To find a gym you love and want to join, you often have to visit a few of them. But as you visit these various gyms as a prospective member, what things should you be paying attention to? Here are a few key factors to consider.
How many personal trainers are around?
At some gyms — generally, those that cater to a lot of bodybuilders and athletes — you'll see nearly every member working out with a personal trainer. At other gyms, hardly anyone has a personal trainer by their side. Now, you can definitely be the lone member without a trainer at a certain gym, and there's no reason you can't work with a trainer when other members don't. But generally, it's best to choose a gym where the general consensus around trainers matches your own plan. If you plan on doing light, self-guided workouts, being surrounded by bodybuilders with personal trainers may not be what you are looking for.
Do they have the equipment you plan on using?
A lot of people will walk into a gym and pay attention to whether or not there is a variety of equipment. This is a good thing to consider. However, what's more important to note is whether or not the gym has enough of the equipment you plan on using. If you plan on doing a lot of running, for example, make sure there are plenty of treadmills. If you plan on doing a lot of bench exercises, make sure the gym has a variety of benches. If your needs change later, then you can always switch to a different gym. For now, make sure the gym you choose meets your current needs.
Are the "extras" things you will use?
Most gyms have a few "extras." These are things like a smoothie bar, a tanning bed, or a monthly members' party. Since you'll be paying for these extra amenities via your membership, make sure they are things you will actually use. For instance, if one gym charges extra each month because they have a nice tanning area, but you never go tanning, that may not be the best gym for you. If another gym gives members free smoothies, and you love smoothies, that may be a better fit.
Pay attention to the elements above when visiting a gym as a prospective member. Before long, you'll find a place that feels just right.