If it’s nearing that time of year when you’re thinking about joining a fitness club, or if you are interested in switching from your current one, it’s time to start gym shopping! First, figure out what you’re looking for.
Here are some membership benefits to consider when choosing the fitness club that best fits your needs:
Cost of Membership
- Monthly membership dues can typically range anywhere from $25 to $120 a month. The more expensive a club is, the more expansive, clean and high-quality it will likely be. Watch out for initiation fees–certain clubs have fees as high as $200, though many provide special offers throughout the year with no, or lower, initiation fees. Cost will likely end up being one of your biggest factors when deciding.
Group Fitness Classes
- Fitness classes are, in my opinion, awesome to keep you going, entertained and motivated through the winter. They are great for trying out new activities, developing skills and having fun with others. Every class will be different every time. Ask to see the weekly schedule of classes to figure out if the ones you are interested in match your availability. Small fitness clubs may have studios available with recorded on-demand workout videos, instead of on-site instructors.
Aquatics Facilities, Courts and Studios
- Availability and quality of aquatic facilities, courts and studios may be a make-or-break deal for some people. Large complexes will have the widest variety. Don’t forget to check availability (and location) of saunas and steam rooms.
- Need personal training, nutritional coaching or fitness assessments? Upscale large fitness clubs have a professional for every need and muscle group, medium-sized facilities have trainers for training sessions and floating on the fitness floor to answer questions, while small centers will typically just have trainers available when leading a personal training session. Seek places with the support you need.
- if you have kids and need someone to watch them while you work out, find a gym that offers on-site babysitting. It’ll be one less thing to worry about.
- Preferably find a fitness center that is close to home or work. The easier it is to get to, the more likely you’ll go. It’ll also save time commuting.
- Maybe you need one of those 24-hour gyms, perhaps one that closes by 10 p.m. is good enough for you, or you may be in dire need of a fitness center open at 5 a.m.. Check schedules.
Now that you know what you’re looking for, start by:
- Browsing online for gyms (and their benefits) in your area
- Visiting a few locations
- Asking the sales representatives lots of questions!
Remember you’re still shopping, so don’t get pressured by the sales! Check out how to find the best deals on fitness club memberships.