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Health and Fitness Tips

Finding the Right GYM

It takes courage to seek out a gym and walk through the front door, expecting a throng of obnoxiously confident and shapely bodies to evaluate your hips and biceps. Your nifty home gym in the garage, basement or bedroom becomes more attractive suddenly, limitations and all. You miss your favorite blue mat and the clunk of your dumbbells. Relax, let me help you find a gym.

Gyms come in all shapes and sizes: squares, rectangles, L-shaped, U-shaped, upper level, two stories. Some are on the penthouse floors, in the suburbs they cover acres, with ball courts, pools, restaurants and golf facilities. Each gym has its own personality largely based on its ownership and operating team, the neighborhood in which it is located, and subsequently, the members. Like a mate, there's a gym for everybody.

Here's a summary of determining factors to consider when selecting a gym, and how they might suit your expectations:

• Price: A usual first consideration, but how much it costs to get the most of what you want and need shouldn't be at the top of the list. Hopefully you'll recognize the imperative nature and true value of your training activity and decide that you'd easily pay more for a gym the inspires.

• Location: The nearer to home, work or the center of your activities, the better. The world has become complicated and excuses fly when we're on the wrong side of town. Time is money, right? Truth is, there's no excuse to put your health and well-being in second place to getting home or even going to the bank. Convenience is golden, but don't let it dictate joining a gym you find unlikable just because it's at your off-ramp.

• Hours: Here's where 24-hour gyms shine. Just knowing you can go anytime you want has a great appeal. Where do you fit in? Try your best to set a time when your time in the gym is honored, unrushed, and efficaciously applied. Smile. Enjoy! Will you really train at 3am?

• Member Volume: How crowded does your prospective gym get? This is a major consideration and can be determined only by visiting the facility at those hours when you'll normally train. Hop on a stationary bike for a 15-minute cruise and assess your surroundings. What if this was your home training ground? A grand gym down the street with all the attractions and equipment is of no use at all if you can't workout with focus and efficiency because too many bodies are on the floor. In fact, the anxiety that ensues is a near crisis to the serious trainer. You want to move smoothly from exercise to exercise without mobs, glares or testy attitudes. And, is there parking?

• Equipment: The quality and condition of equipment and the choice of the tools of the trade are central to the final decision. Well-maintained, seasoned machinery – not fresh out of the crate – can be more useful and fun than the recent trick, techy entrepreneurs. Enough equipment is enough; too much, poorly laid out, can be a setting for a factory and not an appealing functional gym.

The final words of wisdom I can pass on is to go with your gut feeling. If you feel like you are home when you walk into a gym, then you are in the right place. If something bothers you from the beginning then go with your gut and move on – you'll be happier in the future.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed