"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

woman working out

How to Pick the Best Gym Membership

The pandemic has probably turned you into either of two types of people. You might belong to the demographic that gained weight because of idleness and the lack of access to fitness training facilities and equipment. According to a survey conducted by biotechnology company Gelesis, in partnership with research firm Kelton Global, 71 million Americans gained weight last year. Or you might belong to the other demographic that did not allow COVID-19 to deter their fitness goals. This group has people investing as much as $4,000 for training equipment so that they can continue pursuing their fitness routines within the comforts of their home.

Whichever of those two groups resonates with you, there’s no shame. After all, we all have to deal with the current plague in our own ways. And so long as you are surviving, you’re pretty much doing your job as a human being.

That does not mean that you should entirely abandon your commitment to fitness, especially if you lack the funds to burn for a home gym. Keep in mind that vaccine rollouts have begun and in no time it’ll be safe once again to sign up for a gym membership. Come that day, here’s what you need to consider.

Location

The closer the gym is to your residence or work, the better. That way you don’t have to stress out about commuting to and from training. Your fitness routine’s physically straining as it is. You don’t need any additional complications to contend with.

If you can divide a single membership into two locations, do so. That will give you more options in terms of squeezing in as many gym days into your schedule. You can go to one gym near your house and another gym near your work, whichever is more convenient on a given day.

Facility

You do not want to work out in a dirty area. Or a cramped space where you are always rubbing your nose against another gym goer’s nape, while both of you are prepping with kettlebells.

Also, you want to work out in a building that looks like it will survive the next earthquake, thanks to a reliable general contractor. The last thing you want to happen is while you’re doing bench presses you see the ceiling caving in on you.

So look at the facility closely and carefully before giving your credit card details and signing above the dotted line.

Opening and closing hours

You need a work-life balance. And regardless of how you categorize training, work or life, you need a gym membership that will accommodate your schedule. Not the other way around.

The best way to go is to choose a gym with long operating hours. But make sure to inquire about the specifics. For example, are trainers available throughout the hours that the gym is open? Are there areas in the gym that are off-limits to guests during specific hours?

Training options

exercising at the gym

Not all gym memberships are flexible in terms of training options. Some do not have in-house trainers, for instance. That will be challenging for a gym-goer who works better with professional guidance.

So look into this detail. Inquire if there are group sessions offered if that’s what gets you going.

Perks and privileges for members

A gym member receives perks and privileges. But not all gyms are created equal. So ask about what special offers a gym has for you.

Look out for guest passes, bring-a-friend privilege, complimentary food and drinks, and occasional free massages, among others. These should make your membership extra inspiring.

Bang for one’s buck

In the end, your goal is to purchase a gym membership that gives exactly your money’s worth. If you sign up with a $10/month membership and you get awesome perks and privileges, guard that membership with your life. Make it your forever. Alternatively, if you want something fancier, pay for a $100/month membership and be treated like sweaty royalty. Either way, it’s all about being happy with what you’re getting from what you’re spending.

If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught all of us, it’s how health and fitness are vital to every human being. We should not wait for a deadly virus to strike before we commit to staying healthy and fit. So be ready for when COVID-19’s gone. Hit the gym as soon as the plague’s over. Meanwhile, do everything you can to stay active. There are YouTube instructional videos at your disposal. Bodyweight workouts should do the job for now. No excuses, please.

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