Choosing a gym can be a very personal decision. You may be looking for somewhere to do some heavy lifting, building up muscle tone, you may be looking for somewhere that has lots of classes you can join. You may be looking for social interaction, maybe not. Some people look for the latest gadgets and information systems. Maybe you have a tight budget? Let’s look at the options…
Describe your ideal gym
You may find it helpful to make a list. What are you looking for in a gym? Are you looking for specific cardio equipment? Are you wanting to do weights? What about classes? Some gyms have regular weekly spinning classes, or Zumba sessions you can join and make friends.
Are you looking for luxury? Do you want the latest equipment, with Bluetooth to use your phone to track your progress? Do you want a swanky changing room with flowers and scented candles, with relaxing whale music playing in the background?
Whatever your requirements, make a list, prioritise what you want, and then move to the next stage…
Do some Research
Google is your friend. A quick look online and you’ll be able to pull up a page or two of local gyms. Visit their website and see what they offer. Look at their facilities, see what they offer and make a list of the ones that match your requirements.
I’m sure you’re on Facebook, or some other social network? Ask the hive mind what it recommends. You may even find a gym buddy to go with. Once you’ve asked for advice, along with your Googling, make a list of your top 3.
Test them out
Gyms are very keen to get your business, they want you to subscribe. Go and visit them and see how they can help you. At the very least, go and visit, and get a guided tour of their facilities, speak to a PT, see what they offer. Some gyms will offer you a trial, maybe a 1-day session, or a week free to check them out. Use it, and see how it fits with your needs.
Taking that test drive will help you know what culture you’d be getting into if you sign up. Check out the demographics they serve, the energy the community exudes, and the type of equipment available. If the number of members is too many, so you’ve to line in wait for equipment, then you’re going to be spending so much time here.
Consider the location; how convenient is it? Can you reach it depending on the time you’ve planned your workouts? A gym close to your office is suitable for lunch-time workouts; while for evening workouts, consider the gym near your home.
You may want to take advantage of health screening tests like cardiovascular testing, body fat screening, flexibility testing, so they can place you in the right exercise routines.
And finally, check out the hygiene and ambiance; how clean is the place? Is it properly ventilated? It should neither be too dim nor too bright, and the music sound should be at the right volume – not too loud. The bathrooms and corners should be clean and dust-free. Check out if they offer extras such as towels, conditioners, and shampoos.
Make the commitment
After you’ve found the right gym, seal the deal, and commit. It’s really easy to let a gym membership slip. Set a routine, go after work on a set day, go on a weekend, go when it’s quiet, whatever you choose, just make it part of your lifestyle.
The Body Sage Recommends… Gyms in Bedford
Our clients often ask us to recommend gyms and personal trainers local to our sports massage clinic in Bedford. Here’s a few of the places we recommend:
Kraken MMA & Fitness – Great place for kids self-defence. MMA, fitness and BJJ for adults.
John Bunyan Sports & Fitness – Well, I work here so it’d be rude not to include them. Great range of facilities though.
Anytime Fitness – A little gem in the middle of town that no one goes to.
Ring & Road Fitness Gym – A great low cost no nonsense option for those on a budget.
LLPT Fitness Collective – A personal training only facility for those who want to train a bit more seriously.