Full Gym - "one stop shopping"
First, we have the full gym, or what I like to call - one stop shopping. This place has it all - your cardio machines, your weight-lifting machines and free weights. Some of them also offer group fitness and have some "extras" such as a pool and basketball court. If you're lucky, the hours fit your schedule, it's not so crowded you have to wait for equipment to be available, and if you have little ones, some even offer babysitting! However, some people don't like "the gym" - they don't feel comfortable working out in front of others or they're working out very early or very late at night, when the gym isn't even open.
Boutique (specialty) gym
This type of gym often offers one type of fitness class or training session. They might have different classes that vary by time or difficulty level, but a yoga studio isn't going to offer a boot camp class, and a spinning studio isn't going to offer TRX. These studios tend to have some of the best instructors and experts in the area, but consequently don't offer much variety. They also tend to have the type of classes that require signing up days in advance to secure your spot.
Whether you signed up for a class at a local community class or an 8-week boot camp session that meets at the local park, this type of class often helps to teach you a certain skill. You pay up front for a session that lasts for a limited amount of time. Each class has the same group of people and you build on your skill set each class. Last summer I took a class at the Philadelphia School for Circus Arts, which pushed me very far outside my comfort zone, but was an amazing experience. I'll save my thoughts on the class for another post, but there is something for everyone if you'd like to not only improve your fitness, but learn a thing or two in the meantime.
Home exercise videos
You might not like to workout in public where everyone can see, but you love to challenge yourself. Or maybe you don't have the time to get yourself to the gym and back? You like the idea of just putting in a DVD and 'pushing play'. Many home workout DVDs now come with a set of multiple DVDs and a schedule to follow so that you don't have to put any thought into what you're doing to do each day.
Maybe you can't get out of the house because you have little ones, or maybe you're sick of waiting for equipment to be available because you're working out during peak hours. For whatever reason, you'd rather create your own workout with your own equipment by yourself. This is great because you can workout whenever you want and put on whatever music you want, all in the comfort of your own home!
Whether you'r training for a race or just like to get some fresh air, you often find yourself outside. If you're playing it safe, the only limit to your workout is daylight hours and weather, but sometimes even that won't stop you. When I was training for a spring marathon, I found myself running in some of the worst conditions - there was one particular run where I ran in snow, rain and hail all in the same run! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?