Particularly if you started your professional fitness journey from your own home, as isolation freed up your schedule, you may not have thought too far ahead about choosing a gym to start a career within. Moreover, if you are starting your fitness journey and decided to study fitness online to learn more about ways to improve and refine your techniques and skills, choosing a gym to start with might be weighing on your mind.
In this day and age, you see gyms and fitness centres everywhere. They all appear to have the same core functions, but in reality, the gym you choose needs to suit you. The problem is, it is can be hard to discern whether one gym is better than the other for your preferences.
Gyms have various components; physical, communal and online. Whilst one person may value the range of weights, or a well-maintained swimming pool area above all, another might require constant challenging HIIT classes or a strong community atmosphere and networking potentials. Choosing a gym for someone who wants to start their career in the industry adds another component, where career dynamics and PT opportunities becomes paramount.
Here are AOF’s top tips for picking your gym:
- Assess the current numbers of PTS within the gym: If you are wanting to start with a large pool of potential clients and you don’t do your research on the current PTS in each gym, you aren’t preparing yourself. Choosing a mainstream gym which might already have 15+ consolidated and well performing PTS registered might be decreasing your chances with finding as many customers. Secondly, try to assess the demographic of the current PT group. If you can see that some of the current staff have similar demographical and strategical attributes as you, your services might not stand out as much. The main ways you can evaluate this is by contacting the gym, trialling the gym in peak hours, and thoroughly researching the website and online presence. It is also important to compare income costs if your selected gyms charge additional arrangement fees.
- Ensuring cleanliness: Particularly given the current COVID-19 scenario, it is clear that some gyms had better safety measures in place just through their consistent sanitisation and machine cleaning. These are the gyms that lasted the longest when COVID-19 struck, because measures were clearly in place to prevent the spread of germs before extreme measures were put in place. After seeing the repercussions of this pandemic, it is important to take note of the cleaning habits different gyms have, because there is a chance the general population (and your potential clients) will take cleaning habits more seriously after the pandemic subsides.
For general memberships:
- Check the equipment is updated: The equipment available in your chosen gym is particularly important if your focus is cardio or weighted machinery. Checking that the equipment is new and hasn’t been sitting around for the past 15 years is vital, because there are always updates and add-ons coming out- you may not want to be stuck on a screenless, fan-less and setting-less treadmill.
- Don’t solely focus on the price tag: It can be temping, as with purchasing most products and services, to place the dollar sign at the top of your list of priorities. Money is always important, but if you are basing your decision on the best deal or price right now, you may be missing out on the benefits of higher value memberships. Choosing the cheapest membership available might also be counterintuitive if you spend a portion of your weekly budget on wellness and health in general. For example, you may choose a basic gym but continue your sauna and yoga services on the side, not considering that a pricier gym might have these services inbuilt within their costings.
- The social element: The social component of gym life is often overlooked until memberships are already purchased. If you value fitness above many other life components (like partying, brunching, dinner parties, and trips to the local pub), then you might want to choose a community-oriented gym which runs a lot of group workouts. This is a preferred socialising method of many who want to network with like-minded people.On the other end of the spectrum, you might be the kind of person with a crazy social life or long work hours, so you use your gym time to zone out of the social sphere and get the job done. If this is the case, you are better off looking at larger sized gyms which focus on isolated workouts.