We all have that mental picture of what the perfect body looks like, and joining a gym is one way of facilitating the achievement of our goal physiques. Engaging in physical activity outside the gym is well and good. However, weight training is important for women and you may want to look into getting a gym membership.
Gym memberships offer a diverse approach to fitness; you can choose to work out alone, with a professional trainer or simply enjoy the comradery of working hard to attain fitness goals in a group class.
But, and I think everyone knows this, having a gym membership does not automatically translate to you going to the gym or meeting your fitness goals. If you are not feeling up to it or in some cases not seeing results quick enough then you will probably play truant-annual membership fee be damned.
It is therefore essential that you take your time and take certain things into account when choosing a gym to make your fitness journey a lot more seamless.
Below are some of the things to consider before joining a gym:
Value for money
Some gym memberships don’t come cheap, and it is not always because they offer exemplary services. Clean and pocket-friendly gyms do exist, and you do not have to penny pinch in other areas of your life to afford an overpriced gym. Additionally, you need to be aware of what the amount you are paying gets you.
Does your membership package give you access to a trainer, group classes, or does this require extra fees? Make no mistake, gym memberships can come with many hidden expenses making what was to be a pleasant journey a troublesome one.
A rookie mistake would be joining a gym that isn’t in close proximity to your job or home. Why may you ask? Well, committing to a regular gym schedule is no easy task, and it is easy to lack motivation if getting to it is a hassle.
Plus, it is your money at the end of the day, and you can happily fall asleep at night knowing that since you worked hard for it, you have a right to ‘waste’ it.
Also, you don’t want to lose a chunk of your precious time commuting from one side of town to another and worrying about traffic. Going to the gym should complement your daily routine, not complicate it.
Services and amenities offered
Some gyms go the extra mile and provide features like child care, indoor swimming pools, and massages. When it comes to a service like child care, you will need to do your due diligence and find out whether the people you are to leave your child with are certified in first aid and how the designated area is.
Do not get talked into a membership based on the presence of perks. Do your research, find out the time these extra classes or perks are offered and whether they are worth your money.
One way to find out whether you will be able to reach your fitness goals is by trying out the gym. Most gyms will allow serious prospective members to try out their facilities for free. This includes using their work out equipment, a supervised tour of the locker rooms, and access to other work out spaces such as aerobics and or spin cycle.
At the end of this free trial, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether you can be able to meet your physical exercise needs at a particular gym.
Access to certified personal trainers
If you are joining a gym for the first time, you will need help in coming up with a fitness routine that is tailored for you. You will also need guidance on how to safely use the work out equipment and how to properly position your body when doing exercises like press ups.
A gym with certified and enough personal trainers would be an ideal pick. Some trainers will go as far as helping you develop a daily meal plan, ensuring you stay on target and achieve your goals.
Group classes offered
Most times you will feel more motivated when you have ‘exercise buddies’ joining a gym that offers yoga or pilates, or any class that involves group activities is an important feature to helping you stay enthused about going to the gym.
Thoroughly reading your gym contract can save you a lot of future frustrations. A few of the things to look out for in a contract include:
- Whether or not you need to pay a fee to break the contract, this is more so for the two to three-year contracts
- The payment schedule, discounts, and any extra costs
- All terms and conditions
Mich is a 38-year-old semi-professional sports person who enjoys extreme ironing, drone photography and ferret racing. She is fit and disciplined, has a degree in sports science and has a severe phobia of cats.