If you’ve decided to join a gym, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the different fitness chains in your area. Though it may be tempting to just join any old gym, you must remember that a gym contract is not only a financial commitment, but it is also a commitment to your health and well-being. There are many things to consider before signing a contract to ensure that you are choosing a chain that fits your needs. These five tips will help you to make the right decision and choose a gym that’s right for you.
Set your Budget
Since joining fees and monthly membership costs can vary greatly from gym to gym, it’s best to decide how much you can afford to pay before even starting your gym research. Most gym contracts will lock you in for at least one year, so keep this in mind and set a realistic budget. Knowing how much you can realistically afford will help you weed out unsuitable gyms quickly. Sticking with a strict budget can also help defend you against high-pressure sales tactics.
Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always read the fine print and know exactly what you’ll be paying before you sign a contract.
Choose a Location
Think about when you are most likely to go to the gym. If you like to go in the early mornings, it may be better to choose a gym near your home, so you can go home and get ready for work afterwards. If you like going right after work, you may prefer to have your gym be close to work, so you can avoid distractions and go immediately after clocking out.
If your gym habits tend to change day by day, it may be beneficial to choose a gym with multiple locations that you can use. Remember, if the gym you choose is not in a convenient location for you, you are much less likely to go on a regular basis.
Determine your Needs
Before you can truly determine if a gym is right for you, you need to understand what you’ll be using it for. If you like to swim, make sure your gym has a pool, as not all gyms have them. If you like to take fitness classes, check if the gym offers a wide variety of classes, in timeslots that will fit with your schedule. If you mostly just use the machines, make sure the gym you choose has enough equipment so that you won’t waste half of your workout time waiting for someone else to finish.
Some people don’t like going to the gym alone. If you determine that having a gym buddy is one of your needs, check which gym your friends attend, and sign up if it meets your other needs.
Test the Atmosphere
Since most gyms will offer trial memberships or guest passes, you should never sign a gym contract without actually testing the facility. Ultimately, gym salespeople want you to sell you a membership, and may tell you whatever you want to hear to get you to sign up. By actually testing the facility, you will be able to get a more in-depth view on whether the gym is clean, if all the equipment is functional, and if all the services are up to your standards.
Make sure to use your guest pass at a time when you would normally work out, so you can test the true atmosphere that you will be experiencing if you sign a contract. If you are not comfortable with the gym, the staff, or with the other members, you will not be happy attending the gym.
With so many fitness chains competing for your business, deciding on a gym to join can be tough. Start by deciding what you can realistically afford to spend, and the location you can see yourself going to on a regular basis. Determine what you’ll be using the gym for, and make sure the one you choose will fill those needs. Lastly, make sure you actually test out the gym to make sure you feel fully comfortable and satisfied with your choice. Remember, joining a gym is an investment into your health, so you owe it to yourself to do the proper research and find the one that’s right for you.