Apr 032010

Signing up for a gym is most people’s first step when they decide they want/need to lose weight. Apart from things like jogging and going on a diet, it’s one of the most obvious choices, too. On the other hand, getting to the point of actually picking a gym, many face a common problem – making the right choice. As you’ll be paying the gym money, and you’ll also be dedicating some of your time to visiting it, it’s important to spend as much time as you need in making your decision.

The first and most obvious sign of a gym’s quality will be its hygiene – if you get an impression of a nice, clean place, you’re on the right track. Make sure it’s well-ventilated as well – there’s nothing worse than going to do your workout, all fresh and energetic, only to be greeted by the smell of sweat. Make sure you check out the bathrooms, too – after all, you’ll probably be showering there after every workout, might as well make sure you’ll be doing it in a hygienic environment.

A professional gym will offer you instructional services as well – if you feel inexperienced and don’t know what to do, ask for an instructor. If the place is run by professionals, you’ll be assigned a personal trainer who’ll guide you through the process of making a workout schedule, forming a diet, and getting you through your workout – as well as helping you perform the various exercises.

Surely the most important aspect of a gym though, are the machines – a good gym should have plenty of them, covering all of the important muscle groups. Popular places that get a lot of traffic will usually have more than one of each machine, making it more convenient for customers who don’t feel like waiting to do some exercise.

In this regard, examine the disc stands’ locations as well – lifting weights, people move their discs around all the time, and a good gym should provide plenty of stands to put the discs that you’re not using. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at a gym floor cluttered with discs, which both looks messy and is inconvenient for those working out, too.

Have a look at the extra services offered by the place as well – for example, good gyms will have dispensers for protein shakes and various other healthy drinks, allowing their customers to use them for free (though sometimes this will depend on the grade of your membership and you may need to pay a bit more).

Always make sure you’re familiar with the pricing schedule as well – some places allow you to go month for month, but for some others, you’ll have to sign a contract, sometimes for up to an year. You should definitely examine those conditions as best as you can, as it’s not uncommon for people to end up paying a lot more than they expected after signing up for a gym.

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