Bibhumoni Singha
I’s a fact that Gyms and Health Clubs are mushrooming all over Northeast India. But have you ever realized or gave a thought which Gym or Health club to choose for joining or why. How to decide and what to look for in a Gym so that you can get the desired results? It is quite a difficult choice RIGHT? But don’t worry I will make this easy for you. From my 25 years of experience working out in many gyms regularly what I have felt that out of 100% of the total number of members in gyms everywhere the first reason for a member to discontinue working out in a gym is the distance or location of the Gym from an individual’s home. Before taking the final decision let us see the 20 Genuine & Practical points to be considered before joining the gym-

1. LOCATION OF THE GYM: Let’s be honest if a Gym is too far from our house we hardly go there for more than a few weeks or months. That’s why choose gyms which are nearby your house so that you can manage time and save money. To me an ideal distance of a gym from home should not be more than 6-8 kilometres.

2. HOURS OF OPERATION: All gyms should be open 7 days a week from 6:00 am in the morning throughout the day till 9:30pm at night. Except for Sundays which is a holiday for everyone.

3. TRAINERS SHOULD BE 100% QUALIFIED & CERTIFIED: Always enquire and check the qualifications of the Trainers specially the PERSONAL TRAINERS, before joining any Gym, don’t get fooled just by looking at the Brand or Interiors of a Gym: Because it has been witnessed that lot of Gyms appoints unqualified Trainers so that they do not have to pay high salary to them. For example if a particular Trainer does not even know about the basic anatomy and physiology of the body or how the body functions under the influence of exercise you might seriously injured.

Moreover let me remind you that there are basically two types Personal Trainers in gyms they are Professional Personal Trainers, who are basically Certified by the IFBB, which is the World’s Largest Authority on Bodybuilding & Fitness these Trainers are also more experienced at least 5 years or more working out with weights, have competitive experience in bodybuilding, Powerlifting. The Gyms should also have Professional Strength & Conditioning Specialists Certified by USSA & NSCA. Over all these Trainers have a good Physique, are very motivating and they “Practise what they preach”. Body Transformation Program is conducted by these Trainers only. At present SFL Fitness Gym & MMA is the only gym to have Certified Professional Trainers in the entire North-Eastern Region.

On the other hand the other type of Trainers is “Amateur Personal Trainers” who can be certified from any organisation. Even a person with little or no experience in exercise can also become an Amateur Personal Trainer by appearing for any online examination. The best way to recognize them is that they explain about themselves too much, and can hardly Bench Press similar to their own bodyweight, and there exercise form is also very bad. They will always get confused and will always look towards the ceiling whenever you ask a sudden question related to your Fitness Goals. In short they are simply “REP COUNTERS”. Those who are not so serious about their Fitness Goals can hire these Trainers because it’s better to train under a Trainer instead of training alone.

4. TRAINED STAFF FOR HANDILING EMERGENCY SITUATIONS: The Staff including all the Trainers should be trained in CPR & AED along with basic first-aid from AHA so that in an event of any untoward incidence the Trainers can handle the situation, because most of the time the Trainers have to deal with high stressed clients. The trainers should be also trained in disaster management to safeguard the clients during any natural calamity to avoid any chaos during emergence.

5. GYM FACILITY & QUALITY OF EQUIPMENTS: The gym should be well equipped and properly air-conditioned with plenty of Cardio equipment which includes, Treadmills, Recumbent Bikes, Upright Bikes, Rowers, Cross trainers there should be plenty of flat benches, incline adjustable benches, barbells, dumbbells, in the free-weight zone so that exercise can be done without a queue for equipment. All the equipment including cardio, strength and free weights should be of commercial quality from Internationally Recognised and Reputed brands like Hammer Strength, Cybex, Precor, Nautilus, Life Fitness, etc. Because non-branded equipment are basically of cheap quality and there biomechanics is also not correct and as a result injuries may occur.

6. IS THE GYM PROVIDING FREE FACLIITIES: Every gym should provide the mandatory free facilities like VALET PARKING, STEAM, and LOCKER FACILITY completely free of cost which is a standard rule of the thumb everywhere?

7. OUTDOOR TRAINING FACILITY: One more thing working out indoors all the time is quite boring and is also not good for the health because it causes Vit D deficiency which will make your bones weak because of the lack of sun exposure, so it has become mandatory now days to have an outdoor training facility. Outdoor training is quite enjoying and breaks the monotony of indoor training. At present the only Gym having this Outdoor Training Facility in the entire North-East is SFL Fitness Gym & MMA, Guwahati.

8. GROUP EXERCISE FACILITY: This includes Crossfit Training, Suspension Training, Functional Training, Stretching classes, MMA, Boot Camp Training, and Kettlebell Training etc. according to the latest trends of the Fitness Industry worldwide.

9. STRETCHING AREA: There should also be a completely separate stretching area for the clients because stretching exercises are not advisable in the gym floor in the midst of the machines to avoid injuries.

10. HYGEINE & MAINTENANCE: Proper hygiene should be maintained and used equipment should be cleaned immediately after use in order to avoid skin infections from other clients sweat.

11.TYPE OF CLIENTELE: Always check out for the male and female ratio of clients. Ideal should be 60% male: 40% female.

12. ATMOSHPHERE & MUSIC: As soon as you enter the gym there should not be any chaos or loud music in the gym floor. You should check the body language of the Trainers whether they are busy chatting with their mobiles or are helping the clients on the floor with full dedication.

13. COMPLIMENTARY TRIAL CLASS: Free availability of Complimentary classes of Nutrition Counselling, Personal Training, Group Exercise, Suspension ect should be made available to the clients

14. STANDARD FITNESS TESTING PROTOCOL: Regular Fitness Testing should be done by the trainers following international standards and in special cases MMT and Exercise Testing should also be done to set the Fitness goals. PAR- Q Form is mandatory for the clients to be sure that they are fit for joining the gym or if there is any issue clients should consult a General physician before joining the gym for safety reasons.

15. TRANSFER FACILITY: Gyms should offer transfer facility of membership from a member to a non-member in case if a client is not able to continue the exercise.

16. MEMBERSHIP COST & PRIVILEGES: Members should get special discounts on membership’s renewals and all other facilities and should be made aware by the Management to take advantage of the offers from time to time.