Preface: When I sat down to write this article I wanted it to be a quick list/guide to picking out a gym. I didn’t expect it to morph into something this large. For that, I am going to break this into a three-part series. There are 5 major items I think you should look at when choosing a gym. I’m sure I have more than that, but for now, these are the ones most important to me. I am going to break them into three parts. Items 1 and 2 will go over components you can look at OUTSIDE the gym. Items 3 and 4 are components you will likely need to evaluate INSIDE the gym. And part 5 is a culmination of them all. So here we go on our final installment on how to choose the right gym, Part 3… If you want to read from the beginning, go back to part 1.
In a previous section in this article, I mentioned the word community. I stated that many gyms would say it’s their community that sets them apart. I hesitate to use that word. Our community is made up of many different people. Those people can change based on what class you might go to or what program you participate in. People will come and go. But it is our culture that is here to stay. Our culture is built on many of the things listed in our previous articles in this series such as location, cleanliness, coaching, and web presence. For example, when assessing a gym’s culture, you should be able to see what it’s like by where they are located (is it in a boutique shopping center or an industrial park?). By how clean their gym is – Do they want their clients to enjoy a nice clean and organized floor plan or are they more interested in being a hardcore dirty warehouse gym? Do they show examples of their culture on their website and social media? Do their coaches embody the culture? You see, our culture is something I can control. It’s something I can change or adjust based on what I feel is important. I can define it and explain it to someone. It is our culture that has molded our community. The people that make up our community have become a part of it because they latched onto the culture we have created. Don’t get me wrong, our people are great and have created an awesome community, but it is because we have the RIGHT people who value our culture.
Ultimately, this last one is probably the most important piece of the puzzle. And it’s strictly a YOU thing. YOU have to decide, do I like this culture? Do I believe I can thrive and succeed in this culture? Do I want this culture? If the answer is no to any of these questions no amount of stocked toilet paper, shiny new equipment, coaching tactics, training systems, or nice people are going to matter. You have to find the culture that’s the right fit for you.
And it’s kind of funny, it’s like when you find “the one”…You can’t quite explain it, it just fits.