Some gyms are legit running scams when it comes to the internal quality they provide to their customers and some gyms are exceptionally good on some factors which makes our workout experience good and stress-free.
As a nutrition coach and regular gym goer, people on Twitter and Instagram keep asking me about what to look for in a gym before we actually pay the annual fee, as annual subscriptions are cheaper, but if they gym management and other things are shitty, every workout session becomes stressful and boring.
I am noting down a few checkpoints to look at before you pay your precious money to a gym.
- Do they have a squat rack?
This is very basic need must thing to have in a gym. A squat rack technically can be used for squats, military press, bench press, clean and jerk, etc. It is the most used rack in any gym. Also, I am not talking about Smith one, I am talking about the basic free squat rack.
2. Good Ventilation and AC
First of all, if someone tells you that workout without AC or full-on sweat is better than working out in an AC, he is stupid, ignore such people and gym managers. A ventilated gym is very necessary because you will have to catch fresh air a lot especially after doing 100 lunges.
3. Progressive weights
This is important when you are legit serious about your gym (everyone should be). Check how their weights are (mostly dumbbells). Are there 2.5-5-7.5-10-12.5-15-17.5kg.. or they are in 5-10-15-20kg. If they are in the latter style, avoid this gym because it will be very difficult for you to progressively overload weight. And risking sudden jump in weights can cause injuries.
4. Do they allow barefoot workout?
Many gyms won’t. But this is where you can give condition while paying the amount. A barefoot workout is very much helpful when it comes to lifts like squats, clean and jerk, deadlifts, etc. Ask them beforehand only.
5. Are washrooms/changing room clean?
Many times, even big brand gyms, just take care of their floor and ignore the hygiene and cleanliness of the washrooms. Do check them before you finalize your membership.
6. Gym floor shouldn’t be slippering at all.
I have suffered this once while lifting 150kg sumo dead and the floor was slippery. Luckily I didn’t injure myself, but this could be fatal for you if ignored.
7. Music choice
To check this, visit the gym in peak hour like 7 pm to 10 pm. What kind of music they play? Are they playing things like channa mereya or sad Punjabi songs? Are they playing things like tunak tunak? How loud are they? Is the bass making you uneasy? Do check all these point. Music is important when you lift to break the monotony of silence and to curb the grunts of heavy lifters. If they are playing too loud, your headphones/airpods won’t be of any use.
These were major points according to me. Other things to check are if its get too crowded in the peak time, what type of crowd workout at the time, are there trainers themselves are fit or not? Or are they roidheads? These are very commonsensical points. Am I missing anything else here? Do let me know in comments.