10 Things to Consider When Looking For a Gym

by Joanna

It’s that time of year – the time when you hear a lot of “new year, new you!” and people rush to the gym to work off some extra holiday calories.  If this is your first time looking for a gym, how do you choose?  What should you look for?  I’ve compiled a list of things to consider when deciding on which gym you want to spend money/time.

Your Goals

First consider why you are going, and what you want to get out of all of the hard work you’re about to put in.  Are you looking to gain weight and add muscle or lose weight?  Start by figuring out the desired end result.


There’s no magic formula but rather a few things to consider.  Will you be going on your way to or from work?  Do you plan on going on the weekends?  If you will go on the weekends, somewhere closer to home might be more convenient. Would you go during your lunch break?  Then somewhere closer to work might be better for you.

Peak times

When do you plan on being there? Will you be waiting for equipment? Typically, there is a rush in the morning before work, and in the evening after work. 


Check to see if you get a discount for paying in full for a year.  Is there a contract? Make sure you are clear on how to cancel when the contract is up!  Most of the time the membership continues month to month unless you cancel.  Don’t forget about our Journey program for discounts!


Are you hoping to meet people at the gym?  Would you rather be left alone? Some gyms have female only areas if that is something you prefer.


Check out or ask how many pieces of cardio equipment they have between treadmills, stationary bikes, and elliptical machines.  Also look to see how close together they are.  During peak times, you may or may not feel uncomfortable working out right on top of someone else.

Group Classes

Do they offer group exercise classes?  How full do they get? Is there a variety of classes and is the schedule of classes convenient for you?

Quality of equipment

Check to see if the equipment is maintained/clean.  Some gyms ask that you clean off the equipment after you are done using it (some people don’t).  Some gyms have staff that wipe down the equipment nightly.  I’ve been to some gyms that constantly have cardio equipment broken which means more waiting during peak times.


Is the gym only staffed during certain hours?  Do they offer a one-time training session or are they willing to help you navigate the machines to make sure you are using them properly?


Lastly, see if they offer a trial membership.  Most times you can try it free for a week.  Often, you can purchase a one month membership.  Make sure to check out all of the features you are really wanting to utilize to determine if it meets your expectations!

Don’t forget to ask around.  If you have a friend who really likes the gym they go to, check it out.  It never hurts to have a gym buddy to help motivate you to get there!

If you live in the Eau Claire area, check out February Fitness Frenzy.  From February 5-17, certain area health and fitness business are offering classes to try (96 classes!)  For more information, go to www.fitnessfrenzy.fit.


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