How to Choose a Gym: Everything You Really Need to Know

These are the most important factors to consider when you want to choose a gym.

  1. Cost
  2. Convenience
  3. Equipment
  4. Availability of group classes
  5. Child-care
  6. Other users
  7. Staff
  8. Security
  9. Your goals

Regardless of whether you live in Nigeria or abroad, this list will help you to make sure that you’re making the best choice.

So let’s break each item down further.

Choose a Gym Based On:

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Cost 

Cost goes just beyond the amount you pay to join.

It also includes any money that you may be charged in any of the following scenarios:

  • A family member wants to share your membership
  • You want to cancel your membership
  • You want to renew your membership
  • You want to use “extra” facilities at the gym (such as the swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, etc.)
  • You want to renew your membership
  • You want to take classes at the gym etc

Each gym will have its own policy. 

Be sure to ask for a full explanation of all monies that may be required of you at any given point in time.

You work so hard for your money. I don’t want anybody to take advantage of you!

Convenience

When do you prefer to workout? Mornings or evenings?

Where will you be driving from? Your home or your office?

These questions will help you make sure that the gym you choose is open at the hours that work for you.

I know some people that prefer to run on the treadmill in the middle of the night (9pm sometimes).

If you’re that kind of person, be sure to choose a gym that is open late. 

Some people prefer to exercise right after closing from work.

If you’re that kind of person, be sure to choose a gym that is close to your office. 

You’re going to pay good money to be a member of whichever gym you choose. 

It’s okay to choose one that makes your life easy and comfortable.

Equipment

I once went to a gym where 80% of the equipment was treadmills and ellipticals.

This would be a wonderful gym for a person that is actively trying to lose weight. 

For me, however, it was not the right gym because I’ve already lost all the weight I want to lose

I wanted a gym that had more strength-focused equipment. As a result, I didn’t choose that gym.

When you take a tour of the gym, look at the equipment closely. That way, you’re sure that they have everything that you might need.

Don’t be shy to ask the person giving the tour to wait while you look at the stickers on the machines that will explain which body part the equipment targets.

It’s their job to show you around and, again, you’re paying good money to be a part of the gym. It’s okay to make them work a bit for your coin.

Availability of group classes

Do you enjoy the accountability of exercising with others?

If so, do they offer group classes? 

What kinds of classes do they offer? 

Are the classes included in your membership fee or are they priced separately?

How frequently are the classes offered? Do they offer free trials of the classes?

Back when the gym was a place for me to socialize, these questions were crucial to me. Lol

Child care options at the gym

If you have a young child, this could be a very nice perk.

I know of somebody who signed up for a gym where childcare was offered and she truly enjoyed the convenience of doing so. 

She says that having a gym with childcare was quite helpful when she was trying to lose her pregnancy weight.

So this is definitely something to keep in mind if you have a young child. 

Other users

What are other people saying about the gym(s) that you are considering? 

Be sure to check yelp, Facebook, and ask around.

Though, i’d recommend that you take online reviews with a grain of salt. 

At the end of the day, trust your gut and make sure that you choose a gym that feels good to you – regardless of what the reviews say.

The gym staff

This is a big one for me.

When you walked into the gym, did they greet? Were they friendly?

Did you feel comfortable asking questions? Were you satisfied with the answers they provided? Did they seem free and open with information?

It’s good to feel comfortable relating to the gym staff because you will be going to this gym on a regular basis.

It can be quite uncomfortable to be trying to exercise in an environment where the receptionist is giving side eye.

Try your best to choose a gym where you like the staff. It makes a difference!

Security

As a woman, security is always top of mind. 

When choosing a gym, be sure that it’s in an area where you feel safe when you’re alone. 

Drive by during the hours that you intend to be there for your workouts. 

Ideally, you want to choose a gym where you feel safe and have peace of mind.

Your goals

Last, but certainly not least, your goals also count.

Are you trying to lose weight? Or are you trying to build muscle?

Are you going to the gym for the commitment factor? Or are you going because you prefer to work with the machines?

No goal is inherently better than the other.

It’s just important to be 100% clear on why you’re going to the gym.

This knowledge of your goals is what will keep you persistent and consistent when things get tough.

How to Choose a Gym: In Summary

Choose a gym that you like and fits into your lifestyle. 

Fitness is a lifelong journey. 

Your gym is a partner or in that journey. 

Choose one that supports you in all of the most important ways and you will surely reach your goals. [/sociallocker]