Finding Your Perfect Gym

Finding your perfect Gym in Rowlett, Garland, Wylie, Sachse & RockwallI hope you read over the last blog I wrote about what type of person you are (if you missed it, read it HERE), and you have a better idea of what you need to look for when it comes to getting in shape.

As a recap, the following options are typically what you will find when it comes to getting help on your fitness journey:


-Gyms (big box and kiosk) – Think LifeTime, LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness

-Group workouts/specialty studios – CrossFit, Orange Theory, F45, to name a few

-Small group training – Think RTC or Iron Tribe

-Online Coaching

-One on one coaching

-Templated workouts

Then you can have a combination of these such as a big box gym + online coaching or small group workout + one on one coaching, or gym access plus workout template.

Now that you know what a good starting point for you is let me give you an idea of HOW to find them.



This one is relatively simple. Google “gyms, health clubs, or fitness” in your local area OR close to your office if that is where you plan on working out. Then check out the gym’s website, and see if they offer a free trial (most will); these will typically range anywhere from one day to 7-days, if they don’t have a trial (nothing wrong if not), then they will usually have a day pass for a few bucks.

Go there, take a look, and you’ll get an idea real quick if it’s a good fit for you.

I will stress to be wary of gym contracts such as 12-months, 18-months, or longer. If the gym has a contract (some still do), then check out the cancelation terms. What’s the fee for canceling early? How do you cancel without paying the fee, such as moving, losing a job, medical, etc? If you’re ok with the terms, then no biggie, but if the terms make you uncomfortable, it’s ok to look elsewhere.

Gym rates can range from $10 a month, such as Planet Fitness or Fitness Connection and up depending on the gym and amenities.


Template Workouts

Template workouts are more common than you think. I can assure you that you’ve seen or read one online or even in a magazine. These can range from free to low-cost workout plan/template that you get and fill in the details (weight, reps, etc..)

To find one, make sure that your getting this from is a place that works with your demographic (age, gender, etc…) AND your goals. is an excellent example of this since the majority of their templated workouts are geared towards… yup, bodybuilding.

Finding a template workout plan will require a bit more looking on your part than looking for a gym; in most cases, you won’t be able to Google “workout template or plan” because you’ll get ump-teen-million hits. Instead, think of your goals, demographic, and Google that term.

Example: Men over 40s weight loss workout program.

When you find a place that seems like a good fit, you should be able to see or get a few free workouts; this will either be on their website or social media. Try a few of those workouts out, and if you like it, you will have an option to buy a full program or plan.

Note: Before going further complete transparency…

Understand that all options beyond this point will require more financial investment and more of your time. These upcoming options are not free because the more customization, specialization, or personalization you want cost will go up in return; you’re not solving $20 problems at these stages. Also, you’ll notice that the amount of time required by you will go up in return, such as you may need to workout 4-5xweek vs. 2-3xweek.


Group Workouts AKA Specialty Studios

This one isn’t just the free group workouts that come with most gym memberships, but I’m talking about specialty studios. Finding these specialty studios will require a bit more hunting on your part since many places offer group workouts, so finding the one that is the right fit for you WILL TAKE TIME, and you will have to try more than one.

When you start working with a specialty studio such as kickboxing, group HIIT, or even specialty classes from gym or studios, etc… most will have a lower cost trial offer. These can range from $50 and up for 1-4 weeks, sometimes you see specials that go even lower such as $7 for 7days; some will even offer a money-back guarantee, meaning if you don’t like it, you get your money back for the trial period.

You’re not going to know if you like it until you try it. This is when you have to get in and just do the workouts but go through the entire trial. Don’t quit early unless you have a lousy experience or you’re 100% confident that the style of working out isn’t for you.


These options below go further and deeper into the relationship building between you and the trainer(s). You’re now starting to cross the boundary into personal training, and it’s a working relationship between you and the trainer. Working with a trainer is not something that’s done to you, but something that is done WITH you.

Don’t be surprised if they want to chat with you more before letting you sign up. That is not a bad thing if they do, which TBH, I hope they do.

The reason this happens is that, ideally, the coach/trainer wants to make sure they CAN help, and it’s a good fit for you and them before committing to writing up a solution for you.


Online Coaching

The double edge sword of online coaching is you’re not limited by geography; you can work with anyone in the world! But… that also increases your options of coaches so much that you feel a bit paralyzed. That’s normal at this stage.

It’s the most widely available coaching option out there and the most challenging option for YOU since you have to be very self-driven. No one is there pushing you; you have to push yourself.

The best way I have found to START finding an online coach is the same way you would with finding a workout template. Find a few plans that are in alignment with your goals and see who writes them. Follow them on social media, watch their stuff, read their content, their testimonials, etc.. You’ll get a good idea of their philosophy.

You probably won’t find trial options at this stage but instead a phone call between you and the coach to determine if this is a good fit. From that conversation, you’ll know what their plan for you would be, how you will communicate (email, phone, text), how often you’ll communicate (weekly, monthly) and how the workouts are delivered (via an app, email, etc…)

Rates vary all over the place, but most start at $150/month and go from there.


Small-Group Training

These are typically a group of fewer than eight people. These aren’t always easy to find; again, the deeper you go with finding your answer, the more you’ll have to look. To find these, you’ll want to Google “personal trainer in (your city)” or “personal trainer near me.”

Look over the website, read the content. Is it generic vanilla content that you would find on LiveStrong, or does it seem that a real person writes these? Look for testimonials, look at their social media, watch some videos.

When you find one that sounds like a good option, you’ll most likely have a phone call with one of the coaches; then, if it’s a good fit, you’ll start with a trial. These trials will typically range from $200 and up.

At RTC, we do our Test Drive for $250 for 4 weeks. (Click HERE to learn more)


One on one coaching/Personal Training

This doesn’t need any explanation. Instead, let me show you how to find a coach or training studio that’s worth a damn.

At this stage, you’ll have to Google “personal trainer in X city” or “personal trainer near me.” Specialty studios or small group training studios will be good places to start.

Same as small group training, read over their content, look for testimonials, videos, social media, even their personal social media accounts if they are not blocked to the public. You want a professional at this stage, not an amateur.

Personality means more than anything at this stage; you want to work with a more trainer that you will get along with. I know coaches that have damn every credential under the sun, but they can’t get along with anyone. Sure they are intelligent, educated, and seem like they can solve all your problems, but… if their personality and yours don’t mesh, it won’t matter how smart they are; it will just be painful to both of you.

I’ve written many times about finding a good trainer, but it will always come down to talking to them and seeing if your personalities mesh.

Some trainers, not all, will offer trial packages with the prices range all over the place, but to give you an idea, the average trainer’s rates in Texas average $1 a min.



I understand that this is a lot of information, but only focus on the ones that you feel are YOUR best options.

Remember, all of these options work. Just focus on the options you feel will work for YOU and start there, AND it’s ok if you need more than one, such as gym access + online coaching or 1:1 coaching + small group training, etc…

If you are still unsure, email me and let’s chat. I’ll shoot you straight.



In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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