Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I'll let you in on a little secret. Everything you need to know about getting a gym membership

I've often said that you don't need to have a gym membership in order to get in shape. However, the winter months are quickly approaching and the days of workouts at the park are slipping through our fingers. While some people may want to take their workouts indoors at home, others may be headed to the gym to get the job done.

Gyms are not a bad place to workout. In fact, this is my preferred workout location. There is a variety of equipment, group class options and it's a fun place to people watch. There is a different and often, more motivating energy that can be felt there as well. One of the downsides to working out in a gym is trying to navigate the sales process when looking to purchase your membership. I've worked in a large corporate gym for a few years and know the ins and outs of the car salesman-like tactics that a potential gym member may run into. I'm going to spill the beans on what the sales team might pull on you and things to look for when trying to find the right gym for your workouts.

Location, Location, Location
This is the first thing you want to consider when looking for the right gym. If you have a lengthy commute, it may end up squashing your motivation. The last thing an individual wants to think about when going to the gym is fighting traffic to get there. More often than not, the decision to lounge around at home on the couch will beat the dreaded drive and throw you off the wagon.

Does Size Matter
Some people don't like to workout in a crowd while others may really enjoy the social interaction. Gyms come in all shapes and sizes from high traffic corporate conglomerates to friendly neighborhood "women's only" fitness centers, so finding a gym to suite your comfort level is easy. It's important to find a gym that fits your personality and style. A shy, reserved person is not going to feel comfortable at the commercial club and may end up being intimidated before even walking through the door.

They've Got What You're Looking For
Do you prefer to do circuit training? Do spin classes give you the cardio rush you need on your lunch hour? When touring a potential gym, make sure they have what you need and that it's working. All gyms have elliptical trainers in their cardio station but they aren't going to do you any good if they are perpetually out of order.

Nothing In Life Is Free
Be wary of the free membership trials or free sessions with a personal trainer. This is only a marketing ploy to get you in and talking to a salesman. Sure, you may get to use the gym for a week, but you'll have to sit in the membership sales pit and listen to the "fitness counselor" go through the "7 steps to overcoming an objection" and other sales techniques they learned at the Monday morning meeting. If you're not privy to these business practices, you may end up with a gym membership that you had no intention of singing up for. The same goes for personal trainers. They might take you through a workout on a circuit station, but it's mostly to show you what you don't know about working out, making you feel like you would be lost without their services.

After you've found a gym that's convenient and comfortable with the equipment needed for your training program, you're ready to rock. Don't let the gym staff suck you into any gimmicks or schemes and all you'll have to think about is how much you can bench!

1 comment:

Dan said...

As long as you go in with the mindset of no, who cares. I'd sit through a sales presentation if I could use the gym with a friend for free. You're right though. I've worked in a gym too, and there are so many mind games and techniques they use. Everything from what side of your body to stand on when shaking your hand to how to ask open-ended questions and let you be the first to answer. As long as you're stubborn and say no, you're fine. You'll probably be hounded on the phone though.

Here's another thing ... if you are looking for a gym membership, go in around the 15th or the 30th or 31st. They always have specials b/c they're trying to hit their quotas for the two-week period or month period.