So you want to join a new gym. How should you choose amongst the many varied gyms out there? It can be confusing to prioritize all the different considerations, and very easy to be swayed by a good salesperson when you visit a gym. Arm yourself with this checklist so that you make the best decision for yourself. And always visit a number of gyms before making your final decision.
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You need a gym that's convenient to get to. If it takes too long to get to, you're less likely to use it as often as you should (ideally 3 times a week). So consider one within walking distance (cuts out the problems of public transport delays or traffic jams), or if you're driving there, check ease (and cost) of parking. One near home or work would be ideal, depending on the days and times you wish to train.
Beware, just because a gym is geographically quite near you, doesn't necessarily mean it's convenient. I live in London, and one gym I joined was 2 miles down the road, but the public transport to that gym was so slow, it took me longer to reach than the next gym I joined, 3 miles away, but really well connected with a door to door train ride. So make sure you do the journey at the time you plan to use the gym, go get an accurate idea of journey times.
The key question you need to ask yourself is, "what are my goals?". Then choose a gym whose equipment matches your goals. So if you're after muscle growth, choose a gym with ample free weights (dumbbells and barbells, cable crossovers, benches with both flat and incline options, squat racks). And if yoga and stretching are your things, you need a gym with a yoga studio and plenty of space for stretching.