In todays health-conscious society, joining a gym is becoming more and more popular as a way to maintain a healthy weight and a good fitness level. Gyms are a good option as they mean you get to work out with other like-minded individuals in a dedicated fitness environment, which can boost motivation and improve your performance. However, how can you tell a good gym from a bad one?
Firstly, look for a gym local to you. This might be your workplace if youre going to be doing lunchtime workouts or classes, or closer to home if youll be using it in the evenings. For example, if youre in Brighton, look for a nearby Sussex gym. This is because if you start looking too far afield, you may find that the long journey puts you off ever actually going. If it means you can walk or jog there too, even better.
Secondly, think about what you want to get from your training. If its a cardio workout to help you burn fat, lose weight and improve your overall fitness level, check to see if there will be enough treadmills, exercise bikes and cross trainers. If youre looking for strength training, make sure there are enough weight machines and free weights.
Think about the time of day youll want to use the gym and plan your initial visit around this. If you find, during your visit, that there are massive queues for all the equipment you would want to use, this indicates that you should either find a less busy gym or plan your visits around the peak hours. However, if a gym is completely empty, this should also set off alarm bells. People may well be avoiding it for a reason.
Classes can be a major part of some fitness regimes. Many gyms offer everything from Zumba to pilates, and you should think about whether you want to take classes and which ones would benefit you. Find out the class schedule for the gym to see if any of the classes are at appropriate times, and if so, how much they cost on top of your normal membership.
Finally, you should decide based on the overall ambience and appearance of the gym. Is the equipment well maintained? Are there instructors on hand to show you how to use the machines? Do the changing rooms and showers look clean and safe? If in doubt, dont feel afraid to ask members of the gym what they think. Theyre much more likely to give you an honest opinion than a member of staff, and it could save you lots of money if you decide that particular gym isnt for you.