How to Find the Right Gym in Boston

April 18, 2016

Boston is home to a lot of gyms. That makes it a great city to get in shape in, but also a rather confusing one when it comes to selecting the gym that’s best for you to claim as your training base.  Many gyms offer special promotions, along with flashy bells and whistles in order to get your business. If you don’t do your research, you may end up training in an uninspiring environment with sub par equipment. At Evolve Fitness, we firmly believe that our gyms offer the best experience AND value in the greater Boston area, but we thought we would put together a list of 10 things to look out for when searching for the right Boston gym to meet your fitness needs.

boston-gym

#1 Gym Criteria: Cost

The membership costs being asked for by some of the gyms in the Boston marketplace are starting to get ridiculous. In many cases you are paying for the privilege of walking through the door of a gym with an established brand name. Often, too, the price is padded by the inclusion of extras such as saunas, spas, and steam rooms that you may have no intention of using.

Shop around and compare gym membership prices. The average cost of a gym membership in the US in 2016 is $58 per month. If a gym is asking you to pay more than that, they had better be offering a good reason for the extra expense.

You can take advantage of seasonal lows in gym membership to get a lower price. Early February and mid-September are the times that most gyms offer discounts to get people through the door.

One thing is for sure, with prices as low as $19.99 per month in Cambridge and $9.99 per month in Framingham, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable high quality gym in the Boston area than Evolve Fitness. 

#2 Gym Criteria: Membership Profile

We are in the age of the niche gym. Fitness centers nowadays are more and more targeting a select clientele. There are women’s gyms, seniors gyms, CrossFit gyms, athletic gyms and many other facilities that market to a defined group.

Many people feel more comfortable training with fellow members who fit their profile. It can lessen the intimidation factor that some people may feel when training alongside someone who is infinitely stronger and leaner than they are.

A down-side to the niche gym is often that it will not have the range of equipment options that you get with a general membership gym. The ideal compromise is a general membership gym that has separate training areas for different target groups, such as a seniors area, a women’s gym and a CrossFit room.

You’ll also want to check out what the membership numbers are like and how busy the gym gets during the peak times, between 6 and 8 in the morning and 4 and 7 in the evening. See if you can find online reviews or ask existing members. Having to stand around and wait for equipment will absolutely kill your workout. 

#3 Gym Criteria: Equipment

Make sure that you take a walk-through of the training zone. You will want to ensure that the gym has got the following:

#4 Gym Criteria: Location and Opening Hours 

It doesn’t matter how good a gym is, if it’s going to take an hour of fighting through traffic to get there, the chances are that you won’t stick with it. Ideally a gym should be within walking distance from your home. If it’s not, and you have to travel some distance, a gym that is close to public transport will be worth it’s weight in gold. As well as saving you money, you won’t have the hassle of parking.

If you will be driving to the gym, make sure you check out what the parking availability is like. There is nothing more frustrating than being primed for your workout and then having to spend twenty minutes finding a parking spot.

Evolve Fitness Cambridge Hours:  

Monday 5AM–10PM
Tuesday 5AM–10PM
Wednesday 5AM–10PM
Thursday 5AM–10PM
Friday 5AM–9PM
Saturday 7AM–8PM
Sunday 7AM–8PM

Evolve Fitness Framingham Hours: 

Monday 5AM–10PM
Tuesday 5AM–10PM
Wednesday 5AM–10PM
Thursday 5AM–10PM
Friday 5AM–9PM
Saturday 7AM–6PM
Sunday 7AM–6PM

 #5 Gym Criteria: Cleanliness

Gyms can be notorious harbingers of bacteria and disease. Working out on gear that hasn’t been cleaned regularly is just asking for trouble. The worst areas are the changing rooms. You should see cleaners regularly maintaining the place. Members should also be given mini towels when they enter to place on the bench and to wipe up their sweat.

If you’re wondering if Evolve Fitness makes the cut, just check out some of our recent customers talking about the cleanliness of our facilities:

“CONDITION OF EQUIPMENT IS EXCELLENT, PLEASANT HELPFUL STAFF, CLEAN FACILITIES WITH NO MIDDLE SCHOOL GYM ODOR”

– LOUIS, FRAMINGHAM

“I LOVE EVOLVE, GREAT, CLEAN, NICE PEOPLE.”

– MARNI, CAMBRIDGE

“FABULOUS CLASSES AND INSTRUCTORS!! FRIENDLY STAFF. CLEAN AND COMFORTABLE”

– LORI, CAMBRIDGE

“CONVENIENT LOCATION, LARGE FACILITY, CLEAN, LOTS OF EQUIPMENT – EVEN WHEN BUSY, CAN ALWAYS FIND MACHINE I WANT, FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL STAFF, AND, I DON’T TAKE MANY, BUT LOTS OF CLASSES.”

– CARROL, FRAMINGHAM

#6 Gym Criteria: Staff Attentiveness

Many gyms have staff who are inattentive to their members. Often, they’ll have their buddy members who they spend an hour chatting with, without even acknowledging the rest of their clientele. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been in a gym and seen a person butchering their form on an exercise, while a staff trainer stands just a few feet away, completely ignoring them. That is simply not good enough.

When you do your gym walk through, look out for the attitude and attentiveness of the staff members. You should also check online reviews – and ask people. 

#7 Gym Criteria: Maintenance

Broken equipment can be more frustrating , and dangerous, than no equipment at all. A piece of equipment should very rarely be out of order for more than a day or two. Again, ask members if repairs are taken care of in a timely fashion.

#8 Gym Criteria: Personal Trainers

Does the gym provide a number of personal trainers, with varying areas of specialty, at competitive prices? Do they offer discounts for group training sessions? Does the gym offer a free personal training session with your membership?

#9 Gym Criteria: Contract

What is the membership contract like? Will you be tied to a monthly payment, even if you have legitimate reasons to cancel your membership. Are you able to put your membership on hold for a few months and pick up again down the line? Good gyms will allow you to do this.

#10 Gym Criteria: Classes

Does the gym offer a range of fitness classes? Take a look at their class schedule. They should include spin classes, body combat, pump, yoga, and body balance. Find out if the gym offers a discount card where you get a free session after so many. Also check if the class times are going to fit your schedule.

Bringing It all Together

Once you sift through the 10 criteria above, you soon narrow your Boston gym options down. In fact, if you are looking to tick all of the boxes, the result should be pretty clear . . .

Evolve Fitness in Framingham and Cambridge

Do your body a favor and check us out today!

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