How to Find a Fitness Community / Gym
Full disclosure, I do own a gym, but I don’t think that is what gives me the most authority to be writing this. In my opinion, what gives me the most authority to tell you how to find a fitness community, or gym, is that I spent most of my adult life on the outside––on the outside as an overweight, de-conditioned adult with little positive fitness experience.
Fitness, exercise, gyms, personal trainers, “bros”––they’re all intimidating. My goal is to help you get past the intimidation and find a fitness community, or gym, that your fitness can flourish in. A space where you feel safe, accepted, encouraged and in control of your fitness.
How to Find A Fitness Community / Gym
- Don’t Waste Time––Google
- Facebook Stalk
- See For Yourself
- Test Drive
Don’t waste time––google: gyms, or fitness centers, or personal training in your area. Search a radius of two to five miles around your house and, or work. You can also look along your travel route to and from work. It would be preferable to find a community that isn’t too far out of your way––your odds of actually showing up improve dramatically if your fitness community isn’t out of the way.
After googling, start checking out Facebook pages. Facebook will give you the best feel for what the community, gym, trainer is all about. Do their posts inspire or discourage you? If there are photos of their community members, can you picture yourself fitting in with them, or are their photos stock images of air-brushed models. You can also check their websites and other social sites. As you collect your data, begin making a short list of communities and gyms that you could picture yourself being a part of.
With your short list in hand, it’s time to see for yourself. Take a couple days and begin walking into your potential communities. What is your first impression? Is there an acknowledgement of your presence with a warm welcome, or do you kinda feel unwelcomed––like the employees, community members, etc think they are a little too good for you.
If your first impression is warm and welcoming, you will want to ask for the owner [if you’re in a small studio], or a membership sales associate [if you’re in a big club]. In a small studio, there will most likely be a program they offer––ask them to tell you about their program, and who their program is intended to help. In a large gym, ask about their personal training and group exercise offerings. While you’re asking these questions, at both, the small and large gyms, look around to see if the gym puts off the same vibe as their social media and web sites do. If it isn’t, why?
Once you feel like your questions have been answered fully, ask for a trial period. These trials periods could be one session with a trainer or could be a week of free access to the club. You don’t purchase a car without a test drive, so test drive your potential fitness community––do you feel safe, accepted, and encouraged?
Full disclosure [again]: during this trial, whether it’s a large gym or a small studio, you will be offered a service or program for purchase––just know that going in. BUT, this offer for purchase doesn’t have to be sleezy like buying a car sometimes is. If the sales process gets a little sleezy and gross feeling, I’d be hesitant to invest.
After your research and a little stalking, having your questions answered and test driving the communities, it’s time to join. Joining is so exciting. It’s a fresh start, or maybe a first start, and you can write this story anyway you want. Maybe, in the past, fitness hasn’t been a success story, but this time it can be. This time write the fitness story you will be proud to share. You can do it––I promise you!