Which gym is right for you?  You’d think this wouldn’t be such a tough question, but there are a lot of choices out there and you might have a lot of different reasons to train.

Your goal might be to lose weight, or gain more muscle, to feel healthier or to get ready for a special event.  Whatever your reason, you need to find a place  that helps you get what you want.

And whether you choose us, or a different gym, we want to help you get what you want.  Here are few questions to help you make that choice.

What’s the real price?

What are the costs…all the costs of the gym you are looking at?

Price is a big factor for all of us, but it’s strangely hard to figure out for a lot of gyms.  Why?  Because most of them want to give you a big sales pitch and hook you in before getting to that point.  So, start on the web.  Does the gym have its prices on its website?  If not, why not?  Probably because they are hiding sometime like big sign-up fees, maintenance fees and other hidden charges.

Start a running list of EVERY cost before signing up. Here are a few to keep in mind…

  • Sign-up fees – How many businesses charge you for the privilege of simply signing up?  Can you imagine this at your local pizza place?  “You want to order?  Well, first you have to pay us a hundred dollars just to become a member, then you can order your pizza.”  Huh?  These fees are a way for gyms to make a quick profit, but what value does it bring to you?
  • Maintenance fees – Does the gym charge you extra just to clean up or maintain the equipment they are supposed to keep working in the first place?  Some places actually do this.
  • Towel and locker fees – Want anything extra?  Anything at all?  Yeah, some gyms have a fee for that…any way to make more money off of you.
  • Security fees – Want a little keycard to get you in the door?  A lot of gyms will charge you for the privilege of walking inside.

At Thrive Gym, we don’t have any hidden fees and let you know our prices right off the bat.  You can look them up here on our webpage.  The other gyms don’t do that at all.

Will the gear help you or hurt you?

Here’s the sad fact folks…most gyms don’t put much real thought into the equipment they get.  They buy what other gyms have because they think that’s what will make people sign up.

But that equipment isn’t actually helping you.  Exercise machines that guide your muscles through a preset path and focus on just one body part don’t help your whole body get stronger or help you with real life tasks that require multiple joints.

Instead, look for a gym that helps you do things that are useful in real life.  Does it give you different ways to actually pick things up?  Does it help you get better at bending over or getting up and down safely?

This is why we focus on free weights and suspension straps at Thrive Gym.  The exercises you do here help your body work as a whole instead of as disconnected parts.  This means better, safer workouts that get you to your goals sooner.

Is it safe?

Does the gym have an AED?  14 states require health clubs to have an automated external defibrillator.  Look for one.  Ask if they have one.  Is it in plain sight and easy to get to?  Is it hidden away in a cabinet and the staff isn’t sure where it is?  AEDs save lives, but they have to be accessible.  If the gym doesn’t have one, then they  are too cheap to protect their members and just might be breaking the law.

Also, is there someone there to look out for you at all hours?  If a gym is open 24 hours, who is there to help you late at night?

Are they openly sabotaging your progress?

Gyms are about giving you ways to feel good and get healthy.  If your gym regularly brings in pizza, bagels or always has a jar of candy on the counter, what does that say?

Or, if they are pushing high calorie smoothies as after-workout “recovery” drinks that run anywhere from 200 to 500 calories.  Hey, you only have to add 120 minutes on the treadmill to burn that off.  That’s helping, right?

Look for a gym that’s going to support you in good nutrition choices, ones that are grounded in actual research instead of fad diets.

Will you be a person or a number?

Who at the gym is going to know your name or your goals or remember which of your joints is injured?  If they don’t know these things, how can they care about you or your progress?

What does the gym feel like?

Some fitness centers talk about not being intimidating or not judging, others are all about getting down to the workout.  You have to find a place that feels right to you, a place that understands your goals.


Hopefully, these questions help you figure out what kind of gym is right for you.  If you have any questions, please drop by or contact us.  We want to help you find the right fit, because your success is what matters to us.