For some people, a gym membership is the best way for them to start and maintain a regular fitness routine. And as we all know, healthy living is ALL about routine! Today’s guest blogger, James Harper, explains why it’s important to look for quality when joining a gym.
Now I’m not referring to a gym that is kitted out with every luxury facility under the sun – as nice as a swimming pool and sauna might be, they aren’t necessary in order to achieve results, and they won’t help us stick to our routine.
What I’m talking about is the quality of the facilities within the gym – that means clean, functional and reliable equipment, pleasant changing rooms that offer everything you need such as lockers and changing cubicles as well as helpful staff who make it part of their job to boost the gyms environment as much as possible.
It isn’t uncommon for gyms, fitness centres or health clubs (or whatever glossy name you choose to attach to them) to let standards slide; allowing equipment to get increasingly dirty and slowly fall into disrepair. Even bad management can drastically affect the chances that you will stick to your routine and achieve results.
For example, often gyms become oversubscribed and have a vast amount of members all descend on the equipment at the same time (usually between the times of 5 and 7). However, proper management techniques can ensure the system in place is fair and that everyone is able to get use of the machines that they wish to. Yet the sad thing is that many gyms don’t have the knowledge or skills (or simply don’t care enough) to ensure that this happens, meaning that people fail to stick to their routine simply because when they arrive at the gym, it is near impossible for them to use the relevant equipment.
Additionally, the changing rooms can play a huge part in our ability to stick to our exercise routines. Attending the gym takes up time, therefore we need changing facilities that will allow us to finish our workouts, quickly shower and get on our way the next stage of our day.
If there are not sufficient changing cubicles or shower cubicles, we may have to wait in order to freshen up after a workout. Alternatively should the shower or changing cubicles be dirty or ill-maintained, we may even not wish to use them for their given purpose, thereby reducing the user-friendliness of our gyms and reducing the chances that we will keep returning.
A gym should also supply a sufficient number of lockers for use by their members. And once again, the lockers needs to be well maintained and of a high quality, in order to reduce the chance of thefts occurring. While security may see insignificant to our fitness success, it is in fact vital. If there are an insufficient number of lockers, or lockers that appear insecure, then we may need to place our belongings at another location within the gym – causing not only an inconvenience but also added concern that they may become lost, stolen or damaged.
However, the quality of the facilities in essence, falls into insignificance if the members of staff simply don’t care. While some people are experienced gym users and can succeed fine without any outside help, the majority of us are not, and will need assistance in order to ensure we are using the equipment safely and correctly, and that we are doing the right things to get the results that we’re after.
Yet many gyms fail to see the importance of this, and choose to hire young, inexperienced, unqualified and generally negligent staff to look after the gym and its members. Without proper guidance, it is very difficult to achieve the results you’re after. If staff members of a gym facility are unable to give this guidance, it is almost a given that most members will cease to make use of their membership after a relatively short time.
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Do you belong to a specific gym facility? Does it offer quality equipment, storage and service?