If you want to start exercising regularly, the first decision you need to make is where to do so. Generally, there are two options: to workout in a gym or at home. Naturally, you can also train outdoors or play sports, but for most people, the natural choice is still between the gym and their home.
In this article I want to talk about the benefits of each of these options. I’ll compare them according to various criteria. I hope that by the time you finish this article you’ll have a clear understanding of what is right for you.
The first criterion is the financial one. A gym membership costs money. In some areas it can cost quite a lot. Naturally, there are more affordable gyms than others and you can find a variety of options in most major cities. However, there’s no escaping the fact that having a gym membership is more expensive than working out at home.
Home workouts usually come at a cost as well. It’s the cost of buying equipment for your home. But this is much cheaper than going to a gym (at least for extended periods of time) so you need to decide whether a gym membership is something you want to spend money on.
To have fitness equipment at home you need to actually buy it. You also need to find space for it. This means that the range of equipment you have is limited by your budget and free space.
While you can find a variety of cheap exercise equipment that isn’t likely to burn a hole in your pocket, there really is no way you can match what a gym will offer.
In gyms you can find an essortment of exercise machines, both cardio and strength, that will simply be too expensive to buy for your home. In good gyms, the machines come from quality manufacturers and these items may cost thousands of dollars.
This is part of what you pay for in the gym. You’re “renting” the use of the equipment for the time of your workout.
Part of the benefit of going to a gym is having access to trainers. At some gyms you may also be able to consult with nutritionists and other professionals.
Getting feedback on the way you perform various exercises is valuable. It may help you reduce risk of injury and improve the results you get from your workouts. Trainers can also be a fountain of ideas as they know a lot more exercises than you likely do.
With portable music player being so small and light these days, you can listen to your favorite music at home or at the gym. The only problem with the gym is that often the music is so loud that it filters through even when you’re wearing your own earphones. This can be annoying. At home you and you alone choose the music.
This is a discussion in and of itself because comfort depends on a number of factors:
1. Privacy – If you don’t want to train around other people, home workouts are the way to go.
2. Commuting – Training at home doesn’t require you to drive to the gym. This saves you a lot of time if you plan on exercising multiple times each week (which I highly recommend).
3. Setting up equipment – Unless you have a home gym or a special room which is dedicated to your home exercise equipment, you will need to set things up before each workout and to tidy up afterward. In the gym this isn’t a problem. Everything is already set up for you. All you need to do is to set the appropriate weight and you’re good to go.
4. Shower – You may be disinclined to wash up in the public shower at the gym even if they’re adequately cleaned. Showering at home is usually more convenient.
5. Having “Your Own” Time - Going to the gym may prove more convenient, especially if you have small kids at home who will demand your attention during your workout.
There may be other comfort-factors which I haven’t thought of. It’s really a personal thing.
Effectiveness of Your Workout
I believe that you can do effective workouts both at home or at the gym. It’s a matter of having the right knowledge, focus, and frame of mind. If you’re serious about getting fit you can do so with or without a gym membership.
That being said, a gym does give you more options and there is a benefit of having a place which is dedicated to exercising. In addition, paying for something often creates more commitment which is a positive thing.
I believe that having a gym membership makes it easier to lose body fat and get fit. However, you can do wonders at home.