Wellbeing

How To Tell If A Gym Is Right For You

Doherty’s isn’t for everyone. As a person who tries to be healthy (emphasis: tries), I’ve gone through a number of gyms in my life. I only known how and why some were right or wrong for me after trying something different.

Needless to say, that took a lot of time and money so, to spare you the trouble of bouncing between contracts and key tags, here’s what I’ve learned through my gym hops, and how it can help you to be healthier. Hot tip #1: remember many gyms offer a free trial period so that you can see if you’re joining the right gym or not.

1.Where is it?

It might sound obvious, but you should think outside the box with this one. Think about your weekly routine. Do you work full-time? Do you study? Are you in and out of odd jobs and different spaces day by day?

The easier and quicker it is to go to your gym, the more inclined you’ll be to get in and smash out your workout.

If your routine is set and you know where you’ll be each day, pick a gym that is close to your work, school or home so that it won’t add too much to your trip. If your routine not quite so set in stone, look at franchised gyms that have locations all over the city (and even interstate) that you can drop into on the fly.

This is super important because once Wednesday rolls by, we start looking for any excuse we can to skip a workout, and travel time is always one of the first we think of. The easier and quicker it is to go to your gym, the more inclined you’ll be to get in and smash out your workout.

2. What does it cost?

Gym memberships aren’t one-off purchases. They add up over time and it’s important to make sure you’re getting what you pay for. Ask yourself what do you need, and if you’re paying for anything you don’t need. Do you actually use the pool and steam room included in your platinum membership? How about the extra large change rooms and showers? If so, that’s great!

If not, look at your fees and compare them to the others in your area. It might be time to move on and save from cash. Also remember that some gyms also offer lowered rates for concession or off-peak memberships.

joining the right gym for you

3. Will the staff help you?

Do you need a trainer or are you confident on your own? If you’re a gym newbie, you might want a bit of extra guidance. If you’re used to your gym routine, you might find too many staff distracting or annoying. Getting an idea of your trainers and whether or not they can help you is sure way to figure out if your gym is right for you.

Try to meet some of the trainers in your gym, or watch how they interact with their clients, or even read about their expertise and specialisations to ensure that their experience, personality, and interests match your goals. Sometimes a handful of personal training sessions or a new, tailor-made program can be just what you need to lift you out of a rut, but you need to make sure you’ve got the right people to help you get to it.

4. Is there enough of the right equipment?

Do you spend a lot of time stretching or doing dynamic exercises that take up space? If so, do you have enough room to do that or are you constantly weaving through the cardio machines and weights on the floor? Are there clean and spacious change-rooms and showers for you to get ready for work, which you’re heading to directly? Is the area you use the most, be it the treadmills or the squat racks, stocked with enough gear so that you won’t need to take a number and wait?

The gym with space and equipment that suits your needs is the gym where you can work most efficiently. A quick workout is a good workout, and you don’t want to be waiting around for equipment.

5. What are the other gym-goers like?

No one likes a grunter. Regardless of whether you like to meet people and chat or plug in your headphones, this makes a difference to you and your workout habits. Every gym has its own culture. Do other exercisers respect the space and keep it tidy, or are you constantly putting away other people’s weights?

Being the odd one out or just being around inconsiderate people can be discouraging, alienating, and ruin your motivation over time. On the other hand, being around some like-minded people and feeling like you’re working in a positive environment can be so important staying active. More than anything else, this is what will have you coming back for more, so make sure you’ve got it right.

And if you’re not keen at all for a gym, find some space outside for your own workout – just like these.


Eugene is a Chinese-Australian writer based in Melbourne. He is overly emotional about food, has a fear of giant squid, and posts on Instagram @mr.pocari.