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How to Find the Right Gym for You

We may like to believe that we can become workout kings or queens at home, but sometimes it takes repeat visits to a dedicated space—a gym, health club, or athletic organization—for us to initially achieve real change. And the value of input or customized workouts from a professional trainer cannot be overstated. This is not to say a home gym won’t offer you benefits, but many people find that first familiarizing themselves with all the equipment available at a commercial gym helps them determine how to best furnish a home gym. From The Total Fitness Manual.

There are certain steps you should take before purchasing a gym membership, including heeding these suggestions:

CREATE A MUST-HAVE LIST
Draw up a list of must-haves— features or classes you would find in your ideal gym based on your established fitness goals. These could include a spacious free weight area, a variety of cardio machines, or a range of yoga classes. Even fitness newbies want to know their options.

RESEARCH ONLINE
Avoid buying into hyped-up advertising or inflated fitness promises offered by competing facilities, and perform your own online research. Also, check online for feedback from satisfied or unhappy clients. Whatever gym you join should have an app so that you can link to the community and see class schedules, gym hours, and the like.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DEALS
Look for introductory offers or coupon deals that allow you to try out gyms before signing up.

SCOUT THE LOCATION
Location matters—Look for a gym near work if you plan on lunchtime workouts, or one near your home for early morning or evening sessions. A bonus would be if it’s close enough to walk or bike to, for added cardio benefits.

CHECK OUT CLASS SIZES
You don’t want to feel packed into an overbooked class. Check out studio services, such as GOLD’S FIT® and GOLD’S CYCLE™.

MAKE SURE IT’S CLEAN
Cleanliness should be an important factor, especially in the locker room and shower areas.

FEEL THE VIBE
Ambience can affect attitude, so make sure the lights are not too bright, the décor too bold, or the music too loud. And always put substance above glitz or glamour. You’ll do better in a supportive environment with a friendly community.

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