Finding a place to train can be quite a task and it is well worth thinking about before just going with the first place you see or signing up based on cost alone. These days the market is absolutely saturated with gyms and fitness studios. We certainly are spoilt for choice. While you obviously need to do something you can afford, there are a number of other factors that should be just as high up on the list of things to consider. That $5 bootcamp around the corner, while cheap and convenient, just isn’t going to be suitable for everyone – and that’s okay.
Do you feel comfortable in the environment?
This is super important if you’re embarking on a new fitness journey. If you hope to be able to continue on with your fitness journey in the short and long term future, it’s important that you feel comfortable in the environment you will be training in. Some people love big gyms with lots of people, mirrors and equipment – they feel totally in their element. Others are a little more self conscious or wary of that sort of environment and would probably prefer to train in a quieter, more private location that is less “visible” to outsiders. Some people are happy with either. It’s often a good idea to see if you can go to the facility before making your final decision. Most facilities would be happy to show you around if you ask.
Do you feel comfortable around the other clientele of the facility?
This can be a tricky one as you can’t always easily get in there and talk to them. You might not want to. Take the time to do a little research and see what types of clients the facility focuses on training, if they have any photos of training sessions on their social media pages and read any reviews for the facility that you can find. You can often get a bit of a feel for the place through what is out in the public domain.
Do you like their philosophies and approach to working with clients?
Do they put you on restrictive eating plans? Do they weigh and measure you regularly? Are there strict requirements on any aspect of their philosophies that don’t fit in with the way you want to live your life? It’s important to know what their philosophies are around exercise, goal setting, eating and lifestyle habits (and changes to them). If you’re wanting to stick with your new exercise habits, it needs to fit in with the lifestyle you want to be leading. Following strict dietary or exercise rules that aren’t sustainable in the long term are unlikely to be the answer.
Are they offering something you genuinely think will help you achieve your personal goals for fitness?
Do a bit of research and ask questions about their programs if you are unsure. It’s important you sign up to a program that will give you the support you need to make sure you are learning how to perform the exercises correctly and help you stay on track in the early days. This is especially important if you’re starting out for the first time in a long time. Some people need little support and are highly self motivated so a setting with minimal one on one contact and ongoing support is perfect. Others need a little more help in finding their way when they begin. Take these things into consideration, and discuss with staff when necessary, when you are deciding which program is for you.
Do they have the facilities you require?
Do they have all the facilities you need? Some people will need shower facilities, others don’t particularly need them. If you need child care, is that an option? Make sure everything you NEED is available or can be worked around. Some facilities have LOADS of extra facilities that you may or may not need. Focus on the things you need and making sure you have those. The others are unimportant if you’re unlikely to ever utilise them.
These are some of the major things to think about in researching where you might like to start (or continue) your fitness journey. Cost is always a consideration and if you hope to continue on with training, you need to be able to afford the program you sign on for. However, these other factors should also be considered before making a snap decision based solely on price. Or even location. Sometimes it’s worth travelling an extra five or ten minutes to get to a place where you are feel truly comfortable, welcomed and supported.
Jump on over to our Facebook page or post below if you have any additional questions or need help in deciding if the place you’re thinking about would be right for you at this stage of your journey. Remember, you don’t have to join a gym or fitness studio to improve your fitness – you can do it at home or in the great outdoors if you feel that is what you will be most comfortable.