Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What to Consider When Joining a Gym

As I've mentioned multiple times recently, I'm so excited to get back to working out!  Before I can do that, I need to find a gym to go, though!  We moved to a new area recently, and it's just another one of the things that I need to find to replace my old gym.

Well, I wanted to share with you the things I'm considering while shopping around for a gym to join.  Everyone has different priorities for their gym, so I'll share what I'm looking for in many of the major considerations.

Child Care
Since I'm planning to work out after school, child care is a MUST for me!  Joe's office doesn't close until 6, so I'll have to make sure Baby Fish is taken care of at the gym while I work out.  That, or I'll have to make sure that she is able to stay at her child care until after I work out.

Side Note: It's weird to have to consider this now!  I'm still getting used to the fact that I'm a mother and responsible for another human!  (Don't get me wrong, I love it though!)

Group Exercise Classes
Again, another MUST for my gym!  Not only do they have to have group exercise offerings (which ruled out the gym that Joe joined when he got here), but I'm looking for certain things in the classes.  First, I really want the gym to have BodyPUMP.  There are other barbell strength classes, but I really love the way the Les Mills puts together the BodyPUMP classes.  Also, the classes I'm interested in need to be offered at times when I can make them.  Anything during the day is a no-go for me once the new school year starts in August.  I need classes I'm interested in to be offered either early in the morning (if I can make myself get up before work!) or in the late afternoon before 6.

Cardio Equipment
I'm looking for a gym with plenty of cardio equipment, particularly treadmills!  I also would like each piece of equipment to have its own TV.  All the gyms I've joined in the past have individual TVs, so I need that to keep up :)

Free Weights/Weight Equipment
I want the gym I join to have plenty of dumbbells to use, as well as plenty of space to complete exercises.  I'm not one that uses the weight machines much, so I want the equipment I'll actually use to be there!

Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff
I value good customer service, so I want the staff at the gym to be friendly and helpful when I need it.  I also think it's important that the staff know proper form and correct people when needed.  I hate seeing personal trainers and other staff just letting someone do an exercise wrong!!  No good!

I also will consider the group exercise instructors.  They need to know what they're doing, be knowledgeable, correct form, and be energetic and friendly.  I've belonged to one gym with awesome instructors and another with mediocre instructors, and it REALLY makes a difference in the group exercise class experience!

The price is definitely important!  My gym membership in Daytona was actually free through my insurance, so having to pay for the gym now is not going to be fun.  I'm looking for a good value for what I'm paying.  If I'm getting lots of stuff out of the membership fee (access to all classes, etc.), I'm ok with paying a little bit higher price.

The gym needs to be clean, have a decent locker room, and be up-to-date/not run down.

After considering all of these things, I've narrowed down my options to 2 places.  I'm planning to go visit these two gyms in about 2 weeks to check them out, since normally they give you a free week to try things out and I want to be able to take advantage.

Question for you: What is the most important thing to you when looking for a gym?


  1. When I joined the first gym I belonged to it was perfect. It had classes like Zumba and Body Pump/Attack and I loved it. I just didn't love the price. Then after going there a year the price went up. Then hubby retired and we just couldn't afford it any longer. I was mostly running outside anyway. Then Planet Fitness moved into town right near my house so I joined there. For MUCH less than the other gym. Granted I lost my classes, since they don't have them, I do have access to equipment for a much more economical price. So mainly for me, it's all based on price, especially with us being on such a limited budget.

  2. Good luck in your search for the perfect gym. I hope that one of the two options that you've found will be a good fit for you.