So, you’re ready to join a gym. It’s an exciting first step that can lead to many positive benefits for you physically and mentally…

The gym is an investment though, so it’s important to gather background information before signing on the dotted line. Each brand of gym, each training option, each exercise program even, comes with various features for various goals. What works for one person may not work for you.

So do your research before joining a gym or deciding to approach a personal trainer. Below we review some of the key knowledge points and questions to ask yourself and the staff at your potential new gym before committing.

Read on—it could save you time, money, and unnecessary stress.

  1. “What are my goals?”

Identifying your goals for yourself and your trainer is a vital first step in the process. When you have specific goals, you’ll know what to find in a personal trainer. For instance, if you want to build stamina for a marathon, a bodybuilding trainer might not be the most ideal coach for you…

Be frank about where you are, where you want to be, and how much effort and time it will take you to achieve your goals. Be honest with yourself and with your trainer. Transparency is a must if you want to get to your goals.

  1. “Am I willing to commit to my goals?”

A good personal trainer has long-term goals, specific steps to be followed, and a system that works as a basis for your training. They will expect you to follow their program, so you have to be fully committed if you wish to meet your goals in time.

Recognise that fitness is a phase of progress. It requires time, patience, and work. If you’re more of a quick-fix kind of person, this wouldn’t work for you. You can’t just jump into it for a month and expect success. A training program has a process that you must stay committed to.

Prepare in advance to ensure that you can give at least three to six months of your time to the program without disruption. You can only tell if a program or personal trainer is working for you if you give it enough time.

  1. “Can I work the commitment into my lifestyle?”

Keeping up with any training program involves more than just self-discipline. You’ll probably also have to make compromises on your social life and daily schedule.

Hiring a personal trainer may suggest that you can no longer work out with your buddies or you’re going to have to exercise at a different time of day than you normally do. In fact, the new program might take more time, and you may need to adjust your schedule to accommodate your training.

Quick tip: check your calendar to see if you are available for at least 3 hours a week for the foreseeable future during afternoons or evenings.

Joining a gym is an exciting early step on your path towards a happier, healthier, fitter life. You owe it to yourself to take the time to find a gym that’s perfect for you and your individual needs. After answering the questions above, do you think personal training is right for you?

If yes, then the next step is to find the best personal trainer in your area (or even through an online service) who can help you achieve your fitness goals. This person or team of people must be right for you and what you want to achieve – someone who you can work with closely to make the improvements you are looking for.