When you're eager to try a new restaurant, you might ask your friends for recommendations, read a good review, or check out the menu before you spend your money and time there. If you enjoy your first meal, you'll return again and again, but if your experience is less than great, that first visit will also be your last.
Finding the right gym is a lot like finding new restaurant. A good gym will fit your own unique personality, and motivate you to come back and exercise on a regular basis. Unlike a restaurant however, joining a gym is a large financial commitment, so it's even more important that you research your options before signing on the dotted line.
When considering a particular gym, set up a tour and bring a list of questions you want answered. Try to set up this tour during the time you usually exercise. More often than not, the staff will give you a free day pass so you can try out the equipment, classes, and other amenities firsthand.
Other than a free workout, there are several key criteria to consider before you fork over the dough or sign a long-term contract. Keep these questions in mind as you begin your search.