Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland Recreation: Choosing a Fitness Club
Choosing a fitness club is a little more involved than showing up at a gym near your home or work and signing up. The reason most people stop going to a club they belong to is that it doesn't meet their needs. Asking a few questions beforehand can save you this disappointment or expense.
- Tour the facilities at the time you're most likely to use them. This will be the best indicator of lineups and if the facility is over-used.
- Look for signs of cleanliness, ventilation, and good maintenance of equipment.
- Use a guest pass or a trial membership to try before making a commitment.
- Ask lots of questions of staff other than the salesman. Talk to the members and ask how they like it.
- Is the staff knowledgeable, educated and certified? Most aerobics and fitness instructors today have some level of certification. Are they motivated and customer-oriented in their work/workouts.
- Is the staff experienced and knowledgeable about your desired fitness activities. A body-building gym may not the best place for aerobics, or vice-versa.
- Do staff give you an orientation to ensure you are working out safely and
The membership contract
- Read it carefully. Ensure any verbal assurances are included in the written agreement.
- Are you agreeing to a monthly, annual or a multi-year fixed term? What payments are required up-front and monthly?
- Are you given a "cooling off" period, where the contract is cancelled if you change your mind without penalty. Often this is three days.
- Check for consumer complaints with the Better Business Bureau ("BBB"). Is the club financially stable (maintenance is a good indicator of this)?