Selecting a Fitness Membership Club

A fitness center can be a great fitness motivator if you choose the right one. Before you sign a contract, be sure the health club you choose suits your personal needs and fitness goals.

Keep in mind that if a traditional gym is not for you, you can definitely set up a home gym where you can get complete workouts all in the privacy of where you live. There are a number of home gym systems out there that include all the equipment you need to perform all the key lifts that should be included in any workout program.

fitness center The top 6 considerations when selecting a health club are:

1. Location, location, location
Pick a fitness center location that is convenient.  Who really wants to spend twice as long driving to and from their gym as it takes them to do their workout? Think about either choosing a gym that is located close to your house or else on the drive to or from work. Sometimes the gym without the exact facilities you want will be a better arrangement due to the easy accessible location where you are more likely to stop and workout.

2. Variety of Exercise Equipment
Looking at the variety and quality of the equipment offered in the gym is another thing you must factor in. If you prefer free weights, make sure there are a large number of dumbbells present because during rush hours, these could be hard to come by.  If you prefer doing your weight training on guided machines, you will want to be sure there is a large variety of machines that you can work all the necessary muscle groups on your body. If you plan on doing a lot of cardio training as part of your exercise routines you will want to be sure there are ample machines available.

3. Health Club Demographics
Are you concerned your gym clothes or physique isn't quite worthy?  These can be important factors in choosing the right health club.

4. Hours of Operation
Always be sure to check the hours of operation of the gym. Are you a morning or evening exerciser? Likewise, some people who prefer exercising in the evening so you need to be sure that if this is the case you will be able to do that.

5. Membership Fees
Gym memberships can really vary in costs so it’s a good idea to look around before making that final decision. What does the monthly membership fees cover? Do popular class, such as yoga or Pilates, cost extra? Also consider how long you are signing the contract for as this can vary too. Many health clubs like to encourage you to commit for years and if you aren’t quite sure it is going to be a multi year arrangement, you are better off signing something that is along the lines of a monthly contract.  Late summer and shortly after the New Year, many health clubs will run special promotions to entice you to join.

6. Contact Cancellation Plan
Finally take a look at the gym's cancellation policy. If you sign up for a 3 year membership and then end up changing jobs and moving, are you going to be partially refunded? It will be a bad situation if the contract did not have a refund or transfer policy.  Some gyms are good about this while others are not so you will have to weigh the likelihood of your terminating among other things that are discussed above when making your final selection.

Consider all of these key factors when choosing a health club. Forgetting just one item could lead you to being less than happy with your workout facility and this could end up being the reason why you do not stick with your program.

Photo credit:  colonnade

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