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8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

A Checklist for Fitness Facilities

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  • CAMELSAMBA
    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.
  • ON2VICTORY
    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.
  • TISMOM
    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)
  • VIVIERKA
    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.
  • I don't belong to a gym buy all of the suggestions in the article are fantastic. Yes, you really do need to do your homework. I like the idea of a tour and a free day. This article gives an excellent and a thorough reference guide; it's definitely a must-read for anyone thinking of joining a gym. Gym memberships can be expensive so spend wisely.
  • I don't belong to a gym buy all of the suggestions in the article are fantastic. Yes, you really do need to do your homework. I like the idea of a tour and a free day. This article gives an excellent and a thorough reference guide; it's definitely a must-read for anyone thinking of joining a gym. Gym memberships can be expensive so spend wisely.
  • Wish I'd read this before I joined my gym! The only time I can go (due to my schedule) is about 4 AM, and almost all of the lights in the parking lot are out, and there are dark alley's on either side of the gym! It looks fine during the day, but at that early in the morning, it's kind of worrisome. There's no staff there at that time, I use a keycard to get in. I almost got mugged one morning!!!
  • I like everything in the article. My gym (Anytime Fitness) is awesome. The owners are awesome. The spin instructors are , yeah, awesome. Membership has grown so much that I had to start getting there 2 hrs early to get a bike at spin. They promptly made it possible to reserve a bike online at their website up to 24 hrs in advance. I love my gym.
  • We only have one gym near us. I would love to join, but I know more about fitness then the girl behind the desk. That was a big turn off for me. They also wanted to do a monthly deduction from my checking account. NO WAY.
  • 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. :)

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