Here's When Gyms Tend to Be Least Crowded, According to an Insider

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In an ideal world, we’d all have a private gym at our disposal, one that’s fully stocked with the equipment we need and available to use any time we want. However, for most of us, that’s not our reality, and instead we have to fight the crowds at our local gym or studio. While we love the camaraderie of working out in a gym and doing group fitness classes, it can be exhausting waiting for an available machine when all you want to do is get in your workout and go home. While it isn’t always possible to go to the gym when it’s least crowded, knowing the windows of time when you’re most likely to get a machine is a start.

If you often find yourself going to the gym on weekdays, before or after your 9-to-5 job, you’re unfortunately hitting the gym at peak hours. Because so many of us operate on similar work schedules, we also like to work out at similar times. “While many locations are open and staffed 24 hours a day, five days a week, to meet our members’ needs no matter their schedules, peak times tend to be early in the week coming off the weekend and before and after work hours,” Becky Zirlen, director of public relations for Planet Fitness, told POPSUGAR. She noted that while the gym chain currently has nearly 2,200 locations in all 50 states, the most popular times for working out are universal, no matter where the facilities are located.

Weekends tend to be a bit slower, presumably because people want to relax on their days off. So, if you want to squeeze in a workout at a time when gyms are typically least crowded, consider dropping in anytime Saturday or Sunday (or even Friday night). However, if like so many others, you also want to enjoy your weekends and keep your workouts to weekdays, the least busy times tend to be late morning to mid-afternoon. We know it’s not always feasible to cram in a workout when you work all day, but if there’s any flexibility in your work schedule, perhaps you could consider splitting your shift to make space for a midday workout or heading to the gym over your lunch break.

Zirlen explained that Planet Fitness actually offers a Crowd Meter in the gym’s app, which allows members to see how busy the gym is before they arrive and make an executive decision about whether or not they want to give it a try. In most cases, you won’t have that luxury, though, and you’ll simply have to adjust your schedule to work out during off-peak hours or deal with the crowds if you have no choice but to go before or after work. If neither of those suit you, you can always try some at-home workouts to get your sweat sesh in!

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