Deciding on a gym

debrag12
debrag12 Posts: 1,064 Member
edited August 2016 in Fitness and Exercise
So I have tried most of my local gyms. I've done the leisure centre gyms with poor weights but good cardio, I've done the strength & conditioning gym with no cardio and I've done an independent gym which turned out to have a thing for herbal life!

I have just left the 'health club' as it was too expensive (£80.50), had little weight selection and I hardly ever went, now I am trying to find 'my gym'. I use public transport so have to factor that into costs.

How do people go about selecting the right gym for them?

Replies

  • playmadcats
    playmadcats Posts: 199 Member
    edited August 2016
    First look at what you want.
    Do you want classes, a pool, free weights machines etc. ( cheapest most convenient gym in world isn't much help if it doesn't offer what your intending to use it for).
    If a gym offers all the above and your only going to use one or two look at membership options. Some gyms you pay for the lot, some do a gym only, swim only or gym and swim membership.
    Then look at locality, price, do you have to sign for years contract etc.
    Finally when you eliminate the ones your not interested in try and pay a visit. Most gyms will offer a tour, or a guest pass. If they don't try to get references from other users or even see if you can buy a day pass.


    I changed last year and a couple I visited seemed fine in website. However one the staff couldn't even get back to me with price. Another absolutely stank of urine. So would certainly visit if you can
  • debrag12
    debrag12 Posts: 1,064 Member
    edited August 2016
    I'm not too bothered about classes or a pool.

    One gym I'm thinking of is very much a bodybuilding gym. The gym who runs it has his own protein and sponsors the UKBFF shows. Now that isn't what I want to get into but it has the equipment to get me to where I want to be - healthy/toned/strong etc.

    I would have to get transport there though.

    Another is 3.6 miles away and I was thinking of just walking there & getting bus back but I know me, I'll be tempted to get the bus there also, so in all neither gym will be any cheaper.

    Muscle Fury Gym
    South Coast Gym
  • playmadcats
    playmadcats Posts: 199 Member
    Both look ok, would still suggest visiting both to compare. My first gym was run by a group of competitive bodybuilders and was awful. It was mainly we come first but we take on members to fund our training. Equipment they didn't use never got repaired. Only one shower. Plus if an event was coming up you couldnt use certain areas as they were training ( basically whole of the weights section).
    Second gym I joined got taken over and new owners invested in the weights area and was great. Friendly members and staff ( knew a few from before takeover). Always help on hand, repairsusually done that day or next. Plus other areas such as changing facilities hadn't been skimped on.
    If either has Facebook page have a look. You may get some feedback from members there.
  • DiIDE
    DiIDE Posts: 120 Member
    I don't know about the US but in Australia the gyms owned by large clubs such as the one I go to has the latest equipment and lots of it, great staff an the change facilities are good and clean with plenty of showers. It also has a cafe. They can do this as the club has poker machines ( I think you call them slot machines) which enables the club to subsidise the other facilities. The prices are also cheaper than most other gyms. Maybe there are similar ones in the US.
  • DavPul
    DavPul Posts: 61,408 Member
    Pick the closest one
  • medic2038
    medic2038 Posts: 434 Member
    Both look ok, would still suggest visiting both to compare. My first gym was run by a group of competitive bodybuilders and was awful. It was mainly we come first but we take on members to fund our training. Equipment they didn't use never got repaired. Only one shower. Plus if an event was coming up you couldnt use certain areas as they were training ( basically whole of the weights section).
    Second gym I joined got taken over and new owners invested in the weights area and was great. Friendly members and staff ( knew a few from before takeover). Always help on hand, repairsusually done that day or next. Plus other areas such as changing facilities hadn't been skimped on.
    If either has Facebook page have a look. You may get some feedback from members there.

    Would definitely second this. You want to make sure the gym has the equipment you're looking for, and hours to fit your schedule too.

    I lift at home now but I had a pretty bad experience with the big "chain" gym around here.
    My routines have always involved squats, said gym only had 1 power cage. Usually I'd have to wait cause some brah was doing curls, or other complete nonsense inside of it. The entertainment value was huge, but it was a PITA trying to actually get my workouts down.
  • Dayle1984
    Dayle1984 Posts: 70 Member
    I'd suggest giving a Crossfit gym a try.
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
    giantrobot_powerlifting Posts: 2,600 Member
    edited August 2016
    In addition to my garage gym, I keep an Anytime membership. Has all the basic stuff and allows me to drop in at any of the other gyms. Usually if I am not training in my garage (weather) then I'll check out another Anytime, or pay the drop in fee at one of the other hardcore gyms in driving distance.

