Doing sports at home (in a home gym) is the way in which many people get in shape. Then again, you have a massive, vocal population claiming that they could never get motivated to work out at home. You see, going to the gym has a psychological effect and there are even some who see it as a social occurrence, rather than just a part of their workout routine. Even after such a brief summary and a single argument on each side, it remains unclear which of the two is superior.
In order to fully examine the situation, it’s important to separate this into five key categories:
- End result
Each of these categories is important to consider both in the long and short run. By recognizing bottlenecks in each of the categories and making your decision based on them, you’re bound to make a better, more informed, choice. Here’s what you need to know.
The first thing worth taking into consideration is the matter of motivation. A lot of people go to the gym not because they don’t have the means to make a home gym but because they feel like this would be bad for their motivation. You’re less likely to slacken while other people are watching and you’re less likely to cut your training short if you’ve already bothered to go to the gym. Now, the key phrase here is LESS LIKELY. There’s nothing preventing you from actually cutting your training short, it’s just that you’ll have one less reason to do it. For some people, nonetheless, every reason counts.
The most important factor is the costs. In the long run, it’s more cost-effective to make a gym at home. Sure, the initial investment of making a home gym will be a bit steeper but even this is not necessarily the case. All you need to get started is a pull-up bar, a skipping rope (as a low-cost alternative to a treadmill or stationary bike), a sturdy power rack, a barbell, and some weights. That’s really it. Of course, you can go a bit more ambitious, in which case your ROI will be somewhat offset.
The truth is that it all comes down to your long-term perseverance. If you suspect that you might just give up after a month or two, it’s definitely smarter to just go to the gym. Wasting one month’s worth of membership is better than abandoning all the equipment never to use it again. Nonetheless, once you buy the equipment, it stays in your possession indefinitely. You may have a change of heart or even get some of your funds back by selling it.
It goes without saying that having a gym in your own home helps make things more pragmatic. After all, you don’t have to travel to the gym, which cuts both time and costs of the commute. Moreover, you no longer have to pack for the gym, which is much more meaningful than you would expect. For instance, ideally, you would take some sugar right after the training and some protein within the first hour after you finish working out. Both of these are a lot easier to pull off when your kitchen is just a few steps away. Still, not everyone has an extra room (for a home gym) to spare.
The matter of safety is a huge issue when it comes to working out. Are you more likely to stretch and warm up at home? Some people skip these steps out of fear of looking silly, while some warm up just because there are other people watching. Needless to say, both of these peer-pressure-induced situations are completely baseless (even outright ridiculous) but they still happen. Second, in a home gym, you’re more likely to work out alone, which means that there’s no spotter. This can be quite problematic when it comes to exercises like bench press, etc. So, make sure to be as careful as possible.
It’s impossible (even outright preposterous) to say that one or the other will give you better end results. After all, doing 20 squats will give you the same effect both at home and at the gym. In other words, it’s totally up to you. Keep in mind that while working out at home is more pragmatic, people who want to work out find a way while people who want to slacken find an excuse. Still, in a scenario where you’re motivated but on a tight schedule, a home workout takes less time (no commute or packing). This means that, technically, it makes your workout routine more consistent.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are people who got in shape by working out at home and there are people who got in shape by going to the gym. This means that both of these approaches have the potential to give you the results you need. Also, the differences, advantages, and disadvantages are quite obvious from the very start. In other words, this is a question of personal preference more than anything else.