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How to Choose the Right Gym for You

Shweta Ajwani
Congratulations on your decision to finally take a stand for your health and fitness, and getting yourself a gym membership. But before you sign that check, go through the information given here, to be absolutely sure that the gym you choose is right for you.

Signs of a Good Gym

✔ Competent and Certified Staff
✔ Motivated and Energized Environment
✔ Fully Equipped with Updated Equipment
✔ Proximal from your Prime Location
✔ Cost-effective
The constant hype revolving around the benefits of healthy living and the importance of fitness, has caused the mushrooming of fitness centers in every city.
While this is a good thing, it is the constant pressure of looking toned and 'in-shape', and the need to maintain your 'status' in society that lures you into getting a gold/silver/platinum membership at the hottest of gyms, overshadowing the most fundamental need: exercising.
You might think that it is as easy as heading to the gym, paying them off, and starting to exercise. But, it ain't easy. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration before you select a fitness center-not only the trainers, equipment, or cleanliness at the gym, but also the amount of money and time you spend, the workouts the gym offers.
A quick read over this list tells you just the factors that you need to consider to ensure you pick the right fitness center for yourself.

Factors to Consider Before Joining a Gym

Location and Proximity

Look for gyms or fitness centers that are at a convenient distance from your home or workplace.
If your gym is relatively far away, or requires you to travel a lot, there is a high possibility that you might just procrastinate about working out, find your motivation levels tripping, and never make it from your sofa to the gym. You don't have to enroll yourself in a gym that takes up most of your time in traveling back and forth.

Qualified Staff

Working out on your body with heavy weights and complicated machines without any proficient guidance is a risk too large to take.
The gym should provide the services of an efficient staff and well-educated trainers who are certified and registered professionals.
The staff should be co-operative and ready to help at all times. They should possess sound knowledge of the equipment used in the gym, in addition to information on diets, body types, and all the different forms of exercise. If you wish to retain the services of a personal trainer, ask about the availability of the same.

Accessibility and Flexibility

It goes without saying that you should be able to use the services at the gym at your own convenience. If you wish to work out early in the morning before going to work, and if the gym doesn't open at that time, it would be completely futile to get a membership there.
Also, make sure whether your exercise schedule can be adjusted, if and when needed. In case of emergencies (medical, moving away, etc.), ask if your plan can be adjusted according to your needs that could include change of location, extension of your plan, etc.

Equipment Availability

A simple yoga mat would suffice to achieve the best results in a particular form of exercise. But in the gym, since you are paying for the weights, machines, and other exercise equipment, make sure that you can use them.
Ensure that the machines are of good quality, and well-maintained. Take a look around to see if there are any out-of-order machines just lying around. This indicates a gym that runs under poor maintenance.

Workout Options

Your body tends to get used to the same routine and fails to show any positive changes. The monotonous routine of running on treadmills and lifting weights will bore you to no end, leaving you with very little drive or motivation and nothing to look forward to.
Many fitness centers offer a variety of exercising options like yoga classes, Pilates, swimming and aqua aerobics, dance workouts, kickboxing, weightlifting, and outdoor treks to break the monotony of working out with treadmills and cross-trainers.
These activities are fun and serve the underlying purpose of fitness too. If these activities interest you, you should select a gym that offers them.


Getting a gym membership is like making a big short-term investment. You need to be absolutely sure your investment gets its due returns.
Ask for ease-of-payment options, installments, card payments, offers, discounts, membership cancellation, etc. In the end, listen to your gut and decide for yourself, if the price seems accurate, and the services you receive are worth it, then go for it.

Surroundings and The Vibe

This might not seem a deciding factor at the start, but you will realize the lack of motivation and energy when you start working out in a gym that has lethargic people dilly-dallying on the machines, lazy and boring music playing in the background, and a very laid-back atmosphere.
A positive environment with a pumped up vibe with inspirational music pushing you harder to lift that bar one last time, dedicated people working their life off-that is the kind of gym you want to go to.

Extra Amenities

A good workout yields better results if followed by a hot shower. Body massages, and steam and sauna baths, taken once in a while can accelerate weight loss or body building, depending on what you are working towards.
Other add-ons include a gym bar, lockers, and parking space. These are little things, but they sure do add up to a good feeling after a great workout session.

Tips to Ensure That You Have Made The Right Decision

Take a Trial Run of the Fitness Center

When scouting for options, ask for a trial run in the gym of your choice. Try your hand at different machines, gage if you are comfortable with the kind of music being played, and whether you can see yourself coming here every day for an hour and sweating it out.
Communicate with the trainers, and try to test their knowledge about their workplace and the equipment.

Ask for Second Opinions

Just to be sure of the decision you have taken, ask for a second opinion from someone who has already used the services of the gym you are planning to zero in on.
In fact, they are the best people to talk to since they have actually experienced working out at the gym, used the machines there, and interacted with the trainers. Trust them if they say that you are making the right choice or otherwise.
If your current choice of gym provides you with most of these mentioned facilities, then you are good to go. If not, you should probably reassess your choices and options, before you plunge in and make that fat payment, and regret later.