I’ve been inside a lot of gyms in my time and believe me when I say, they are NOT all created equally. In fact, no two gyms are exactly alike and quite frankly, some are just plain terrible. This makes joining a gym sometimes an annoying thing.
When the phone at the gym rings where I am contracted, a lot of times it’s someone on the other end with a few questions.
Can I just say that a lot of times the folks are asking the wrong questions?
They’re asking things such as:
- Do you provide smoothie service
- Is there a towel service (nothing wrong with this, but it’s not the most important thing!)
- How many people are members there?
- Is there childcare? Again, nothing wrong with childcare, but if the gym is a good gym, and childcare is the only thing holding you back… Then that’s another conversation.
The list goes on.
And while those aren’t exactly terrible questions, they really are missing the point of a gym and why the gym is there in the first place.
I know the childcare one will probably ruffle some feathers, especially since I cater to mamas.
Believe me when I say that I completely understand the want/need for there to be childcare.
A lot of gyms provide childcare so that you can get your workout in and then get on with your day, but again, if that is the deciding factor on a gym, then let’s consider re-evaluating priorities.
So! That said…
Here is a list of 3 questions and why you should ask them before joining a gym that will help you not feel nervous and walk in having a face like my face in the below picture. 🙂
Joining a Gym Question 1 – How often is the equipment serviced/checked for safety?
This is a big one and sadly, a lot of times this one is ignored. Gym equipment doesn’t have to be serviced/checked every week or every other week, sometimes not even every month.
Each piece of equipment is different, but having those checked and serviced for safety reasons is a huge deal.
Sometimes even adding oil to a machine where the plate stack moves up and down can improve the safety/quality of the machine in use.
Joining a Gym Question 2 – Is the equipment cleaned by staff members or at the discretion of the members?
This one isn’t necessarily a make or break, because the gym that I am a contractor in has a few disinfectant wipe dispensers around the gym where people can wipe of their equipment and for the most part, people are pretty good about doing it.
Plus, if you’re unsure, you can always wipe it down yourself before you sit or lay on it.
However, not all gyms are like that and knowing that the staff is required to clean the equipment a few times a day can help ease a little bit of anxiety, especially for the germaphobes, because let’s be honest, there’s some sweaty folks out there when they’re working out and I’m totally one of them!
But I also wipe down my equipment. 😉
Joining a Gym Question 3 – What are the gym hours?
Being a mama as well as a coach, I love that the gym where I am is 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean that it is staffed 24/7/365, but you can get into the gym whenever you want through a fob on the side door.
Because I work weird hours and having a kiddo, that means that I won’t always get to workout first thing in the morning or even in the early evening.
My workouts are either smack in the middle of the day or later in the evening after I’m done with my clients.
Same goes for you, right? You have a job plus you’re one of the Chief Officer’s of your household. That means that your schedule is nuts and probably means that you’re going to need some weird workout hours.
Look for a gym that has either long hours or is a 24/7/365.
Now, one more thought on that subject of those always open gyms. Make sure that the gym truly is locked during the non-staffed times and that the gym is in a solid neighborhood.
Because, sometimes those always open gyms are in weird areas of town and you don’t have time to be dealing with any weirdos.
You’re a smart gal, so always take your safety into consideration.
While these questions really simple and straightforward, sometimes when we’re talking to people we get caught up in the conversation and forget to ask what we wanted to ask in the first place.
Those are three big questions to ask when joining a gym.
While I know the childcare question is a big deal, especially for mamas; I didn’t put it in the main list because we shouldn’t let lack of childcare be our excuse for not going to the gym.
Here’s what I mean.
My son is three and EXTREMELY active. He goes 90 miles per hour from the minute he wakes up until he is back in bed. And even then he rolls around his bed and does weird yoga poses until he goes to sleep.
I will take him with me to the gym (because our gym doesn’t have childcare) along with either a movie on my phone, or activities for him to do.
I have him either sit against the wall within my line of sight, or if the gym is super busy, he stays right next to me.
Have some sessions been hard? You bet they have.
Sometimes he doesn’t want to mind and when I make him mind he’ll throw a fit.
But guess what? He’s learning.
He is going through the process of learning to be in the gym with mama and that sometimes he will have to sit and wait while mamas works out.
He will even sit against the wall with his activities or movie while I coach because my husband travels some for work and he isn’t back in time to care for Joshua.
What’s my point? My point is that if your health and fitness is a priority, you will make it work.
Another example? One of my clients will bring her baby in his stroller and will just park the stroller next to our workout space.
Because she makes her fitness a priority. Her son is learning from a young age about taking care of himself and that his mama cares about her and him enough to make sure she is in the best shape she can be so she will be able to play well with him.
You’ve got this, mama. Hang in there!