Now that 2017 is here and the resolutions are kicking in, many are faced with the daunting task of finding the right fitness center to accomplish their transformation goals. The following five key factors will save you a lot of time when it comes to locating your cozy home away from home.

1.   Gay Friendly
When choosing your perfect fitness habitat, you should choose a place where you feel welcome! Picking a gay-friendly gym with a small-town feel will not only make you feel included but also give you some extra incentive to drag yourself to work out even when you don’t feel like it.

2.   Variety
Finding a fitness center that offers more than cardio equipment and weights is a must. Look for a place that offers classes, boxing, sports courts, rock climbing walls, etc. and utilize the entire facility to keep those workouts fresh and fun.

3.   Amenities
Look for one with some great perks, like free personal training, tanning, massages, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, healthy snacks and eye candy. Instead of making your workouts “a job,” make it “a pleasure.”

4.   Flexible and Convenient Hours
Although your gym doesn’t need to be open 24 hours a day, make sure the hours and days are conducive to your daily schedule.

5.   Ample Parking
Finally, make sure that it has a place to park your car!

I have come across a number of wonderful workout facilities across the country. Here are just two of them:

Central Phoenix Gym,
4530 N 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona
Keith Lipman and Randy Eddlemon III have created what they refer to as “a small boutique gym that’s trainer based.” Open to the public, they say they’re “very competitive to some of the big chains without that big chain feel; we’re still a small business, basically a mom-and-pop or, in our case, a pop and pop store.” Central Phoenix Gym (CPG) strives to create a welcoming environment for everyone. In addition to Hammer Strength fitness machines and free weights, CPG also offers a variety of workout options such as classes, boxing speed bag, aerobics room, even a giant tire for that outdoor bootcamp feel. As an additional perk, this fitness oasis also offers a variety of personal trainers and a tanning salon. Not only is CPG easy to get to being centrally located, there is ample parking in the front and rear of the facility. This is the perfect workout retreat on a hot summer day in Phoenix.

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers,
60 Chelsea Piers, New York, New York

As New York City’s most inspiring gym, the 150,000 sq-ft sports center features a 25-yard indoor pool, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, indoor rock climbing wall, boxing ring, cardio and strength training and a quarter-mile indoor track. Three studios are home to 150+ classes a week, including yoga, Pilates and cycling. Although large in size, there really is a sense of community because of the complex design. It never seems busy and you never have to wait in line to use any of the equipment. Perhaps the best part of the workout experience at The Sports Center is relaxing on the sundeck that overlooks the Hudson River! Even though this sports center is a little out of the way, everyone is eager to visit and experience Chelsea Piers and breathe new life into their workouts!



Black-Shirt-SmileBy Bryan Lee

Bryan Lee is a National Exercise & Sports Association (NESTA) certified personal trainer, life coach and author who has lost over 130 pounds. Please check with your personal physician before using these health and fitness tips.