You will end up investing a few hundred dollars a year on average. This is just for the basic, no frills gym. If want the hot tubs and saunas, add another zero into the mix. Is it worth the investment? Here are a few items to consider before joining:

1. Ask the salesperson about the capacity of the gym. Then look at the number of benches and do simple division. The IDEAL ratio is 25 people (or less) to 1 bench. If the ratio is greater, you may be waiting it out, more than working out.

2. There should be at least 2 complete sets of dumbbell (weights), starting at 5 pounds and going up to 100 or so. They should be at 5 pound increments. Ex/ 40lbs, 45lbs, 50lbs. The best training comes from the use of free weights. If your gym does not have these or does not have enough, you will be wasting a great deal of time and energy.

3. The machines that break down the most are treadmills. If this fits what you are trying to accomplish, be sure there is at most a 15 to 1 ratio..

4. Find a month to month membership option or a pay-as-you-go. You may not be sure it is a fit. Your work schedule may change. You may move to a new area. There are so many unpredictable factors with people today. As such, the last thing you want is to be trapped in an annual membership.

5. After the first month, note the machines or weights you are using and ask yourself, “Do I need a gym for this or can I purchase what I need and train at home?’

Part 2. “If I purchase what I use, will I use what I purchase?”

You may find that your style is to use only 3 or 4 different pieces of equipment. The total may be equal to 3 months of membership.

At the end of the day, be sure that you have the opportunity to use what you want, when you want and are in fact, doing what you intend. If these factors are a fit, then a gym can be a great place to train, to lose weight, gain muscle or prepare for an upcoming event. If not, seek other others. There certainly are many.