How to Find the Best Gym or Program: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Find the Best Gym or Program: A Comprehensive Guide

I hope you’ve had a chance to read my previous blog post about identifying your fitness personality (if you missed it, you can catch up [HERE]). It should have given you some insights into what to look for when starting on your fitness journey and how to find the best gym or program for your goals.

As a quick recap, let’s review the various options available to you when seeking assistance on your fitness journey:

  • Gyms (Big Box and Kiosk Gyms): Think of popular names like LifeTime, LA Fitness, and Anytime Fitness.
  • Group Workouts/Specialty Studios: Options include CrossFit, Orange Theory, F45, and more.
  • Small Group Training: Consider places like RTC or Iron Tribe.
  • Online Coaching: Access coaching remotely.
  • One-on-One Coaching: Receive personalized guidance.
  • Templated Workouts: Utilize pre-designed exercise plans.

Moreover, you have the flexibility to combine these options, such as choosing a big box gym and supplementing it with online coaching or combining small group workouts with one-on-one coaching or a templated workout regimen with access to your preferred gym.

Now that you have a clearer idea of where to begin let’s delve into the methods of finding the ideal fitness solution for you.

Exploring Gym Options to Find the Best Gym

This option is relatively straightforward. Start by Googling “gyms,” “health clubs,” or “fitness centers” in your local area, or consider proximity to your workplace if that’s where you plan to exercise. Explore the gym’s website and check if they offer a free trial, which is common (ranging from one to seven days). If a trial isn’t available, inquire about day passes, typically available for a nominal fee.

During your visit, take a close look to gauge if the gym aligns with your preferences. It’s important to exercise caution when it comes to gym contracts, especially those lasting 12 months or longer. Scrutinize the cancellation terms, including fees for early termination and circumstances such as relocation, job loss, or medical reasons.

If the terms make you uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to explore other options. Gym rates vary widely, from as low as $10 a month, as seen with Planet Fitness or Fitness Connection, to higher amounts based on gym amenities.

Template Workouts: A Structured Path to Discover the Best Gym

Template workouts are more abundant than you might think. Chances are, you’ve encountered them online or in magazines. These templates can range from free to affordable workout plans that require you to input specific details like weight and repetitions.

To find a suitable template workout, ensure it caters to your demographic (age, gender, etc.) and fitness goals. A prime example is, known for its workout templates tailored to bodybuilding enthusiasts. While finding a template workout plan may require more effort than searching for a gym, Googling specific terms aligned with your goals and demographic can yield fruitful results.

For instance, consider searching for “Men over 40 weight loss workout program.”

Once you find a platform that aligns with your goals, you’ll likely find free sample workouts available on their website or social media. Experiment with these workouts, and if they resonate with you, explore the option of purchasing a complete program or plan.

Important Note:

It’s crucial to be transparent about the fact that options beyond this point involve a greater financial investment and time commitment. The higher the degree of customization, specialization, or personalization you seek, the greater the cost and time required. These options address more complex challenges and necessitate a more significant investment as you move beyond addressing simple fitness problems costing $20.

Moreover, the time commitment will increase, potentially requiring you to work out 4-5 times a week instead of 2-3 times a week.

Specialized Workouts and Studios: Uncover Your Perfect Fitness Niche

Specialty studios offer a unique and targeted approach to fitness. These extend beyond the standard group workouts typically included with gym memberships. Finding the right specialty studio may require additional effort and patience, as many options exist, and it’s essential to find the one that aligns with your preferences.

When exploring specialty studios, such as kickboxing, group HIIT, or specialty classes, you’ll often find lower-cost trial offers. These trials may range from $50 for 1-4 weeks, and occasionally, you’ll encounter special promotions like $7 for 7 days.

Some studios even provide a money-back guarantee during the trial period, reassuring you that if the experience isn’t satisfactory, you’ll receive a refund.

It’s important not to make a hasty decision during the trial period. Give it your all and complete the entire trial to assess whether the workout style suits you. Only opt-out if you have a genuinely negative experience or if you’re absolutely certain the workout style isn’t your cup of tea.


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: Expanding Your Horizons

The double-edged sword of online coaching is that 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 find 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 $250/month and go from there.

Small Group Training: A Personalized Approach to Finding the Best Gym

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 $350 for 4 weeks. (Click HERE to learn more)

One-on-One Coaching: Tailoring Your Fitness Journey to Perfection

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 prices ranging all over the place, but to give you an idea, the average trainer’s rates in Texas average $1.20/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,
P.S. And if you’re looking for something more tailored to your goals, we’re here to help. You can take a look at our Personal Training Programs HERE or click the Get Started button below to book a free chat with our expert coaches!
P.P.S. For more information, check out our YouTube Channel HERE <=== or follow us on Facebook HERE


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