Working Out At Home Versus The Gym
by Jackie Burgmann, creator of "Hot at Home" - The Transformation Solution for People Who Hate The Gym
Do you workout at home? Or in a gym? Not sure if your choice is actually right for you?
Or, are you just now deciding to get into it and considering your options, wondering what might be best for you?
There are several very valid reasons people choose to workout at home, and several equally valid reasons other people choose to workout at a commercial gym.
If you're not sure what is the best bet for you, then you probably need a bit more information about what the differences between working out at home and working out in a gym might mean to you personally.
So, before you decide whether you’re going to invest in a gym membership or in equipment for your home, here are some positives and negatives about each to consider, contrast and compare:
Gym memberships can be quite costly, and this would be an ongoing expense because ALL gyms have monthly membership fees. Many have 'joining fees' as well.
Take a close look at your monthly budget and decide if you can afford the joining fee as well as the monthly fee before you sign on the dotted line.
Plus, before locking yourself into a contract, also find out if that monthly fee is locked in for the life of your membership or if it is subject to increase in the future. Take this into consideration when determining your budgetary constraints.
If you do decide to go for the gym membership first do some price comparisons before you commit to a membership. If you like the gym and want to join but the price is out of reach, it's ok to ask for a temporary (or permanent) price reduction, and if the answer is no, ask when their next big promotion will be and join then.
If this particular gym is still out of reach financially, don’t hesitate to walk away. There are other gyms out there, and if they see you're prepared to walk out without joining, it's likely they’ll offer you some sort of incentive to get you to buy their membership rather than having you go to the competition.
Home equipment can also be costly and possibly an even bigger investment ... at least at the beginning.
Although it doesn't have to be expensive at the outset either. With a few minor pieces of equipment like adjustable dumbbells and a couple of fitness bands you can be set up for very effective home workouts.
One good thing about the investment in home equipment is that once you’re fully equipped with the items you need to work out in the most effective way for you, this cost comes to a complete halt (barring minor repairs or replacements when equipment wears out or breaks).
That makes the home workout option a much more cost-effective way to better health and fitness than a commercial gym, in the long term.
Do some shopping around for the equipment you want. The prices can vary widely, especially for larger equipment like treadmills.
Be careful though: the quality of fitness equipment can also vary widely. It’s true what they say, "You get what you pay for".
To save on your equipment costs, don't be afraid to purchase used equipment from Craigslist or other online sources. Usually the buyer is selling it because they're upgrading or gave up on their fitness goals and no longer has room to store it. But don't forget "Caveat Emptor" (which means "Let The Buyer Beware"). Inspect used equipment thoroughly to ensure it's in proper working order before buying.
You don't have to buy it all at once, either. Just start out with just a few pieces of equipment at first and build on your collection as you get stronger and need bigger challenges.
Commercial gyms usually have a lot going for them when it comes to functionality.
They’re usually well supplied with a large variety of dumbbell and plate weights and bar sizes in the free-weights area, plus several benches, including flat benches, decline and incline benches.
In the majority of commercial gyms you’ll also find a lot of many different brands of weight machines and several kinds of cardio machines.
You won't be lacking for ways to add variety to your workouts with all the equipment you'll have available to you.
When it comes to home workouts on the other hand, you can also be well equipped, but that is entirely up to you, your budget, and what you decide to purchase for your home gym (see last section of this article).
If you don’t purchase many pieces of equipment for your workout space or don’t have room for a lot of equipment in your space you might find yourself feeling limited for variety.
The rules of fitness dictate that you change up your routine from time to time to prevent plateaus and stagnation. So be careful that you get versatile equipment that enables you to change your routines often even with your limited equipment (tip: at the very minimum get yourself a set of adjustable dumbbells and a few weights of fitness bands).
The good news is that with a little self-education you can learn how to add a lot of variety to a home workout even with minimal equipment (that's what "Hot at Home" is all about, as a matter of fact).
