Joining a gym

Listen to the conversation about joining a gym to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Receptionist: Hello, welcome to Shake it Off Fitness. How can I help you?

Customer: Yes, thanks. I've been meaning to come in and find some information about here for some time. I was wondering if you could help me?

Receptionist: Sure, of course. What would you like to know?

Customer: I saw on the sign outside that you have the best budget membership in the city. Is that right?

Receptionist: You've got that right, yes. If you find a better rate, then we'll match it. Also, we don't have any sign-up fees or cancellation fees.

Customer: Sorry, what was that last bit?

Receptionist: Cancellation fees. Some gyms charge you money if you leave before a minimum number of months or something like that. We don't do that.

Customer: That's useful to know. Ummm, what times do you have?

Receptionist: We open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight.

Customer: Not 24 hours then, I see.

Receptionist: No. Almost, though! We tried doing the 24-hour thing, but there really weren't a lot of people who wanted to do exercise at 2 in the morning.

Customer: Makes sense. Another question: do you have trainers? Like, will you do a personalised evaluation of me?

Receptionist: Sure we do. As we say on our brochure, we can show you what to do, how to do it and why you're doing it. Have you worked with a personal trainer before?

Customer: Err, no. No, I haven't. No.

Receptionist: So, it's very easy. For your first visits we'll assign you one of our expert personal trainers. He or she will design an exercise plan that's just right for you and show you exactly what to do. We even include nutrition advice in the plan.

Customer: Let me get this straight. All of this is included in the price?

Receptionist: Yes, it is. If you want to continue with your trainer after the first few classes, we can talk about that. It does cost extra though. OK?

Customer: Yeah. Sounds ... great.

Receptionist: Do you have any other questions?

Customer: Hmmm, yeah. Um, OK. Why should I choose here instead of any of the other gyms in the city?

Receptionist: What, you mean apart from our competitive rates and personalised attention?

Customer: Yeah, I guess.

Receptionist: Listen, here's a free day pass. Why don't you drop by and see for yourself? That way you can talk to other members, see the facilities and our staff.

Customer: OK, I'll do that. Thanks very much!

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.


Worksheet79.06 KB

Language level

B2 English level (upper intermediate)

I would like it be big enough and has a sufficient number of sport equipment. also I it should has a good air conditioning and be clean.

I usually like a gym that has:
- enough space between machines
- friendly environment because I really like talk to people.
- proper air conditioning
- personalized training plan for each person

I do go to gym by myself, and maybe it just only my place or the average gym always have a wide facility with many equipment. The people here aren't that sweaty or smelly like how everyone say either.

Well, I don't like gyms very much, luckily I have to do a lot of exercise in my daily activities, I go to work by bicycle, I work in my kitchen garden and try to go everywhere by bicycle when I have to, so I don't really need to go to a gym, I used to go to a rowing club when I was younger though, but there was a bit different to a gym because most of the time I've been rowing in a lake outdoors and not doing exercise inside a building.

Thanks for the episode.
Great site!

I´ve never been to a gym,however, from my point of view they ought to have the right amount of space, so it doesn´t feel too cramped or suffocating,not only that but it should also be equiped with a wide range of different exercises,If it doesn´t have those qualities I would prefer going to the park.

I look for the best price, location, and qualitative facilities in a gym. And also I appreciate if the gym is old, has a long history and experience.

In my short life I have not been to many GYM, I do not usually do much physical activity, but the few times I have had the opportunity to go I liked the decoration along with the personalized service, the infrastructure seems to me a very important point when choosing a good GYM.
Personally I prefer well equipped GYMs with good facilities.

Every person has a preference going to a gym or exercising at home. In my own perspective, I don't have to look for a gym. First, I have my own personal trainer at home, my husband. Second, he built his own gym in our basement which he uses almost everyday and me twice or thrice a week. Lastly, we eat healthy balanced diet that we cook at home. Furthermore, we know what exactly ingredients are being added to our food and not with preservatives or salts.

Personnaly, I've been suffering from coaches who are giving orders so i can't practise independentaly So what I am really looking forward is a gym where I workout without coach and also it provides distinct machines whith high quality so i can cible different muscles and angles of my body.

I am looking for a fitness instructor who can guide me for overall health and fitness.I want to learn some tips for good health and fitness from exercises and looking for good advice for good food and diet.

