There are a number of different reasons why people find themselves looking for new gyms and places to workout, for example: some people may move house, and will therefore need a new gym to workout at, as their old one may now be too far away. Other people may decide that they didn’t actually enjoy training at their old gym and would rather look elsewhere, and others may need to look for a new place to train because their old gym may be closing down. Whatever their reasons for looking for a new gym may be, the one thing that they will all agree on, is the fact that finding a good gym is much harder than you may have initially realised. There are several factors that work together to create the perfect gym, and it is certainly about much more than how much equipment it has, or how large it is. There are huge, modern, and technically advanced gyms out there that just do not have the atmosphere required to have productive workouts, and on the flipside, there are small, dark, and outdated gyms that still have some of the best possible machines and pieces of equipment, as well as a fantastic atmosphere to match. If you’re on the lookout for a new gym, here are five things to look out for.
The ideal location
As far as choosing a gym is concerned, the location is one of the most important factors that you will need to consider. You want a gym that is located either, relatively close to your home, or close to your place of employment so that you aren’t having to make long journeys every single week. There are two reasons for this, the first is the fact that travelling X amounts of extra miles each week will eat away at your spare time, and leave you feeling tired and rundown, and then of course, there’s the cost of fuel. You will already be paying for a gym membership so the last thing you want is to have to be spending even more money on extra fuel and travel each month. As said, your new gym should be located somewhere that is either close to your home, or in close proximity to you workplace, so that you aren’t going out of your way each week.
Another important factor that you will need to consider when choosing a new gym is of course, the members themselves. You can tell a lot about a gym by taking a look at the members that work out there, so if possible, do a little research and take a look at who else happens to be training there. For example, if you’re a bodybuilder looking to bulk up and throw around some heavy weights, if 90% of the members of a potentially new gym are comprised of middle-aged women, it’s probably not the gym for you. As well as seeing who works out there, you should also get a look at how many people work out there. Gyms can get very busy at peak times, so try to visit during these times and get a feel for how busy it may be. If it’s so busy that you’re constantly having to queue up to use machines or pieces of equipment, this could be a warning sign. Of course being busy is perfectly fine, but if it’s overly cramped, your workouts could suffer, and you may end up spending twice as long at the gym because you couldn’t get on certain pieces of equipment.
We all know that money talks, and we all know that none of us like spending more than we have to, which is why it’s so important to consider the cost before you potentially join any new gym. Some commercialized gyms charge extortionate rates for annual memberships, which truthfully are often not worth the money at all. If you’re on a budget, you’ll obviously want to find the best deals possible, which is why you may wish to consider a gym in which you pay monthly, as opposed to annually. Rather than having to commit to a twelve month contract, you can simply pay for one month’s worth of training, and then repeat the exact same process the next month, if you wish to do so of course. Also, be wary of paying for extras that are truthfully not worth it to you. Even though the person who sold you your membership will swear that they’re offering you a great deal on access to the pool or sauna, if you never really use pools or saunas, and don’t really want to, don’t get sucked in.
For many, this is the most important thing as the equipment on offer in some facilities can actually make or break the gym in question. For example, if you are looking to train like a bodybuilder, you’ll want to use the same equipment used by bodybuilders, which will include dumbbells, barbells, free weights, and various machines. The weights are also important, because as you get stronger, you’ll obviously need heavier weights. Some commercial gyms for example, will only offer dumbbells of around 30kg (66lbs) which, for certain exercises, may be far too light. If you enjoy your cardio, you’ll want plenty of variety, in the form of treadmills, step machines, exercise bikes, elliptical machines etc. Take a look at the equipment on offer, and realistically ask yourself whether or not it will be able to give you exactly what you need. If it doesn’t, don’t just try and make do, keep looking elsewhere instead.
How well maintained is it
Another thing you need to look out for when choosing a new gym, is how well maintained it is. In gyms, machines get broken, and equipment gets damaged, there’s no way around that, but what does matter is how quickly these issues are resolved. If several machines are listed as being ‘out of order’ for a prolonged period of time, that isn’t fair, as you’re paying to access everything in the gym. It is the owner’s responsibility to get repairs arranged as quickly as possible. The gym itself should also be well maintained. If everything is neat, tidy, and clean, it shows that the owner cares, which means the machines will also probably be in much better working order. Obviously it doesn’t need to be spotless, but if it’s dirty, run down, and you’re noticing that repairs aren’t being made, keep on looking.