Being in lockdown did have some benefits, maybe you were one of the many who started walking. Walking not just for the fresh air but also to get out of the house. Now the weather has turned, and you can’t get out as much or you don’t feel as stay walking in the dark. And you are looking for a gym, but haven’t been to one for ages and wonder if they still wear the lyric from the 80s Aerobics class’s or you have just never been!
Here are some helpful tips, to help you find your new exercise space!
Have a look online, most gyms or PT studios will have a Facebook page or an Instagram page. Gyms that take themselves seriously and care about their craft will have a website. Look at the photos, over the words that are written. Remember a picture tells 1000 stories! Do the people look happy to be there training, does the space look clean, are there a lot of people in the photo, what equipment are they using, what are the people wearing in the photo etc.
Write any questions down before contacting an exercise space. Like going to the doctors, and you walk out and you forget to ask about a certain thing. It’s the same thing, THERE ARE NO SILLY QUESTIONS. If you do feel silly talking to the staff at the space, then that’s a sign not to go.
You interview the staff, be in control of the conversation. Most sales staff have been trained to pitch the sale at you, they have been trained to fluff things up and make you feel special. Once you join the space and walk through the door as a member it’s highly likely they won’t see you again, they might wave to you but they won’t be training you. Make sure you ask the questions.
How do you feel when you first walk into the exercise space? Is it clean? Does it smell funky? Are there any leftover sweat drops, dust in the corner? Are the mirrors clean? How clean are the changerooms? A good manager or team leader will go in before each shift and check and make sure there is toilet paper stocked up, the basin is clean, there are no paper towels on the floor - and also how does it smell? How would you feel about getting onto the ground in the space?
READ THE FINE PRINT before signing anything! How long are you locked in for a contract? Can you really commit to two years? How do you cancel the contract? What happens if you go away? What happens if you end up really crook and can’t make it in to train for 3mths? Think about the worst-case you can possibly imagine, and ask ‘what if this happens?’
Don’t go there because your friends do! What happens when your friends don’t go anymore? Do you stop as well? Or are you commit to going on your own?
‘What you pay for is what you get’, the cheaper the car you buy the more problems will have with the engine. Don’t let the price point sell you on the exercise space.
Be ok to say, ‘this isn’t the right fit for me’. You don’t have to lock in on the day, or sign the contract then and there - take some time to think it over. If the sales person becomes pushy, you can always block their number.
How much time can you give to your training session? You may have an hour, but does that include parking the car, walking, getting changed - you can lose 15mins there. Or do you need to get ready for work after you train, then you might need an extra 20mins. All the minutes do add up!
Ask if the exercise space is staffed! Some places out there aren’t - what if you need help who do you ask? Do you have to pay extra for a Personal Training session? Or is that included? Who will write the program for you to follow? Will there be any face to face contact?
Overall, listen to your gut! Be okay to say no, there are many exercises spaces around to choose from. If it doesn’t feel right, or you don’t get a good vibe, then keep looking. The space needs to work for you, and you only. Find an exercise space where you aren’t just a number, where they will know your name, and say ‘Hi’ to you when you walk in.
I wish you luck on your new adventure, and please send a message if you have any questions. This isn’t a sales pitch, our space might not be right for you, and that’s ok. What is important is that you keep moving and do so safely.