Over the years many people asked me what was the best fitness club to become member and to receive an adequate service.
Obviously each user will consider them specific needs, taking a selection about the services that affect more.
The general characteristics of an existing fitness clubs, are to ensure areas and a number of basic services we can list in:
Fitness room (free weights and machines);
Training rooms (for group activities and group classes);
Changing rooms and toilets;
Instructors and room attendants;
At these areas or basic services you can find many other services, such as an area for functional training, a beauty salon and spa, swimming pool, personal trainers, etc.
But what are the basic aspects that allow us to understand if a fitness club is better than another?
Here is a list of the main things to consider when you join a fitness club:
It’s ‘the first aspect that you will find to evaluate as soon as you access to the premises.
The ventilation system is very important because it serves to ensure a correct air circulation and temperature inside the premises so while also preventing the proliferation of bacterias.
The element of perception to understand if the premises are well ventilated is the smell. One of the first things that instinctively we will evaluate when we access in a room is just the smell, and we have to pay attention right now, because after a few minutes our nose tend to get used and therefore less able to assess the condition in which we is located. Therefore if the club perceive a heavy smell or even a smell of sweat widespread, unfortunately this is a bad sign.
It’s important to assess the reception from the front desk, because for various reasons will be your reference point for different kinds of information that may affect your membership, schedules, services and anything else you’d need.
So find a team “ready”, welcoming, knowledgeable and organized,
it will be absolutely better than being next to do with the staff unhelpful. You can try to test a receptionist simply placing a trivial questions regarding the structure, for example, or if the club have a fitness manager for the information and ask if you can talk to him.
Within a fitness club well organized you will surely find the information boards and / or message boards that allow to keep members informed and always up to date with activities, news and information about the club. The signs not exclusively advertising, will be very useful (if updated constantly) to inform you promptly without having to go to reception to ask such as opening hours of the club held during special holidays.
Fitness room and stretching area:
An item that falls to the eye in a room with equipment, is certainly the order and cleanliness. You don’t need to be a fitness professionals to understand if a room with equipment is willing or not, in fact, a little fitness room tidy, can be immediately seen in the fact that there is no space between the machines and its convenient escape routes.
Often I come across rooms where equipment is really difficult to extricate the switch between a machine and another, and this is not just a matter of order, it’s about all safety.
Dusty machines can often be a sign of few or no maintenance.
Rugs and carpets blackened and visibly dirty, are also a sign of low maintenance.
Also, if you come across machines with electric cables visibly exposed, unsorted and which hinder the passage, it is extremely serious and dangerous.
The changing rooms are definitely a key to understanding if a fitness club is clean and if you make a regular maintenance of the premises.
The presence or absence of any cleaners also in the time of your visit, it is absolutely a good thing, because it makes you understand if the club or at least changing rooms are cleaned on a frequent daily. The possible presence of soot and cobwebs in the corners of the ceilings or in places also well visible is certainly not a sign of thorough cleaning and above all that is not carried out frequently.
Broken or missing door handles, taps and / or services visibly broken, moldy and crumbling plaster are a sign of very little maintenance.
In addition, check that the flooring is little slippery, especially in the area adjacent the showers where usually tends to accumulate more water to the passage, in the new clubs usually are used floorings that are visibly less smooth and provide a lower risk of slipping on wet .
The space in the locker room it’s very important, imagine yourself at rush hour after taking a shower and you are forced to share the spaces to be extremely close with who is just back from a mega sweat on the stationary bike, definitely not the best, then large and spacious locker rooms are certainly a great value.
Infirmary or medical office
The presence of a local infirmary is an element not indifferent at a fitness club, particularly if used as a medical room because it guarantees the presence of a physician within the structure even if from time to time.
During your first visit, ask if there is a nursing and / or medical office in the building and ask to be shown the room, the infirmary should be a local of course clean and tidy, both as a matter of use of that hygiene, so do not forget to give a “peek”.
In many clubs you will find a large lighting with lamps projected directly on the floor with a beam of light perpendicular, this seemingly innocuous appearance will be very annoying as when you find yourself lying on a bench to do an exercise with the beam of light pointed straight on your eyes or even when you find yourself lying in stretching area. This is not extremely important but just to know.
Instructors, room attendants and personal trainers
Needless to say, the technical staff is certainly an important element in a fitness club, it is important therefore to ensure the presence of any room attendants, in which times are present and also if there is a personal trainer service.
They are definitely prefer structures that ensure the presence of qualified technical personnel with college education.