Sportsmith Blog

How to Find a Health Club or Fitness Center that’s Right for You

With the holiday season and the New Year fast approaching, many of us will be looking to get fit and to lose some weight to look our best. Sadly, many of these resolutions don’t last beyond the first month. The key to sticking to your resolutions is to find a good health club or fitness center that’s right for you. It has to have good, motivational staff that will encourage you to achieve your goals. It has to offer facilities, activities and workouts that you want to keep you going back. Most importantly, it has to be clean, affordable, and convenient.


A health club or fitness center with well trained staff that can motivate you is particularly important for beginner gym-goers. The staff must be able to answer your questions about any workouts and show you how to use the gym equipment. Be sure to ask about the staff and their qualifications. Also inquire if there are personal trainers available. A few sessions with a personal trainer can also be helpful to help you to map out your goals and encourage you along the way.


Some health clubs or fitness centers offer only the most basic facilities while others have pools, saunas, and perhaps even a spa that offers massage therapies. Larger gyms may also have nutritional therapists attached. Ask about these additional benefits but try not to be dazzled by them. Too often, many of us sign up to these fitness centers with the best of intentions but do not use any of the facilities. Decide on what you want and don’t over commit yourself to an expensive contract. If undecided, ask if the health club or fitness center has a trial period so you can determine what facilities you will really use.


Before committing yourself to a gym, ask for a tour of the facilities and ask to test some of the equipment to make sure it is well maintained. There should be a wide variety of machines, including guided machines and cardio equipment like treadmills and ellipticals. If you enjoy working with free weights, make sure these are plentiful. Other popular equipment include fitness balls and floor mats.

Group fitness classes

We all have different workout preferences, with some preferring solitary workouts while others enjoy more structured programs with a larger group. If you prefer classes, make sure your gym has a good mix of group classes at convenient times throughout the day. Aerobics, Yoga and Pilates are popular options. If there is a specific workout program that you would like to try like Zumba or High Intensity Interval Training, equire if the gym offers those programs.


On your tour of the facilities, make sure the health club or fitness center is clean, with appropriate locker space and well maintained toilets and showers. The workout area should have plenty of gym wipes, or disinfecting spray bottles dotted around the room with paper towels so you can wipe down the equipment after you have finished.

Contracts and costs

The right health club or fitness center should be within your price range. Most offer a variety of contracts to suit every budget. Some will have pay per use contracts while others charge a little more in exchange for allowing its members to visit different gyms in the chain. Some contracts will be monthly while others will be for the whole year. Shop around and compare prices, making sure to only pay for what you need. Also, enquire if you can put the contract on hold in case of illness or travel.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a health club or fitness center is its convenience for you. If it is a hassle to get to, you will be more likely to give up your workout for the day. Make sure the gym is in a suitable location for you, with the appropriate operating hours. If early mornings are the only time that will work for you, make sure the gym opens early. If group classes are more your style, make sure these are at times that suit you. Visit the gym during peak times to ensure that it isn’t overcrowded as this will reduce your enjoyment of the workout. If you will need a child minded while you are working out, ask if the gym has childcare facilities. Don’t forget to ask about their operating policies during the holiday season.

The right fitness center or health club has to feel right for you. To help you decide, watch out for free trials or ask if they have a pay as you go option. Some gyms also have incentive periods where they waive joining fees or offer discounted trial memberships. Remember – the more you like the gym, the more likely you are to stick to your resolution so don’t be too quick to decide on the right gym for you.


All of you Indoor Cycling Needs in One Place!!

Very recently, SPORTSMITH launched a new website solely dedicated to indoor cycling.  You can rest assured that we carry all the parts and accessories you will need for your stationary indoor cycle! We stock all of the most popular brands, such as Schwinn and LeMond, and our parts are competitively priced. Easy browsing means you won’t have to spend as much time looking for what you want, and as always, we offer quick and user-friendly checkout, and multiple delivery options. What are you waiting for? Go visit today!


