Exploring the Drawbacks of Gym Memberships: Equipment Dangers

Last time, we talked about the potential dangers of selecting a gym with poorly trained and prepared staff members, but this isn’t the only danger you might face if you start working out at a gym.  Another potential danger is poorly maintained equipment or equipment that is simply sub-part in construction.

Unlike most other businesses, gyms are not required to obtain a license in order to operate.  In addition, there are no standards set for gyms to abide by.  While the American College of Sports Medicine and several other groups do publish industry guidelines, there is no governing body watching over these standards and there is no certainty that the gym you are considering joining is following these guidelines.  As such, the equipment you use while working out at the gym may not be as safe as you thought.

One of the major concerns is a lack of proper maintenance.  Although manufacturers are required to include maintenance instructions with their equipment, there is nothing requiring the gyms to follow these instructions.  As a result you may become injured while using the equipment. 

To help protect yourself from using improperly maintained equipment, ask the gym to show you the maintenance logs for the equipment you will be using.  Furthermore, if the machine seems to “stick” or doesn’t move smoothly, avoid using it and report it to the gym management.

Obviously, you could run into problems with your home fitness equipment if you fail to maintain it properly.  But, at least in this situation, you are well aware of the type of maintenance schedule you have followed.  Furthermore, this is not to say that all gyms are a pit of doom where equipment is getting ready to fall apart on you at any time.  Rather, it is important for you to realize that gyms aren’t always as diligent about maintaining their equipment as you might think and, therefore, you need to take responsibility for making certain the equipment you are using at the gym is safe.