1. Commute Time: You might be tempted to join the best big name gym in your city but if it requires a great deal of travel to & fro, it might not be the best idea. The biggest factor you want to consider when it comes to your workout is ADHERENCE or CONSISTENCY. And the best way to be consistent is to make things as convenient as possible. So, start by looking at gyms closest to your home or office, that doesn’t require you to be stuck in traffic just to get in a workout.
2. Workout Routine: Most gyms will provide a workout routine but you should know beforehand how many days per week you can commit to the gym. If you're a beginner, there's absolutely no need to dive into the deep end and start training 5-6 days a week. 3-4 days is perfectly good and the number of days you commit to should be practical and work for your schedule. The same rule applies to your workout time. There's no hard and fast rule that says you need to work out in the morning or the evening. The best time to work out is the time that's most convenient for YOU.
3. Goals: It's important to have a goal in mind. Do you want to look better? Do you want to be more athletic and agile? Do you simply want to dance a few times a week? Or have the option to try new classes when you have the time? The reason this is important is that it will help you shortlist the best kind of facility based on what you actually want to achieve. For e.g., if your goals are to look better, a regular gym with a range of dumbbells, weights & machines will be the best course of action. Whereas, if you want to become more agile or athletic, a functional training gym may be the better choice. You can also use Fitternity's Pay-Per-Session, to book single workout sessions at different places without buying the memberships where a free trial is not an option.
4. Gym Trials: The great thing about Fitternity is that it allows you to try a gym before you commit to a membership. And the great thing about trying different gyms is that it allows you to make the best decision about where you feel most comfortable and what's most convenient for your goals. So, now that you have an idea of what your short-term fitness goals are, how long you're willing to travel to get to the gym, how many days you're willing to dedicate and what time you'd like to work out, it's time to start shortlisting some gyms. Find a few that match the criteria you've set and start booking trials. Remember, if you want to have the option to take a few classes (Zumba, Kickboxing etc) in your free time, look for facilities that provide some you may be interested in. The next step once you've shortlisted a few gyms is to go there on the day's and at the time you're most likely to be regular at.
5. What to look out for: A new gym can be overwhelming, even if it's just a trial. So make sure you look out for a few things:
- Trainers - How many trainers are there on the floor at the time you're going? If you've chosen to go at an odd hour (post 10 PM or before 8 AM), chances are there won't be many trainers. But make sure that there are at least 1 or 2 people that can help you if you ever need it. You also want to make sure the trainers are knowledgeable and understand your requirements, goals, and level. If you're interested in aesthetics and they're only interested in powerlifting, it won't make for a very great experience. Remember, most trainers (not personal trainers) will behave very differently at your trial session than they will once you're a regular. So you want to make sure they know their stuff enough to help you for the first few weeks at least.
- The crowd - A crowded gym can make a beginner anxious and self-conscious. It also means that a lot of the equipment will be in use, which equals a longer wait time and therefore a longer gym session. So, if you only have 40-60 minutes (which is ideal), you may want to reconsider a crowded gym.
- Equipment - If you're interested in powerlifting or have strength goals, it's important to make sure they have sufficient plates (of the right height), enough barbells, a good squat rack, and a good bench. Many gyms will have a makeshift squat rack or a smith machine only. These can work if you aren't interested in strength training specifically, but if you want to train for strength, these aren't ideal. On the other hand, if you're training for physique goals/aesthetics, you may want to ensure that they have enough dumbbells (look at the increments) and machines (like leg press, lat pulldown etc.) that can help you achieve that goal. You also want to ensure that the machines are safe (not broken) and the dumbbells and barbells aren't old, rusted or falling apart.
- Comfort - Once you've got the three main things covered, you can start looking at hygiene, sanitation, air conditioning and comfort levels. If you're a woman, you definitely want to consider safety.
6. Signing up: After you've gone for a few trial sessions and made a decision on what's the best option for you, look for the best deal available. Most gyms have deals running throughout the year, especially during festivals. You can always find a great deal on Fitternity! Sign up for a time that's most comfortable for you.
Remember, when it comes to finding the right gym, as well as most things in fitness, convenience drives consistency. And consistency yields results. So, don't make the hardest choice possible by thinking, "What's the most I can do?" Instead
Now that you have everything you need, find the right option near you:
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