Five useful tips to help you choose the right gym for you

  • AFP
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2015 15:11 IST
Cover your bases before choosing your fitness center. (Shutterstock Photo)

Have a strong desire to get back into shape? There's a lot to look for when trying to choose the right gym. The reception, hygiene, locker rooms and skill of the staff are all elements to take into account when subscribing to a gym. France-based personal coach Yakisan Cagdas has these tips to help you find the right fitness center.

1Infrasructure: hygiene above all else
To verify that the lighting, ventilation, cleanliness and even the quality of the services are up to your standards, ask to visit the gym before making any commitments. To get an even better feel, ask for a free trial, which any good gym will offer. During the visit, make sure to take the temperature inside and check for ventilation.

The size and layout should also be taken into consideration: there should be enough space to avoid bumping into someone wherever you turn. In the locker room, hot water should be available. Finally, the toilets can say a lot for the cleanliness of a gym.

2 The professors: certifications and training methods
The educational background, preparation and professionalism of the trainers are essential. Of equal importance is their availability as well as their advice when it comes to working out parts of your body that effect your lower back, glutes, tendons and other joints.

Depending on the class at hand, do not hesitate to call on the trainers and their knowledge (they can explain, correct and motivate). For example, a good sports instructor will develop a training program after having evaluated the physical condition of a student and check up on progress with regular evaluations.

3 Facilities and machines: a good balance of cardio and weight training
A well-equipped gym must offer the latest gym technologies. Ideally, cardio training machines (to run, cycle, row, etc.) should represent 50% of the equipment; weight-training machines should count for 30% and barbells and weights 20%.

A fitness center with 10 cardio training machines should have no less than 4 treadmills, 2 indoor bicycles, 3 step-machines and 1 rowing machine. For weight-training, the "big five" is indispensable: leg press, pectoral muscle press, back muscle machine, shoulder press and a lat tower attachment for the upper extremities.

4 A personalized medical follow-up
Ideally, a sports center should have its own medical facilities, even if this is often difficult to do. Gym medical facilities should offer appropriate medical equipment to conduct performance evaluation tests, one to measure lung capacity and another to gauge muscular capacity. Determining your body fat, lean body mass and muscle is also key and allows setting more precise goals.

5 Sports center amenities
Make sure to check that the classes offered in your gym reflect the latest trends in fitness. Some fitness centers include swimming pools, which are ideal for relaxation and to tone up after a hard work-out. Last but not least, the best gyms often dispose of a bar-restaurant-cafeteria where you can easily find healthy and fitness-friendly food and find out the ingredients in each product.

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