A lot of times, when people are looking for a gym, they will phone a bunch of gyms in their city and ask for prices. Then, they sit there and compare all the prices without ever seeing the facility or finding out more about what is offered at each gym.

Some people will come into a fitness facility and just ask for a price list to take home, opting not to do the tour of the facility.

Bad idea. That’s like opting to buy a mystery bag.

In my honest opinion, price is not everything. In fact, price is only a small part of the bigger picture. Now, I’m not saying go out there and get the most expensive gym membership but what I’m saying is that when shopping for a gym you should consider other factors besides price.

There is no point in having a cheap gym membership if you are not using it at all because the gym that you opted for does not offer the services that you want. Maybe it doesn’t have the classes that you like or maybe it doesn’t have the equipment that you need.

Below are 6 factors, besides price, that you should consider before joining the gym.

1. Do you like the atmosphere of the facility?

If the facility gives you “good vibes” every time you go there,  then you are more likely to keep coming back for more workouts.

Ever been to a gym where you just “don’t like it”? There is no real reason except that maybe the layout doesn’t suit your needs or maybe the types of people that go there are not the types of people you want to be around.

2. Is the location convenient for you? If the gym is nowhere near where you live or work, then you’re most likely not going to be willing to drive across town just to workout. At that point, it doesn’t matter if it only costs $20 per month if you’re not going to use it.

3. Are their hours convenient for you?  Maybe the cheap facility is not open long enough on Saturdays and Sundays for you to get your weekend workout in. Maybe the gym closes too early on weekdays because you work late every day and don’t necessarily like morning workouts before work.

There is no point in being a member of a gym that isn’t open at the right time for you.

4. Does it have all the equipment you need for your workouts? Yes, you need to see the facility before you join because you want to be able to picture yourself completing that workout using the equipment. Sure, all gyms have weights, treadmills and ellipticals, but what else do you need for your workout to be complete?

5. How busy is it? If the gym has all the equipment you need, but you have to spend an hour waiting to use some of the machines, it doesn’t matter what the price is.

The goal is to get in, do your workout and get on with your day. Waiting for machines, working out less than 2 feet away from the next guy on a packed gym floor is not conductive to a productive workout.

6. What about the classes? If you take group fitness classes and find them to be motivating, then you should choose a gym that offers the types of classes you are looking to do and at times that fit your schedule.

Gyms are like spouses. You must choose carefully and don’t get stuck in a contract that you can’t get out of.