So you’ve decided to join a fitness center to get the exercise you need for your weight loss programs. There are basics every and any fitness center should have.
Safe equipment and safe instruction The equipment should be well maintained and stowed properly. Free weights, jump ropes, fitness balls and such, should all be secured and not just lying about. Instructors should be close at hand to demonstrate and monitor correct usage. First time users should be guided through the proper use of any equipment. If there are safety features, safety belts, or required harnesses to use certain equipment, they should work and their usage should be enforced by the staff. Sloppiness leads to an unsafe workout environment.
Cleanliness is a high priority Locker rooms shouldn’t smell like, well, locker rooms. The shower area should be disinfected regularly. Used towels should be in laundry containers or out of sight. Jacuzzis and swimming pools should be at the proper temperatures and tested on a regular basis. Equipment should be wiped down after usage. The staff should encourage clients to use sanitary towelettes to wipe hand rails, bars and seats on equipment after usage. All areas should be properly ventilated, heated and cooled. Neatness counts and shows a respect for the members.
Qualified staff Make sure the staff, trainers and instructors are qualified. Do they make the members feel comfortable during their work outs? Does the staff push members beyond their limits by encouraging them to do more sets, lift heavier weights, or go faster than is safe. Do they know the correct methods of using the equipment? Is the staff paying attention to the members using the equipment or just standing around? Is the ratio of staff to members appropriate? The lack of adequate staffing and a lax attitude can lead to accidents.
Crowd control There is nothing worse than getting psyched up for a workout and then having to wait for the crowds ahead to finish. It’s not good for the member’s outlook and it’s not good for a body to have to stop and start because equipment isn’t available. A member shouldn’t have to rush through a set of exercises because there’s a line forming behind them. If group classes are offered there should be room for each member of the class to move freely without worrying about being kicked in the head.
Child Care If the center offers child care services is it licensed by the state or city if required? Is the area monitored by adults? Does it maintain a satisfactory ratio of adults to children. Is the area clean? Is it well lighted and have appropriate toys?
Safety outside the building The exterior of the building should be well lighted and so should the parking lot. Many facilities get the most usage in the early morning, when it can be dark and after work when it’s dark. If possible the reception area should have clear visibility of the parking lot in case of problems. The staff should keep an eye on the exterior spaces for signs of loitering and unwelcome visitors.