Iâm starting my new membership at a local gym tomorrow morning and this is going to be the 6th or 7th gym I have had a membership too. I have trained for a day or two at countless other gyms from around the country. There are roughly 5 main determining factors that I look at when deciding which gym in is the next best fit for my needs.
1. Free Weight Placement: One of the very first determining factors in my head when I am looking to switch gyms is the location of the free weights. Are the free weights in the middle of all the machines or cardio section? Does it feel cluttered when you are hitting your standing dumbbell curls? And are there plenty of benches and additional adequate space to get that pump you desire? I donât like to hit shoulders, curls or really anything with some big hairy dude breathing down my neck because the free weights are in a shitty location.
2. Mirror Space: This essentially ties into free weights, machines, and cardio, but mainly the weight lifting aspect of gym time in general. I have been to a handful of gyms that really have little to no mirror space. Or they will put 6 different machines and 2 benches all crowded in front of 1 mirror. This truly bugs me and takes away from the overall experience of being at the gym(if youâre anything like me, your home away from home) Another big reason that I take note of mirror space is the fact that the mirror will help act as your spotter and additional motivation if you are training solo.
3. Cardio Location: This really isnât a huge deal for me as I tend to handle my cardio outside of the gym, but none the less there are days when I donât feel like being in triple digit heat and will get down on a treadmill or elliptical. Basically, I take note of whether the equipment is up to date and quality at that, and if there are TVs with sports on or eye candy present for motivation. Jk but seriously if I am walking into a gym with a bunch of people running and staring at me when Im signing in, it makes things a bit awkward, so cardio placement is somewhat important to me when I am searching for a new gym.
4.Cleanliness/Is it Stuffy? Wow, it never ceases to amaze me, when I walk into a gym and itâs a 90+degrees and so humid thatâs you legitimately feel wet the second you walk in. This is a huge turn off and disgusting at that. I wonât name the particular establishment that always seems to have this type of environment, but when Iâd go there I would feel completely foul until I was home and showered. It rhymes with Shitness Einteen. =P Anyway, aside from this feeling, smelling and looking foul with the windows and mirrors steamed up itâs a health hazard. The gym that I am referring to had more than one outbreak of staph and 1 outbreak is 1 too many. Itâs the only gym that I have been a member of that literally got their member sick.. FOUL! When I am on the hunt for a new gym, I also look for disinfectant and towels to be readily available throughout the complex and I like to see staff and meat-heads alike utilizing this key feature. Itâs the small things that really count. Sanitation has always been a big thing for me, especially after attending Shitness Einteen. I donât want to lay my head on a bench andÂ feel a puddle of some other dudes sweat or grab a dumbbell and have it damn near slip out of my hands because it was so greasy.
5.Â Staff: Finally, the 5th aspect of gym shopping that I take note of in my efforts to find the next best suitable match is the staff themselves. I am sure that we have all met the staff members that make it evident that $8.50 an hour is not worth halfway decent customer service. Remember, you are paying for your membership which means ultimately you are a customer and in some cases a high paying customer, that expects at the very least to be treating with some respect. I have had some very pleasurable experiences with the staff of other gyms, one notably from a town that I used to live in, they would always act like I was the president when I walked through the door, they would let me in early and stay late and generally seemed to care about my training efforts and even how my day was. This is the type of environment that makes on truly proud to be part of and not to mention comfortable. It is much easier for me to get the most out of my workouts if I am comfortable with my surroundings and can focus on my workout at hand without worrying about the guy next to me crushing my toes, or fighting for mirror space, or overall sanitation.
What about you? What do you look for in your gym? What makes your current gym the best match for you? Let me know in the comments section below! I hope you enjoyed reading this post.