10 tips to choose the Right Gym.
From miraculous weight loss programmes to fancy equipment, from being celebrities first choice to free trials, gyms go to any extends for marketing and selling memberships. With several gyms mushrooming around, how do we choose the right one? It is important to not only find a gym we like but also a gym that makes us feel comfortable. What are the points to keep in mind while selecting a gym? Here are 10 tips for choosing the Right Gym.
Ideally, the gym should be within walking distance and should not take more than 15 minutes to reach. The farther the gym the harder it will be getting there and sticking to a routine. There is no point in wasting hours commuting or routinely driving through traffic to reach the gym. In the long run, driving beyond 15 minutes to reach the gym may not be worth it. Also, if you are to drive to reach the gym check for easy availability of parking.
#2 Biomechanically correct Equipment:
It is highly recommended to use biomechanically correct equipment to exercise. You may ask the membership counsellor if the gym uses biomechanically correct equipment. Also, check the brand(s) the gym uses and get its biomechanical compatibility confirmed from the manufacturer or by doing a Google search. Biomechanically incorrect equipment is prone to breakage and may do irreversible damage to our bodies.
#3 Enough Space & Equipment:
The gym should be big, ventilated, and bright. Audit the carpet and usable areas. Review the biggest and smallest dumbbells and plates. Check the number of plates, barbells, elliptical cycles, treadmills etc. The last thing we expect is to wait in a long queue to use the treadmill/ elliptical cycle or other equipment. Also, as we progress we will require heavier dumbbells, more plates etc. Make sure the gym is well stacked on space and equipment.
#4 Resources other than Equipment:
There are a lot of resources other than exercise equipment that need to be checked (some of these are optional depending on individual need):
2. First aid equipment and first aid trained staff
3. An air conditioning system that circulates air even in the remotest corner
4. Locker facility
5. Shower facility
6. Music system with woofers
7. Television etc.
#5 Working Hours & Peak Hours:
Most gyms are open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM while some are open for 24 hours. See what suits you and choose accordingly. Also, visit the gym at the peak hour or at the time that you intend to use it. It will not only give an idea of how much crowd to expect, but also the kind of people that come there.
Also, some gyms may have the concept of happy hours. These are odd hours when there are very few people around. Charges for happy hours could be as much as 80% lower than the charges for non-happy hours. Assess if you can commit to using the gym only during happy hours and then decide.
#6 Terms & Conditions:
Read the fine print. Understand the terms and conditions thoroughly. Go through the gym rule book and audit what may lead to membership termination. Some gyms may even impose fines for misconduct or improper use of gym equipment/ facilities. These may be good policies but, it is important to go through and understand them before availing of the gym membership.
#7 Looking beyond Deals & Offers:
Deals and offers exist for a reason, people buy them easily by overseeing other things. However, it is important to look beyond deals and offers. There may be hidden conditions on the deals or offers you are looking to buy. Probe the deal/ offer closely and buy only if it makes sense. For example, gyms often push a nutrition package or a therapeutic massage package along with the standard membership package as a bundled deal or offer. No point in buying such a package if you haven’t spent time studying the stand-alone nutrition packages or therapeutic massage packages, the type of therapeutic massage, the kind of facility for therapeutic massage, certification details of the nutrition counsellor etc.
#8 Checking the Ratings & Reviews:
Skim through the ratings, reviews and feedback that the gym has received. These could be found on search engines like Google, forums, communities. Also, check the ratings and reviews on Google Maps and other popular online services like local search engines and directories. If you come across a concerning review, do check with the membership counsellor for their thoughts on the review.
#9 Inspecting the Equipment:
Inspect the equipment for worn out parts and cables, chipped paint, jammed pullies etc. Ask the membership counsellor if the gym follows a policy of mandatory cleaning of the equipment after every use. Check the maintenance schedule of the equipment.
#10 Overall Value:
On average, you will be spending about an hour at the gym every day. The gym you choose should give you an overall high value. It should fulfil all your expectations. It should be clean, have qualified trainers, be close to your house, have a good culture, have well-maintained equipment, have bright & airy feel, fee wise affordable, have enough machines, plates & dumbbells, have enough staff etc. Take a decision based on what you value the most and make sure that you are getting an overall high value from the gym of your choice.
Hope the article helped in understanding the 10 tips to choose the right gym.