A good gym is the one which motivates you to exercise regularly. It is not a small financial investment and hence you have to weigh your options before finalizing on an appropriate gym for yourself. Let us take a tour through some pointers which will help.
The most common mistakes made by people, when selecting a gym:
1. "It's right next-door" - Would you go to a Quack with a stomachache just because his clinic was next door? Yes, it's important for the gym to be close by so that your regularity doesn't suffer, but it cannot be the only criteria.
2. "I like the staff; they are damn sweet, warm and attentive" - An extremely attentive, sweet staff is welcomed only if they have the requisite knowledge to offer safe and effective exercises
3. "I liked the other gym better, but found it expensive. So I chose this gym". - Can a price be put on health??? You may have saved a few bucks but this decision could cost you 10 times as much in treating an injury you sustain due to bad technique taught by unqualified staff
4. "All my friends are members at this gym, so I guess even I will join there". - You don't join a gym to socialize & besides your friends could be going there for all the reasons listed above.
5. "I really liked the changing rooms, they were so spacious & beautifully done, and so I joined the gym". - Get your priorities straight & remember the prime reason as to why you are joining a gym & it's definitely not for a shower.
The factors that you MUST consider while selecting a gym:
1. Qualified staff: Numero Uno. None of the points listed below matter if you are not given the right guidance to achieve your fitness goals.
2. Gym Philosophy: Does the facility stay true to its name of being a Fitness facility by believing in increasing the fitness levels of its patrons i.e. increasing cardiovascular and muscular endurance, musculoskeletal strength and improving body composition by emphasizing fat loss over indiscriminate weight loss.
3. Equipment: The gym must be equipped with reputed brands having biomechanically correct equipments. There are a couple of local brands that are good.
4. Equipment Profile: It should be such so as to address all the 5 components of fitness and having inbuilt progression to effectively take you from beginner to advance phases.
5. Hygiene: Changing areas, showers, WC, Gym floor surface whether carpet or other should be spotless & dust free. (If it is a carpeted facility, then stomp your foot hard & check for any dust clouds emerging.) The facility must be strict about members carrying a separate pair of shoes meant only for the gym & carrying towels or renting them & wiping down equipment after every use.
6. Ambience: We humans feed off each other’s energies. An energetic ambience will help you go through result oriented workouts. So select a gym that has serious fitness buffs least interested in socialising.
7. Interiors*: Dull & dreary interiors will pull your spirit down. What you need is a bright airy place, primary sporty colors like yellow, blue & red, with inspiring pictures to set you in an upbeat mood to workout.
8. Size*: The size will only make a difference if the proprietor has spent more on equipment to fill up the larger area. Otherwise empty spaces give no particular advantage to you. Obviously with more equipment the waiting reduces & crowding is avoided.
* Points number 7 & 8 should only be considered if the earlier three criteria are met.