Choosing A Gym Is Like Marriage

In today’s world, there are plenty of options to choose from. Sometimes there are so many different choices we may not know what to finally select. When it comes to choosing a gym, there is no reason to make the process harder than it has to be.

The ideal gym that is tailored to your specific needs can be invaluable to sticking your long-term health goals.

What to Consider When Choosing A Gym? 

Gym Membership Application

Before diving straight into the most important factors for choosing a gym, let these three thoughts sink in first.

Mindset 

Whether we like it or not, everything starts in our minds first. Are you ready to dedicate yourself to showing up consistently to your local gym? Ready to make time when you need to?

Of course, it is normal to feel anxious or hesitant for not knowing which gym to choose yet. But if you feel that it will all be okay once you know you can commit to your well-planned decision, there is nothing to worry about.

Once your head is in the right place and you feel confident in following through with choosing a gym, nothing can stop you!

Clear Goals 

What do you really want from going to the gym? Are you excited to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your flexibility, or become more athletic?

When you know your goals, it is much easier to create a plan of action. Write out what days of the week you know you can wiggle gym days around your present schedule. Plus, get an idea of which exercises you want to try and start out with.

Don’t fret over the ideas too much because they won’t be perfect this early on. Think of it as a rough draft to a new healthy lifestyle and expect to continuously improve upon it throughout your life.

Family and Friends 

Although this step is not absolutely necessary, ask around your social circles if anyone wants to start going to the gym or already is.

Who knows, one of your family members or friends might be on the same wavelength looking for a gym. Plus, it can be a great support – especially when starting out or getting back into going to the gym.

Otherwise, it is completely normal to workout solo and might improve your focus. Based on your personality, ask yourself if working out with a partner or two may help or hinder your fitness progress.

What Are the Most Important Factors in Choosing A Gym? 

Location 

Although every factor carries its own weight in significance, location is by far the most important to consider.

To start, first think about your weekly schedule. Are you going to end up closer to home or work when you decide to workout at the gym? And where are you heading afterwards?

These questions can help pinpoint to the best gym location. For some, it may be a gym a few miles from home. For others, the gym may be right in the middle of their home and work.

Try your best to avoid choosing a gym to far away from your daily hotspots because it can take a negative toll on your exercise consistency. Remember that the best gyms are the closest gyms.

Hours 

Before becoming too excited about an ideal gym location just down the block, check the hours.

If you need to exercise before work at 5AM and the gym opens at 6AM, this can make or break your decision.

As long as it is open when you need it to be, that gym is still in the running.

Personal Budget 

For many, budgets can also make or break an ideal gym situation. Can you afford the best gyms that you want to go to? Figure out how much you can work around your budget.

It may come down to asking how valuable reaching your health goals are – which the gym can represent through consistent attendance.

Don’t forget to ask about a free trial membership too. Testing gyms is a powerful way to see if you can see yourself there in the long run or not. If a free week or two is not available, try to take in as much as you can when you are offered a gym tour with a team member.

Check to see if there are student, veteran, or elderly, discounts too because most businesses cater to these groups as well.

Plus, ask about all the available packages the gym offers. If possible, by excluding unnecessary features or amenities the gym provides, you can seal the financial deal.

Amenities and Equipment 

Fitness Center

Dumbbells, benches, power racks, treadmills, kettlebells, lockers, towel service, showers, saunas, steam rooms, pools, and ball courts are all examples of amenities and equipment.

Related: Strength Training Equipment You Absolutely Need!

It is up to you to decide which ones are important and which ones you can live without on your fitness journey.

The type of equipment and amenities is most likely dependent on the overall cost as well.

As an example, you might see a gym that is completely decked out. But you are not planning on using ninety percent of what is available. That factor may weigh in if paying for all of that is worth it or not.

What are known as the best gyms may not necessarily be the best fit for everyone around.

On the other hand, cost may not be so much of a deciding factor for you. Having more amenities and equipment is great to explore new things and more fun for family and friends as well.

Gym Culture 

Do you feel the need to fit in or be accepted at work, home, or socially? The same can apply at the gym.

Take into account the atmosphere and how people interact with each other to see if that vibes with you.

Group classes are another way to engage with the community and find a sense of belonging.

While this factor might not be that important to some, it can be a deciding factor for others. If finding the right crowd to fit in can help you propel you towards your fitness goals, then take advantage of the gym culture.

Exercise Outside in Public 

Outdoor Workout

When starting an exercise regimen, it may be easy to get bogged down with only thinking about the best gym to go to.

Feel free to explore and exercise outside at local public parks, walking paths, and biking trails. Being in nature, around wildlife, and soaking up the sun is exhilarating while working out.

Plus, if you are still unsure about the whole gym idea, committing to working out outside or at home is a great way to test your dedication.

Workout at Home 

Some days, the weather keeps you in or you simply don’t want to venture outside. Working out in the comfort of your own home is a great alternative to exercising outside or at the gym.

By the way, don’t ever feel like you must do only one or the other. There are plenty of people who love to workout outside, in the gym, and at home throughout their week. Depending on your schedule, goals, likes, and dislikes figure out which mixture resonates best with you.


Tony G
Tony G

Anthony is a fan of all things gym related. Growing up very overweight and out of shape, Anthony whipped himself into shape and stunned his entire community becoming a "fitness guru". Tony then set his sights on strength sports (Weightlifting/Powerlifting/Strongman) and learned all about body mechanics, mobility work and injury prevention. Tony found his true love in the strength sports, particularly Olympic Weightlifting. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fitchburg State University in Exercise and Sports Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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