Hey everyone! My name is Stacie from SimplySouthernStacie. I’m so excited to be able to share this guest post with you today while Heather is off having fun on vacation. Heather’s blog was one of the first blogs I discovered when I started blogging back in October (almost a year now –where has the time gone?), so I was so honored when she asked me to write a guest blog for her today (editor’s note: she’s fabulous; make sure you head over and check out her blog!).
One thing Heather and I have in common is that we are both certified group exercise teachers. Although, Heather is a champ and teaches like 5 classes a day where I just sub now. I’ve actually worked at a gym for seven years now. I’ve basically been a part of every aspect of the gym world: front desk, child care, fitness floor staff, personal trainer, group exercise instructor. During my time, I’ve observed a lot of interesting things (just trust me on that). Most importantly, I’ve learned what to look for in finding a gym that is a good fit for you.
One of the biggest keys to success in your fitness routine is to make it a part of your life. Finding exercise that you enjoy or finding a gym that feels like a second home can have a major impact on your attitude toward exercise.
Today, I would like to share a few tips I’ve found to be important when looking for a new gym that is the best fit for you!
1. The Staff – This is something that you often don’t think about that much. But from my experience, the staff can really make the gym. The staff can transform a gym from a place you dread going to into a place you can’t wait to get go to catch up with friends. You will want to look for people who are friendly, outgoing, knowledgeable and most importantly, supportive. These are the people who will cheer you on as you work towards your fitness goals.
2. The Equipment – Before going to a new gym, decide what equipment is most important to you. Is your favorite machine the elliptical? You’ll want to make sure they have enough of those even during peak hours. Do you want to get more into free weights? See if that area gives you enough space to move about without bumping into other equipment or people. Sometimes, it will be a give or take. I love spin classes, so I am willing to sacrifice on a gym not having the best weight area as long as their spin room is good.
3. The Classes – Taking classes at a gym is a great way to get connected with other people who have similar goals. It’s also a really fun way to try out new exercises under the guidance of a professional. A lot of gyms will let you try out a few classes before you commit to joining, so definitely take advantage of this. Also, it’s good to check the class schedule with your personal schedule to see what you would be able to go to or what you would be missing.
4. The Bathrooms – I know this one might seem a bit random, but you have just got to trust me! There will come a day when you get in a bind and have to shower at your gym before running off to last minute dinner plans or something. Nothing, and I mean, nothing, is worse than gross gym bathrooms! Check out the showers, the locker space, the cleanliness, the supplies provided (will you have to bring your own soap and towel?). Also, check out the privacy of the bathrooms. The only thing worse than gross gym bathrooms is a gross gym bathroom with a naked older lady staring at you.
5. The Payment Options – It’s no secret that joining a gym can be costly sometimes. Before setting out on your gym search, it’s important to decide how much you are willing to pay for the quality of gym you are expecting. Most gyms require some type of joiner’s fee, which is a one-time fee to set up your membership. However, a lot of gyms will run specials waiving this fee at certain times of the year. It never hurts to see if there are specials! I’m a girl who loves a good sale after all! If the joiner’s fee is outrageous or just not something you can fit into your budget at the time, a lot of gyms will waive it if you ask nicely : ) They do not want to see a potential member walk away and join the competition!
6. The Crowd – Most gyms cater to a certain crowd. These people are your fellow gym-goers – the people who will be on the treadmill beside you or waiting behind you at a weight machine. If you have children, it might be important for you to join a gym that is family oriented. Some gyms offer great child care while you work out in addition to extra curricular activities like Parents’ Night Out, child exercise classes and youth sports. If you are serious weightlifter, it might be important for you to find a gym that caters to other weightlifters, etc.
When you are looking for a new gym, there can be a lot of things to consider, Most importantly, find the gym that makes you comfortable and makes you look forward to spending your time there!
If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will be glad to continue this conversation with you!
Do any of you have any tips on finding a new gym? What would be the most important quality for you?If you currently have a gym, what do you love about it?
Thank you so much, Stacie! This was such a great post and had tons of fantastic information!