One of the most difficult parts of a career in performance is the constant traveling. Without a permanent “home base,” many performers feel as though they shouldn’t commit to one single gym. This can be a real issue for those leading an active lifestyle, because finding a gym in a new location is one thing, but getting to the gym without paying through the nose to do so can be a real challenge! If you’re willing to do a bit of research, try something new, and get a little creative, you may find that getting a great workout in while you’re on the road isn’t so hard after all! Today, I’m sharing my top 8 “hacks” for finding a gym while you’re on the road.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFOREHAND: Before you go on a gig, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Google Maps can help you locate every gym in the area and from there, you can visit their individual websites to learn more about each facility. Well before your gig, determine what time you’ll be able to go to the gym each day (before rehearsal, or after?), then find a gym with hours that will accommodate your time restrictions. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can contact the gym and ask more about their short-term membership options, free trial memberships, etc. However, Google Maps isn’t the only tool available for finding a fitness center while traveling — check out these other amazing resources as well:
- Gymsurfing – Locate a gym, and buy one or more day passes.
- OmFinder – Search your area for a nearby yoga studio and view the class schedule.
- GymPoints – Find gyms close to you that offer one-time visits and drop-in classes for commitment-free fitness.
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE DAY PASSES & TRIAL MEMBERSHIPS: Most gyms, big and small, offer free day passes and trial memberships for new clients. Although these free day passes are *technically* intended for those who are looking to join the gym and want to try it out before committing to a contract, don’t be shy about taking advantage of these great deals while you’re traveling! Check out this table from TravelStrong on where to get free gym passes in the US and beyond:
|Name of Gym Chain||Country||Link To Free Pass|
|Equinox||US||Get Free Pass|
|Anytime Fitness||Worldwide||Get Free Pass (7 Days!)|
|24 Hour Fitness||US||Get Free Pass|
|Crunch||US||Get Free Pass|
|Gold’s Gym||US||Get Free Pass (7 Days!)|
|David Barton||US||Get Free Pass|
|LA Fitness||US/Canada||Get Free Pass|
|Retro Fitness||US||Get Free Pass|
|Fitness First||Australia||Get Free Pass|
|Virgin Active||UK||Get Free Pass|
3. LOOK FOR A SMALLER GYM: Chain gyms are great, but since their policies are usually established by a corporate headquarters, negotiating a cheap, short-term plan is often not an option. It’s not that they don’t want to help you, but often times they simply can’t create an individualized plan just for you. Smaller gyms under local management may be able to pull a few strings and develop a cheaper, short-term option for you once you run out of guest passes. Regardless, it never hurts to ask!
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!: Sticking to a routine can help with exercise adherence, but when you’re constantly on-the-go, you can’t always count on your go-to routine. If you normally go solo at the gym, don’t be afraid to go to a group fitness class if that’s your only option! Conversely, if you typically workout with a buddy, go outside of your comfort zone and get a solo workout in — you may just find that you love a little zen-time. Having a routine is great, but don’t let it hold you back from getting a workout in.
5. TALK TO THE GYM OWNER: Sometimes, the “big guy/gal in charge” can pull a few strings for you and create a custom short-term plan for you. Perhaps you can sweeten the deal for the gym if you bring along your cast-mates and request a short-term membership for the whole group in exchange for a discounted membership and a couple of free tickets to the performance for the owners? 😉 Again, it never hurts to ask. The worst they can say is no!
6. STAY IN A HOTEL WITH A GYM: If you have a say in which hotel you’ll be staying in, request one with a gym! If you have a fitness center built into your housing accommodations, you’ll be less likely skip your workout. Most major hotels now offer an exercise facility; they’re usually not large, but they will certainly get the job done!
7. COMMIT TO A CHAIN GYM WITH MULTIPLE LOCATIONS: If you have to sign a contract to join a gym, opt for a chain gym with multiple locations. Companies like LA Fitness, Retro Fitness, and Equinox allow their members to work out at any gym within their franchise. If there’s a chain gym in your home area that you’re thinking of joining, check out their national website to see if they have locations in cities you often travel to for performance. If they do have a location there, chances are you’ll be able to get into that gym with your regular membership card (but always read the fine print and do your research before making any assumptions!).
8. DITCH THE GYM ALTOGETHER!: After all, who really needs a gym to get a good workout in?! YouTube has thousands of free workout videos online that you can follow along with from the comfort of your own room. Bring a few basic pieces of equipment from our Exercise Essentials for the Traveling Performer post, or just take a good old-fashioned run outdoors, and you’ll have a heart-pumping workout without the gym in no time!