How to Choose a Gym

gymOur clients prefer to exercise outdoors because they spend the majority part of their day inside an office.  However, if you prefer to exercise in a gym or personal training studio, here are a few things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

  1. Location: This is probably the most important factor when deciding which gym or personal training studio to join. Look for one close to home or work, otherwise it’s easy to find excuses not to go. Having a gym near home means that you can train on weekends. If you like training after work, choose a gym on the way home. If you go home first before the gym, you’re more likely to get comfortable on the couch and will find reasons not to train, especially in winter.
  2. Hours of Operation: Choose a gym that will be opened at a time that suits you, such as training on weekends. There are 24/7 gyms everywhere so these may be useful for shift workers.
  3. Cost: Apart from membership fees, some gyms will also charge you a joining fee or a fee for an access card. Pay by the month, fortnight or week rather than 12 months up front, unless you will save substantially.
  4. Discount: Are there discounts if you join with a friend, partner or family member? Going to the gym with a training buddy will keep you both motivated and accountable. If you can train outside peak times, there may be off-peak rates.
  5. When to Join: Some sales or membership consultants work on a commission basis.  If you join on the last few days of the month, you may be offered incentives (such as no joining fees), especially if they have not met their sales quota for the month.
  6. Facilities: Find out what group classes are offered at times that suit you. Are the areas for the cardio machines, weights and stretching big enough or seem too crowded? Are the equipment clean and well maintained? Is there plenty of parking? Are there childcare facilities?
  7. Free Trial: Test drive the gym or personal training studio before you join. Use your trial membership to check out the atmosphere, cleanliness and facilities. Ask other members what they like and don’t like about the gym. Visit the gym on the days that you will most likely be training to see how busy it is – gyms tend to be very busy on Monday and Tuesday nights.
  8. Contract: Read the contract carefully and pay extra attention to penalties should you wish to cancel the membership before your contract expires. Can you put your membership on hold for medical reasons or when you’re on holidays?
  9. Personal Trainer: If you’re going to be using the services of a personal trainer at the gym or personal training studio, make sure they are properly qualified and read our tips on choosing a trainer.


Andrew is the owner and principal trainer of Health Jigsaw. He is a highly sought-after trainer and has been a personal trainer since 1997. Andrew has previously worked in a five-star luxury resort, large fitness centres and an exclusive personal training studio.

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