One of the first things you notice when you visit a fitness centre is its image - you may not register it consciously, but below the surface it will be forming a large part of your initial impression. Different clubs spend varying amounts of money to project an image - some don't spend any at all - and the initial impression will play a big part in your ultimate decision as to whether or not this is the right place for you.
So what factors go to form your overall impression of the club's image?:
- Staff - are they friendly and welcoming, or aloof and distant?
- D?cor - while some fitness centres are all business, with the equipment and patrons visible as soon as you walk in the door, others are more restrained - you could be in a bar or hotel for all you know.
- Other members - this will actually be a direct reflection of the type of club, so take the time to look at the people working out. Are they older or younger than you? What is the gender mix? Do people seem to be concentrating on working out, or is there a more relaxed, social atmosphere?
- Music - the music can also tell you a lot about the club. Is it contemporary or older? Is it mellow or frenetic? Is this the type of music you like to work out to, or will it drive you crazy for one reason or another?
- Cleanliness - while some fitness centres are sparkling, immaculate, with lots of mirrors, lights, and chrome, others are more like dungeons - full of groans and dark corners and dubious smells.
So look around, and form your impression - your instincts will tell you a lot.