There are many things to consider when choosing a local gym to join. It might even be helpful to make a list of things you are looking for before you start visiting local gyms. Here is a small list to consider.
Location and Hours
When will you be working out? Is it in the morning before you go to work? Will it be during the day on a lunch break? How far is the gym from home or work? Is the drive under 30 minutes – preferrably 15 minutes?
When you visit the gym, is the facilities clean? Look in the corners and the bathroom. Are there sanitation stations for cleaning the equipment?
Does the equipment appear to be in good working order? How new or old is the equipment?
Are you looking for a big box gym where you can get lost in the crowd? or Are you more comfortable in a smaller setting that’s more intimate?
The cheapest isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, it’s worth paying more for service and environment. Is there a free trial period? Be sure you understand the contract.
Does the gym have the equipment you are looking for? Are there enough treadmills and/or weights so you don’t have to wait for someone to finish so you can continue your workout?
Environment / Member Profile
How does the gym feel? What type of people are members there? Visit during a busy time.
Are there trainers to provide assistance when needed or do you prefer to be on your own?
Are you looking for workout classes, yoga, or dance classes? How large is the room? Visit during one to see if you like it.
Are you really needing a juice bar or a pool? If not, then balance that with the cost and all other factors.
Is the staff friendly and welcoming? Are they helpful and willing to listen and guide you if you have any questions?
As you can see, there are many things to consider. If all you are looking for is a 24 hour access to workout on your own, then choose a gym that is conveninent and cost effective for that purpose. If you are wanting a lot of personal attention and amenities, then let that guide you in your decision.