What Do People Look For in a Gym?

People put in a lot of consideration in when they are looking for a new gym. Since it is a place where they will spend a good amount of time, they want to find the best gym for their needs.

Now, there is some difficulty in writing a comprehensive article about what people look for in a gym since, when it comes to what people are looking for in a fitness facility, this can vary a lot.

Some people go to the gym with the intention of bodybuilding. Others go to a gym for cardio training or sessions with a personal trainer. Even others go for fitness classes or gym facilities like pools and saunas. What drives a person to get a gym membership may be completely different than what drives another person.

However, despite this difficulty, there is still a lot that can be said when answering the question, “what do people look for in a gym?” since there is certainly a wide range of factors that make some gyms better than others, and it is these factors that we will be discussing in the following article.

Wide Range of Workout Equipment

One of the biggest things that people look for in a gym is a wide variety of workout equipment. While people have different fitness goals, they like to see that whatever type of workout they choose to engage in, they will be able to meet their needs at your gym.

This means that there needs to be a sufficient amount of free weights and heavy equipment for bodybuilding and strength training. This should include a bench press, barbells, space for deadlifts, squat racks and other similar types of equipment.

Additionally, there should be a number of different pieces of equipment for cardio and weight loss exercises. Its not enough that your gym has a treadmill. Most people will also want the option of elliptical machines, stair-stepping machines, and rowing machines.

People will also look for space and equipment for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout routine. This might mean an open space with kettlebells, gym balls, dumbbells, and workout mats.

Interest in mixed martial arts and boxing has been continuing to grow over the years. And people are not only interested in watching the next big fighting match, they have also come to realize that workouts for fighting are incredibly effective. So, having a punching bag and gloves is an example of highly sought-after workout equipment.

Finally, people will want to see that your gym has adequate space and equipment for stretching. For many people, stretching is just as important as the workout, so no gym is complete without designated spaces for stretching and yoga activities.

Wide Range of Facilities

In addition to a wide range of workout and stretching equipment, people will often look more favorably on your gym if it has a wide range of facilities.

One of the most sought-after facilities is a pool. Swimming laps and doing aerobic exercises in a pool are incredibly popular workout activities. If your gym has a pool, then that is a major plus for many people.

Even better would be a selection of pools. For example, there might be a general pool for a variety of activities, a warm and shallow pool for rehabilitation and muscle therapy activities, and a cold pool specifically designated for swimming laps. Of course, a hot tub would also be a very welcome addition for many people.

Another sought-after facility is a sauna. Many people who frequent gyms and health clubs go to relax just as much as they go to work out. It's hard to find places that have saunas except for spas and health clubs, and if your health club or gym has a sauna, this could be a great selling point.

Another great facility that people look for is a basketball court. Many people will get a membership to a gym for hardly any reason other than the fact that it has a basketball court. During the summer months, it can be too hot to play basketball outside, and during the winter months, it can be too cold.

That's why a basketball court in an air-conditioned space like a gym is so attractive. Moreover, basketball courts can function as spaces for other activities like badminton or indoor soccer.

Clean, Spacious, Secure, and Well-equipped Locker Rooms

One cannot overestimate the importance of nice locker rooms for people looking to start a membership at a health club.

The most important factor is that the locker room has a secure space to store one’s belongings. People cannot have an enjoyable experience at the gym if they have to worry about their stuff being stolen.

Some gyms require that their members bring their own locks if they want their locker to be secure, but it can go a long way to provide locks or to have locks built into the lockers. There is no worse feeling for a gym member than going to the gym and forgetting a lock, and therefore, not being able to work out because they cannot ensure that their belongings will be safe.

Second in importance is that the locker rooms be clean. People change in locker rooms and often will have their bare feet on the floor at some point. With so many people coming and going in locker rooms, it is incredibly important to many potential members that the locker rooms are disinfected and do not look dirty.

It is a benefit if the locker rooms are spacious. Since people are often undressing around other people, it is generally most comfortable if members are able to have adequate space for themselves.

Finally, the locker rooms should be well equipped. That means that if your gym has a pool, then there are clean towels available. It should also have a scale to measure body weight. Moreover, whether your gym has a pool or not, many people will look for showers in locker rooms. Working out is a sweaty business, and a lot of people want to get clean right after heavy exertion.

