You are more likely to enjoy your gym experience (and show up regularly) when you find a good match. Here are some things to consider when looking for a place to work on your fitness goals.


Start with a wish list

Make a list of your must-haves before you begin your search. These might include certain offerings or services. For example, if you love to swim or need childcare you’ll want to join a gym that provides childcare and has a pool.


Consider location

If the gym is hard to get to, chances are you probably won’t go. Look for a place within a few miles of your home or office. When it comes to working out convenience is important for accountability.



Understand how the gym fits into your life and schedule. It goes without saying that you will want to choose a facility that is open at a time that fits your schedule. Additionally, check that there is a wide array of classes offered at different times if that is important to you.



Is it important to you that the gym has a shower, offers towels or has personal trainers available? Even something like available hairdryers will eventually matter if you want to exercise before work. Having to lug your own will eventually become an excuse to sleep in.



Is the equipment well maintained? Is there enough of it or are there consistently long wait times? A good way to gauge this is to ask about a trial period. If you spend more time standing around than working out, you aren’t going to make much progress with your goals.


Can you try before you buy?

You’ll want to get a sense of what the people and staff are like to know if the gym is a good fit for you. Feeling comfortable at the gym is an important predictor of your progress. If you hate it there, you probably won’t get to the gym very often.


Cost – how do membership plans fit in your budget? How do costs compare to comparable gyms. Is the cost reasonable given what is being offered?


Cleanliness and friendliness

All areas of the gym should be clean, and staff should be helpful and friendly. 


Joining a gym is a big commitment. You are investing your time, money and hopes for your health. That’s why it is important to choose carefully. Don’t be pressured to sign up until you are sure you have found the right fit.