Agonising over gym choice...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:10 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    So recently moved and had to leave the gym I joined at the start of the year. Grew really attached to it, so it was a bit crap to have to quit. Swallowed the nerves for the second time and today visited two gyms in my area. Both about the same price. Now I don't know which ones to choose...

    Gym 1:
    - Closer (short walk from the bus stop)
    - Bigger/More machines/More members
    - non peak hour had approx 25 people in the gym
    - Steam/Cold rooms
    - Much more commercial
    - Clientèle
    ---- younger
    ---- more men
    ---- very very fit and built
    ---- intimidating

    Gym 2:
    - Further (0.4 mile walk from the bus stop)
    - Smaller/Less machines/Less members
    - non peak hour had approx 5 people in the gym
    - Independent gym
    - Clientèle
    ---- older
    ---- seemingly less fit
    ---- much less intimidating

    I realise it's a fairly subjective decision and I obviously have some confidence issues I need to resolve, but I was just wondering if you guys had any advice, or experience with either of these types of gym? What would you choose?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:18 PM GMT
    Gym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:22 PM GMT
    Pure saidGym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.

    lol - you just like the eye candy - I was sort of leaning towards gym 2
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:26 PM GMT
    Well, for me s steam room or sauna would cinch it. I always use heat after working out, helps avoid muscle tightness I sometimes get. But must be men-only. Aside from the eye-candy, wearing something with an elastic waist in a mixed facility causes me to get a latex reaction in the sweaty heat. Towel or nothing only.

    Though I don't know your lovely country, never been there (my partner has), so not sure if things are different in this regard. I would vote # 1.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:28 PM GMT
    cold said
    Pure saidGym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.

    lol - you just like the eye candy - I was sort of leaning towards gym 2


    Eye candy = motivation - motivation because you want to look like them, and motivation because when you don't feel like working out, it can perk you up to know that there's something nice to look at in-between sets. It's win-win.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:34 PM GMT
    AD - I've never really used a steam room, so not really sure. I really doubt I would either.

    Pure said
    cold said
    Pure saidGym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.

    lol - you just like the eye candy - I was sort of leaning towards gym 2


    Eye candy = motivation - motivation because you want to look like them, and motivation because when you don't feel like working out, it can perk you up to know that there's something nice to look at in-between sets. It's win-win.


    To me, eye candy = paralysingly awkward
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    Aug 10, 2011 2:39 PM GMT
    Pick the gym you're actually going to use. Do either or both of the gyms offer a 3 day or week pass to try it out before committing to join? If so, take them up on it and then decide.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    I would go with gym 1: I agree that eye candy = motivation. The other qualities just seem better, imo.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    A friend advised me once to pick the one that is closest. So that you have less of a chance to change your mind once you start out going there. You will have arrived in time before you can change your mind about working out that day!


    I agree with the eye candy = motivation!
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Aug 10, 2011 2:49 PM GMT
    For me, the clincher would be that Gym 1 is closer. That extra bit of hassle can lead to an awful lot of skipped workouts on days you're not really motivated.

    As for the intimidation factor, know that most fit, built guys got that way by focusing on their own workouts, not by looking down their nose at others. And as you make progress, you may start finding the intimidating guys inspiring instead.

    But it probably boils down to which factor will be more likely to cause you to make excuses not to go -- distance/hassle or intimidation. Go to the gym that won't trigger those excuses.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:52 PM GMT
    cold said
    Gym 1:
    ---- very very fit and built
    ---- intimidating

    Gym 2:
    ---- seemingly less fit
    ---- much less intimidating

    I realise it's a fairly subjective decision and I obviously have some confidence issues I need to resolve, but I was just wondering if you guys had any advice, or experience with either of these types of gym? What would you choose?


    This is the exact problem I had with my school gyms! "Gym 1" in my case is a nicer facility, but it's where all the football players, athletes and bodybuilders work out. I chose "gym 2" because it's more casual and much less intimidating, but at the expense of nicer equipment and size.
    HOWEVER, this summer, "gym 2" is under renovation, so I've been forced to go to "gym 1," and I have to say that once I sucked it up and just started doing it, it isn't as bad as it seems. I've found that most of those really intimidating guys probably won't even notice you are there- seriously, they are more focused on their own routines. And every time I go, I just tell myself that I need to start somewhere and that in a years time I'll fit in with the other guys. Plus I've found that watching the scary people can give you lots of insight into proper form and new exercises.

    Anyway, I know what you're going through, and I would honestly choose gym 1 at this point just because in the long run it probably has more benefits for you. But if the quality of equipment at gym 2 is just as good, then I guess that could work fine too.
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    Aug 10, 2011 2:55 PM GMT
    I would go with #1 - sounds like a better match for someone who is serious about his training. When mine is full of younger guys or men of any age who are hustling for a good workout we work off each others' energy.
    Honestly I don't know if it's so much about eye candy, but there are other things like a healthy sense of competition and even a feeling of fraternity when you're all working hard.
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    Aug 10, 2011 3:03 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidPick the gym you're actually going to use. Do either or both of the gyms offer a 3 day or week pass to try it out before committing to join? If so, take them up on it and then decide.

    I agree. When I taught college phy ed, one of the things I stressed was not only motivation, but attainability. If you throw too many obstacles in the path, the average person will lose interest and give up. Choose the gym you will most likely use, which sounds like # 1. Avoid difficulties & hassles.

    I also agree with taking a sample pass. Most gyms will offer those. I've always done that before joining. Until you actually attend, and use their equipment, their other facilities, you really don't know. Getting a "tour" only gives you half the picture. You really hafta use the place.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 10, 2011 3:04 PM GMT
    What is this "intimidation" factor?? And for you? I could expect you (of all people) to deal with intimidation based on our conversations...lol

    You know everybody evaluates a gym differently. I'm a YMCA member here in Wichita (some of the best in the country). I've been a member of the East YMCA for 8 years and 2 years ago when they opened up the Andover YMCA, I expected I would move immediately since the new facility was 155,000 sq, feet, 8 lane lap pool, family swimming, 2 outdoor swimming pools, 3 times the number of machines than at the East (and we have many at the East) plus many, many more amenities. I didn't change, despite the fact the Andover YMCA is a little closer for me. I like my smaller Y, it meets my needs, fewer people and a different kind of atmosphere.

    Number #1 certainly sounds the best for a number of reasons, but I think you need to evaluate how you feel using both.. don't just rely on a bunch of facts to make your decision.. also evaluate which would give you more of a challenge... then make your final decision.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidPick the gym you're actually going to use. Do either or both of the gyms offer a 3 day or week pass to try it out before committing to join? If so, take them up on it and then decide.


    This!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    #1. You'll have less of an excuse not to go. Consider the clients as your inspiration for keeping at it!
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    Aug 10, 2011 4:23 PM GMT
    I think I've been in your boat and was similarly paralyzed for a long time lest I do something embarrassing or get sneered at by a hot guy more fit than I am.

    For a long while, I was so conflicted and torn that I paid for a membership at a place like gym 1 without EVER going.

    Then I steeled myself for some difficult experiences and joined a place like gym 2.

    Now I'm a lot more comfortable, after cutting my teeth in gym 2, and really enjoy gym 1.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the many of the other respondents that gym 1 is inspiring and the eye-candy motivating.

    Good luck.
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    Aug 10, 2011 4:32 PM GMT
    Let me ditto Jawred's observation that there's an energizing fraternity in gym 1. I belong to three gyms now: a gym 1, a gym 2, and an over-the-top gym 1 on a college campus.
    Unbelievably, the over-the-top extreme gym 1, chock full of hot guys all working hard, is hands-down where I'm the happiest these days and making the most progress.
    Gym 2 is comfortable and, I still go there, for convenience and comfort especially when trying something new that I'm having a tough time learning.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 5:21 PM GMT
    cold said

    Gym 1:
    - Closer (short walk from the bus stop)


    Gym 2:
    - Further (0.4 mile walk from the bus stop)


    What would you choose?


    Gym 1 for this reason alone. A gym that's too out of the way is all the more easier to talk yourself out of going regularly.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 10, 2011 5:46 PM GMT
    Pure saidGym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.


    you remind of this one member when i first joined. from the UK with a bf. he went MIA. i forgot his screen name. nick or something...
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    Aug 10, 2011 6:24 PM GMT
    When I was living in SF I went to your gym 2 since it was near work in the financial district. The place was smaller, the people were older, and it was never crowded. People were always nice and considerate. The facility was clean for the most part. no steam room or pool. There weren't any muscle heads. It was a very comfortable environment.

    I go to gym 1 now since its my only option. It is bigger and filled with people most of the time. There are TV screens and personal trainers all over the place which I am assuming what you refer to as commercial. I never use the steam room or pool so those don't come into play. The crowd is much younger. There are tons of equipment. The bad thing is the younger crowd is less considerate. They leave things behind. Hog up equipment. they dont wipe off their equipment after use. they dont put their equipment away after use. It is a lot more work to get a workout. However, the younger crowd at your gym might have better gym etiquette.

    I would pick your gym #1 if the people there are considerate otherwise I would go with gym #2. Its more entertaining to be around young people.

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    Aug 10, 2011 6:31 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra said
    Pure saidGym 1, it's better in every aspect! This is not even a debate.


    you remind of this one member when i first joined. from the UK with a bf. he went MIA. i forgot his screen name. nick or something...


    He reminds me of that individual too, except I thought nick was hot and well...
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    Aug 10, 2011 7:13 PM GMT
    I have the worst body in my gym . I'm surprised how much that has helped. Especially seeing guys with much better physiques struggle with the same things I do.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Aug 10, 2011 8:38 PM GMT
    Sounds like you already made up your mind when you labelled one intimidating and the other one as less so

    If I was to choose I would definitely choose the more intimidating one
    Not only because of the .... Hot men

    But still a good reason

    But because that INTIMIDATION will propel you to push that much more in your workouts and get you out of your comfort zone
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    Aug 10, 2011 8:42 PM GMT
    Def pick the closer gym! gym 1 plus it's clearly better in every way lol