So which is better? Going to a gym or working out at home? I think the answer really depends on the individual. That said, I think that many of the benefits of a gym are somewhat marginalized by technology in today’s day and age. But full disclosure here, while I work with folks that work out at home, I also own a small training studio that sees training sessions or classes take place Monday through Saturday. So what follows is not really an attempt to point anyone in one direction or another. I am really just trying to show, you the reader, the benefits of both. So here it goes:
Benefits of home workouts
- No commute time to the gym. You simply walk down stairs into your basement, your living room or where ever you happen to get it done. In a hectic, fast paced society this appeals to a lot of people. It also saves you money on gas.
- You’re equipment doesn’t get taken. In a crowded gym, if you are circuit training (going from one piece of equipment to another) and walk away from a set of dumbbells, they may not be there when you get back.
- You may not like the atmosphere in a gym. Gyms and health clubs have long been male dominated environments. While more and more women are moving in and realizing the amazing benefits of strength training, many are still not comfortable in traditional gyms. Working out at home takes that out of the equation.
- At home, you can work out on your own schedule. If 4:00am is the only time that you can get it done, and you can’t find access to one of those 24-hour facilities, a home set up, might be your only option.
- It doesn’t matter what you look like in your workout clothes when you work out at home. I know. In a perfect world, we shouldn’t care about that. We show up to the gym to get down to business. But for many, it’s still a concern. Working out at home alleviates that.
- There’s no Lunk-Alarm. A certain purple colored gym chain famous for being “for you, not them” has policies against dropping weights, super-setting, grunting and generally working hard. In your own house, you can slam the weights, scream a battle cry and then flex until you have an embolism and nobody can tell you to do differently. Unless of course, you live in an apartment or town house. Then your neighbors might get a bit irritated, but that’s different.
- The equipment available today allows the general fitness enthusiast or person just trying to feel better plenty of options. My stance on kettlebells is pretty well known. Having a collection of them and a few other things allows for some amazing workouts.
Benefits of gym workouts
- To directly mirror number 7 from the above list, at a gym, you are more likely to have access to things like a power rack and barbells. Unless you are willing to invest significant space in your home, along with a little bit of money, your best bet is a commercial training facility if you need these items.
- There are fewer distractions. Going to the gym, you are less likely to get sidetracked by unwashed laundry, the dog barfing up half of whatever it got into outside and all the other things that can happen inside your home.
- If you find the right facility, you can surround yourself with a community of like-minded people. This is one of those things that most of us don’t recognize as a need but it’s still vital to our success. It also happens to be one of the things I mentioned earlier that technology can marginalize. Connecting with people is important and will continue to be. Going to a gym is one way to do so.
- For some people, they need a dedicated space to do certain things. I believe this may piggy-back with #3, but I have heard too many times that “I just can’t do this by myself”. I think that these may be the same people that need to go to an office to work. A home office isn’t for everyone and maybe those same people need something other than a home gym.
- You can find instruction at a gym. You are unlikely to find a gym that doesn’t have personal trainers on staff and at the very least, class instructors. However, due to technology, this is also one that doesn’t just apply to gyms anymore.
So that’s my list for both. As you can see, the “gym list” is a bit shorter but don’t take that as a knock on the value of going to a gym. As I said above, it really depends on the person and their situation. After reading through this, what do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.
One last thing, I’m not crazy about the picture for this blog post as it paints home workout spaces in a very particular light. There’s nothing wrong with this light, but it’s not reflective of every home gym space. So I included a snap shot of my own home workout area.