Whether you are new to an area, are a keen gym goer or have been bitten by the fitness bug, shopping around to find the gym that is right for you can be a daunting task – so much choice!
Fear no more, kiss gym-fusion goodbye and follow my 10 top tips to help you find your perfect match.
- Location, location, location – Just like renting or buying a property, it is important to decide if your gym will be close to home, office or both. Lets face it the closer it is the more likely you are to go. Have a look around and see what is close to your preferred location.
- Here, there and everywhere? – Yes, there are gym chains that have multiple locations and allow you to access not one, but all of them! This is great to spice things up as you can access different timetables and instructors. Keep in mind that this comes at a price, this will be more expensive than accessing a single club but you might find it well worth it!
- Class bunny or gym junkie? – Think of some gyms as “all inclusive” where a membership will give you access to group classes, gym equipment, personal trainers (extra cost), swimming pools, the lot. Alternatively there are smaller studios that offer a single but highly specialised type of exercise class e.g. yoga or spin. If you are after one type of activity a studio might be more suitable for you!
- Gym-advisor – Read reviews, ask your friends, family or work colleagues and hear what they have to say. They might save you some cash and you might find yourself a training buddy too!
- Test drive – Most gyms will allow you to do a free trial, this is great so you can experience things for yourself and get a feel for the place. However, I suggest doing this once you have a short list as they will ask for your details and you know what that means.
- Keep it casual – If you travel, move around a lot or simply don’t want the commitment, you can also opt for a “Pay-as-you-go” option. There are some fantastic websites out there where you can buy single passes to various gyms. This option is not only convenient, cheap and hassle free, you can also gym shop before you sign the dotted line.
- Want to lose some weight before you even workout? – It’s a good idea to check if your gym offers free towels, toiletries, lockers, wifi… the list goes on. Some offer the lot some are a bit more lean in that department. Choose wisely or you might have to carry a mighty heavy kit bag with you every day. The small things can make a big difference to your daily experience.
Pro tip: most gyms are BYO padlock, just like your favourite kicks, it will become an essential part of your kit.
- Show me the money! – Good news, you can negotiate your way into a good deal, yes gym membership prices are negotiable, so go for it! Don’t forget to check if they charge a joining fee.
- Deals – Depending on when you are looking to join, some gyms offer their best deals at the start of the year when resolutions are a hot topic. Other ways to save are through corporate discounts and health insurance policies so it is worth checking those out as you might be able to save some pennies.
- The digital era – As technology evolves, the popularity of home workouts has increased. If this sounds like an option for you, consider subscribing to an online provider and enjoy working out in the comfort of your own home.