Selecting an ideal gym can be challenging, exciting but also confusing. Today, there are several gyms in almost every block of every neighborhood. With the lucrative packages that gyms across the city now offer, most people opt for an annual, half-yearly or quarterly membership.
So, if you select a gym that’s not appropriate for your needs, you’ll end wasting your time and money!
Follow this guide and learn how to analyze a gym before selecting it:
#1 Minimum distance from your home
The most important criteria for selecting a gym is to ensure that its distance isn’t more than 5kms from your home. More often than not people select a gym that provides world class facilities but is considerably far away and end up missing a lot of training sessions. If your gym is so far away from your dwelling going there will become a tedious eventually, even more so when you’ve exams or a time-consuming job. Always ensure that it takes no more than 10-15 minutes to reach your gym. Also, it is better if your gym is close enough for you to walk to, saving previous time that would have been spent on warming up!
#2 Locker facilities
Having lockers in the gym can be of great help especially if you’re a busy person. You can keep a pair of workout shoes, training gear and towels so that you don’t have to rush back home in case you forget it or if you have to rush straight to work after your workout.
Also, lockers provide you with a safe place to store your valuable belongings.
#3 Separate aerobic section
With people increasingly moving towards alternative forms of fitness many gyms now offer Zumba and aerobics training. You need to ensure there is a separate section for that so you do not bump into weightlifters while doing your exercises.
#4 Open from morning to night
Life will throw at you all your problems at once giving you an excuse miss a training session. Most modern gyms have two timings: morning to mid noon and evening to night. The problem is, many times you might only be free during the mid afternoon to evening hours. if your gym remains closed that time sadly you’ll end up missing your daily training session.
Hence, for perpetually time crunched, corporate drones it is important to choose a gym that functions at odd hours of the day as well. Be it very late that night or during lunch hours of the day.
#5 Separate section for deadlifts and squat
If you’re familiar with my training articles on FitnessMonkee you already know I preach: “the stronger you are the bigger you are”.
Deadlifts and Squats give you an opportunity to lift a tremendous amount of weights which help you become stronger.
But squatting or deadlifting with heavy loads in a small area, with people around, can be dangerous for you as well as them. Imagine losing your balance while squatting with 150Kg in your arms, Horrible right?
Always ensure your gym has a separate area allotted to dead lifts and squats training.
#6 SQUAT Rack
Unfortunately, most small gyms don’t even have a squat rack. Instead, they offer a silly smith machine squat rack which only allows you to perform up and down motion with some loads. Smith machine squats put immense pressure on your spine and knees. A squat rack, on the other hand, allows you to do authentic-squats. You can also perform more great exercises on a squat rack such as low incline bench guillotine presses, floor presses, and rack-pulls.
The presence of squat rack is a must if you’re interested in getting stronger over time.
#7 Multiple pairs of dumbbells
You don’t want to wait for 2 other folks to complete their sets before you can start yours, do you? While looking for an ideal gym check out the dumb bell rack and confirm that it has more than one pair of dumbbells, especially the moderate weights such as 15kg 17.5Kg and 20Kg.
Waiting can be time-consuming, annoying with the added disadvantage of you losing the adrenaline rush and tempo that built up during your warm up.
#8 Heavy loads
If you’re a serious weight lifter you know the loads reach a high value on exercises such as shrugs and leg presses.
The gym you train in should have weights according to your strength, not the other way round.
Dumbbells up to 50Kg and plates up to 400Kg is a must.
#9 Pull up bar with neutral grips and parallel bar dips with thick grips
This is not something very crucial but will help you to improve your pull ups and bar dips. Neutral grips allow you to do a few more reps of pullups and parallel bar while thick grips prevent painful pressure hitting your palms.
Keep an eye out for these two things while examining gyms.
#10 PRO TIP- Don’t fall for fancy looking treadmills and cardio machines
Many gyms invest a lot in buying expensive treadmills and cardio machines and make it the center of attraction. Although they might look like a big deal but they’re nothing special.
You can burn the same amount of calories by doing a jog in a park. So don’t select a gym based on how fancy its equipment is, because to those wanting to get fit a gym is a weight lifting temple.
Do keep these 10 tips in mind before selecting any gym. Selecting the right gym is the first step towards muscular and strength goals.