PRIVACY, CAMARADERIE & ATMOSPHERE
This one is a biggie.
Some people prefer to work out amongst many other people who are also working out.
They find they can feed off the energy of the other people and be inspired or motivated by those around them merely by being in the same space.
In this case, the gym is the place for you.
Other people really prefer to work out in privacy.
They may feel they’re ’not in good enough shape’ to be seen in fitness clothing and would rather get on with it without anyone else’s eyes on them.
For these people, the home workout scenario is much better.
Another huge issue with the gym is that many of the more hard-core exercisers in the gym can be rather intimidating... sometimes downright scary.
Many gym members are rude, don't care if they steal others' equipment, smell strongly of body odor, leave their sweat on the equipment without wiping it off or leave their equipment in the middle of everyone else's way when they're finished with it.
These kinds of gym members don't seem to understand the concept of being considerate to those around them. And there are a LOT of people like this in the gym (of course there are just as many awesome people in the gym, but when someone is being rude it's a lot more noticeable than when someone is minding their business and being considerate, especially when that rude behavior affects your own workout).
It takes a strong personality to put up with being around some of that behavior, unless you can turn a totally blind eye and deaf ear.
If you're someone that has a hard time being around these kinds of gym-goers, then the home workout situation is definitely the right thing for you.
To enjoy your workouts in a commercial gym, keep in mind that you have to make time in your day to drive to the gym and home again.
You also might find yourself in lines waiting to use your favorite piece of equipment if you are working out at peak times. This can extend the time in your day you need to complete your workout, which is not so convenient for some.
If your workout includes supersets or supercircuits working out in a gym can be pretty frustrating, especially if you're using more than one piece of equipment at the same time.
You constantly run the risk of having someone else take your equipment away as soon as you put down one piece of equipment to do another exercise in the set with another piece of equipment.
Your workout can wind up turning into an annoying chore of watching while trying to work and continually warning others 'I'm working on that, please don't take it away'.
At your own home gym or workout space, you don’t have the commute, nor will you have any waiting for equipment... it’s all yours! And that can be pretty darned convenient and far less frustrating.
ASSISTANCE & SAFETY
Many people choose the commercial gym for their workouts strictly for the assistance they can get by working out amongst others.
Spotters, trainers, or just watching others’ techniques are all ways to get assistance at a commercial gym.
For people lifting very heavy weights, the assistance of a spotter is a must.
Doing a bench press under a barbell or extremely heavy barbell squats without a spotter can cause serious injury if the lifter gets trapped under the bar or happens to drop it on themselves when they hit failure.
In the home gym set-up you have to be very careful with your weights. I’d recommend not using a barbell at all for moves like bench presses (use dumbbells instead, then if your muscles hit failure at least you can drop them to the side without getting trapped under the bar).
There are also no trainers available (unless you hire one to train you in your home) nor are there other people to watch for technique tips when working out alone at home.
However, there’s always the Internet! You can read articles and watch videos on YouTube for technique tips or find yourself an online coach to replace a gym trainer.
But you can’t get a spotter from the Internet.
You need a real person physically present and able to grab the equipment to keep you safe if you get into a sticky situation for that. So keep that in mind if your goal is to be a professional powerlifter. If you're going to work out at home with that goal in mind, you should probably get yourself a workout partner to workout with you in your home gym space.
Those are some of the more important differences between the home workout and the gym workout.
Hopefully these comparisons will help you figure out whether a commercial gym membership or a home gym set up is the right direction for you.
If this article helped you decide that working out at home is better for you, then you need to grab yourself the "Hot at Home" System.
"Hot at Home" covers everything you need to get set up properly for home workouts and includes an extensive Mindset and Motivation section, plus over 40 weeks of effective fat-burning workouts that you can do in the privacy and convenience of your own home, regardless of how small your workout space is.
"Hot at Home" is THE Transformation Solution for People Who Hate The Gym.
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Find out more about "Hot at Home" here.