Do you really need to go to the gym?
Gyms have now become part and parcel of our lives. Like paying for the electricity or water, your gym membership has fallen into the same category for the average person. You are now looked down upon, unless you are a member of a gym. It has become apparent that the type of gym you attend correlates to where you sit on societies ‘hierarchy’. Those in a gym that costs over £60 may feel the right to look down on those who can only reach to £25-£30 per month.
Never the less, the type of gym that you go to should have no effect on the factors that actually allow you to reach your fitness goals. Aspects like, how hard you work, the frequency in which you go and the type of training you do. Although that last one may have a few exceptions.
The who’s who of gyms
So before we delve into it. We must first accept that it is not a one size fits all system. With gyms popping up everywhere you look, like the trees of the amazon, they must compete for their place. Or for the popularity of the most important asset, you. Therefore, let’s take a look a some of the most popular types of gym you may find in the fitness kingdom today;
At the starting point, we find the most basic of the gyms. Easy, Pure or Pump gym may come to mind when you think of these facilities. They are usually the cheapest option. One of the top picks among youngsters or people who are just trying to save a penny. However the low-cut cost of these gyms does come with it’s downsides. For one, being so cheap, it attracts the most amount of people. Meaning that you will often find yourself changing routines completely, or worse, turning round, popping your code in and going home.
Which brings us to the lost essence of customer care. There are no constant employees, receptionists or sales teams, you feel disconnected from any source of professionalism or safety. Now, don’t get us wrong, you can spin this to a positive. Depending on whether you enjoy the groundhog day conversation you have to go through at every membership card encounter.
Next up, are the small chain health clubs. These you may be more familiar with when you were younger. The places you used to go for swimming lessons or when your local football team would train. Although they have many more added options, like the pool or steam and sauna rooms, their prices are not a massive jump from the first gyms we mentioned. In fact, on a break down of value you for money, you could argue these are the better option.
However, these health clubs have often surpassed their peak period. Now looking weathered and somewhat tired, the ins and outs of these buildings are nothing to go home and shout about. All too often you may find areas and machines out of use, changing rooms that have seen better days, or showers that have no lights. So it seems that from the big picture these gyms look like an enticing prospect, but once you take a closer look, you can see the drop in quality.
Notching it up a little. We find the more ‘upper tier’ type gyms. These are your David Lloyd or Nuffield gyms. Now these places are a considerable step up from the previous type. Gyms that take appearance and customer care as paramount importance. Here you will be greeted with smiling faces, a seat at the in-house restaurant and a towel for your troubles. However, unlike your Beaumont’s gyms they do have depth to their exterior. With top of the range equipment and facilities that will make you feel like you’re on a spa weekend.
With such high standards, comes quite a high price. Being treated this well at your gym, can instil a form of entitlement on it’s members. Whereby you begin to attract the ‘less polite’ clientele. You all know the exact type we are referring to. A stereotype that if you were caught on their bench, would have no hesitation to kick you off at first sight. We are not saying that this is the majority of members but we can say it may be enough to push you towards membership termination.
It may be a mistake to even put these gyms onto this list, especially if you are using it to make a decision. These really are going into the top gear of the fitness world. These are the gyms that are often located in unknown areas of the country. They are also ‘by invitation only’, which may be a reason why you have not heard of them. It’s true, there are gyms out there that to attend they must ask you, before you can even look at their squat rack. With specialised equipment, extremely well qualified trainers and a star studded members list. Money literally cannot buy better.
Now if exclusivity and specificity are your leading pull factors, then look no further. However as a warning, these gyms can be as limited as their email list. Being so specialised, it is hard for these gyms to cater for everyone. So for the average Joe just looking to get fit, you will find that your upper and lower body split, may not fair too well here.
There is though, a popular wild card that cannot be excluded from this list. These are your classic Bodybuilding gyms, in an entirely different world, these are places that a unique culture has been built on. From the videos of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Gold’s Gym, people far and wide were inspired to seek out their nearest iron paradise. Over the years though, they have also built up a reputation of steroid abuse and aggressive behaviour. This personality has therefore intimidated many people looking to change their physique.
Although it may be true to some extent, unlike the upper class health clubs around, these gyms will mostly likely be the best schools of fitness. The members here, although monstrous, are usually more than happy to help the beginner struggling with the stiff pins. They also boast some of the best pieces of equipment in the world. Not only for muscle growth, but more recently opening up into functional, all round training methods.
Which motor would you choose?
So there you have it. The run down of the most popular types of gym you may find in your Google search. If you are in the middle of a decision, or you are even looking to change things up. Do not take the choice lightly. With hefty cancellation fees and high end joining prices. The cost of a poor one may be pretty large. Our advice to you would be to take a tour of all of the gyms near you, even being cheeky and asking for a free day pass works well. The willingness to hand this over can be a telling factor to the gym itself.
You must also think about the type of training that you will be doing. Whether you want a relaxing time in the steam room or you want to get jacked for the summer. The gym you choose and the people that will be around you, remember you may see them everyday, will have a huge effect. Take your time and absorb everything they have to offer. It is unlikely that they will be going anywhere soon, so don’t rush your decision making process.