What to Look for When Joining a Gym

cowboysfit What to Look for When Joining a Gym

Studies show that to see physical results from working out, you should be doing physical activity four to five times per week. This can seem daunting, but with the right gym membership tailored to your personal goals, you will be on track in no time.

As you begin your search for a new gym, you may realize that it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you, especially as a beginner.

No matter how avid of a gym-goer you are, there are specific things that you should pay attention to when considering joining a new gym.

 How Convenient Is the Location?

This is one of the most important things to consider when looking for a gym. If the gym’s location isn’t in a convenient spot for you, you’re less likely to make it part of your weekly routine.

In addition, you should think about the time of day you plan to work out. If you’re planning to go after work, you should consider a gym that’s close to your workplace.

Always consider the type of environment its located in, how comfortable you are walking or driving to the location, and the gym hours.

Will You Have Access to Classes?

While classes or training sessions aren’t a requirement for you to get in shape, they are a great way to ensure you’re on track to meet your fitness goals. In addition to this, workout classes might even help you feel more motivated to get in the gym.

Before you sign up, check out which classes or training activities your prospective gyms offer, even if you’re not sure that you’d use them. As you start to get in shape, you may find that you’re interested in more of the activities than you thought you would be.

When you participate in group fitness classes, you’re going to have someone that is highly experienced showing you the ropes. Even if you’ve never done it before, you can get the hang of it in no time.

Sometimes, these classes might have an additional fee attached, so always clear up any confusion about the classes before you sign up for a gym membership.

What’s the Overall Cost? 

The cost of joining a gym varies based on the location, type of facility, and more. Nicer facilities might charge a little extra for use of their services.

 At some gym locations, you may have the option to choose between different types of memberships. These will all generally come at various price points.

You might also have the option to add on exclusive extras to your membership, which will also impact the price. Be sure to talk about your pricing options up front to make sure that you’re getting the right price for the type of membership that serves you best.

Before you sign up for anything, make sure that you clearly understand the cancellation policy just in case you decide later that the gym isn’t the right fit for you.

Do They Have the Machines You Prefer?

You might have specific machines that you prefer over others, such as treadmills, ellipticals, or stationary bikes. If you prefer a specific type of training, it’s a good idea to ensure your gym has plenty of equipment for your workout.

Of course, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new workouts, but you want to ensure you have the equipment available for your existing routine.

You may want to ask the gym about membership size and peak times to see what sort of crowds you may be dealing with when you choose to go to the gym.

Is There an Abundance of Exercise Options?

You can generally tell a lot about a gym based on the sort of equipment they have. Does it appear new or seem outdated? Is it well-maintained, or does it look like it hasn’t been cared for?

In addition to this, you can also see the set-up of the gym. Many gyms typically have a weight floor and a section dedicated to cardio equipment like treadmills, stair steppers, and ellipticals. It is important to ensure the gym has ample for cardio workouts and lifting workouts if you plan to workout at peak times.  

What Are Their Hours Like?

It is important to consider the times you plan to work out and the gym’s hours of operations.

Some people are busy enough that they can only go to the gym on specific days at very specific times, and if you know this is your situation; consider what gym hours would best fit into your schedule.

A lot of gyms are also busiest in the mid to late morning before people go to work and then again in the evening right after work hours end. However, it all depends on your schedule and what works best (especially if you don’t work “normal” work hours). Always ask your gym what their peak hours are to get a better idea.

If your schedule is flexible, choosing a time to work out when it’s less busy will give you more space and flexibility in designing your workout.

Are There Any Special Amenities?

Some gyms offer special amenities to their members, like free fitness classes, complimentary training sessions, massages, showers, and more. While you may not be interested in all of the amenities available (or any of them!), it’s still a good idea to know all of what you get with your membership.

There are also some gyms that will partner with local businesses to provide cross-promotions or special discounts.

You never know unless you ask, so if you’re ever curious about what you get with your membership besides the gym machines, it’s always smart to talk with the gym staff.

What Do the Reviews Say?

With the internet at our fingertips, you can do some preliminary research online to see what others are saying about businesses. Research and read reviews on multiple different gyms to get a good understanding of the pros and cons of different types of gyms.

When a gym  has generally high ratings, it means their members are happy with the quality of their membership and the amenities they receive.

Look at the consistency of the reviews to see if there are plenty of 4 or 5-star reviews. If you see that this is the case, you can be confident in knowing this facility is generally liked and well regarded by members of your community.

Gym Types Best for Each Skill Level

If you want to be committed to going to the gym and meeting your fitness goals, you have to go to a gym that has what YOU need to succeed.

This is going to be a little different for each person, but choosing the right gym means choosing a gym that caters to your current skill level.


Beginners should look for gyms that have a medley of different equipment options so that you can familiarize yourself with all of them and find what feels best for your body and routines.


You’re at the intermediate level if you have been consistently training for at least half a year or more. You have achieved some fitness goals already, but you still have some room to grow.

At this level, you should look for a gym that has plenty of machines and equipment options that you already enjoy. Finding a gym with advanced or intermediate classes is also a good idea to ensure that you don’t get stuck at a plateau.


Advanced level trainees should look into compound gyms that have plenty of free squat racks, free weight and equipment for isolation workouts. If it’s in your workout routine, a variety of cardio equipment is also important.

Consider All of These Factors When Joining a Gym

When you make the choice to start exercising and working out, you’re doing great things for your mental and physical health.

Finding the right gym isn’t easy. Following the tips we’ve outlined above, you should be able to find a gym that perfectly suits your needs.

Are you ready to talk about what our gym can offer that others can’t? Check out our membership options at CowboysFit.com.