Gyms are the church of the modern world. While in the past people went to the church every day to pray, now they go to the gym every day to lift. This means that choosing the correct gym is incredibly important. Such a huge part of your life could impact whether you reach your goals or not, the community you interact with, your expenses each month, and your long term mental health. What may seem like an unimportant decision at the time, actually matters a lot. Follow our tips for picking the best gym for you.
What do you want?
The first decision is to figure out what you actually want. There are some great gyms that have a lot of weights and equipment but offer no classes. These are the perfect gym for people who are used to the gym environment and want to keep things simple. However, if you are newer to the fitness world or are someone who is motivated by a competitive environment then you may want a gym with a class environment. There are many cross-functional training gyms now where a workout is placed on the board and everyone works hard to complete it in a given period of time. The step up from this is cross fit. This is a similar idea but usually using some more technical exercises that involve lifting barbells in difficult ways. All three approaches have something to offer and it really depends on whether you want to motivate yourself, be motivated by a group environment, or push further and actually work towards cross-fit competitions.
Do some free trials
Whether you know the answer to the first question or not, it is a good idea to do some free trials. This will tell you what the people are like, what the class environment is like, and allow you to get a sense of how the gym will work for you. Some gyms give a one-day free trial, others one week, while others offer a discount price for a month. Take a look at at least five gyms through trials before you make your final decision. Be wary during trials as trainers will usually spend a lot of time helping you as they want you to sign up. Instead, watch how they are with other gym members and see if they are really so helpful.
You may find a gym that is five kilometers away and think that it is perfect. You could jog 5k to the gym, do a workout, and run home. What an epic workout. However, be realistic with yourself. When it comes to going to the gym after a long day of work and it is cold out we all try to find excuses not to. Choose a gym that is easily accessible. The best gym I ever joined had ok equipment and no classes but it was located in the same building as my work. Every day I went past it I got the motivation to go and train. That year was the best year of results that I ever had.
Not all gyms charge the same prices. Crossfit appears to charge an incredible amount simply for using the word CrossFit. You can usually find good deals in gyms by taking to the owner and mentioning that you are looking around. Gyms are aware that the hardest part is signing someone up. Once they have you they will often keep you, so they will usually work hard for your signature.
The extra benefits
Look out for some extra benefits too and make sure you take them into account. Some gyms offer yoga classes, saunas, pools, and more. If these things interest you then it could be the extra perk you need to sway your decision. On the other hand don’t be fooled by useless sign-up offers like a free bottle shaker, a free bag, or a free PT session. All of these are worthless in the long term and in the case of the PT session, it is usually just a sales pitch to buy more PT sessions with a trainer.