How to choose your first fitness gym?

Discussion in 'BEGINNERS' started by Dennis Borisov, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Dennis Borisov

    Dennis Borisov Administrator Staff Member

    In order to workout efficiently, beginner needs special workout gym equipment and mood. The simplest way to find both of them is to visit a Fitness Gym where, apart from required equipment and working atmosphere, qualified trainers can be found sometimes. Usually they answer beginners’ questions with pleasure (of course if they are not too stupid, like ‘Please tell me, won’t my liver die out if I use protein cocktails?’).

    Generally, a Fitness Gym is an ideal place for your future physical transformations; but don’t be fooled easily by bright advertisements. Quite often rather expensive gym health clubs are overloaded with low-efficiency exercise machines and almost don’t have free weights that are far more effective for muscle growth. So, how should you choose your first fitness gym? – Best of all, you’d better do it with the help of your acquaintances. Don’t give up even if you don’t have friends who visit gyms regularly because some of friends of your friends can do it and they can know the best place. There exists the theory that we know absolutely all people in the world through the chain of no more than 6 other people. It sounds rather questionable but, at the same time, you don’t need finding a gym somewhere in Malaysia.
    In return, this selection method will provide you with useful and, what is much more important, with objective information.

    What should beginner look when choosing a First Fitness Gym?

    A) Distance. I’d not spend more than one hour to get to the place. In a big city it’s more than enough. What comes to me, I live in Moscow and have at least 4 Fitness Gym at 10-minute’s distance from my place of residence (and, by the way, these Fitness Gym are only those ones that I personally know).
    One can waste more time to get to a fitness gym only if he is either a true muscle mind or has nothing else to do. However, if you are a muscle mind and have a lot of spare time – no rules are applied to you.

    B) Equipment.
    The Fitness Gym you choose must obligatory have the following workout gym equipment:
    — several Olympic barbells (bar of 20kg and locks of 2.5kg). Such barbells are made for heavy weights used in compound exercises. They neither slide nor become deformed; that is why it is easy to use them.
    — plates of the following weights: 0.5 lb, 1 lb, 2.5 lbs, 5 lbs, 10.lbs, 20 lbs and 40 lbs. The maximum possible weight of a barbell should be at least 200-500 lb. Quite often glamour gyms simply don’t have enough plates and visitors have to carry them from one station to another through the whole room. That’s more than inconvenient.
    — a set (or better two sets including a backup one) of dumbbells: from 10 to 80 lbs for beginners and up to 150-200 lbs for experienced sportsmen. The maximum dumbbell increment should be of 10 lb but the desired one – of 4 or 2 lbs. Gyms usually don’t have dismountable dumbbells; that’s why it is important to have the minimum dumbbell increment. It will enable you to switch to heavier weights easier. Due to this reason, for women it’s important to have the dumbbell increment for the light-weight range (8-30 lbs) of no more than 1kg.
    — racks. Your first fitness gym must have at least racks for Bench Presses and Barbell Squats; their height must be regulated by stoppers. Without these tools you won’t be able to do the two most important bodybuilding exercises: squats to train your legs and bench press – your chest.
    — benches (especially incline and decline ones). They are a very important part of your equipment. Unfortunately, gym owners, who usually have never trained themselves, underestimate the importance of these tools very often; but for us they will be more than useful and will enable us to do hundred variants of compound exercises: different incline flyes and presses to train our chest, different raises and rows to train our back, Donkey Calf Raises, etc.
    — chinning bar and Pulldown Machine. Pull-Ups are considered to be a compound exercise; still for a beginner (especially if she is a girl) it will be rather difficult to cope with a chinning bar. That is why a Pulldown Machine is an obligatory attribute of any gym; without it you can forget about full-fledged training of your back.
    — cardio machines. If you decided to train to become good-looking and healthy, several treadmills will greatly simplify your life. Of course, one can run also in other places (forests, stadiums, etc.) but it can become problematic in winter. Anyway, this option is only advisory in nature.

    C) Order.
    It’s up to you to decide how well training process in your Fitness Gym is organized but, as I see it, if you spend 5 minutes to find a barbell plate or a lock, quite soon you’ll get tired of such trainings. Sometimes I get quite depressed by those people who leave behind assembled barbells and chaotic dumbbell obstructions in the middle of the room. Unfortunately, in spite of your personal cultural level you are not able to control this process. But what’s to be done with it? – I’d advise you not to buy a membership card of such a gym the management of which is not able to bring training process in order.

    D) Your First Fitness Gym should have a changing room and shower stalls.
    A changing room should have lockers with keys; showers – hot water during all seasons of the year. Preservation of personal belongings is quite an important issue. It’s always sad to be left without house keys or car certificate; that’s why you need to concern yourself about this matter beforehand. I personally take my sport bag with water, my belt and documents to the workout room with me because I witnessed some rather unpleasant incidents of thefts of personal belongings.

    E) Ventilation.
    It is not that very important but good ventilation will simplify your workouts during hot weather periods. It’s good if your gym has appropriate air-conditioning. You can easily find out whether it’s good enough as soon as you enter the room when it has a lot of visitors.

    F) The quantity of visitors.
    The fewer visitors are – the worse it is for the Fitness Gym owner and the better for you. If you ask about a regular quantity of visitors of a certain gym you’ll, most probably, be given an understated number. So, how can you find out the exact quantity?.. It is rather simple: you just need to visit this particular gym several times (for example on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) approximately between 6 and 9 p.m. Then you’ll get the general idea about the true quantity of visitors in rush hours. It is important to know the working atmosphere because in case the gym is overcrowded it makes your trainings much more difficult. Queues to get the barbell you need or to use necessary exercises machines, close air and confusion – all these factors can be rather depressing.

    G) Membership card.
    Its price depends on lots of factors but the main of them are Fitness Gym status and time of your trainings. Trainings costs in a fashionable fitness center can exceed $3000—4000 a year. These gym health clubs have everything apart from high-level athletes. They usually prefer simpler workout conditions. To give any particular piece of advice regarding this problem is rather difficult. Everything depends on your income and ambition. Still, sometimes it is possible to save some money: for example, in summer membership card prices are lower than in winter due to seasonal demand of fitness centers and gyms. To put it in simpler words, in August a membership card will cost less than in January.

    H) Trainers.
    I advise you to pay your attention to the level of those people who work as trainers in your First Fitness Gym. Don’t be shy to ask them about their competence level (education, sport achievements, etc.); take a look at them: estimate how they look like. It is not reasonable to trust your body to such people who are not able to take care of their own ones.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2015

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