Finding the right gym or personal trainer can boost your odds of success. Here are some things to consider when looking for just the right fit.



Spend some considering why now is the right time. This will help you identify your motivation for training or joining the gym. Decide why a fitness plan is important to you and how it will fit into your life and budget.



When you know the time is right based on your schedule and level of motivation, you’ll also want to identify goals. What do you want to accomplish? Getting clear about what you want to accomplish will help you narrow your focus to the most appropriate gym or trainer. For example, if you want to improve your breaststroke you would, of course, choose a gym with a pool. Likewise, if you want to lose weight you might choose a trainer who can also provide advice on nutrition.

Ask a


Talk with friends, coworkers and family about their fitness plans. Learn what they like (and don’t like) about their gym or trainer. Use that information as you make your choice. For example, if a co-worker says she doesn’t like that her gym doesn’t have childcare (and you have children) that would be an important consideration as you decide. If your sister says she doesn’t like that her trainer doesn’t know when to push harder and when to ease up that is another important piece of information you can use to choose.



Once you have narrowed your prospects, consider small details that can add to your fitness experience. For example, do you prefer a large bustling gym or a small one? Is it important that your gym provide towels and offer yoga as well as cardio? How well does your personality mesh with the trainer? Does he or she motivate in a way that is meaningful for you? The best way to answer these questions is to do a trial run. Ask for guest passes and try before you buy. Be sure you fully understand contracts, privileges and payments. When choosing a trainer, ask for a consultation. Come prepared with your questions and share your goals. Ask about the trainers’ experience and success with helping clients meet these same goals.


Understand the escape clause

Sometimes, even with due diligence, you may find that the gym or trainer just isn’t right for you after all. Sometimes you can only see the pitfalls after you have worked together for a few sessions. Don’t get trap

ped. Understand how you can end the relationship if you need to, before you even start. It is okay to say no thanks and begin again with a gym or trainer that may be a better fit.


Choosing a gym or trainer is an important step in achieving your fitness goals. Add to your chances for success with a thoughtful search. You’ll find the path to fitness is more satisfying when your supports are the right fit.