With fall right around the corner, you may be considering restarting your gym membership. (Anyone else pause theirs to enjoy outdoor workouts in the summer?) Whether you're planning to start back up at a gym you already love, or you're on the hunt for somewhere new, here are a few of our favorite tried-and-true tips for finding a gym that works for you (and that you'll actually go to!).
1. Start With A Trial Membership
The good thing about shopping for a gym is that most places offer trial memberships so that potential members can come in and check the place out. These discounted (sometimes free) passes are a great opportunity to experience a gym first-hand and see if it's the right fit for you. You can check on a gym's website or social media page or simply pop in and talk to the front desk to see what trial options they offer.
2. Look For Amenities (Or Don't)
If you like to work out in the morning, you may be looking for a gym with a more elaborate locker room that includes showers and amenities so that you can get ready for work. Or, if you're a stay-at-home parent, you may be on the hunt for a gym with onsite childcare options.
It's essential to think about these amenities that you may or may not need when visiting different places so that you don't end up with a membership that doesn't actually meet your needs. (Trust us: there's nothing worse than rushing home in sweaty clothes to shower and get to the office before your 8 am meeting.)
3. Try Out The Equipment
This may sound intuitive, but try out the gym's equipment a few times before committing to a membership to ensure everything functions properly and is well-maintained (sort of like testing the water pressure in a rental before signing the lease). Re our last point: the second worst thing is showing up for a 5 am workout only to discover all the ellipticals are "down for maintenance." No thanks.
4. Visit During Peak Hours
Finally, make sure you go to the gym at the time you plan to work out to get a feel for the foot traffic. Are classes always booked in advance? Is it hard to get a machine? Are the lockers always taken? You may want to find somewhere less crowded then. Or, maybe you find the gym is a bit too quiet for your taste, and you'd like a few more people around. Either way, it's good to test it out in advance!