Whatever sport you do, just practicing that one sport is often not enough to really reach your full potential. Whether you're a runner, cyclist, swimmer or footballer getting in some extra strength or cardio training at the gym can have game-changing results.
Decide which type of gym suits youNot all gyms are the same because not all people are the same. The first thing to think about is your fitness goals. Whether you want to bulk up and so you can dominate the football field, improve your stamina without pounding the concrete for hours on end or simply shed some pounds to look great in a bikini you will need to define what you want to achieve from your new gym. If you want to put on muscle mass then a gym with a good free-weights section is vital. Rows and rows of cardio machines may look impressive but it's pointless if you can never get on a weights bench. If you want to train in order to lose weight then look for a gym with a good selection of cardio machines. There's more to cardio workouts than treadmills. Choosing a gym with stair steppers, elliptical trainers, rowing machines and step mills will provide you with a more rounded fitness approach and you'll appreciate the variety. Exercise classes are also an excellent way to keep fit and these days the high energy spin, pump or body attack classes are an excellent way of being social as well improving your health.
Take-up the free trial offersMost gyms offer you a free trial period or at the very least a free workout session to see how the facilities suit you. Pick a few gyms local to you and take them up on their offer. Visit for a workout at the time you are most likely to go if you decide to sign up so you can see how busy it is. If possible have a quick chat with some of the other people training there as well as the staff. Is it going to be a place you look forward to visiting a few times a week?
Be realistic when choosing your gymCan you afford the gym you've picked or will it be the first thing to go in those times when money is a bit tight? Is the gym located close enough to you or will the half hour journey there seem too far after a hard day at work or a weekend of drinking? It is important to choose a gym that is easy to fit in to your lifestyle. Once the novelty wears off the excuses start appearing, don't give them a chance!