It’s that time of year again; the New Year brings with it new resolutions for a healthier lifestyle. Finding a health club which meets your specific needs is the key to achieving your fitness goals this year. Remember: not all gyms are created equal.
Whether you’re just starting on your health and fitness journey, or you’re looking to upgrade your current health club membership, here are a few tips to keep in mind while shopping for a new health club:
Do your research.
The first step to shopping for a new health club is to hop online and see what’s available in your area. A simple Google search for gyms near you should bring up a list of reliable results. Open a tab for each gym in your area. '
See if the website meets these criteria:
- Is the website informative and user-friendly?
- Is there an informative fitness blog you can subscribe to for updates and tips
- Does the club have multiple locations for when you’re on the move?
While you may be able to gather a lot of important details from the website, you should always visit a health club in-person before buying. After you’ve looked through each gym’s website, make a list of addresses for the ones you like and start your shopping journey.
Visit each gym and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the staff friendly and welcoming?
When you walk into the gym, note whether the staff is friendly and welcoming. Introduce yourself to the staff at the desk. Tell them that you’re looking for a new health club and would be interested in learning more about the club. Look for staff members that are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, but not too salesy. The best health clubs have staff members that want you to be successful on your fitness journey.
- Can you take a tour?
Now that you’ve introduced yourself to the staff, be sure to choose a health club that is willing to take you on a tour of the facility. The tour should include a walk-through of the gym floor, studio rooms, free-weight areas, and locker room. Take note of whether the gym seems clean and organized. Ask questions such as:
- When was the equipment last updated?
- What are the busiest times?
- Will the staff help me with the equipment I’ve never used before?
The most important part of the tour is to imagine yourself spending time there. You will know better than anyone whether the atmosphere is the right fit for you.
- What group classes are offered?
After the tour, ask the receptionist whether group exercise classes are included with your membership. Be sure to ask for a printed copy of their class schedule for the month. A good health club will have a variety of classes every day to help you reach your fitness goals. Examples of awesome fitness classes to look for are:
Browse through the classes and look for ones that will fit with your schedule. You’ll want to choose a health club that will allow you to try a variety of classes to determine which style you like best.
- Can you try personal training?
Top-notch health clubs understand that the path to overall health and fitness takes expert help. Especially if you are just starting out. That’s why you should look for a club that offers a one-on-one personal training session for free with your new membership.
Here’s why: A personal trainer can provide you with expert tips on how to use the equipment, the best way to structure your workout, and ensure you have tangible exercises to do on your own the next time you visit the facility.
Better yet, a free session will help you determine whether developing a long-term personal training relationship is the best way for you to meet your fitness goals (without any strings attached).
- What studio classes are offered?
Look for a health club that offers small group training in their studio to supplement your workout routine. Great studio classes include Barre, TRX, and Boot Camp. These classes are intense but can be modified for any fitness level. Ask what studio classes are available at the location you are visiting.
- What other amenities are included?
Nowadays it’s not enough to find a health club that just offers gym time, classes, or personal training. To get the most bang for your buck, find a club that includes additional amenities for you to enjoy as part of your membership. For example, many of the best health clubs will offer tanning at no additional cost, so you can look and feel good after your workout. You should also look for niceties such as free wifi, large showers, free towel service, hair dryers, and sports drinks for purchase.
- Do they offer a free trial?
A tour isn’t always enough to determine whether a gym will be the right fit for you. So, before signing on to a membership, ask whether you can try the gym for free. A trial will get your foot in the door so you can get the full gym experience. That’s why you should lean toward a health club that allows you to use their membership for multiple days in a row. A 5-day pass will allow you to experience all aspects, such as studio time, group classes, and the free amenities.
Your fitness journey starts with finding a health club that matches your lifestyle. If you don’t enjoy utilizing your health club membership you are less likely to meet your goals. Start your journey today.