Actually, I think location of the gym is important to be near to my flat/ house; the price of membership is really important; to be clean the fitness and not smelly bad :( :/ ; trainer, never I use that service, because in my country is expensive... But better option is to do excercise outside /free of charge, nice air, freedom, without smelly people , gasp and push people :D
Actually, I have never looked for a gym, but a think is important in a gym the machines, the size, the trainer and the atmosphere to do exercise.
I never went to gym. I'm doing exercise in home. This is very helpful and I'm very fit. In this covid period, India's facing second wave. I'm very careful in this time. I Never go out.when I go out I wear double mask and necessary precautions. Hope God will help us.
to be honest, i need a gym that can improve my fitness rate,because i practice soccer playing weekly,may be once or twice a week,so for example i need to increase my ability to quickly change my body position in the playground,besides , my ability to run fast to cope with the soccer world development.
There are a lot of points I have to take them into consideration when I look for a gym, the most important thing is the location: After a long time of working, I would totally not have the wellness to spend another two hours on the road. Another thing is the membership cost: I would check out a few different gyms in my area. they may differ depending on the type of plan you are taking. I would ask cautiously about services, if there are any extra costs of hiring a personal trainer and whether they are a well qualified trainer and if the hall and facilities are super clean and enquire about the opening hour and finally check the quality of equipment
Well, three years ago I used to look for only two things. First, location, the closer gym the better. And second, the cost, the cheapest the better. But I changed my mind and now I prefer to train at home. I searched about alternatives ways of training then I started to practice calisthenics. I think it’s pretty good way to train as long as you have discipline and good habits. You are free to decide where and when train. And it’s for free!!
I don´t really like gym. I prefer doing exercise at home or running outside, but if I have to look for a good one I would like to find one near home and with qualified staff to help you in your training.
I look if the equipment is good and how long it works by day. Also, I would search for a gym near my house.
Good evening, I'm wondering why the last sentence is true: the customer wasn't convinced so the receptionist offered him a free pass for the day. I know that almost every gym give a free pass for a day but in this case it is not explicit. Thank you for your patience and for your answer :)

Hi andreaz98,

I understand question 8 as referring to this particular visit from this customer. So, I'd choose 'True' for this, because the gym does offer him a sample visit (i.e. the free pass).

We can also understand question 8 with a more general meaning, i.e. not only about this time and this customer. But, I would still choose 'True' for this. From the listening, we know that the gym can offer a sample visit - even if that offer is conditional on a customer being unconvinced, as you pointed out. But question 8 doesn't specify any conditions for offering the visit, so we should consider all possible offer situations as relevant. This is still an offer of a sample visit (although possibly on condition that the customer is unconvinced), so I'd consider question 8 to be true.

What do you think?


The LearnEnglish Team

First of all, I would choose a gym near my home as I don't possess my own car and I hate having to ask for a ride everytime or depending on someone elses's availability. Then, the monthly membership rates and the registration and cancellation fees. I don't really mind paying a sign-up fee since it is often a low rate to attract customers. However, I'd really appreciate being able to cancel or rescind whenever it is convenient for me. Lastly, but not least, the facilities and services, equipements, free classes, friendly staff and so on.
When I visit a gym to join I look for timings like if the gym is 24 hours only then I join so I can go to the gym at any hours. Other than that I find out there is enough exercise equipment to play around with. I also want to know how many active members in the gym so I can guess the right time when there are fewer people in the gym.
What can I say, I did work out in a gym for nearly two years at the end I had to stop because a get a lesion, groin hernia, for that reason I had to stop my training, l actually I was used to it so I want to come back when be posible, after this I’m thinking on made callisthenic instead use machines, and look for a good trainer because the lesion was for a specific mistake that I committed doing an exercise bad
I would like to look for a fitness club which is located near to my home. I will plan to sign up for a month, then if I feel well there, I would extend my membership. I would like to work out on my belly fat there.
In my opinion the answer for question 5 is false because we can see in the transcription: “He or she will design an exercise plan that's just right for you and show you exactly what to do. We even include nutrition advice in the plan” Indeed the plan includes this benefit but isn’t clear that personal will do it.

Hello Teixeira,

I see what you mean. I've changed the wording of question 5 to try to make it clearer.

