NBD Fitness Center How do I find the right gym for me?
Location – This is the single most important element in your decision. Statistics show that a gym farther than 5 miles from your home or job will be a major factor in your attendance.
Hours – Double-check to make sure the gym is available for the times and days you want to work out. You only have so much time to spare, between balancing work, family, and sleep. Try to bundle family activities like drop your son at an hour-long karate class, deliver your daughter to a 45-minute violin lesson and go work out at the gym for 30 minutes. Working out beats waiting in the car for the lessons to end. Then, pick up the kids and have family dinner. Enjoy the stories about your children’s adventures.
Daycare – Some gyms offer daycare on site. The daycare often operates on a limited schedule. Inquire into the qualifications of the daycare workers. Some gyms do a children’s workout and have a one-hour limit for drop off.
Family workout – Find out the age your children must be to workout with you on the main floor or in the classes. Make sure you find the right gym for your family’s needs.
Cost – Gyms operate in different ways, but you’ll usually have to sign a contract and pay a certain amount each month. There are ways to make sure that you are getting the most from your money.
Guest privileges – Stop into a gym and ask for a free three-day trial before committing to a contract. Make sure you try every amenity they offer. Take a few classes. Make sure you taste the milk before you buy the cow.
Look for specials — Most gyms offer monthly specials, no-initiation fee, free personal training, or a few free weeks. Check your mailers for coupons. Ask the salespeople about any specials available before signing up.
Negotiate — In many gyms, membership features are negotiable. There’s no harm in asking to waive the initiation fee, to change the contract terms, or even to lower monthly payments. Get it in writing.
Research —Making the rounds to every gym in the area will give you an idea of what people are charging and the specials they’re offering. This puts you in a position to negotiate an even better deal.
Read the fine print — Read the contract before signing. Look for penalties for stopping early and an option to put your membership on hold if you get injured, sick, or have a long trip.
Features –Training Options include fitness classes, specific equipment, or personal training. Can you drop into a class, or do you have to start on a set schedule by registering on-line? Can you make your own circuit or does a trainer set up a program of weightlifting alternating with high-intensity training to maximize lean muscle mass and endurance.
Atmosphere –The quality of facility is determined by the crowdedness. Do you like the high energy of people, loud music, and activity? Or do you like the calm to focus on serious exercise? Try to tour the gym when you would normally attend so you can see what your experience will be firsthand.
Environment –A clean spacious gym with no lines to use the machines is ideal. Check that the bathrooms are clean and well-stocked. Check the locker room is secure and comfortable. Amenities like personal music and TV access with headphones around the cardio machines prevent boredom. Analyze all the machines for good repair and working order.
Cleanliness –Look for spray bottles around the gym to wipe down the machines. Sniff the air. Foul odor is an indication that the ventilation system might be inadequate.
Parking –During busy hours in the afternoon and evening, make sure you don’t have to spend an hour looking for a place to park.
Trainer –Many gyms offer a free session with a trainer will show you around and give you the basics on how to use the machines. Take advantage of this to prevent injury, to help you to navigate the gym, and to set up your workouts.
Medical disclaimer –As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and have no medical reason or impairment that might prevent you from your intended use of facilities or any other exercise program. The gym has not and cannot give you medical advice. We do not give members advice relating to their physical condition or ability to use the facilities or any exercise program, so if you have any health or medical concerns, please discuss them with your doctor before using the facilities or beginning any exercise program.
The Overall Value –The ideal gym provides quality equipment, a spacious environment, high energy classes, and unbeatable perks without paying an arm and a leg. Think about the value you’re getting and at what cost. When the staff puts care and effort into developing a community, creating a clean and safe space, and providing amenities you have found the right gym.