As we approach January, traditionally the time of year when people kick-start their fitness regimes and try to lose weight, many people will be considering their options when it comes to joining a gym.
There are many things to take into account when choosing the right gym. Here are five things to think about:
- What support is provided by the staff?
If you are new to the gym or you have not been for a long time, it is very important you are given sufficient guidance – for both your safety and confidence. Find out what the sign-up process involves:
- Is there an induction?
- Do you receive a free personal training session?
- Will you be provided with a bespoke training programme?
In addition to getting the help and advice you need to be confident that the individuals providing it are sufficiently qualified and experienced. In many gyms these services are provided by young coaches who are carrying out the work as part of their personal training rent to the gym. In these instances, the individuals are not motivated to help you succeed unless you are going to pay for their coaching services on top of the membership.
- Does it have the equipment I need?
Most commercial gyms are designed to enable as many bodies on the gym floor as possible. The simplest way to achieve this is to line up hundreds of cardiovascular machines. For many people this is fine because that is the only form of exercise in the gym they feel comfortable performing. However, for those looking to optimise their training results it is important to look at the strength training equipment provision as well.
Traditionally a commercial gym will have a small free weights area that is typically male-dominated and provides very few work stations in proportion to the number of members. If you are interested in accelerating your health and body composition results by trying some well-programmed strength training then you should consider how many members the gym has and how many barbells, squat racks, benches etc.
- Do I feel safe and confident in the environment?
Some of the things to take into account:
- Are the staff friendly and professional?
- Does the gym get very busy?
- What is the gym’s target demographic?
If you are not overly confident and you arrive to find a gym that is packed with members and staff that are not very attentive then you will likely not last long.
- What is the parking and changing situation?
These things are common barriers to attendance. If you know you will struggle to find a parking space and/or you have to pay to park it will put you off.
If the changing rooms are dirty and busy all the time it may prevent you from training before work and it could be something that stops you from going entirely.
- Will I look forward to attending and adhere to my programme?
The biggest motivation is seeing progress. If you have been provided with an effective training programme that you can execute well each time you attend the gym (because it is not too busy and you have been given all of the guidance you require) then you will quickly start seeing results.
If the staff and members are friendly and welcoming you will look forward to training. If the facilities are clean and tidy and the changing rooms are pleasant to use you will be less likely to build up mental barriers about getting out of the house and to the gym.
These are just a few considerations when choosing a gym. Although we are (obviously) biased, we believe we have created a facility in Chichester that ticks all of these boxes. If you are interested in coming along for a look around then please contact us.