It is no secret that choosing the right gym can “make or break” a successful fitness regimen. Every year, Americans pour millions of dollars into gym memberships, but often, don’t take the time to research and test facilities. Your gym should provide a comfortable, convenient, and encouraging atmosphere for working out and meeting your fitness goals. Simply put, you should only accept the best.

Robbie Ann Darby is an American Council on Exercise certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor with years of experience in the fitness industry. She has designed effective and challenging programs for all fitness levels and has a sincere passion for instructing others on how to make the inclusion of fitness and wellness a part of their everyday lives. Last week, she gave you five effective tips for choosing a personal trainer and now, she’s following up with five tips for choosing the perfect gym.

1.  Is the location convenient. Getting to the gym alone is challenging enough, so reduce your odds of staying committed and make sure they gym you choose is close to either your home or where you work. Close, like 15 minutes away. Don’t underestimate this.

2.  What’s their hours. When you plan on working out is an important quality when considering what gym is for you. If you want to get there before work and they don’t open until 7am, then this is not the gym for you. Also do you plan on taking classes? If so check out their current schedule to see if the class times coincide with your availability.

3.  Do you fit. Take a tour no matter what. Look at the upkeep of the facility, is it clean? Do the members look like you, meaning will you fit in or be intimidated by the type of members that currently work out there? How does the gym staff handle the members? All these elements will either enhance or diminish your experience, so make sure you fit.

4.  Can you afford it. The higher the quality of the gym, the higher their membership dues will be. Find out what qualities in a gym are important to you and which ones are not. You pay for what you get, so figure it out before signing any contracts. Most gyms offer specials during off peak and peak seasons, such as the New Year when everyone is trying to get in shape, and in the Winter/early Spring when those people have let their resolutions go and membership has declined. Also, most rates are negotiable, so ask about stipulations in this area in order to get the best rate for you.

5.  Test drive it. Most gyms will let you workout for free for a couple days or even a week before fully committing. Take advantage of this for this indeed will be the best way to confirm all the above and ensure you find the perfect gym for you.

To learn more about Robbie Ann Darby, visit her website, The RAD Experience.

What do you look for in the perfect gym? Add to Robbie’s list.


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