How to Choose the Right Gym to Train In

What is the best way to choose the right gym to train in?

There really is no right or wrong answer here, there is only finding the gym that is right for you. And that means looking ahead to where you feel like you may be. Or where you want to be when you reach your goals. So choose wisely or read on, and learn how to choose the right gym from me.

The reason being that you may NOT want to switch gyms in a year or so, due to long term contracts, cancel fees, or other reasons.


First I came up with 5 types of gyms that you can choose from:

There are a few types of gyms out their. From the strip mall gym, to the elite spa club. Ones for muscle heads, and others for those who cant handle any grunting. Wherever you fit in one of these gyms will probably be right for you.

The Casual Gym

These are the smaller strip mall gyms that are usually go when you want 24 hours a day, they may not have all the equipment you need but they have the convenience of going when you want.

Pros: You can go when you want to 24 hours a day, not crowded at all.
Cons: Lack of equipment and safety concerns during night hours.

The Starter Gym

Gyms that are quite large have all the equipment you need but limit you in your ability to train hard by not allowing you to drop weights, or grunt, or do anything that would make those who are casual gym goers nervous.

Pros: They are not to crowded, and great place to start working out without feeling like others are staring at you.
Cons: You may quickly outgrow it, and restraining your training sometimes if frustrating.

The Foo-Foo Gym

The large fitness clubs that have everything you need, charge you a lot, and everyone looks in the mirror at themselves and it seems more like a dating club then a gym. But the usually have the latest equipment, demonstrate the latest fitness trends, and have tons of high tech equipment.

Pros: Have lots of different sports like swimming, racquetball, and more.
Cons: Very costly and sometimes members can judge you.

The Just Right Gym

This gym is the one Goldilocks would pick. It has no judgments on people or no restrictions on what you can do. These gyms usually allow all types of training and have cross-fit areas, fun classes, boxing areas, and more. This gym is just right.

Pros: Allows all types of training, has several different areas of exercise to prevent boredom.
Cons: Can be over crowded on peak hours and you may not get personal attention.

The Hard-Core Gym

Those gyms that have only huge scaffolding racks, where you flip giant tires and hit them with sledge hammers. They are for serious training only. Filled with muscle bound people. This is where you go when you are ready.

Pros: Great one on one personal training and quick results
Cons: Expensive and requires a high level of fitness

My Gym Picking Story

This happened to me, I looked around for a gym and found one that could be categorized as a good starter gym And for many months it worked well for me.  But soon it got old, and fast. I quickly outgrew the equipment, was told several times I was to loud clanging weights, and the people were not as serious as I was so it was kind of dragging me down.

We looked around for another gym and I skipped the foo-foo large gym because they wanted to charge us about $100 a month for a membership and I knew I wouldn’t use all of it. Then I found a great gym, that was close to me, but it was very crowded when we visited.

So we joined on trial and I soon found out that I loved it. I found a time I could go that was not crowded. I could bust the weights up and down within reason and without anyone getting mad.

So I started going to my new gym and my fitness level continued to increase. I still kept the old gym membership and I go there from time to time (see the reason why below). But now I am going strong at the gym I should have chosen from the beginning. So give some thought about where you want to be with your fitness goals at the end, and choose a gym that is right for you with that in mind.

Why I Kept Two Gym Memberships

Today gym memberships can be fairly cheap at most gyms. When I first started working out I picked a starter gym and I quickly outgrew it. Soon I upgraded to a nicer better gym, which better suited my training needs. But the new gym was crowded and the other gym was closer to my home. So I decided to keep both.

Memberships at both gyms were only $10.00, so for $20.00 a month I have a great training option. If for some reason I cannot get to the gym during my regular time I can go to the less crowded one. If I need a quick workout I can go to the closer one.

And finally my wife prefers the starter gym so we can go together when we want to. The only downside to this is with the $10.00 membership you may not get all the club has to offer.

Another cool option some gyms have is that you can get a membership with guest privileges that allow full access to the gym, its classes, and other amenities for about $20.00 a month. So each of you can get a single membership at two different gyms and you can go to either one, when  you want.

The downside to this is that you cannot go without the member, and you have to sign in each and every time which can be a hassle.

So take some time to think about where you want to be with your fitness goals, and choose the gym that is right for you. You will be thankful in the end!