There are people who are passionate about working out at home and those who will fit in a trip to the gym even if it kills them – but are the die-hards in either camp right about which is best? Let’s look at the pros and cons of working out at home to help you decide which is best for you.
Pros and Cons of Home Workouts
- It’s free! – the best benefit of working out from home is that you can avoid costly membership fees, and will be cheaper in the long run even if you buy your own equipment our outfit your garage.
- You can work out alone – you don’t have to hear the guy grunting in the background, no one is looking at you (unavoidable at the gym, whether they’re actually looking at you or through you between sets), and you can wear whatever you want.
- Avoid judgment – we’ve all heard horror stories of a know-it-all coming up to someone and trying to tell them why what they are doing is wrong. At home, there’s no chance of that!
- Mix it up – do you like doing weights one day, running outside the next, and then doing some yoga alone with a video on YouTube? Working out at home means you don’t feel like you’ve got to do any set routine to make the most of your membership.
- You can workout anytime – Do you do shift work? Like to workout very early in the morning? At home it doesn’t matter when you want to workout, you can start anytime.
- No commute – unless your building offers a gym, you’ll have to walk or drive somewhere to access the gym, which means you need to spend time (and possibly money) commuting.
- It’s easy to get started – just change out of your jeans and start; you don’t need to be presentable and drive to the gym. Just decide to workout, put on some music, and do your routine.
- It can get lonely – unless you have a full home gym and invite friends over, you’ll always be working out alone.
- Lack of equipment – most of us don’t have the luxury of a home gym.
- Neighbors may not like it – if you live in an upstairs apartment they may not thank you for the sound of banging as you jump around or pick up and put down weights.
- It’s easy to decide to not workout – you’re at home and you’re tired. Maybe you can skip this one workout, right…?
Pros and Cons of Gym Workouts
- A large variety of equipment – most gyms these days have all the equipment you could ever dream of, and while kettlebells, dumbbells, and cardio exercises are relatively easy to replicate at home, heavy weight lifting is not.
- Social – at the gym you have the opportunity to be social, if you want to be. Sometimes it’s just nice seeing some different faces while you do your workout.
- Professionals and experts – most gyms will be packed with resident trainers and super-fit people who will be more than happy to explain a thing or to, should you need to.
- Access to classes – if you like working out with others most gyms offer a huge range of classes for you to attend.
- Other people are motivating – do you really want to be the person who’s making no effort? No – and if you’re competitive this will work to your advantage.
- Your membership can be motivating – if you like making the most of your money you’ll be in there five days a week.
- It can be frustrating – if you have to go to the gym before or after your 9-5 you’ll be there when everyone else is too, meaning you may have to alter your workout to take advantage of the available equipment.
- It costs money – most memberships are at least $30 a month, which adds up over the course of the year. (But it’s much less than the cost of health care!)
- You have to be motivated to get there in the first place – and it’s easy to make excuses why you can’t or shouldn’t go.
- Peripheral costs – you’ll probably spend more on gym clothes, fuel to get around, and potentially car maintenance costs, which you wouldn’t spend by working out at home.
Home Workouts vs Gym Workouts: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day it will all come down to you, your personal preferences, and circumstances, but whatever gets you active is the winner. If you like the privacy and convenience of your own home and are happy to buy equipment or do bodyweight-only workouts, working out at home will work for you. If you enjoy seeing other humans and being in a space where everyone is trying to better themselves, or want to squat, bench, or deadlift heavy weights, you’ll almost certainly be better off at the gym. Of course, you can always do both!