With the onset of February, it is a good time to gauge how many of us are actually sticking to our New Year’s Resolution of being fit and are regularly visiting the gym. Most people who invest in a gym membership at the start of the year as a part of their resolution are often irregular towards the end of January due to lack of motivation or due to certain issues they may have with the gym and the environment there.
So how do you stay motivated? How do you ensure that you won’t quit the gym by August this year? To ensure that you stick to your gym and achieve your goals, we’ve got some pointers that will help you choose the right gym. But before that, you need to ask yourself one question – Do you really need a gym? Given your work schedule, your habits and your goals, does signing up for a gym membership make sense? If you can achieve your goals working out at home, while maintaining your work-life balance, do you really need a gym? If the answer is yes, then here are 12 Steps To Choose the Right Gym For You!
1. List Your Must-Haves
Before hunting for a gym that suits your taste, you must know what you’re looking for. You need to make a list of your goals, the kind of equipment you need, the services to best aid you in achieving your health goals, the atmosphere and type of gym you are looking for. Having this list handy makes it easier for you to choose a gym you are most likely to be regular at.
This is of prime importance. Before or after a hectic day at work, would you really brave the erratic traffic in your city to reach a gym that is miles away from your home? Your best bet is to choose a decent gym that’s close by and easily accessible, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to workout after your shift.
Let’s face it! Irrespective of which gym you like, Cost is the ultimate factor that will decide where you workout. When it comes to cost, you need to ask yourself if the gym membership is worth it. Are you getting additional services with your gym membership? Are you getting services you don’t want? Does your gym membership cover privileges like massages, sauna, a pool, a daycare for your child while you workout or a snack bar? Will you be charged separately for these services or are they included in your deal? Whatever the cost, ensure that you get your money’s worth.
4. Hours of Operation
There is nothing better than a gym that is flexible with its timings. If you find a gym that is open 24 hours, there’s nothing like it. You might also want to inquire if they are open during public holidays and about the days when the gym will be closed. It’s best to pick a gym that is open most days of the year.
5. Visit During Peak Hours
No one likes a crowded gym. So before you choose one, take a tour of the gym but not on a weekend or when the gym is relatively empty. Take a tour during the hours you’re more likely to go once you join. This will give you a good insight into the kind of crowd that’s at the gym and how crowded it is during your preferred time. If the line to use an equipment is 5 people long, make a beeline for the exit and head over to your next option.
6. Personal Trainer
This is another major deciding factor. A Personal Trainer can be a good guide in helping you achieve your fitness goals the right way. A few things you need to look into before you sign up is if your gym membership covers a personal trainer or if you’ll have to pay for one. The qualification of the personal trainers at your gym is also of prime importance. If you must go for a personal trainer, go for someone with an advanced certification/degree and someone who is in line with your goal.
7. Cleanliness and Hygiene
It’s no secret that gyms are essentially breeding grounds for sweat, bacteria and germs. While somethings can’t be helped, you need to ensure that the gym you sign up for is regularly maintained with hygiene checks, have clean equipment, washrooms and changing rooms. An unclean environment is very off-putting and may prevent you from visiting the gym as frequently as you would have otherwise.
8. Check Equipment
The first thing you should do when you’re taking a tour of a gym is to check the equipment. This check is essential to know if the gym has all the equipment you need and if they are in good shape. You won’t get anywhere with shoddy equipment. Also check for the make. A manufacturer that may produce excellent treadmills may not be ideal for rowing machines. Always go for a fine mix that exudes quality! The best gyms often have equipment from different manufacturers.
Observing gym culture is a pivotal step in deciding whether or not the gym is for you! Do you prefer working out in the presence of the opposite sex? Does the intimidating presence of muscle-heads and heavy lifters bother you? Are you okay with loud, upbeat trance or do you prefer rock? All these questions need to be answered because if you are not comfortable or don’t like the atmosphere in the gym, you are less motivated to visit it regularly. Remember that comfort is of the utmost importance as it will ensure you renew your membership at the end of the year (if you make it :D).
10. Does the Gym Meet Your Target?
It’s all about the goals! Does the gym have the right equipment, the right trainers, the right facilities and specialization to meet the goals you’ve set for yourself? If you want to lose weight, it makes more sense to choose a gym that specializes in weight loss. If you want to bulk up, go for a gym that specializes in bodybuilding. Don’t join a gym that doesn’t cater to your needs.
11. Look For Reviews
Sometimes, an advertisement or a single tour cannot give you all the information you need. Take to social media, read reviews and form your opinion. The gym’s social media profile will give you an idea about the gym culture, while multiple reviews can give you a good idea about how the gym ranks in terms of quality and whether or not it meets your standards.
12. Take a Trial
When all else fails, a little personal touch, like a week-long trial can help you know for sure if this gym is the one! A trial will help you gauge the equipment, the culture and all the other essentials that will become a part of your final decision. It will also help you understand if you’re getting your money’s worth.
In conclusion, choosing a gym is like picking a partner, you need to think it through to ensure that you don’t quit half way and are motivated to such an extent that you continue your membership and workout for a fit and healthy life!
Did we miss out on any key points that you think are essential? Let us know in the comments below!