Most people who exercise regularly instantly think of joining a gym, but is this necessarily the best environment for your training? In this article we want to discuss the key differences between training at a gym and at home. There's pros and cons with both so let's look at them.
Benefits of Training at Home
Training at home was traditionally reserved for the wealthy, or those who weren't particularly committed to their training and only wanted to do the occasional workout. Thanks to advances in training routines and the low cost of fitness equipment, training at home is now a much better choice for a lot more people. The benefits of training at home are numerous, but it all depends on you and your needs, as to whether this is the right environment for you to progress your training. Let's have a look at the benefits of home gyms or simply training at home:
Total privacy for your workout - If you don't like exercising in front of other people, this is probably going to be the biggest benefit of training at home.
Full Control of the equipment - If you've ever been to a gym and found out they were missing a certain piece of kit that is essential for your workout, you'll understand this struggle. Your gym, you choose exactly what equipment to have.
No waiting for equipment - This follows on from the above point, but it's very annoying having to wait for a specific piece of equipment when you're in the middle of your workout.
No rules - Maybe you like training in your pants or love to drop the weights? Well if it's your gym you can do whatever you like, your gym your rules!
No ongoing cost - Obviously you need to invest in equipment up-front, but after this initial investment there are no ongoing costs with a home gym. Short-term it'll normally be cheaper to go to a gym, but long term a home gym will start to pay for itself and then save you a monthly membership.
Build it over time - There's nothing to say you have to go out and spend a fortune from the start. You could simply start with some simple weights and let your home gym evolve with your workouts.
- A capital investment - Your gym equipment isn't simply money given away to a business, it's an investment in quality equipment, which will have a certain amount of resale value.
Convenience - Have you ever added up all the time you spend travelling to and from the gym? Most people don't think about this, but there are significant time benefits to training at home. Not to mention no public changing rooms or showers.
- No distractions - There are many distractions in gyms, from admiring other people to giant TV screens. In your gym you can create a perfect distraction free zone.
So overall, a home gym has a lot of benefits surrounding control over your workout environment, but the weaknesses of training at home are the strengths of training at a gym.
Benefits of Training at a Gym
Training at a gym is what the majority of people decide to do. They offer a nice dedicated fitness environment away from home and they normally have large selections of equipment and additional facilities. They can offer some significant benefits over training at home, but it all depends on you and your needs. It also depends on the type of training you want to do, so here's a list of the benefits of joining a gym, rather than training at home:
A large selection of equipment - Commercial gym equipment is very high quality, but as a result is very expensive (just have a look at our commercial gym kit) and takes up a large amount of floor-space if you were to purchase it all for a home gym.
No initial investment in equipment - Building a home gym, requires at least some level of initial investment. Whilst most gyms have a joining fee, it's normally small compared to setting up a home gym.
Additional Facilities - Not many people are blessed with the luxury of affording a swimming pool, squash court or spa in their home. Joining a health club style gym may provide access to these additional facilities which would otherwise be financially impossible at home.
Commitment - Joining a gym is a commitment to your fitness, packing your gym kit and physically travelling to the gym is also a commitment. This can be a double edged sword for motivation, but once you're at the gym the chances are your committed enough to do a workout. On the other hand it's very easy to procrastinate at home.
Social Benefits - Some people meet their best friends, or even partners at the gym. Going to a friendly gym environment can be both motivating and sociable.
- Escapism - Whilst many people like the privacy of a home gym, many people like to escape their kids, partner or pets by going to the gym!
So as you can see there's no superior option, overall both options have their pros and cons (which are normally directly opposing). The answer is to determine which is best for you and your needs. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are your goals?
- What sort of environment do you like to train in?
- Do you need all of the equipment in a gym, or do you only use a small selection which could be purchased cheaply?
- Do you want to pay for the luxury of extra facilities?
- Do you prefer to train alone or is socialising an important part of your training?
- How much time do you have to train and are you happy to travel to a gym?
- Do you have an adequate space or area at home that could be used as a home gym?
Using these questions and the benefits of each option above should help you to answer the question of which is better for you. Either way happy training and if you decide to go down the route of creating a home gym then have a look at our home gym packages. We put these together based on some of our most popular pieces of equipment and providing you better value.