What to ask before joining a gym...

We are fizzing to be in the Halswell community and welcome all of our new members. But here is a cautionary tale...

It is one thing to join a gym, but it is another thing to actually commit and make it part of your daily or weekly routine. We have all heard the excuses about why not to go, but when it boils down to it, it is all about fitness personality, and finding the right type of exercise for you! 

To help you with this, we have found a great wee article from the Diet Detective on 'What to ask before joining a Gym'. Below are some excerpts from this. 

How should I choose a gym?

Look at the gyms in your area. See how far they are from your home or office. Some facilities offer trial memberships. Take advantage, and don't be pressured to join. Don't be sold a bill of goods. Take your time, especially if a long-term commitment is involved. Ask for a tour, write down what you like and dislike so you can compare. Check out the gyms' Web sites for their class schedules. And make sure to observe several of the classes in session during the time you would ordinarily be there. Don't go at an off-peak time to observe if you plan on working out at a peak time. Check out the crowd to see if you would feel comfortable.

When making your choice, what factors should you consider?

Take a look at the equipment, facility, classes and staff. If you're looking for good equipment, see if they have the kinds of machines and weights you like, and make sure the machines aren't too crowded at the time of day you'll be going. If you're looking for group exercise classes, see what variety they have and if the times are convenient for you. If you're going to be showering and dressing there, see if the locker rooms are clean. If amenities are important, look for child care, day spa services, a pool, etc. In addition, look for a facility within 12 minutes of your home or work. Research shows you are more likely to use it if it's close.

Questions to ask when signing up for a membership?

  • Can you freeze your membership without fees? Under what conditions?
  • What is the length of the contract?
  • What does the membership fee include?
  • Are there any fees or penalties for cancellation?
  • What about automatic renewable contracts/memberships?
  • What method of payment is accepted? 
  • Are there any other fees, such as for towel use or group fitness classes?
  • Can monthly fees be raised without notice?
  • What are the initiation or joining fees?
  • Is a package including fitness assessment tests and/or personal-training sessions available with a membership?
  • Is there a group package or corporate account program available?
  • Is there a trial membership program?
  • Is there a grace period during which you can cancel your membership and receive a full or partial refund?
  • Is there more than one type of membership, and are all the fees for services posted?
  • Does the facility provide you with a written set of rules and policies?
  • Is the gym clean? Look at locker rooms, gym floor and the equipment (e.g., rusty, creaky or missing any parts).
  • Do you like the music? Is it too loud to use your iPod?

So there you have it... we look forward to meeting you, showing you around and chatting with you about our membership options.