What To Look For In A Gym: The Most Important Factors

August 18, 2022

It can be tough to know what to look for in a gym. After all, you don’t want to sign up only to realize that the gym isn’t right for you. In this article, we will outline some of the most important things to look for in both a fitness program and in the actual gym space.


This is something that people usually don’t think about upfront, they find out after walking in. 

Culture in our opinion is one of the most important factors in finding the right place for you. The other important factors in joining a gym will be discussed below, but everything hinges on this.

If you join a gym that isn’t the right culture for you, you’re not going to enjoy going – ever. You could have the best workout programming in the world but if you dread going to the gym, you’re never going to actually go and results require consistency and discipline. 

If you’re in a place where you’re feeling judged, or laughed at or worse, you’re not going to go. 

If you’re in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable for any reason, you’re not going to go.

Find a gym that’s going to say hello to you when you walk in, and people who are going to be friendly and supportive. Getting the results you want can certainly be done by yourself but it’s far easier with a team or a supportive environment.


Let’s be real – the effectiveness of joining a gym where you’re doing everything, and planning everything on your own is only successful for a small number of people. We know that most people who try and make positive changes in the gym on their own without guidance often fail.

While there are many reasons people fail or fall off, we certainly know that the workouts themselves play a very important role in your success in the gym. – they need to align with your goals. If you’re looking to lose weight, joining a gym that only does weightlifting might not be the best idea. On the other side, if your goal is to get stronger, then a spin club probably isn’t the right place for you either.

If you’re looking for General Fitness, Weight-Loss or General Strength, you should join a gym that prioritized a wide range of movements, periodizations, and types of workouts.


It’s sad that we even need to mention this point but we’ve all been to that yucky gym that doesn’t prioritize cleanliness. The gym should be a safe and clean place for you to workout. This means that the bathrooms and lockers should always be clean. People should be thoughtful and clean up after themselves as well – putting away their weights, spraying down machines, etc.

Especially after the last few years we’ve had, gym cleanliness has become very important. Take a close look next time you’re in the gym, how often are cleaners present? Are people putting their stuff away? Are people spraying things down?


Believe it or not, ease of access is one of the most important things to consider when finding the right gym for you.

The science of habit building says that this new routine needs to be easy to access otherwise we’ll find reasons to sabotage the new habit. The feedback that we’ve gotten from the OnSide Community is that the gym is:

  • close to work so they can easily come at lunch
  • easily accessible to the highway so they can quickly stop in before work or after work.
  • easy to do in the morning before work because of the showers.

At the end of the day, the most important thing surrounding all of this is to start. It’s not the end of the world if you get started at a gym and realize it isn’t for you – just make sure you try another one until you find one that’s right for you!

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