How to install a Ramp Sleeve on the Precor Elliptical

Installing a Ramp Sleeve onto a Precor Elliptical

  • In this video we demonstrate how to install a ramp sleeve onto a Precor elliptical
  • Tools required:
  • Bungee or Piece of String
  • Wet Soapy Cloth* or Paper Towel*
  • Clean Dry Cloth
  • Use a wet soapy cloth* or paper towel* to clean the surface of the ramp, making sure it is free of all dirt and debris
  • Ramp surface needs to be completely dry before applying the ramp sleeve
  • This is a very cost effective way to get more life out of your ramp assembly
  • Once the ramp assembly is clean and dry, remove the paper from the two sided tape on the ramp sleeve and place the sleeve onto the ramp assembly by holding the sleeve at an up angle and aligning the bottom edge before pressing the ramp sleeve into the ramp assembly as shown in the video
  • Press firmly all over the sleeve to ensure it is completely fitted to the ramp assembly
  • Now you can remove the protective cover from the top of the ramp sleeve and let the pedal arm back down into position for use
  • Repeat steps to install other ramp sleeve
  • *(non-citrus based cleaning agent - Precor approved cleaner is 30:1 solution of water and Simple Green®)


    For more information about this video click here.



    Ok, so not really, but D-Balls are pretty nifty, and can help add a unique aspect to your normal workouts that you wouldn’t normally get. They help work your core in ways that traditional medicine balls could never do.

    So what is a D-Ball? It’s essentially just a medicine ball, but instead of a solid core of rubber or polymer, it’s filled with sand. This is why it’s termed a “dead ball”, or a “slam ball”. It doesn’t bounce, at all. Standard medicine balls have at least some bounce to them, but D-Balls literally drop “dead” once they hit the ground. This offers a “dead weight” type of scenario, which when used in specific workout routines, challenges you to use muscles that rarely get used, especially in your abdominal core. These balls have become incredibly popular with the rapidly expanding high intensity interval training exercise programs across the world.

    One advantage to not having a solid core is that a D-Ball can be far heavier than a standard medicine ball. SPORTSMITH currently carries balls in various sizes, all the way up to the massive 100lb. ball which is twelve inches in diameter. Standard solid core medicine balls simply cannot be made this heavy, due to their design.

    Once again, SPORTSMITH is proud to offer our customers the latest and greatest in sports and exercise equipment. Go to our website at or give our toll-free number a call to place an order today! It’s easy, fast, and we offer same day shipping on all orders. We also ship internationally, so what are you waiting for? Get to clickin’!


    Adjustable Plyo Box

    Check out the new Adjustable Pyramidal Plyometric Boxes (Plyo Boxes). Notice the word “adjustable” in there, too. These boxes can be set to three different heights; 16, 20, and 24 inches, all easily done with no tools required. Most Plyo Boxes are set at a fixed height. Not these! Now you don’t have to buy multiple boxes to suit your needs, not to mention lugging them with you if you want to use them someplace other than your own home.

    The new adjustable Plyo Boxes are extremely portable. It weighs less than 25lbs. total, and will easily fit in the back seat of your car. They also come unassembled, which means the parts fit flatly in a shipping box. That means more savings for you, as a huge shipping box isn’t required. Therfore big savings on shipping these bad boys! While you do have to assemble it, it’s quite easy and only takes a few minutes. All that’s needed are a screwdriver, a socket and socket driver, and an electric drill to tighten everything up nicely. Once it’s assembled, you’ll find that the adjustable legs make it somewhat sturdier than traditional boxes, especially if you find your workout area uneven. The top surface of the box is also very tactile, and you will have superior traction even if it gets wet or is set at an odd angle.

    SPORTSMITHä strives to provide our customers with the newest, best products on the market to day. These new adjustable Plyo Boxes are some of the best available, and with the double bonus of less expensive shipping and portability/adjustability, you simply cannot go wrong purchasing one of these.

    • Adjustable heights of 16", 20" and 24"
    • Based on the geometry of its design, the plyo box gets more stable as the height increases
    • Height adjusts in 4" increments
    • Portable enough for easy travel to any workout location
    • Compact size fits in the trunk or backseat of your car
    • Weighs less than 25lbs

    Durable Plyo Box is Designed for Serious Use and Looks Incredible

    • Anti-skid top
    • Measures 15 1/2" x 15 1/2"
    • Zinc plated metal legs
    • HDPE sides
    • Assembly required

    For more information about the adjustable plyo box click here.

    How to Assemble the Adjustable Plyo Box.

    Adjustable Plyo Box Demo