I’ve been asked many times; “Should I workout at home, or at the gym”. I’m tempted to simply answer; “Yes” and end the conversation there. But the question does in fact deserve a more detailed answer. While it’s certainly true that a workout anywhere will benefit your body, each prospective location does have its advantages. Here are some pros and cons for each.
Working out in the Gym
1) VARIETY – A fitness facility will have a greater array of equipment than you can, in all likelihood, fit into your home, or your personal budget. If you like to hit a different set of machines during each session, the club is a great choice.
2) CLASSES – Having live instructors and an assortment of class offerings can help keep your workout fresh.
3) FOCUS – In some ways, the hardest part of working out at the gym is pushing open the front door. If you make it inside the facility, you’re darn likely to get a good workout since there’s little else to do there.
4) COMMUNITY – Powering through those last few minutes of a class is easier when you’re exercising in a group. “If she can do it, then I can too” is a common mindset on the aerobics floor. And knowing your workout buddy will be at the gym at your agreed upon time is one factor that should keep you on schedule.
1) PEOPLE – The flip side of the motivation provided by having a workout “community,” as noted above, is that sometimes the people there can be an annoyance instead of a blessing. Are you being stared at? Is the machine you want to use sweaty from the previous user? Is there a line for your favorite piece?
2) MONEY – No matter how much you pay, or for how long you maintain your membership, you’re really just renting space and never seeing the financial benefit of equipment ownership.
3) TIME – One of the biggest reasons people skip workouts is lack of sufficient time. If you have an hour to exercise but you have to fuss with your wardrobe, drive to the club, park, check in, say hello to the other regulars, and then drive home afterward, you may have lost all of the available minutes before you’ve lifted your first “rep”.
Working out at Home
1) CONVENIENCE – There’s nothing like having “home field advantage,” whether in sports or for something as important as your health and fitness goals. When your workout is right around the corner, you don’t have to worry about dressing right, finding a parking space, or signing up in advance for a class. And you can be sure your home gym will be just as clean and sanitary tomorrow as you’re leaving it today.
2) MONEY – When you own your workout equipment, there’s no need for continuous payments to rent space from a gym operator. You might be surprised to learn how affordable a high-quality home workout setup can be.
3) TIME – Another positive aspect about exercising at home vs. at a club, is that you’ll receive the same physical benefit in half the time. No driving to and from the workout, changing in the locker room, or wasting time with idle chit-chat. Your home “club” is ready when you are – on your schedule and 24/7.
4) VARIETY – Yes, this can be an advantage in home workouts as well. With the amazing catalog of classes offered on “Connected Fitness” products like Echelon cardio pieces or the myriad of apps available on Matrix Fitness products, you can keep boredom at bay and be challenged to achieve significant health and fitness benefits.
CONS: (with caveats)
1) BOREDOM – Many people feel that working out at home will become “stale” since the number of pieces available is likely to be limited. But since your cardio piece can include movie apps or the ability to surf the Net, it’s more likely that your workout time will fly by, and you might actually workout longer than you’d planned. Most people have one favorite type of cardio machine they use in a club. Put that one in your home and get excited by the fact that your favorite is ready and waiting. In addition, live classes are available on many product offerings, giving you the ability to compete with other users in real time, keeping you fully engaged in your workout.
2) SPACE – Sure, you may not have the floor space to put in a myriad of machines. But modern pieces can provide incredible fitness options in tiny areas. As one example, the Echelon Reflect, a fitness mirror with unlimited challenges in strength, cardio, stretching, yoga, boxing, and many other categories, hangs on the wall and takes up ZERO floor space.
3) EXCUSES – Is it easier to skip a workout at home with all the potential distractions at hand, or one at the gym which requires the additional effort to just get there? I’m tempted to say that that’s a question for the great philosophers of our time. But the reality is that once you make a commitment to your health and fitness, it’s best to institute a 30 day plan to develop a habit, and begin to see positive results. Then, you are very likely to develop the motivation that helps necessary to stay consistent, whether you’re in a club or at home.
As stated at the outset of this blog, I’m a firm believer in encouraging anyone to workout in whatever location best suits their needs.
At Premier Fitness Source, we have outfitted some of the best commercial facilities, including gyms, university athletic training centers, high-end apartment communities and fire & police stations. And we carry top of the line brands for home exercisers. Check us out at PremierFitnessSource.com or stop into any of our GA or TN locations. Our certified fitness professionals will help guide you to the right solutions to your fitness needs.
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