Picking a gym made easy

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Picking a gym can take time and sometimes it can be a bit of luck picking a gym that works for you.

Some questions that you might want to consider as you are working on picking a gym:

What’s nearby where you spend most of the rest of your time?

For example, is there a gym near where you live? I exercise first thing in the morning. My gym – The Midwest Athletic Club, or The MAC for short – opens at 4:45 a.m. and is about two miles from my house. Very convenient and close by, which makes the early-morning trip easy.

It’s also close enough that in the summer I can run to the gym, lift and then run back home. You may also look at what’s close  to your place of employment. I personally don’t like to exercise over the lunch hour, but some people do. Again, proximity in picking a gym is key here, too.

What’s affordable? 

Some gyms might be out of our price range. I know some are out of mine. Figure out how much you can spend each month and find  one in your price range. If none is affordable, you may decide to not join a gym at all. Even if you do that, there are options: You could start running/walking outside and download the Fitness Buddy app for exercise routines that use only your bodyweight and can be done in just about any medium-sized space.


To find a gym with the right atmosphere for you is important but can also be hard to gauge just by walking through a gym once – with a sales person in tow. Perhaps ask people in your network, your friends on Facebook and ask the gym if they offer (free) trial periods.

picking a gym - Delivering meals
I joined my gym through a membership offered because I volunteer.

Employer programs 

Some employers offer reduced gym memberships. Take advantage of this when you can. I worked out for many years in my basement before joining The MAC. Horizons, where I volunteer as a Meals on Wheels delivery driver, offered me and other volunteers to join the gym through their reduced membership.

Where do your friends go?

If you want to work out with friends, make sure you talk to them to find out which gym they go to and then join that one.

What other services does the gym offer?

This comes down to personal needs and preferences, but I like that my gym has an in-house child care where I can leave my six-year-old for up to two hours while working out.

Other items for consideration might be the kind of workout machines available. If you like to punch a boxing bag and the gym doesn’t have one, it might not be the gym for you. Group exercises and the availability of personal trainers might also fall into this category.

Picking the right gym for you can take some time to research, but when the right gym is picked it will help your workout regime and in the long-run you be healthier.