Saturday, August 15, 2015

How to Choose the Right Gym

Do you live in a community that delivers an overabundance of get-fit things to do? I certainly do. From paddle boarding at the beach to hiking in the dunes, to running groups that meet thrice weekly and plenty of sidewalks for walking around town—there is literally something for everyone and every fitness level. Members of my community are also lucky to have a number of different fitness facilities to choose from. You might be in this same position.

The million dollar question: Which gym is right for you? How do you choose the right gym?

gym, fitness, exercise, work out, fitness facility, racquet club
A gym membership is an investment, sometimes even a luxury. If you’re going to spend the money, you should be spending it on a place where you’ll fit in. Sure, location is important. So is price. But if you take those two things away, will you still love your gym? If the answer is “no,” then you’re wasting your money.

As the fitness director at a fairly large health and racquet club, I do my best to create a welcoming fitness floor. This is an end-goal that my entire team shares. We want our members to feel welcome the minute they walk through the doors. We want the to feel like they fit in.

Why do we emphasize this? If they feel uncomfortable at out club, they won’t come in— which means they won’t reach their health and fitness goals. And we really care about our members and their goals.

This brings me to the first question you need to ask yourself when you’re scoping out new fitness facilities:

1) Do you feel comfortable inside the facility? If you don’t, then it’s not the right place for you. Drive the extra five minutes to get yourself to a place that feels like home.

You might ask yourself these questions, too:

2) Does this gym offer the type of programming that I need/want/like? Simply having an overabundance of equipment is not enough. Is there support? Are there group fit classes that interest you? Can you feel the motivation without having to look for it?

3) How are current members behaving toward each other? Is there any interaction? Are they having fun? Gyms can be a very social place. In fact, they should be! Socialization is built-in inspiration and support.

4) Is the staff attentive? Gyms employ a wide variety of staff members, all of whom have their individual responsibilities. But there is one responsibility they all share: The members. Every staff member at any gym anywhere should be ready and willing to help and if they can’t, they should be able to find someone that can.

5) What else is happening? The right gym can be so much more than a place to go and sweat. When you tour a potential gym, find out what happens when people aren’t working out. Are there birthday parties? Free internet? What about food or beverages? Member parties? You might not need these things, but knowing they are available is just as good. It symbolizes a facility that wants to go the extra mile for you (because you probably deserve it).

Bottom line, you have to choose the right gym for YOU (and your family, too). Like everything in life, you have to do what makes you happy. And for those of you that have already chosen a gym, remember to help the new gym members out a little!

Question: Why do you love your gym so much? What makes you choose one gym over another? 

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