Looking to join a gym?

Gym_wikiIf you are looking to join a gym or fitness facility, then you may want to read this first. There are A LOT of fitness facilities out there and they all claim to have the best amenities. The truth is that it comes down to price and what your goals or interests are.

For example, if you like to swim, play racquetball, basketball or attend large group classes, then a larger gym may be for you. If you only do cardiovascular workouts, circuit training and/or strength training then paying for all of those extras may not be worth it.

Location is one of the most important factors. Most of us aren’t willing to drive 10 miles or more to hit the gym. If the facility is near our home or place of work, then we are more likely to join.

You have smaller gyms such as Anytime Fitness, Snap Fitness, CrossFit Clubs, etc. that can fit into any shopping center or strip mall. These are more likely to be closer to your home and feature cardio machines, circuit training machines and a small area for free weights.

The benefit to this type of gym is that they will be right next to your local Starbucks and include the essentials with new-er equipment. The downside is that some of these memberships tend to be more than the larger gyms. The reasoning behind this is that you’re paying for convenience and that you can visit any of their clubs worldwide.

Larger gyms such as Planet FitnessLA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, etc. obviously have more real estate and more equipment. These gyms also have more members, which drives the cost down. You will often see pools, spinning rooms, basketball courts, racquetball courts and so on.

To recap, the gym decision-making process comes down to location, price, and goals or interests. Personally, I’ve been a member at almost all of them and also a personal trainer at a few of them as well. Here’s a recent review that I wrote about my current employer and favorite gym, North Park Athletic Club:

“North Park Athletic Club is the best gym in town. Take it from someone who has been a member at Gold’s Gym (both in Spokane and Sacramento), Anytime Fitness, Snap Fitness, Muv Fitness, Oz Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Spokane Fitness Center, Global Fitness, Planet Fitness, etc. I was also a personal trainer at some of those gyms. So, I have a lot of behind the scenes expertise and experiences as a member. Very few gyms have the staff that cares as much as North Park does and has done so for several decades now. And most gyms don’t have three separate weight rooms, indoor pool and an outdoor seasonal pool, 30+ classes per week, full-size basketball court, pickleball courts, tennis courts, childcare, indoor running/walking track, etc. It’s hard to beat the amenities,monthly rate, staff, and laid back environment with no high pressure sales. North Park was a part of my family throughout high school and college, and it has definitely become my home away from home as an employee there the last 15 months. No place I’d rather be. Positive vibes everyday.”

Even though I’ve provided my personal recommendation, it truly is all about what your goals and interests are.

Are you lacking motivation? Every fitness facility offers classes, personal training services or you can even find a personal trainer who will come to your home.

Do you get bored easily? I have the same problem so that’s why I do a combination of gym workouts and home workouts. Fitness programs such as P90X, Insanity, T25, etc. are a great way to mix it up.

The key is to get active and to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You will have more energy, be happier, look better, get better sleep and the benefits are endless.

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