When you want to get in shape signing up for a new gym is probably the first step you will take. In this post I will share with you 5 factors to help you choose the right gym for your workouts.
Think about it: If you work out three times a week for and hour and a half that’s four and a half hours per week or 234 per year. Add to that the time you spend getting to the gym and changing your clothes and things quickly add up.
That’s why it’s so important you choose the right gym. Doing this is pretty easy but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
By far the most important aspect will be the proximity of your gym. When you are just starting out your motivation might be high enough that you are willing to drive 45 minutes to a new fancy gym. But after a few weeks you will use this as an excuse to stay on the couch and watch tv.
The closer your gym the better. Even if your local gym doesn’t have the newest equipment you should still pick it over one that has it all but is more than 20 minutes away.
Where do your buddies train?
The next important factor are your friends. If you can find a gym where all your friends train you hit the jackpot.
Of course, if it’s further than 20 minutes away I would still advise against it but you have to decide for yourself which is more important to you: the convenience of a close gym or training with your buddies.
Third on the list is equipment. Now even though having a lot of options and equipment to choose from is nice to have, you don’t really need the majority of the machines out there.
If you want to build muscle the most important things will be a bench press, a squat rack, a place to deadlift and a good set of dumbbells. Even the most basic gym will have those so I always tell my students to prioritize distance and friends over equipment.
Another important aspect is your contract. A lot of gyms will try to lock you in for a year or two and getting out of a contract is pretty difficult once you have signed it.
I always prefer gyms that offer monthly memberships so I can try them out before I commit for a whole year. This also lowers the risk of you having to pay money when you are injured or decided to quit the gym altogether (which I hope will never happen).
The last important aspect is obviously the gym culture. You should always feel comfortable in your training environment and even the closest and most well-equipped gym can be a bad option if you don’t like training there.
Gym culture also includes clean equipment so make sure you regularly see people cleaning the machines and wiping the floor.