Before joining a gym…Dave Smith
As we approach the New Year, you may be planning to set new fitness goals and change your training routines. Gyms tend to capitalize on this period of time by opening new studies or sharing some pretty sweet discounts with potential members. Before signing on the dotted line and joining a new gym or buying a class package, some tips:
Make sure it’s something you really enjoy. This seems obvious, but class packages or gym memberships often seem more attractive when they are “for sale.” Do you remember that shirt with big discounts that you convinced yourself that you would wear but never did? The same can happen with a gym membership. If you have to convince yourself in some way that it might be worth it or be useful, it may end up like that shirt, on the back of the closet, intact and with the labels intact. Instead, look for something else that makes you feel instantly excited.
Try before you buy. If you have never tried the gym or studio you are considering, take advantage of your free or discounted introductory passes before registering. Many studios will offer a free first class opportunity, or a two-week pass with a lot of discount. During this trial period, see how often you will use it and then determine if it is worth it.
Look for any red flag. For me, these are things like cleanliness, staff (certifications and behavior), safety and variety of equipment and members. Look what kind of environment they have. The best gyms have a variety of members, not just all the big guys who growl and throw weights to the ground, and a combination of classes. Some things that I personally look for: cleaning wipes accessible to all the equipment (especially cardiovascular machines), a friendly face at the reception, the certifications that require instructors and trainers (you can always ask for!), And the classes on schedule. As for the team, I’m not looking for a lot of variety because you can do an excellent workout with a pair of weights, but I make sure everything looks safe (without machines that are obviously on its last leg) and clean. It is an advantage if they have fun gym tools and new cardio equipment.
Read the contract thoroughly. Check the hidden rates and check your cancellation policy. Can you put your membership on hold if necessary? What happens if you cancel early? Don’t be afraid to negotiate a lower monthly payment or an exempt registration fee.
Make sure it is convenient. How easy is it for you to get to the gym? Do you have parking available? Make sure this will be a hassle-free addition to your life instead of an additional stressor, such as a gym that is more than 40 minutes away without dedicated parking. If there are classes that you would like to take, make sure the schedule works with your schedule and that you can enter. (For example, many classes early in the morning are placed at the waist very quickly, so it can be a challenge to get a Stain.)
If it’s the first time you join a gym, I just want to send you a little virtual five! I hope you find one that meets all your needs and helps you achieve your fitness goals.
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