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Sounds familiar to you? There are just too many offers and promos out there when it comes to joining a gym, and I've heard enough. It's upsetting when some of them are misleading and only make it tougher for you to decide … so here are some pointers to help you choose a perfect gym you can call home. 🙂
Choosing the right gym has a huge impact on how well you adhere to your fitness program – for example, if it's really out of the way but cheap, what are the odds you'll be going regularly? A health club membership isn't something you buy and don't use – instead, the more you use it, the more you will get back, and the better value you get out of it.
So before you decide to sign on that membership contract, it only makes sense that you also 'shop around' first. Attractive prices and promotions can be tempting, but COST and the HOT female salesperson or front desk girl IS NOT everything when it comes to choosing the right gym for you.
FIRST, narrow down your selection to a few potential health clubs that you like, and then take the following suggestions into consideration (in no particular order) to guide you in making the right choice:
# 1 – CONVENIENCE & ACCESSIBILITY (LOCATION)
For you to adhere to your fitness routine and not find it a hassle to workout – going to the gym needs to be convenient for you. You're more likely to use a club if it's close to your home or workplace. You won't go if it's far away, or if you have to constantly endure traffic jams just to get to workout. If you join a club that isn't convenient for you, you'll eventually find an excuse to stop going. When I first joined Fitness First back in 2003, it was less than a 5 minute drive from my workplace, and it still is – but the nearest one from my home was 20 km away. But now that there's a new Fitness First in Bukit Tinggi, Klang – the gym is 5 minutes away from home too. I've now got the best of both worlds. Lucky me.
# 2 – TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Make sure you 'test drive' the gym BEFORE you sign up. Sales people / Membership Consultants / Sweet Young thing, or whatever you call them – are well trained to hype up the benefits of the gym, so it is essential that you yourself actually try out some of the equipment and get a feel of the actual atmosphere BEFORE you sign up. You'll need at least a day pass to try out the gym and decide for yourself before you sign up.
Check the gym's website for a day pass – almost always given out for free. Come at the same time you plan to come in the future, get changed, work out, maybe try a class, have a shower, relax, and then go home. Then, you decide.
# 3 – DO YOU LIKE IT?
When you tour the club, pay attention to details. How clean is the facility? Is the music too loud? Are all the equipment in working order? Too many '' out of order '' signs may indicate poor maintenance. Are new members provided with a club orientation and instruction on how to use equipment? Make sure the club is a place where you would enjoy spending time, cos if you don't – once again, it's only a matter of time before you start making excuses not to go.
# 4 – GROUP CLASSES
This is depends on one's personal preference – if group classes are what gets you going and motivated, then find a gym that offers a good mix at a time that suits your schedule. Some fitness centers have classes as early as 7AM – so there's always something for someone out there. Personally for me, even if the group studio comes crashing down, it wouldn't really affect me because …