This time of year, fitness facilities are buzzing with prospective members who have high hopes of getting toned and shedding pounds. In our area, options abound for those looking to get fit, with personal training studios, multi-level facilities and specialty classes being offered on every corner. So, if you’re serious about changing your body, which do you choose?
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy decision, but it actually is a critical one, as your facility -- and its respective staff -- can really make or break your fitness goals. All too often, people choose a gym based on cost or location alone, only to find that the experience is subpar, lacks motivation or comes with lots of fine print. Instead, gym goers should ask themselves the following questions to ensure that their gym is committed as they are to reaching their goals:
Is the Gym Space Inviting, Motivating and Actually Energizing?
It may seem like common sense, but your gym should make you WANT to work out. The atmosphere should be lively, the staff should be friendly and you should be able to pick up a good vibe when you walk in. If you find the facility to be dismal or dirty, you’re not going to want to be there -- regardless of how much money your membership there may be saving you each month.
Speaking of the Staff, do the Trainers, Staff Members and Instructors Practice What They Preach?
“Experts” typically stress the importance of credentials and certifications, but even more important to me is whether or not a fitness professional actually walks the walk they talk. Do you see the facility’s fitness staff working out regularly (looking like they’re in shape doesn’t count). If they’re not setting their own goals, they can’t adequately help you reach yours.
Do you Find the Staff Approachable and Ready to Share Information?
If the staff at your gym seems off limits unless you’re paying an hourly rate to be with them, consider it a red flag. The true professionals in this industry are passionate about what they do and are even more passionate about helping you change, and they’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Of course, you should be respectful of their time, and stay clear of them when they’re busy. Asking them how they preferred to be contacted is always a good idea.
Do You Have Plenty of Options of Stuff to Do?
You know how I feel about variety. If you’re going to change your body, you better be ready to do a little bit of everything in the gym. So just seeing rows of cardio equipment shouldn’t be enough to get you to sign on the dotted line. Examine all of the tools provided, ensure there is adequate space in which to use them, and, if applicable, check to see if there are classes on the schedule that appeal to you. Variety will not only keep you from getting bored, but it will also provide options when you find yourself hitting a plateau.