How to choose the right gym?

By Jay Johnson


When your goals are important to you, one of the most critical factors is how you actually get there. It’s like planning a trip to go overseas, you could use a canoe to get there, or you could use a plane. Based on your circumstances...which makes the most logical sense? 


The most simplistic thought process behind choosing what gym to use to achieve your goals is “Does this gym have the equipment that I need to complete my workouts?”. Most ask themselves that and move on based on the answer however, there are DEFINITELY more factors that need to be included into the decision making process for choosing the right fitness facility to thrive:


  • Whether or not you need external inspiration: What motivates you? Several people join gyms with the intent of feeding off of others that may inspire them or assist them in achieving their goals simply by just being around their hard work at the gym. This is DEFINITELY a GREAT reason to join a gym, and serves as an excellent way to maintain continued progress. While this was not a primary factor for myself joining years ago, it definitely became an unexpected benefit that helped my progress by retrieving tips, best practices, or just being around hardworking individuals that have set goals for progress much like myself. 
  • Reduction of distractions: Distractions come in multiple forms, even some hidden. While you may not be able to discover some until you’ve already became a member at the gym if your choice, identifying them as early as you can is key to not stalling your progress. Anything that diverts you from the primary reason that you joined the gym and achieving your goals is considered a distraction. Breaking up your long term goal into short term, time constrained goals helps reduce distractions considering the need of the limit of time to work in your favor. 
  • What the reason was that got you into the lifestyle: What got you here? Was it yoga? Power lifting? Trying to lose weight? Starting to prep? Certain gyms are known for their reputations for achieving particular goals. Before choosing, take a look at what classes they offer, trainers (certifications) they have, etc. Also Important to remember that the attendees of the gym (and employees) MAKE the gym. Influence will come from multiple angles, critical to use it to you benefit. 
  • Training equipment: Very simple question to ask yourself, "Based on my fitness goals, is this equipment that they have the correct equipment for me to achieve success?". Do your research prior to stay one step ahead of the game.
  • What does the gym “allow”: As with everything, certain gyms have rules and regulations. What’s allowed VS what isn’t allowed can determine progress difference in successfully achieving your goals. This ofcourse reverts to WHY you joined in the first place. If you primarily joined for making progress in training for Power lifting and your gym does not allow chalk, probably not the best choice for you unless you will not be using it for meets. Same applies for CrossFit training, distance running (using one treadmill extended time period), etc. 
  • Other aspects of your life (Work, family, etc): While several gyms are 24 hours, they all are not obviously. Couple this along with “does your gym have what you need?” And you may be searching for a bit. Work schedule typically dictates what most of us do the rest of the day/week. Ensure that your choice is in line with the rest of what you have going on in your life. This quite possibly may determine whether or not you attend on a consistent basis. 

There are ofcourse more factors that could be taken in to account however it's important to use these as a preliminary understanding of what choice to make for where you achieve your goals!