Selecting a gym or trainer is mostly about personality. Take Jack Lalanne, Richard Simmons and Jillian Michaels for example. They led thousands to better fitness using vastly different approaches. It is often frustrating to have so many options available. Try these tips to get you started:
Assess your needs.
- If you want to socialize and stay active: You may want to consider a dance class, a recreational sports league, boot camp or an outdoor enthusiasts club. Check your church, health food store or local city/county website for options.
- If you want to make lasting lifestyle changes: You should consider joining a gym or a fitness class for a year to get back in shape. Then try to get involved in a dance class, a recreational sports league, boot camp or an outdoor enthusiasts club to make friends who will support your new lifestyle.
- If you are trying to beat your butt into bikini shape: You need a trainer.
Choosing a gym.
- Search gyms within a 5 to 8 mile radius if possible. The more convenient it is, the more likely you are to attend regularly. Pick three to checkout. Call them to schedule a visit.
- Does the variation and quality of equipment and floor space meet your needs? Is it clean? Are the employees mostly body builders or general fitness enthusiasts? Are all of their employees certified through an NCCA accredited certificate program?
- What type of payment plans do they offer? Can you really afford it? If you break the monthly amount down per visit is it a good deal? What does it take to break the contract? Check out other two gyms before you sign!
Choosing a trainer.
- You can always find a trainer at the gym. You can check the bulletin board at your local health food store or a chiropractic/natural health school. The best way to find a good trainer is to ask around. Get a referral from a friend or family member.
- Interview them like you are a hiring manager and they are a potential employee. What is their background? Do they have client references? Will they provide a free 45 to 60 minute trial session? Check out more than one person but respect their time too. Try to complete the process within a week.
- Make sure they are certified. I posted a link on the right under “useful websites” to find an ACE certified trainer. ACE is just one of several NCCA certified programs.
- Surprisingly, prices actually don’t vary much. You can expect to pay about $30 – 40 per hour. Or approximately $100 – $150 for a 6 or 8 class package deal.
Whatever you choose to do, always be honest and upfront about all disabilities, health concerns or injuries. Make sure your instructor, gym or trainer is capable of and willing to work with your specific issues.
Don’t be afraid to change things up, have fun and enjoy your new activities!