Friendly Staff

As with most places that people pay money to go to, people will be looking for a place where the staff is approachable and friendly. Customer service is incredibly important for gyms, and a friendly receptionist or membership coordinator can make the difference between someone deciding that your gym is the right gym and taking their business elsewhere.

Experienced Personal Trainers

People are looking for a gym that helps them fulfill their fitness goals. For many people, achieving their fitness goals means personal training. Not all gyms have personal trainers on staff, and for many people that it totally fine. However, for many others having an experienced group of personal trainers with varying specialties and exercise programs is a huge plus.

One way that you can make sure that your members and potential members are aware of your personal trainers is to use digital signage to highlight personal trainer profiles, including pictures and lists of their training and specialties.

Fitness Classes

One of the greatest draws of gyms and fitness centers is the availability of fitness and wellness classes. When it comes to this kind of programming, the more options the better. In fact, there are many people who will get a membership at your gym for no other reason than to be able to participate in fitness classes and group weight training.

Some examples of fitness classes that people often look for are yoga, pilates, kickboxing, HIIT, zumba, and cycling. Having just one or two of these classes available can be sufficient to secure the membership of many a potential customer.


There are so many parents that want to work out but are simply unable to find the time to do so while raising young children. Some innovative gyms have sought to remedy this problem by offering childcare services, so parents can bring their children to the gym and work out in peace with full knowledge that their children are being taken care of.

Imagine the difference in the amount of effort it would take to the gym between having to find a babysitter for your child every time you want to work out and simply being able to bring your child to the gym with you. As you can probably imagine, it makes a huge difference.

Parents with young children make up a large subset of the population of people that want to work out, and these parents will be far more likely to go to a gym with childcare services than one that has no such program.

Nutritious Cafe

For many people, there is nothing better than a delicious and healthy protein shake after a hard workout. However, this is about as far as many gyms go. Maybe add a few protein bars and bananas, and that exhausts the options that the gym cafe has to offer.

While the availability of protein shakes is an important item that people look for when considering membership at a gym, many others are looking for a more comprehensive cafe. People are looking for a cafe with hot sandwiches, salads, health bowls, supplements, and, in general, a large selection of delicious and healthy food on the menu.

Spa Services

A gym might become much more appealing to those who are looking for a health club more than just a place to work out if the gym offers spa services. While most health clubs won’t offer services like nail care or foot care (salons generally have that covered), many successful gyms offer massage and chiropractic services. This is exactly what many people are looking for from a comprehensive health club.

Good Entertainment

It's no secret that working out is difficult, and that's why having the option for entertainment while working out can be extremely beneficial. People will generally be looking for TVs near cardio-centric machines so that they can enjoy a television show or music videos while racking up miles or steps. Having the option for entertainment can help people get more out of their workout and find more joy in the gym environment.

Companies like Loop TV offer more than 200 channels of fully-licensed music and non-music content, all programmable throughout the day or by screen, so you can target specific types of music videos or entertainment content to different audiences throughout your gym all day long.

Good Atmosphere

What makes a good gym atmosphere is a difficult question to answer, as this will largely depend on the person. While some heavy weightlifters might want a gym with hard rock or heavy metal playing in the background and sparse decorations, many other people will want a clean and quiet environment that gives them the space to create their own mood.

This is why it is important for gym owners to determine who their potential clientele are. Once they figure this out, they can get to work on creating the ideal atmosphere for that clientele.

Easily Accessible and Understandable Schedule

We’ve already talked about the importance of a wide range of workout equipment, facilities, and fitness classes. If your gym has these, then it already has a lot of what people are looking for.

However, it is extremely important that people know the schedule of classes, the availability of the facilities and workout equipment and the availability of personal trainers. Conveying this information can be made easy with digital signage shown on wall-mounted digital displays. Effective communication with members and potential members is of the utmost importance.

Flexible Membership Options

Finally, people are often looking for flexible membership options when they are looking for a gym. Many people will be unsure if they want to commit to a long-term membership during their first time at a gym.

This is where trial periods with the option of cancellation can do a lot of work in drawing people to your gym. If your gym has many or all of the other aspects that we have talked about so far, then it is very likely that the potential member will be more than willing to pay the membership fees after the trial period.

Options, Options, Options

The main takeaway from this article should be that what people are most often looking for in a gym are a lot of options. People are looking for a comprehensive fitness club or health club experience. By mixing the idea of the traditional gym with the spa and health center, you can readily meet the desires of potential gym-goers.