Gym choice...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2008 5:45 PM GMT
    Up to this point, I have been using my home gym (really old CrossBow system) for most of my exercises. The biggest problem, for me at least, is that while it's nice to have my "gym" at home, I find myself very easily distracted by other things around the house.

    I want to get a membership to a real gym, but I am really at a loss for what I need to look for in regards to the gym as a whole.

    How did you choose the gym you currently go to? Was there some kind of perks you looked for? Location? How can you decide if a gym is worth the price you pay for the membership?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    For me it was equipment and location. If I ever build another house, I'll probably look into dedicating a room to a proper (desired by me) home gym.
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    Jul 16, 2008 7:59 PM GMT
    For me, it was about how much action was going on in the showers/steam room/sauna and how cruisy the place was. Oh, and the glory holes helped too. LOL

    After that, I like a gym with ample space. There's nothing I hate more than a tiny gym in a strip mall where all the equipment is crammed into the space and there's no room to stretch or to do abdominal workouts. Sometimes, you just need a mat and floor space to layout and do some basic exercises before and after going through the free weights and/or nautilus equipment.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jul 16, 2008 8:06 PM GMT
    I chose my gym based on it's location and atmosphere. It's not a bunch of muscleheads or a singles bar in disguise.
  • docmarvy

    Posts: 122

    Jul 16, 2008 8:40 PM GMT
    The criteria for picking a gym really depends on your personal goals, but here's some general criteria I go by:

    LOCATION/OPERATING HOURS - If the gym isn't reasonably convenient to get to, then you won't go as much as you want to/should. They should be open late enough that if you keep a gym bag in your car and you're nearby you can swing in for a late-night or early pre-work workout.

    CLEANLINESS - Seeing as it's a gym it's only going to be so clean, but still, it shouldn't be gross.

    EQUIPMENT SELECTION - Do they have the equipment you most want to use? Is it laid out sensibly for your workout? Do they have enough of everything.

    And the bottom of my list is AMENITIES - I personally don't partake of the free "cardio crosstrain kickboxing" classes, but it's nice if they offer free classes you can get involved with. A pool is nice and a hot tub/sauna even nicer for post-workout wind-down to relax the muscles you just wailed on.

    bigbluefanindc mentioned the cruisey-ness. If that matters to you, then you should be able to get some ideas from your local Craigslist "Missed Connections" section. Otherwise, take some tours of gyms near you this weekend.

    I've been to Gold's, Prairie Life, Lifetime Fitness and some locally-owned gyms (back in Omaha) and 24 Hour Fitnesses in several different states. Each place and location each had advantages and drawbacks, so much like a new car you should test drive a few and see what you like and dislike about them to make an informed decision.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2008 9:14 PM GMT
    I joined my gym because my roommate at the time was going there. They gave me a good offer so I joined. A couple of years ago I ended up moving 2-3 blocks away from it. Perfect location.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 17, 2008 10:45 AM GMT
    Actually I have a few memberships
    depending where I am and in what city... so I have a National chain

    But my local gym it's because of

    LOCATION... it's in my building
    CLEANLINESS...they keep it spotless
    CLIENTELE...some of the men there are truly stunning
    (Nice to look at icon_smile.gif
    REEPUTATION...one of the better names in the industry
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 17, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    johnjsr said
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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 17, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    I like to try out a gym when selecting a new one. My decision on joining a gym is often based on whether or not they will give me a pass to work out there before joining. Call up different gyms and ask them for a week-long pass or three-day pass. Work out at the time you would normally do so and see if you like the place or not. Also go once at a different time just to get the feel for the place. Once you make a decision on a gym, treat signing up the same way you would buying a car. They are going to try and get as much money out of you as possible. Your job is to pay them the least you can. Be ready to walk away from the deal and don't get locked into multi-year plans. Some will expect you to pay a chunk of change up front, but don't get taken in by them. Also, don't sign up the same day you visit a place. Some gyms, like 24 Hour Fitness, will give you the hard sale but be strong. You can actually get some good deals at 24 Hour Fitness because they focus on selling training packages and supplements. Some of the things I look for in a gym include:

    1) Equipment - is there enough or are people waiting to use it?
    2) Cleanliness - are there towels lying around and are the showers dirty?
    3) Fellow members - are they there to work out or socialize?
    4) Cruising - when I'm at a gym I'm there to work out. I don't like cruisy gyms.
    5) Layout of the gym - is it easy to walk from equipment to equipment, or do you need to go upstairs and downstairs to get the workout you need? I like to do supersets and need to have equipment fairly close. I don't want to be walking all over the gym to do supersets or having someone grab my equipment as soon as I walk away.
    6) Friendliness of staff - are they willing to help when you need it? Do they seem to know what they are doing? Do they pretend not to know you even though you've been coming there for 2 years (LOL)?

    ALWAYS remember that you are the consumer and that all gyms are able to make a deal. They love to sucker in newbies with expensive plans, training packages, and lots of supplements. They make their money by locking people into long-term packages knowing that most people will stop going to the gym at some point. Read the fine print in the contract. Can you get out of a contract easily if you wind up moving or have an injury? Can you put your membership on hold if you are going to be away for a while?

    Well.....hope this helps. Good luck!

    P.S. I've worked out at most of the chain gyms so can give you feedback on them. One thing I've seen is that they vary in quality from city to city.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 22, 2008 1:15 PM GMT
    So....did you pick a gym?