With it being a new year you are either going to think about joining a gym or changing your current one. This process can be quite daunting and a tough task due to the amount of gyms around. Naturally I have never found the gym a scary environment, I have always considered it my second home. However, I know for some of you it can be quite nerve racking with fit people around and feeling like you are the fresh fish. Fear not, give these quick pointers a little look and you should be well on your way!!
Evaluate The Weights
This goes for you too ladies, check the weight area. There is no point in joining a gym if there are only a few weights and the odd bench. If you are looking to pack on muscle or lose weight, the weight area is more beneficial to you than the cardiovascular section. So look for a gym that has a good range of dumbbells, barbells, benches and so on.
Is The Gym Local?
Once you have found a new gym with the right equipment inside then ask yourself is it convenient to get too? Is it on your way to work or on your way home from work? Is it close to your house? The thing is, exercising is hard and the last thing you want to do is give yourself an easy excuse not to go. If your gym is far away and there are times when you won't be able to go, pick a gym which is closer so that you don't give yourself a get out clause :)
Hygiene is an important factor to consider when looking at new gyms. When you workout your immune system weakens before it gets stronger and the last thing you want is to be ill and not go. So have a look at the toilets, showers and look out for blue roll on the gym floor. These are usually good signs that the gym is well looked after and germ free :)
I personally wouldn't bother with expensive, hi tech cardiovascular equipment that has televisions and other gadgets connected to it. This is just another reason for membership to be more expensive, so look out for this. On the other hand just like the free weights section, do make sure there is enough cardiovascular equipment for you to use. A good gym will have a wide range of treadmills, bikes, rowers and cross trainers.
Normally gyms will have good deals on this time of year so check out the special prices they are doing. Usually if you kick up a bit of a fuss you can waiver the admin and sign up fees as they want you to join. A cheeky smile should help waiver those too ;). Also, don't forget to check out their cancellation policy. The last thing you want is to be locked into a gym for 12 months or longer, be sure to ask this question and find out!
The final thing to look out for is the amount of members the gym already has. You don't want to join a gym which is clean with lots of equipment if you can't use it due to the excessive amount of members it has. Find out when the busy times are and when the quieter times are. If you are flexible during the daytime will probably be the best time to go and exercise without a flood of people joining you. After work is always a busy time so go later at night if you prefer to workout of an evening.
Looks like you are all set to have a gym hunt and find the best one for you and your needs. Don't forget to ask the important questions mentioned above and any you might have. If you do pick a gym please STICK with it and do not get disheartened if progress is slow. Let me tell you something, I have been training for nearly 10 years and it has been a long, tough road. I guarantee you if you stick with it, stay motivated and go to your gym YOU WILL REACH YOUR GOAL! All the best :)