It’s Time to Find a New Gym, and not Because it is the New Year [For Me…But for You?]
I am moving in February and while others stress out about finding new doctors or the perfect hair dresser when they move, I am stressed about where I will work out. Yes, it is true. Finding the perfect gym means a lot to me. It should matter to you too. If I am spending at least two hours of my day there, it should meet all of my standards. What are my standards? I am glad you asked!
First, I’ve been visiting the Myrtle Beach, SC, area for 10 years, but never really had the need to use a gym. When I came here, I usually worked out at my community gym or on the beach (can’t beat that, right?!). My last three visits here, I began visiting gyms. Trying various ones looking for the perfect match. Yes, the perfect match. It is like dating for me. I’ve been to the http://afc.nmb.us/, http://www.edisonssmartfitness.com/, Fitness Edge Carolina Forest, http://www.planetfitness.com/gyms/myrtle-beach-sc-147, and a few others. It’s been an interesting process. Just like with dating, buying a house or a wedding dress, you’ll get the “vibe” when you arrive in the best place for you.
So why the fuss? What is the big deal? What am I looking for? What should you be looking for in a gym? These are great questions and very relevant as the New Year approaches. The New Year means more and more people like you will consider joining a gym, and you should choose carefully so you’ll continue to go long after you’ve forgotten what your New Year’s Resolution ever was. While I explore what gym is right for me in my new move, I am going to provide you with some tips on how you, too, can find the right one for you.
Here’s What to Look for in a Gym:
There are free weights for people like me, but I am not just looking for weights around the gym. I want the right kind of free weights, barbells, dumbbells, etc. I also look to see if they have enough. For example, do they have more than one set of 15 pound dumbbells? If they don’t, that is a good indicator that the gym might not be right for you. In addition to free weights, look for a good amount of fitness machines like Nautilus or the like. These machines are great for beginnings and experts. While they offer instructions on the equipment of how to do the exercise or what muscles you are targeting, they are also superior in helping with form and specific muscle targeting. Many people spend most of their time at the gym on cardio machines. I look for three to four basic pieces – the treadmill, bike, elliptical and rower. I also love a good Stairmaster or Gauntlet, but not a must. You want a variety of cardio equipment because doing the same thing over and over will stagnate your results. Make sure they have enough of what you like. A huge buzz kill is going to the gym and not being able to get on the cardio equipment of your choice. Some of these new gyms have TRX and jungle gym type workout areas. If you find those, that gym is certainly advanced and a keeper.
It is important to visit and try a gym at different times and on different days of the week. You want to get a feel for the types of people that go there and how crowded it may or may not be. The kind of people that attend the gym you join means a lot. You want to be around people who motivate and inspire you. You don’t want to feel like you are in a gym of people who are not as committed as you, and you also don’t want to join a gym of people who are not welcoming or think they are better than you. When you do a trial, take note of who smiles at you, offers you help or even allows you to use something they may have had their eye on next. Crowding is a huge issue in gyms early in the morning and late at night. It is alright if a gym is full. That can be fun some times, but if that means you’re not able to get on and use the equipment you want, then that is a problem.
Classes are a great way to try new things and get group training and instruction. A lot of gyms offer free classes as part of your membership dues. That is a big plus especially if the gym has Spin, Zumba, CrossFit, Bootcamp and some of the other newer and more popular classes. You can learn a lot of technique and get good ideas of how to work out from these classes.
Believe it or not, location is a huge factor. If you are like me and spend up to two hours a day in the gym, you also don’t want to spend another hour trying to get back and forth from the gym. It could deter you from going in the long run. Look for a gym that is either near your home or near your job. Something in the middle would be perfect. A lot of the newer gyms offer lockers and showers so it is super easy to get ready at the gym and go directly to work. Location can mean a lot too regarding who the members are.
You can find a good gym for a good price. It’s completely unnecessary to overpay. The competition is real so try to negotiate. For example, are you joining with a friend or spouse? Do a group deal. Are you committing for the year? Pay the year up front and see if they will offer you a discount. Some gyms offer a discount if you allow them to automatically draft payment every month. Ask them. What other perks will they offer you? Ask for personal training sessions, massage or other amenities in the gym. Some will even give new members a new tote with a t-shirt or other tchotchke inside.
The above have all been factors in my decision making process. Each matter to me in finding the perfect place. As I continue to explore, you will have to stay tuned to see where I end up. I have a good idea, but want to surprise you.
Check out my Instagram @deezworkoutz to see what I decide.