Your Second Home: Choosing the Right Gym

By: neofuture
One of the most important decisions you will make as a beginning bodybuilder is which gym you will frequent. Gyms come in just about every shape and size, and their advantages vary greatly. Ask your friends or coach for advice when choosing a gym, but remember that not every gym is right for every person. Shop around to find the best place for your training. Some things to think about include membership value, equipment, location, special training options, and operation.

The first thing you should find out about any gym is cost. Some gyms offer discounts for members who sign up for big blocks of time, like a year, but don't rush into these deals. If you don't like the gym after a month or two, you don't want to be forced to pay for the remaining time. Look at what you are getting for your membership price. How big is the gym? How often will you go there? What "extras" such as day care, snack bars, and towels are included? Cost is not the same as value-most times you will get what you pay for! Compare values at different gyms in your area to find the best bang for your buck.

Next, inspect the equipment. What is available? Go to the gym on a Saturday or other busy time and notice if there is a wait for the machines and weights. Also choose a gym that provides room for stretching. Most importantly, how clean is the equipment? The gym should provide spray bottles to clean the machines and weights after use, and facilities such as the bathroom, locker room, and pool area should be clean. Along with cleanliness is maintenance. There's always bound to be a few breakdowns every once in awhile, but these problems should be fixed promptly.

Compare pricing and equipment with location. You won't want to work out as often if the gym you join is too far from your house. In the best case scenario, you will be able to find a gym that is between your work or school and home so you will be motivated to stop by in the mornings or afternoons. Be sure to look at the special training options available as well, such as personal trainers or fitness classes. Lastly, think about the operations of the gym. What are the hours and are they convenient to your schedule? You may also want to join a gym that is specifically for women, young adults, athletes, or other group of people. By considering all of these gym options, you can pick the place that will become your perfect second home as you begin your bodybuilding training.
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