How To Choose A Health
Clubby Chad Tackett - president
Global Health &
Need help choosing
a health club that will best suit your needs?
The health clubs in
the Global Health and Fitness (GHF) Health Club Directory offer outstanding
services: a large selection of high-quality equipment, health and fitness
knowledge, and other attractive amenities such as steam room/sauna, Jacuzzi,
massage therapy, and more. However, health clubs vary greatly, not only in
services and equipment available but also in pricing structure.
Many join a health
club with great intentions and then windup unhappy and dissatisfied. Starting a
health and fitness program is hard enough--don't make it more difficult by
joining a health club that doesn't meet your needs.
Before simply joining
the first health club on the GHF directory, do a little research. First, click
on your home state (or state you are traveling to). Next, do a search by city;
this will bring up an alphabetical listing of all the health clubs in your
area. Click on each health club listing--this will take you directly to their
web page where can learn more about their services, equipment, rates, hours,
etc. Once you've narrowed down the list by location, price range and services,
you should talk with the health club's sales staff and plan a visit to the
When shopping for
health clubs consider the following:
For your fitness program to be a success, exercising has to be
convenient or it won't become a realistic lifestyle change. The closer and
easier it is to get to (and park your car), the better. Of course, you don't
want to join a health club that doesn't suit you just because it's close to
your home or office, but if you're joining a health club that isn't convenient
to get to, you're a lot more likely to find an excuse to stop going.
Try Before You
Sales staff are very good at selling the many benefits of their
health club, but you need to spend some time trying the equipment and "feeling"
the atmosphere. Ask for a day pass or trial membership--health clubs have
nothing to loose and everything to gain by this. Be sure to try out the club at
the time that you would normally workout--you'll get a better feel for how
crowded it is. Notice if there is much of a wait for equipment, how helpful the
staff is, and if the equipment is well maintained. You may even ask a few
members what they like about the club.
Make Sure They
Have What You Want
Make a list of the things that are important to
you, such as personal training, childcare, aerobics classes, etc., and make
sure the health club has what you need. If classes help to motivate you and the
health club doesn't offer the classes you need, sticking with your exercise
program won't be realistic. Try the class and make sure it is enjoyable,
challenging and educational. Just the same, if you have children, make sure the
health club has childcare or it will be tough to make it to the
Find out what the members are like; see if the atmosphere
is comfortable. If you're a beginner, some clubs may be intimidating. Select a
club where you feel comfortable and welcome.
Make sure there is always someone available to answer your questions,
to show you a new exercise, or how to use a piece of equipment. Are they
friendly, helpful and knowledgeable?
Find out exactly what the membership fee includes;
personal training, classes, pool, towel service, lockers, childcare, etc. Are
there extra costs for additional services? This should play a big part in your
decision to join a certain health club.
Some health clubs have
a one-time initiation fee and require purchasing a minimum of three months up
front. Depending on your budget, you may want to find a club that allows you to
go on a month-to-month basis. In addition, find out if the health club debits
the funds directly out of your Visa or checking account. This can make it
easier to pay membership fees but make sure that it's easy to cancel if you
decide you don't like the club. Be sure you read the contract before you sign
so you're not "locked" into paying even if you move out of town or change
Also, have a clear
idea of what you can afford to pay and stick to your budget no matter what
sales incentives are offered. And don't be afraid to bargain. If they're asking
$49 a month and all you can afford is $39, offer $39 (if they've met previous
criteria) and let them know you're prepared to join then and there.
Click here for the
Global Health & Fitness Health Club