very flexible in the child care and they have lots of great activities for my child. They also have a pool area that's just for kids. Having my child be excited about going to the gym sure makes it easier for me to go regularly.
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