Home Gym Vs Gym Membership: The Pros & Cons

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Home Gym Vs Gym Membership? Which is Better For You? How to choose?

One of the first problems you’ll be faced with when you decide to get involved in strength training is whether you take out membership at your local gym, or invest money in purchasing the equipment needed to create your own gym at home. In short: home gym vs gym membership? As you’ll discover when you read through this post, both come with their own particular advantages and disadvantages. There is no universal answer to the question: home gym or gym membership? It all depends.

Some experts agree it matters far less where you work out then how you work out. As long as you learn properly and lift properly you pretty much physically can get the same work out with the right weightlifting routine at home, as you can in any gym. However, in our opinion that is much more difficult to achieve by exercising at home. Don’t worry, you’ll find out why is that.

Making the right decision

Home gym vs gym membership in a way really is part of the broader question of free weights vs. weight machines. Because a set of barbells is pretty inexpensive and does not take up much space, it really is very possible to get the same workout at home as in a gym. With proper training you can accomplish anything (and more, some would argue) with a good set of free weights as you can with weight machines.

But proper training is the key, and if you are going to workout at home with free weights, you need to get yourself a good series of instructional videos, or maybe a few sessions with a personal trainer. If you are a total novice and would feel more comfortable on machines, today that does not rule out home workouts. There is good quality affordable home weightlifting machines available that do not take up nearly as much space as they used to. However, the initial cost may be very high.

Benefits of working out at home

Here are the main reasons why working out at home makes sense. These are also the main drawbacks of training at the gym.

  • Working out at home saves time in travel, and eliminates the price of a gym membership.
  • Many prefer the comfort and privacy of working out at home. You are in your own space and you can work out when you want for as long as you want. You may be embarrassed to be seen in public with what you consider to be a terribly out-of-shape body.
  • Home gym allows you to choose your workout times more freely.
  • There are no crowds to contend with. Some people simply like to be alone with their dumbbells.
  • In the long run it may be more economical to invest in the equipment required to outfit a home facility than to pay sign-up fees and monthly dues at a public gym.
  • Hygiene. Generally gyms are pretty clean. However, you don’t want to find yourself having to remove someone else’s sweat from a piece of equipment before you begin using it. Unfortunately this isn’t the gym’s fault but rather the other people who are using it.

Benefits and drawbacks of working out at home

Disadvantages of exercising at home

Here are the main reasons why working out at home isn’t such a good idea. These are also the main advantages of doing strength training at the gym.

  • Equipment limitations may keep you from performing some key exercises. This is the biggest drawback of exercising at home. At the gym you’ll be able to carry out a wider range of exercises as they have a much wider selection of weight machines to choose from.
  • Cost of equipment. The initial cost of setting up your own home gym can prove extremely expensive. If you choose to exercise at the gym you won’t need to worry about having to fork out thousands of dollars on purchasing equipment that you may only use once or twice as your local gym will have everything that you need.
  • It takes real self-discipline to work out regularly at home. Many people feel the need to have a gym membership to stay motivated since they don’t want to feel they are wasting money. At home you may become discouraged with no one else around to create an atmosphere of encouragement.
  • Exercising at home leaves you open to interruptions such as the doorbell, the telephone, family members, and visual distractions. There are also many temptations at home that can lure you into neglecting your workout. The television, the telephone, the refrigerator, even the bed or household chores.
  • Gyms also have the advantage of trainers on staff.
  • Some people like the social interaction of gyms. This is something you can’t accomplish in your own home gym.
  • In a gym it is easier to cross train with other activities for cardio like aerobics or swimming.
  • No one to spot for you. Having no one to spot for you can be very risky. Being trapped beneath a bar with heavy weights on can increase the risk of not only injury but also possibly death. However there is one quick easy solution to this problem and that’s to get a friend or someone to train with you to spot whilst you’re lifting weights.
  • Finally, since at home you have total freedom with respect to workout hours, it may be tempting to miss a workout. You may tell yourself, “I’ll get up and work out from 2:00 a.m. till 3:15,” and then never get up.

So it really comes down to a case of personal choice and personality type as to what is better for you: weightlifting at home or weightlifting in a gym. Yet with all things considered, if you are able to discipline yourself—to make a very specific workout schedule and stick to it—and if you are self-motivated and don’t need or want anyone around and can unplug the telephone, and not answer the door, and block out all distractions, a home workout may be ideal for you.

Closing thoughts: Home Gym Vs Gym Membership

Exercising at home has few practical advantages. However we would highly recommend you actually join your local gym first so you can get to see the kinds of exercise equipment you should be using. It also gives you the opportunity to work with the gyms staff (personal trainer) to ensure you’re using the equipment properly. Then of course if you stick with your strength training regime you can consider investing money in equipment for a home gym later. But remember you will need to have the space available in your home to set it up.

As already mentioned if you’ve only just decided to start working out in order to build up muscle mass and strength then of course joining a gym is something that you should seriously consider. Unfortunately, exercising at home has far more serious disadvantages then benefits. Finally, don’t forget that in order to progress, you will have to continuously buy more and more heavier dumbbells and barbells which can be considerable expense. So, what’s your final decision after reading this post? Home gym vs gym membership?

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