Written with love, by Nikki Lian
Whether you're an early bird who's workout dictates how the day is going to go or someone who needs to relieve stress after work, finding a gym that suits you is of utmost importance. It sounds like a no-brainier right? Just go to the gym closest to home or one that is the least expensive. It's really not all that easy. If you are serious about getting into shape you're going to be there quite often, so it's imperative that you choose one that fits your needs. Here are some things you should look into before signing a contract:
You may have crazy hours at work and can only work out at 2am. Or, you like to get your workout in before 7am, even on the weekends. Consider the hours of operation before you decide to sign up. I once didn't join a gym because their opening weekend hours weren't early enough for me. It's something you must consider. Another thing to consider about time is the time you must go. Ask for a week pass and test the waters. If you are going straight from work and you'll be starting your workout at 6pm, is it going to be so packed that you can't even get your cardio on?
Location, Location, Location
Unless it's some sort of a one of a kind specialty gym that you have to go to, ask yourself how much time you are willing to spend in traffic. Do you want 30 minutes of time that could be spend doing an outstanding leg workout to go to sitting in traffic? That's of course your decision, but it is definitely something else to consider. You may have to travel a lot as well and find yourself in different places you aren't used to, so you might want to consider a gym that has multiple locations so you don't have to miss any workouts.
Classes + Amenities Offered
Do you love a good cardio kickboxing class, or an evening dip in the pool? Make sure this gym has what you want! You're paying good money here, so make sure you're getting what you pay for. Gyms usually have a schedule of classes online to look at, but again if this is something important to you ask to have a few days free to check out the class instructors or cleanliness off the sauna. Speaking of cleanliness...
Hundreds of people spread their germs throughout any given fitness facility every day. It's the business's job to keep it up to health club standards. Yes, people are pigs and they could not care less for leaving their sweat all over the bicep curl machine. But it's a good sign when you see gym employees re-racking weights, wiping down machines, and picking up trash (especially in the restroom). You want a workout, not a communicable, foreign fungus growing on your extremities.
So your gym is clean, it's got the classes you want at the hours you want and it's right down the street. You are ready to become an official member! My advice? Read between the lines. Obviously you're not going to need a lawyer to go over these documents but some things are important to know so you are not surprised later on. For example, is there a down payment? Is there a month to month membership or am I locked in for a year? If I'm locked in, what is the cancellation fee? If I'm not locked in, what is the cancellation process? If I get injuredhave to go on an extended vacation can I freeze my membership? What if I move out of state? Make sure all your answers are in writing. Salespeople can tend to verbalized things in a way you want to hear so be careful.
Joining a gym is like buying a car, take a few for a test drive to see what makes you happy. Be thorough in the questions you ask and take your time. Happy hunting!!