    I call it gym tourism.
    Dayle1984 wrote: »
    I'd suggest giving a Crossfit gym a try.

    OP, if you found your health club membership expensive, be prepared for CF sticker shock, which shouldn't be a reason not try CF. Most boxes will allow you to workout with them for free usually on a Saturday. What you may want to do is is build a list in Facebook of the local Crossfit gyms you're interested: it will give you a chance to compare the different programming between each gym and get to know each community a little.
  • peleroja
    peleroja Posts: 3,979 Member
    edited August 2016
    I would always suggest picking the one that is most convenient for you to get to. Personally, it wouldn't matter how great the equipment was at a gym if I found it difficult to get there most days.

    My gym is right next to my office and so I can go before work, after work, and at lunch without wasting any commuting time or going out of my way at all.

    I also chose a YMCA over a corporate-type gym because I prefer my money go to support community programs, kids in need, etc. because I think big box gyms are kinda shady with their opaque pricing structures, contracts, that kind of thing. I know it's not all gyms but it really annoyed me that so many gyms I visited were so pushy with "deals" and contracts instead of just having one price down in black and white like the Y or my university gym I used to get alumni rates at.

    That whole "Oh, it's $20 a month for the first three months and because you're signing up today we'll waive the annual fees this year but after the three months we'll move you to the premium rate of $45/month unless you sign a two-year contract, which will take $10 off a month except if there's a full moon or you sacrifice a black goat to Brodin," thing enrages me.
  • debrag12
    debrag12 Posts: 1,064 Member
    edited August 2016
    In addition to my garage gym, I keep an Anytime membership. Has all the basic stuff and allows me to drop in at any of the other gyms. Usually if I am not training in my garage (weather) then I'll check out another Anytime, or pay the drop in fee at one of the other hardcore gyms in driving distance.

    I call it gym tourism.
    Dayle1984 wrote: »
    I'd suggest giving a Crossfit gym a try.

    OP, if you found your health club membership expensive, be prepared for CF sticker shock, which shouldn't be a reason not try CF. Most boxes will allow you to workout with them for free usually on a Saturday. What you may want to do is is build a list in Facebook of the local Crossfit gyms you're interested: it will give you a chance to compare the different programming between each gym and get to know each community a little.

    Oh I won't do crossfit at there prices, I did look into it when I first moved here as it's local. I'm in the UK there is only 1 anywhere near me. Plus it is sessions so I can't just turn up and work out.

    Neither of these gyms are local both require transport. Another 'local' one is 3.6 miles away.

    No option will be cheap when factoring in transport (crossfit not included)
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
    giantrobot_powerlifting Posts: 2,600 Member
    debrag12 wrote: »
    In addition to my garage gym, I keep an Anytime membership. Has all the basic stuff and allows me to drop in at any of the other gyms. Usually if I am not training in my garage (weather) then I'll check out another Anytime, or pay the drop in fee at one of the other hardcore gyms in driving distance.

    I call it gym tourism.
    Dayle1984 wrote: »
    I'd suggest giving a Crossfit gym a try.

    OP, if you found your health club membership expensive, be prepared for CF sticker shock, which shouldn't be a reason not try CF. Most boxes will allow you to workout with them for free usually on a Saturday. What you may want to do is is build a list in Facebook of the local Crossfit gyms you're interested: it will give you a chance to compare the different programming between each gym and get to know each community a little.

    Oh I won't do crossfit at there prices, I did look into it when I first moved here as it's local. I'm in the UK there is only 1 anywhere near me. Plus it is sessions so I can't just turn up and work out.

    Neither of these gyms are local both require transport. Another 'local' one is 3.6 miles away.

    No option will be cheap when factoring in transport (crossfit not included)

    3.6 miles is close, not as close as building one in your home.
  • Return2Fit
    Return2Fit Posts: 226 Member
    I can make most gyms work well, but my deciding factor is walking distance.
    I never, ever want to drive to a gym to walk on their treadmill.

    Part of my exercise routine is what I do on foot in route.