Choosing a gym for physical therapy practice is an important part of your therapy business. If you're a freelance physical therapist, you'll likely need a place to take your clients. After all, practicing out of your home might work, but it doesn't give the same feel as a space devoted to physical therapy and fitness. You're also not likely to have the equipment and space required to adequately help patients with their physical therapy. That's why choosing a gym for physical therapy practice is so important.
There are several important factors to keep in mind when you're looking to rent fitness space by the hour, which is how most gyms run. It's necessary to keep all of these needs in mind as you search for the gym that best fits the needs of both you and your clients.
Another important factor in choosing a gym is their equipment selection. While many physical therapies are based around stretching and bodyweight movements, some therapists will also move into light weights when trying to strengthen muscles in certain areas of the body. Sometimes light free weights will work, and sometimes, you might need machines. You also might need bands and other forms of dynamic resistance. A good gym that can meet the needs of you and your clients will have a variety of equipment options.
While looking at their equipment, it's also important to note the condition that the equipment is in. A quality gym will keep their equipment in good working order, replacing outdated and damaged equipment as needed.
Although by renting fitness space by the hour, you won't be locked into any long-term agreement, you - and possibly your clients - will still have to interact with the staff at the gym that you ultimately choose. Take some time to talk to various staff members, stopping by on different days at different hours to get a good cross section of the staff. Feel them out and see how you gel with them. You should be able to tell very quickly if the gym is right for you.
Whether therapist, trainer, or gym rat, most of us think of gym atmosphere and immediately think of music thumping in the background while weights clank around. And of course, that's part of it, but that's not all of it. The overall atmosphere of a gym is an important factor when choosing a gym for physical therapy.
Stop by your prospective gym and note the cleanliness of the facility and machines. Observe the clientele to get a feel for the kind of people who frequent the gym. It's an important consideration. If you're focusing primarily on physical therapy for lifters and crossfitters, a classic gym vibe could be just the thing. However, if you're working with older people or those who are more into the lighter side of fitness, a "bro gym" might not be a great fit for your practice.
The kinds of facilities that your potential gym has is another important consideration. Do they have lockers? Showers? Food prep areas? Basically, make a mental list of what you need for your physical therapy business and make sure the gym you're considering has it. While there's no "perfect" gym, a good gym will have at least most if not all of the things you need.
Some facilities have space for rent by the hour, and some have package rates. It's important to check out your prospective gym's pricing structure to see what's the best fit for you. If you have even a moderate number of clients, package pricing is often ideal. Much like buying products in bulk, package options allow you to purchase hours in bulk, offering a lower per-hour cost.
Be aware that physical therapists will almost always pay a higher price for space than personal trainers. This is because personal trainers only need to use the equipment that the public at large uses, whereas physical therapists will often need access to specialized equipment in addition to the standard gym floor equipment.
No matter what kind of pricing format or atmosphere you're looking for, be sure you take the above factors into account when looking for your gym of choice. Remember, the best gym for physical therapy will have everything both you and your clients need.
If you're looking for an environment that covers practically everything you'll need as a physical therapist, stop by and see us at SKYHEALTH. We're always happy to show therapists, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts just what we have to offer them.