• 11th February 2017

Choosing a gym that’s right for you

Girl workout

The New Year is a common time for people to join a gym. Everyone has usually gone a bit mad over Christmas and may want to shed those extra pounds. From talking to various people, I’ve found that some people either love the gym or they hate it. It’s completely down to personal preference and how you wish to exercise. Some people love being outside or in their own home and some simply prefer to barricade themselves in the gym.

If you are looking to join a gym, sometimes it can be quite daunting. You’re faced with all these questions: which membership should I choose? How do I use all the equipment? Is it really good value for money? What if I really don’t like it?

To help you decide how to choose a gym that’s right for you, I’ve enlisted the help of Matt, Manager at Exeter’s Sweat and Stretch, to tell you a little more about how the type of gym can really affect your experience.


What do you think the main difference is between a gym that is privately owned and one that is funded by the council?

I don’t have much experience working in a council gym but working at a private one, I am involved in a lot more than I could potentially be in a council club.

How do you make sure your members keep coming back again and again?

Our memberships come with plenty of benefits such as classes and programmes which are all included. I believe the most important thing is the atmosphere we have at the club. In the 8 years I’ve worked here, I have never had anyone say Sweat and Stretch is intimidating! When you go to the gym, for a lot of people they don’t actually enjoy it but if we can make it part of their lifestyle and change that attitude then that’s a great accomplishment.

How important is it to ensure members get the best value for money? Do you think members would get the same benefits at a council funded gym?

Value for money is important; members also like to see investment within the club, especially a private one. We regularly add or change the class schedule around. Having a programme included in the membership is of great benefit to the members, being told what to do on each visit makes life a lot easier.

Do you think there’s a difference in customer service between a council funded and privately owned gym? Any personal experiences?

The customer service is all to do with how the clubs are managed. Through experience, I have gained a lot of confidence with people so I now have no problem talking and communicating to our members.

At Sweat and Stretch, how do you make sure that your members get the most out of their gym experience?

We offer a wide range of benefits within our memberships, what people decide to use from that is up to them. For example, a lot of males don’t do the classes. I definitely recommend a gym programme, this is the most motivating thing. Having a trainer tell you what to do on each visit? A no brainer for me!

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of quitting the gym after trying it out for 1 week?

Results don’t happen overnight, exercise is a long term commitment. Exercise a little every day and make it become part of your lifestyle! You’ll feel better instantly!

What advice would you give to people who are trying to decide on a gym?

When choosing a gym, make sure you look at the benefits. Sometimes it isn’t about what is the cheapest. The most important thing in your life should be your health. One way of improving your health is exercise.

Sweat and Stretch offers a gym programme included in the gym membership. You will be taught correct posture for all exercise, how to engage your core amongst other things. Posture is all part of health so having a professional show and tell you what is correct is the most beneficial part!

Whether you are a beginner to exercise or an experienced gym user, I recommended going to the gym or even having a personal trainer.


Sweat and Stretch is a friendly, non intimidating gym where the team believe exercise is for everyone. Having been open for over 20 years, the gym is well established within the city and the fun, friendly, knowledgeable staff always help me and others on our fitness journeys. To find out more, visit their website or Facebook page.

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