Life Style: Fitness and health
I have been around many health clubs in my years as a Personal Fitness Trainer, Fitness Manager and consumer. Gyms may have certain niches such as big box gyms, specialized gyms, hybrid gyms, boot camps, group exercise gyms, spin bike gyms, the list is endless.
Within each gym type, there are basic requirements a consumer needs to observe and recognize. Here is a good check list to use and see if your gym is up to standard.
- Walk around the gym and workout areas. Observe if the weights are stacked in proper order, the individual stations are operational, the equipment is wiped down. Check the racks to see if there is dust under the weights. Are the floors clean where you work out? Do the benches have marks or rips in them?
- How is the noise level, the lighting, the paint on the walls? Is there debris on the floor such as towels, or members own stuff? Are there materials available to clean after yourself such as wipes, spray bottles with cleaner and cleaning rags?
- Does the gym have Wi-Fi that works, do you like the music over the speakers, TV’s operational , electronic gear satisfactory for your needs?
- During peak hours of operation is there a line up for a particular machine or weight system, does the layout of the club make sense ?
- Go to the lockers, showers, restrooms , and see what kind of shape they are in. They need to be clean on all accounts. This is not an area where you can compromise.
- Observe the members and their actions. Are they friendly, obnoxious , weight slammers, posers, will they let you work in a set or just hog an area? What is the age of the members, what do they dress like? Do they train with a workout partner or only themselves? This is an area which might make your experience pleasant or a total turn off.
- If you choose Group Exercise classes , do you need to sign up in advance, is the area large enough for the class, what is the ratio of instructor and class participants, what is the music system like, is the group X clean, mirrors clean? Can you sample a class before you sign up for a program?
- What is the background of the instructors. Where are their certifications from, what is their experience, how long have they been with the gym?
- Is the front desk staff helpful in signing in , answering your questions, looking at their cell phones or at you , are they in uniforms or just causal garb?
- Does the gym try to hard sell you to join, what type of programs do they offer, do you get a break if you sign up front or if you are on an EFT program?
- Do you need to sign a contract, give 30 days notice or is it just a month to month sign-up? Can you get out of your contract if you do not like it or move?
- Are there specialized activities or classes where there is an extra fee?
- Does the gym have a pro shop, snack bar, a lounge , a sauna , steam room, whirlpool, pool, basketball court or other amenities?
- How often can you bring a guest or is there a charge for the guest?
- Are you joining because you want to work out , socialize, hang out with friends? Is the gym easy to get to from your work or home? Is there transportation available or parking? Do you have to pay for parking?
These are the basic elements you should think about in your quest for fitness and health. Your best bet is to tour the facility at different times of the day when you might use it, do not sign anything impulsively even if the deal sounds good. Give it a week to try and if it still appeals to your needs , it is a good choice.
Keep smoking and stay fit