Choosing the health club that is right for you
9 Simple Steps
You can confidently choose the health club that is right for you by following the 9 steps below. Knowing what to look and ask for is the key.
- Convenience: Most people go to the gym multiple times a week so find a location that is close to home or work. Typically, a drive of more than 15 minutes may contribute to less use.
- What time of day will you go: Most clubs will open early in the morning and stay open late at night, some clubs are open 24 hours a day. You need to determine what time of day you want to go to the gym and stop in at that time. By visiting the gym at the time of day when you expect to be there, you’ll get a chance to see how many members are there. Is it a comfortable number of people or is it crowded?
- What feature[s] is most important: For most people 80% of the decision to join any one gym will be based on 20% of the facility. Consider what you want, whether its equipment, classes, pools, personal trainers etc. Make sure the facility has the number one feature you are interested in. Also keep in mind that doing the same thing day in and day out can become routine. The more features available to you the more flexibility you have to change your workouts over time.
- Monthly Fees: We all have a budget so figure out in advance what you can afford.
Generally speaking, clubs with similar features will have similar operating expenses and thus similar rates. If you compare two gyms with similar features and one is significantly lower in price, the low-price club has to make up for that by selling more memberships which can lead to overcrowding, see #2.
- Group Fitness Classes: If you are interested in instructor lead classes the first question you should ask is: Are the classes included with the membership? If not, what additional fee would be charged? Then check the schedule for classes that are held at times when you have determined you’ll go to the gym. Also look for variety. Taking different formats will allow for cross training. Strength, Cardio, Flexibility etc. it keeps your workouts fresh.
- Cleanliness: Every club will tell you they are the cleanest club in town. However, your definition of clean may not be their definition of clean. Check out locker rooms, equipment, mirrors, sinks and toilets. If they meet your standards of clean great. If not ask questions.
- Feel: From the moment you walk through the door do you get a good vibe or a not so good vibe? Is the gym a high energy or a more laid-back gym? What are you looking for? You’re going to be coming to this facility multiple times a week your comfort level and ability to interact positively with staff and members will all contribute to your desire for repeat visits.
- Trial Period: In today’s market most health clubs offer memberships that have either a short-term trial or a money-back trial period. The trial period will range from one day to about a week. The money-back period will range from 3 days [minimum under federal law] to 30 days. Be sure to ask about this before you sign up.
- Flexible Memberships: Most health clubs will offer a long and short-term membership. Some offer a no contract memberships as well. Be sure to ask about early exit policies. Some clubs offer an early exit provision while others will hold you to the full term of membership you signed up for. Make sure you know before signing a contract.
8 tips when returning to the gym.
After almost a year of at home for school, work, living, etc., many are starting to venture out to the gym for the first time or back to exercise after a lengthy absence.
Here are 8 tips to keep it safe and have fun:
- Consult a Doctor. If your medical history suggests it, talk to your doctor before hitting the gym. Anyone with significant medical conditions should consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine.
- Don’t overdo it. If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, do not attempt to workout at the same level you were at during the last visit. Research shows you lose cardiovascular condition and muscle in a matter of weeks. Go easy on yourself, and set some realistic goals. If you haven’t been active in a while, your risk for injury is higher, so don’t overdo it.
- Regular exercise means you need to develop a new habit. Regardless of the amount of time it’s been since your last workout, it’s going to take time and repetition to reach that level again. It is said that it takes 21 days to build a habit, so start slow and add from there. A good goal may be to go to the gym two days a week until it’s a habit and then consider adding more days per week or more time per visit.
- Sore muscles may return. It’s normal to feel sore for a few days after not working out for a while. Stick to exercises you’re familiar with and keep your total sets and reps low at first to minimize soreness. Nutrition and recovery are also especially important. Consider talking to a trainer to learn more.
- Muscles need to heal. When you engage in weight bearing exercise, you actually do some damage to the muscle tissue. As the tissue heals itself, it becomes stronger. When you overwork your muscles, the muscle tissue never has the chance to heal. Plan to work different muscles each day, so the muscles have a day to heal.
- Consider hiring a trainer. Your risk of injury is at the highest when you are new to the gym or new back to the gym. A personal trainer can help identify your previous level strengths and weaknesses and work with you to create a path to a stronger body. Even hiring a trainer for a short period of time can help. You can always take what you’ve learned and continue by yourself, then rehire the trainer if or when you reach a plateau.
- Have fun! For many of us, going to the gym has brought joy and fun. Life is meant for living, so enjoy the time you spend at the gym. Smile, laugh, lift, and run. Having a good balance in life helps keep everything in perspective.
- Bring a friend for accountability. Having a friend who expects to see you in the gym provides additional accountability and motivation on those days when you might otherwise want to blow off going to the gym.
Recent comments from members
I appreciate the great job you all have done in making Pinnacle clean and welcoming during the months of the pandemic. I feel a lot more comfortable at Pinnacle than I do in other public places I can’t avoid like the grocery, or hardware store. R.L.
I am very happy that I have hired Jaclyn during the pandemic. The whole club is extraordinarily clean. Truthfully, continuing my PHF workouts during the shutdown has allowed me to improve my mental and physical health. J.B.