In the first quarter of the year, fitness centers usually see an up-swing in new members ready to fulfill their resolutions to get fit and finally lose those extra pounds.
If you are one of those who are looking around for the best facility to get your fitness groove on, it can be tough to decide which club has what you need to make it happen in 2011.
There are numerous facilities in our area, and even more in larger markets, so it can be a pretty tough decision. Hopefully, I can help make this important decision a little easier.
Convenience is a major concern when searching for the best fitness center. If your place is too far from either your home, or place of work, chances are you won't end up using your membership. Select a club that is an easy drive from where you are most often to ensure consistent visits. If it feels like a chore to drive there, you won't be motivated to train when you get there, if you go at all.
Do your homework
Google every club you are considering joining. Read the reviews from current and past members. Is there any press on the club, good or bad? What are the most consistent comments that people have to say about these clubs? Perception is reality, and majority rules. If someone actually took the time to post a comment or a review online, they must feel pretty strongly about it, and if a dozen or more all say the same thing, well ....
Bang for your buck
Prices vary per club, so it's important to consider what you get for the money you are investing. Are there a variety of group exercise classes available at different times in the day? Is childcare included? Is the cardio deck always busy? How big is the strength-training area? Select a club that gives you the most value for a fair monthly investment. Value is the name of the game, not neccessarily price.
It's personal ...
What are the candidate clubs personal trainer hiring practices? Do they require a nationally recognized certification? Do they require a certain amount of experience to qualify for employment? Do they require their trainers to regularly attend conventions to further their knowledge? An exceptional personal trainer can make your club experience productive and progressive, while a less-than-exceptional personal trainer can make it a big fat disappointment.
Keep it tight
All sorts of little nasties can thrive in an unclean fitness center. A mass of people carrying in and leaving who-knows-what kind of bacteria into the facility can proprogate a gym-wide outbreak quickly if proper cleaning and sanitation systems aren't in place. One sign of that a club is dedicated to the health and well-being of their members is a perpetually clean facility. Also, properly maintained equipment shows care. If machines and other apperatus are constantly in a state of disrepair, it is a good representation of the attitude of club management.
Tying it all in, these criteria work together to give a you a good feeling about the fitness center you might decide to join. Make sure you are 100-percent happy with the club before you sign anything, and don't be afraid to take a day or two before you make your final decision. Fitness center membership contracts aren't easy to exit once you sign up, so make the right decision the first time.
Once you do, tear into it with all your worth. A club is only as effective as YOU make it, so do it big and transform in 2011
Chad smith offers ways to get off that couch and get fit and healthy. He is co-owner of Home Team Fitness, LLC, a Hagerstown Personal Training company. For information, visit www.hometeamfitness.net, or find him on Facebook www.facebook.com/hometeamfitness.