I hope it makes more sense now, and thanks for pointing this out to us.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Well, the short answer would be - nothing. I really don't look for anything in the gym. Actually, I've never been there before. And that's not because I think gyms are useless or fitness is meaningless. I just prefer to do my exercises in the nearest park or at home when the weather is cold or wet. You can ask me why? The answer is easy like the Cyrillic alphabet )) The gym costs money, you have to ride to the gym, if it isn't near you, you need to share exercise machines with others. Of course, there are lots of pros in gyms. You can use modern exercise machines (if they free), you can count on the gym trainer who could teach you to do exercises right. You also can look at your co-trainees and copy what they do. And above, if you accidentally hurt yourself, there might be someone among the gym personal who could give you help. So go or don't go to the gym every one can decide for oneself. Someone likes new fitness equipment and competitive spirit and someone likes fresh air and the freedom to do what you want.
All I need in a gym is a treadmill and pilates class. Those are the unique things I look for a gym because I really don´t like it. I rather choose exercise in home. hehe. =)
What I look for in a gym would be good rates obviously to be affordable, trainers who give us advice on what to do? and, how to do it ? in order to achieve our goals. the lesson has been useful and approachable. Thanks a lot.
First of all I’m interested in sportive life style and especially going to gym so when I have to choose one i prefer some specifications such as best rate, large space, not too much members so as not to be too crowded, polite personal trainers, comfortable and calm atmosphere , and diversity of equipments that meet my needs
What I look out for in a gym is getting fit to keep my body and system in perfect condition.

Hello ZahraMashama

Regarding Task 1 question 5, you have to look at what is said in the conversation: 'For your first visits we'll assign you one of our expert personal trainers. He or she will design an exercise plan that's just right for you and show you exactly what to do. We even include nutrition advice in the plan.' It's true that who creates the plan is not specified, but since no nutritionist is mentioned at any time, 'True' is a better answer. 

As for question 6, it seems to me that what you say means you think the answer should be 'False', which it is, because you have do have to pay to join the gym. Or have I misunderstood you?

As for question 7, the customer says 'Yeah, I guess', which doesn't show commitment. He does agree to look at the gym more, but it's not clear that he is convinced he will join.

As for question 8, the 'free day pass' is what gets you a sample visit.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

I look for a gym because there is very good for my health. When our bodies are normally active, our body's processes of metabolism can function effectively. After practicing sports, your mind will be more flexible and alert and you can learn anything faster. You will have a relaxed spirit. In addition, your body will be perfect. How beautiful your body is when it's symmetrical and not fat.
I tend to search for inexpensive gyms nearby my home, in the first place. As a matter of fact, I am willing to walk max 10 mins to get there. Naturally, it is vital to be well-equipped as well. It is also crucial to have many enough tools when I am working out there. Eventually, there are many gyms where you can listen to awful music during your training so music is another important factor for me.
initially the gym must be near to my house that i can walk all the way to there and i prefer use locker to keep the stuff safe also the gym must under cover by security cameras dispute that security guide present during the days. clean and tidy facilities as a shower, toilet and workout equipment.
If i considered registering at a gym i will probably make sure about the cleanliness of the place and the price of registering of course plus the area needs to be close enough to my house.
What I look for in a gym is space and equipments, It must have variety in equipments that allows us to work out all my muscles with different routines.
Hello, Dear teacher Could you explain, please? What does drop by mean? and is it nessesary to say "does" in the sentences above "it does extra cost though." and In the sentences "Almost, though" how can i understand "though" does it mean "but"? Thank you. Rakhmet. In Kazakh Rakhmet means thank you very much.

Hello again Yerlan

'drop by' means 'visit'. 'does' is not grammatically necessary in the sentence you ask about, but it does add emphasis. Yes, 'though' means 'but' here -- she means they aren't open 24 hours, but nearly 24 hours.

Rakhmet for the Kazakh lesson!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

In a gym I look for the cleanness , the equipment condition , the space , a good trainer and a good price as well.
I have completed the task, 'Joining the Gym'. The level I chose was Upper Intermediate B2.
for me,the most important thing about a gym is probably the amount of people working there, in compare to the whole space the gym has.the less crowded the gym is, the better i can work out.also it will be great if they have trainers to help for the beginning sessions and to design a personal programme.
Usually, almost always when looking for a gym, most of the sport centers attempt to atract you with marketing campaings by first addressing the costs, or by talking you about taking advantage of the "limit" bargains they have at the moment, this due to the ignorance of people whom purpose is often looking for a place just for exercising, making them prone to be fooled by the employees which, by the way, are paid regarding to the number of people they can add into the gym. Now, when it comes to look for sport center that is worth it the most effective way to find it is by gleaning, both innerly and outerly, in order to have a wide panning of the aspects of how it works, as for instance from having coaches whom purpose is guide you through a framework of biologycal facts, to having a wide repertoire of machines ,etc.
Hello EthanMe, If you want to download, just right click on the audio and then choose save as audio. Best,
Hello EthanMe, I'm afraid the audio files are not available for download. We have apps which enable users to listen and watch material 'on the go', however: ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team