Top 10 Things to Look for When Choosing a Gym

Choosing a new gym? Maybe you are unhappy with your current gym or just otherwise need to find a new one. The first thing that may jump out to you is the gym membership prices. This may come in a variety of options depending on the type of gym, ranging from session-based, monthly fee, annual fee, or a variation. This also may include certain add-ons such as lessons or personal training sessions. The initial fee shown needs to be evaluated by considering these factors and your personal preferences.

The price of membership is important, but certainly not the only factor to consider. This article will outline the top 10 to look for when choosing a gym.

1. Online Review

These may be your neighbors, peers, friends, or future workout buddies - so you want to hear what they have to say! There is also a wealth of websites that conveniently provide this information, giving you candid reviews and side by side comparisons. Take the time to read a few and see if anything great (or really bad!) jumps out at you.

2. Prices

Once you start out with a few strong sounding options, gym membership prices are an important factor to weigh in and can vary greatly among different health clubs. You are likely to encounter different types of fees ranging from session based, weekly, monthly and annual. It is important for you to consider how long you expect to use this gym when comparing membership prices. It is also wise to pay attention to whether there are any current promotions or incentives for paying for a year in advance, as opposed to paying on a monthly basis, for example.

3. Location

This is a personal preference based on when you anticipate to work out. If you prefer to go near your place of employment, that may drive the location and land you in a very different area compared to those that prefer visiting a gym close to where they live. Of course, your place of employment and your home may be close together - in which case this aspect may not drive the location choice.

Other factors worth considering may include: the surrounding businesses, safety, the availability of public transportation, traffic and general congestion, and an available parking lot. For example, it may be important to you to have healthy food options nearby. If safety is a concern, this is certainly something to consider.

Who needs an excuse not to go to the gym? Feeling unsafe can quickly turn to one! If you need public transportation, it is better to look into the options before you commit to this gym to ensure it is feasible to get there once you join.

4. Is It Too Crowded?

In deciding whether a gym is too crowded, keep in mind that different times of the day may provide a very different picture. You may want to visit the gym a few times to get an accurate idea. If you know when you are most likely to work out, and do not think you will veer from this schedule, then visiting during this time will let you know whether it is too crowded for you when you will be using it.

Also, pay attention to what areas are crowded. If an area that you do not anticipate using is the only crowded area, is that a concern to you if say the area you know you will use most seems rather empty? You will know what you are comfortable with - just make sure to visit and tour the gym during the time or times you plan to visit it for workouts should you become a member.

5. Is It Clean?

This is very important given the risk of spreading diseases at gym facilities. Make sure to tour the entire facility. Ask questions. Pay attention to the little things. For example, are there wipes available to clean off used equipment? Are clean towels readily available? Are there any safety hazards? What are the bathrooms like? No one wants to get sick by visiting a dirty gym.

6. Quality of Equipment

For some, they can easily spot high quality equipment. If you are new to the fitness world, the best advice here is to do your research and to ask questions. Most gyms may tell you that their equipment is top-notch, so independent research can help you check these statements. Also, depending on the friendliness of the atmosphere, you may want to ask members working out there.

7. Maintenance

The proper maintenance of the gym is something again you should look for clues about as you tour the facility. However, this may not always be apparent. Again, this is another area to ask about while touring. Make sure to ask specific questions, such as how frequently are the equipment machines checked to ensure they are safe?

How frequently is the locker room clean? Are there times when certain areas of the gym are closed for extended periods for times of maintenance?Some of these questions may not be as important to you depending on the type of workout you want to do, but it is good to gather as much information as possible.

8. Hours of Operation

For hours of operation, it is important to consider realistically when you plan to visit the gym. If the facility is beautiful but consistently closes before you leave work, it is not a feasible option. On the flip side, while 24/7 hours always sound nice, truly ask yourself if you need a gym that is open 24/7. It is likely you may pay a premium for it. Also compare the hours with other gyms you are considering in the area.

9. Personal Training Options

If you’re visiting a gym for the first time and you don’t know how everything works or if your fitness goals require extensive training, you might consider hiring a personal trainer. This is helpful in more ways than one: a trainer gives you the support you need in order to achieve your health objectives, he/she can educate you on the proper way to use each piece of equipment and can also provide you with a nutritional plan that goes alongside your monthly workout.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is very important to choose a professional trainer that has the relevant background and experience necessary to help you in this endeavor. Don’t be afraid to talk to the gym manager and ask about the particular qualifications that their trainers have, so that you can make an informed decision about who you decide to work with.

Don’t be afraid to talk to the gym manager and ask about the particular qualifications that their trainers have, so that you can make an informed decision about who you decide to work with. Certain certifications, such as the Fitness Mentors Certified Personal Trainer, is accepted by gyms like 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, and others, because of the safety and fitness standards established by the certifying body.

10. Membership Privileges

This is something that can range greatly from gym to gym. Check out a few gyms and make a mental note or list of what privileges jump out at you. It is easier to picture them in action. This is also something that may be included as part of the membership package (depending on fees), so keep that in mind. If you are hoping for less privileges, or if some of them are privileges that you do not anticipate using, then you may want to inquire into whether there is a different pricing package

.Also, it is your body and your preferences! If you really want TVs on the treadmills and believe that will push you to work out more, by all means, look for it! If you love having trainers gradually walk around the fitness area and encourage you as you work out, then look for that. If classes are very important for you, then inquire into the types of classes available and whether you need to commit to one or if you can switch and choose throughout the month or your membership period

.Once you visit a few gyms, as well as read reviews and use your own personal experiences, you will likely see a few privileges that get you excited to work out. The more exciting the experience, the better!


These are all things to look for when choosing a gym. Gym membership prices vary for gyms and also vary depending on these different factors. Keep that in mind when looking. If a price sounds high, but it includes key benefits as part of the package, that is worth considering and may be a better deal for you than a gym with a lower membership price but that you have to pay extra for certain factors that are important to you, such as designated workout rooms based on gender, fitness classes, etc.

Remember that you know your body and workout preferences better than anyone else, so use this list and ask the questions that are most important to you as you choose your next gym!

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