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How to Pick the Right Gym

It’s the end of the year now, and without a doubt, some New Year’s Resolutions will be to finally join a gym in order to shed some excess pounds. The question is; with so many different gyms and fitness centers available, how do you choose the right one? That answer requires a little diligence on your part, but is much easier to figure out than one might think.

For women, the first venture into a gym can be nerve-racking. Women tend to be shyer about first joining a gym for a multitude of reasons. Gyms can be filled with meat-head bodybuilders in clothes that don’t properly fit, with egos to match. While this is typically a stereotype of gyms, not every one fits this mold. Then there are the men who simply go to the gym to watch women. Sure they may look as if they’re working out, but you can feel their eyes on you and it’s creepy. Ladies, if you’re gun-shy about joining a gym, there are plenty of women’s only fitness areas to choose from, with a staff to cater to your needs. Once you become comfortable with your body and how to work out, maybe then you can try a bigger fitness center when the time comes.

These days, the hardcore bodybuilding gyms are few and far between. These are not money makers, since most people do not ever plan on becoming a bodybuilder. The huge nationwide chain gyms are all over the place, but they have their own benefits and drawbacks. Yes, they may come with every piece of equipment you can imagine and the staff is very helpful when you first join, but what about after a few weeks of attendance? I’ve heard horror stories of billing errors on the gyms’ part in which they charged members added fees or other discrepancies, and the member has to deal with it with no help from the gym. They can unfairly freeze or terminate memberships, or keep trying to raise prices on you. After a few weeks there, you’re no longer a member, you’re a number.

Personally, my take on gyms is to go for the independently owned and operated centers. The owners tend to provide a personal touch at these places, and the members become like a large family. You’re greeted with a friendly face, and you feel welcome there, not as if you’re a burden to the staff. Granted, these types of gyms are not all wonderful, but for the most part they tend to treat their members with much more care and respect.

It’s up to you to decide which gym is best for you, and if you plan to spend a lot of your time there, it’s worth “shopping” them. Try out a few places before signing anything, but always make sure you feel comfortable when you finally do join.

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