It’s September 1st: back to school, time for more layers and maybe even time to join a gym. Believe it or not, this is a busy week for gyms signing up new members. Maybe it’s that summer is over and people feel it’s time to get back to routine after a relaxed summer, I’ve never known for sure, but it’s kind of like New Year’s resolutions part deux!
With such a huge selection of gyms, classes and boot-camps it can be difficult making the right choice. You want to find something that suits you so you stick with it. Here are some of my tips to hopefully help make the decision on joining a gym easier.
Consider when you are planning to train. If you going to hit the gym on your lunch or straight after work then avoid traffic and workout near the office. If you are you an early bird then finding a gym close to your home could be a good option and super handy for going at the weekends.
A good instructor can make or break a gym. You are going to trust these guys to write you a program so make sure the instructors are knowledgeable and professional. If its classes you are looking for then try one out before committing to membership, many gyms offer trials. If you are looking for a personal trainer then enquire about rates and availability before joining.
Yes, the gym might have brand spanking new equipment but that doesn’t matter if you can’t find space to do your workout! Pop to the gym around the time you intend on training and see how full it is. If the weights area is jam packed, classes are full and all the machines are taken then you might struggle to get your workout done properly. This can lead to people gradually going to the gym less frequently.
Most gyms will offer to bring you on a tour, always accept. Keep your eyes open for “out of order” signs on gym equipment, shower areas and vending machines. Check out the changing rooms and shower area, if these are too full or aren’t clean enough then that might impact your decision.
- Do you feel comfortable?
You’ll possibly be spending a few hours a week in your new gym so it’s important to feel comfortable there. If you don’t feel at ease there for whatever reason then you might end up not going and wasting your membership.
Don't be swayed by savvy marketing tools and deals, instead do your own research. Recommendations from friends or colleagues can be really helpful. Likewise they might help you decide where not to join, not everyone wants to struggle through a spin class with their boss on the next bike! A huge number of our personal training or group class clients have come from referrals which is a great compliment!
- Buddy up
Not for everyone, but a lot of people find that having a friend to workout with keeps them on track. My group classes have a private Facebook group to ask questions in and share motivation tips and recipes. Some of my clients use Whatsapp groups to plan gym time with friends and keep each other motivated. If your friends are on the same page as you when it comes to fitness this can be a big help.
- Next Steps
Treat your membership like the important investment that it is and use it to keep fit and get results. Talk to gym staff for fitness and nutritional advice that suits you and enjoy your gym time. If you’ve found the right gym then hopefully you’ll enjoy spending time there and it won’t be a chore.
Have any of you found the appeal of the gym drops off after a while? I would love to hear if you’ve found something you love and why.
Have a healthy week!
Metabolic Fitness Trainer