A new year rolls in and you’re probably thinking about joining a gym. But not just any old gym – you want to find the perfect gym. A gym that ticks all the boxes, is worth your hard-earned money, and gives you good vibes the moment you walk through the door.
With thousands of gyms to choose from, narrowing it down to just the right one can be a minefield. But a brilliant gym experience can make or break whether you stay as a member – and in fact, your relationship with exercise as a whole.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up five important factors to look out for to make sure you find the perfect gym the first time round.
The perfect gym location is between your workplace and your home. Plot out all of the gyms close to where you live, ideally within a five-mile radius, and you’ll have no deterrents or excuses to skip your workout.
If you’re most likely to sweat it out on a weekday after work, visit your potential new gym after five on a Monday. One thing you should look out at first is if there’s a waiting line for specific equipment you plan on using. If you want to use battle ropes regularly, make sure the gym has a few pairs to avoid long waiting times.
An ideal gym should have a wide selection of functional training tools. Keep an eye out for equipment such as gymnastics rings, suspension trainers, core bags, traverse walls and Swedish ladders. Freestyle training spaces are crucial for dynamic warmups as well as playful exercise, using advanced ways to enhance your entire body. From running machines to power cages, you’ll also want to make sure there’s a good mix of equipment for both cardio and weights.
Avoid any confusion when signing up to a gym membership by making sure you know the small print. Most people don’t want to be locked into a contract – who knows what you’ll be doing in 365 days? Look for a gym without a binding contract, especially if you’re unsure how long you’re planning on joining for. Know the gym’s cancellation policy and how easy it is to opt out. With EVO, for example, it takes five minutes to join and two minutes to leave – fuss-free fitness at its best.
Gyms aren’t just in-and-out sweat boxes. Look for a center that employs personal trainers and other experts you can go to with fitness and wellness questions and concerns. Your perfect gym should be an investment in your health and exercise goals, so make sure the membership is with one that’s both innovative and engaging in its coaching. On the other hand, avoid frills you don’t need. If a gym boasts saunas, spa facilities, squash courts and group classes you’re probably not going to use, sign up for a basic package instead.