woman gym tying laces

Still working on that whole new year, new you thing? We feel you, girl. You might have made it a fitness goal to hit the gym several times a week, but actually choosing the right gym is an important part of ensuring that your new routine will fit your lifestyle. Find a facility that checks all the boxes on your must-have list and you’ll be more likely to make going to the gym a habit and start sculpting that beach bod you deserve.

1. Cash Rules Everything

money jar savings

This one is probably on the top of everyone’s list. You don’t want your gym membership to break your budget, so make sure that whatever facility you find offers access at a price you can afford. If you can wait ’til then, join when discounts are offered (usually right after the New Year or in September during the back to school rush) and don’t let attendants sell you any add-ons you don’t need. Stay strong!

2. Location, Location, Location

If getting to your workout is a workout in itself, you might not be very motivated to get up off the couch. Consider whether you can easily bike, transit or drive to (and park at!) your potential new gym. If it’s within running or walking distance, even better. Head there on foot so you can skip your warm-up and get down to business as soon as you arrive.

3. Do They Have the Goods?

woman lifting weights bar

If you like to use a particular machine or require ample space to stretch out after your workout, make sure the gym you’re considering has this. Check out the equipment, stretching areas, cardio machines, dumbbells—anything you think you’ll need! Even more importantly, make sure there’s enough equipment for everyone so you won’t have to wait in line to get your sweat on. Want to do your exercises at home between gym days? Make sure you have the key supplies on hand.

4. Facilities

There might be days when you want to skip the weight room but still get some exercise. To make sure you have the opportunities to do so, take a look around a gym and see what other facilities you’d have access to. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re playing on the squash courts or relaxing in the pool.

5. Their Time vs. Your Time

wall clock close up

Night owls and early birds alike should pay attention to a gym’s hours of operation. After all, you don’t want to pay for a membership if it doesn’t work with your schedule. Be sure to check whether or not a gym is open late on weekends or on holidays, as these are times when you’ll likely want to fit in a sweat sesh.

6. Is it Better to be a Member?

It’s important that you feel relaxed and comfortable in the gym you end up choosing. One thing you might want to consider is the sorts of people who attend the gym. Is it co-ed? For women only? Are most members of a certain age range? Decide what you’re happiest with and make the choice that’s right for you. Then, get it girl.

7. Variety is the Spice of Life

woman rolling yoga mat

One of the best things about joining a gym is that you don’t have to go it alone. Some fitness centres offer special group classes like yoga, bootcamp, spin and other popular fitness trends (hello aerials!). Check out the center’s programs and choose one that offers the sorts of classes you might want to attend. This might even mean that you can ditch your other memberships and save some dollars!

8. Eyes on the Prize

There are gyms out there that really go above and beyond when it comes to pleasing their customers. We’re talking juice bars, massage therapy, acupuncture, you name it! Always ask about the perks. And demand towel service, because, c’mon.

If we know one thing, it’s that picking the right gym will be a big factor in determining how well you actually stick to your fitness goals. Gym doesnt jive with your lifestyle? That probably means you won’t be showing up on the mat every A.M. Keep this checklist in mind when visiting potential gyms and choose the one that checks all the boxes that matter to you.

Photos: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock, Green Apple / Shutterstock, chaoss / Shutterstock, Didier Jansen, Luna Vandoorne / Shutterstock,

1 Comment

  • Derek July 9, 2016

    My brother has recently put on some weight after getting married and he is looking for a gym to go to. The tip about looking at the center’s programs and choosing one that offers what you are looking for was very helpful. He is not very good at running, so some other classes or programs may be more helpful for him. I will definitely pass this along so he can make a decision easier. Do most gyms offer a variety of programs?

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