You’re thinking of joining a gym or health fitness center, but you’ve the stories about people who sign up for a membership, go for a month or two, and never go back again. You know that’s a waste of time and money, and you don’t want to go that route. Here are three tips to help you pick the best fitness center for you.
Tip 1 – Sign up for a fitness center that offers activities you enjoy.
Make a checklist of the kind of activities you want. Now rank these activities 1, 2, 3, etc. with # 1 being the activity you most want to do. Which exercises and activities you enjoy should be the number one factor in deciding which fitness center to join. If the center you join doesn’t offer the activities you enjoy doing, then it doesn’t matter how little the center costs or how convenient it is for you to get there, you’ll quit in a few months. No fitness center suits everyone. For instance, my wife loves to swim, but I don’t. She goes to the local Y because they have a huge swimming pool with lap lanes. But I should not sign up for the Y because of its pool; I can barely swim and don’t like it when I do. Also, why should I pay for a feature that I know I won’t make use of (see Tip 2)?
Tip 2 – Don’t join a fitness center that offers a lot of services and benefits you won’t use.
Make a checklist of the “extra” features that a fitness center provides. Some examples are one-on-one private trainers; open up early and close late (some fitness centers are actually open 24 hours); membership is honored nationwide; child-care providers to watch your kids while you work out. All of these benefits are great if you need them, but only if you need them. And if you don’t need them, why sign up for a fitness center that offers them. These features cost money and your membership fees pay for them.
Tip 3 – Make sure the equipment and activities you want are available during the times you know you’ll be using them.
Visit the health club you are considering joining on the days and at the time of day that you will be using the center. How many members are there? How busy are the facilities for the activities you want? If you cannot do the activities you want to do at the actual times you know you’ll be there, the result is the same as if the center never offered those activities. Years ago, I joined a fitness centers that was really close to where I worked, so I believed that made it a great place to workout before going home. Unfortunately, about 500 other people believed that, too, and I almost always had to wait in line to use the equipment I wanted. I quit after only three months.
Finally, when you’ve decided on a gym to join, ask if you can have a trial membership. If that is not available, ask what is the shortest membership term they offer. Do not feel pressured to sign a long-term agreement for a year or more. Keep in mind that long-term agreements are really installment loans that generally have high interest payments. Until you’re sure that you’ve picked the right fitness center, don’t sign a long-term agreement. By following these tips, you will find a fitness center that is just right for you.