Exercise and fitness should be part of your lifestyle. However, finding a gym that meets your needs and expectations can be a daunting challenge for beginners. For every commercial gym, there is a new boutique or “hipster” gym that has just opened around your neighborhood. With the abundance of choices, how do we decide on the best gym for our own goals?
Location is arguably the most crucial criteria in selecting a perfect gym for you. While everyone strives to select a cost-effective gym, but that would be pointless if the gym was an hour’s drive from your residence. Ideally, the gym should be conveniently accessible from both your home and office so that “heading to the gym” can be a lifestyle habit
2) Membership Fees
Fees, i.e monthly gym membership fees are usually considered a deal-breaker. A handy tip is that usually, gyms in Malaysia welcome negotiations on the fees. Feel free to ask the gyms on their various packages, any special offers (especially during festive periods), and if the gym has multiple branches, will you be able to access all the branches. Do also lookout for “hidden fees” that you may have overlooked such as toll charges to go to the gym, parking fees, locker fees, etc.
3) Range of Equipment
Cardio machines, free weights, weight machines, group exercise classes and yoga classes. Most gyms today have a wide array of equipment to serve their clients. However, for each one of us, it’s useful to ensure the gym has the equipment you are looking for in meeting your fitness goals. It’s pointless if you sign up for a gym that has tons of free weights, when your fitness goal is to train for a marathon.
4) Crowd Factor
For most of us, we tend to make the smallest of excuses to skip a workout. And what better excuse than saying the gym is overflowing with people. Hence, before signing up for a gym, do visit the place during peak hours (especially late evening) to get a gauge of the crowd factor. Too crowded and you may have to queue to use the machines.
5) The Fitness Trainers
For beginners who have a lack of knowledge on health and fitness, the Fitness Trainers act as a focal point to obtain that knowledge. Prior to signing up for a gym, it is best to ask lots of questions on the competency of their Fitness Trainers, such as their academic background, additional fitness certificates, average tenure at the gym, their fitness background etc. It is also worth to note that upon signing up as a member, most gyms provide free Personal Training sessions with a Fitness Trainer. Do maximize this opportunity and discuss your fitness goals with the Fitness Trainer.
Some gyms pride themselves as having the most fitness equipment in town. However, how many of those are actually in working conditions? If many are “Under Maintenance”, this could be a sign of poor upkeep of equipment by the gym. Nothing is more frustrating than going to the gym, finding a piece of equipment broken, and then going back in a few days for your next workout to find it is still broken.
Investing in a gym membership is a large financial commitment. Hence, it’s even more important to research your options and have a trial day or week with the gym before signing on the dotted line.