Squeezing a workout into a busy day can be near impossible, but whether because we need the reliable rush of endorphins or because our resolve cannot be challenged, we end up fitting it in there. Despite all the days where we don’t feel 100 percent, completing a grueling workout can turn around our mood for the better. As fitness becomes a habit and a lifestyle, the question shifts from “Will I work out?” to “How will I work out?”
Now, designing a routine takes a lot of research and effort, but if you’re not careful, you’ll overlook a very important step. Before you can maximize your workout, you have to know what equipment is available to you, and before you know what equipment is available to you, you need to know where you’re working out. Ultimately, your choices are an outside gym or creating one in your own home.
This isn’t a decision you should make until you have a regular workout schedule, because either way you go, it’s a long-term commitment. Gym contracts do cost a lot of money annually, and obviously a home gym requires a big upfront investment. But when you’ve established a solid routine, you’ve eventually got to make yet another commitment, and picking between them isn’t as clear-cut as you might think.
Alright, let’s be honest, this is the first factor that most of us consider when picking between the two options. Now, it’s clearly going to depend partially on what rate you can negotiate at your local gym. Gyms go to great lengths to make the most money off each member, even when it seems they’re offering a sweet deal. And when you look at the average gym user, it’s clear what their strategy is: most people will only go the a gym a few times a month, but still renew every month because they’re “going to do better.” You don’t fit in this group, and you’ll definitely get some use out of your key card, so it’s not a total waste of your money.
However, you will have to pay month over month, whereas the cost of home gym is all upfront. In the long run, you can save a lot of money with a home gym, especially if you buy some of the equipment secondhand. There are plenty of people who only use their home gym a few times and then let it collect dust in their garage. That’s the perfect opportunity for you to swoop in, save money, and get swole in the process.
One machine doesn’t always get the job done. There are different machines that you can use to workout several parts of your body, but no one piece of equipment is going to offer the flexibility of your local gym. Eventually, you will hit a plateau if you don’t change up your workout enough, so having access to different machines is a huge plus.
Your local gym is going to have a lot more equipment, generally. They might even have a pool! Considering that swimming can be one of the best ways to build your endurance, not to mention a low-impact activity for your rest days, that’s a big bonus to your local gym. You might have your own pool, but that’s an extremely expensive amenity to provide yourself.
Whether the specific perks that your local gym offers outweighs other factors is ultimately up to you. You might not enjoy swimming or you might hate leg press machines anyway. But it is definitely something you should consider.
This sound like an easy win for home gym at first glance. Having instant access to the gym whenever the urge to work out strikes you can be hugely helpful towards reaching your goals. However, if you like to work out with a buddy, this can be awkward, especially if you only have one machine. Of course you can switch off, but having various machines to choose from at your local gym is a big advantage. Plus, your buddy might have different fitness goals than you.
If you live in an area where you might not be able to always reach your gym, though, then home gym definitely has the advantage! That way, just because you’re snowed in, you don’t have to give up on working out for the day. Forming a habit takes a long time, but breaking one is much easier. Don’t let yourself give in to temptation. Every once in awhile is fine, but if you live in an area with hurricanes and blizzards, a home gym might be the better choice.
It’s important to consider all of the factors above when you’re deciding where you’re going to work out. Don’t just go with what you’ve already been doing. Sometimes you have to fight against inertia. You want to look back and be proud of your progress, and that might necessitate change in where you work out. Both options are viable. It just depends on what you need to get swole.