You’ve decided to start working out. You’ve got your fitness goals down. You’ve even bought yourself a fabulous pair of training shoes.
But now comes the big question.
Should I join a gym or work out at home?
Good news!! We’ve got the answer!
In this article, we’ll cover all the bases including
- The pros and cons of working out at home vs working out at a gym
- Gym or Home Workout: How do I choose?
- Are home workouts as effective as working out in the gym?
- Sample home workout routines for cardio and strength training
Ready? Here we go!
Pros of home workouts
When you work out at home, you don’t have to waste time dressing up, rushing to the gym, waiting for your fav gym machine, and so on.
All you need to do is pick a corner of your home, lay out an exercise mat perhaps, play your favorite workout video, and you’re good to go.
What’s the best part about working out at home? You’re the BOSS!
Work out in the morning or night or whenever you can squeeze in some time. Work out for 30 minutes straight. Or split your workout into 15-minute sessions.
Work out when your kids are napping or at school. Work out on your terrace or in your living room. Whatever works for YOU!
You don’t need to shell out your hard-earned money on gym memberships or buy fancy exercise equipment to work out at home!
With just a few inexpensive tools such as jump ropes, yoga mats, and resistance bands you can get your cardio, strength training, and stretching exercises sorted.
If you love mixing things up, then nothing can beat working out at home. You could stream live fitness classes, download fitness apps, follow famous personal trainers on social media and try their HIIT workouts, or even give exergames a shot.
You could dancercise one day, throw in some Pilates the next, and weightlift another. Whatever floats your boat!
Play your favorite workout music. Work out in your underwear. Not worry about hairy legs 😉
What’s not to love about working out in the privacy of your home, eh?
Cons of home workouts
1. Unnecessary distractions
Working out at home means you can exercise whenever you want. But that also means it’s easy to get caught up with distractions including checking your office email, doing household chores, running after the kids, etc., and skip out on your workout. So unless you’re high on self-motivation, home workouts might not be your best bet.
2. Limited space and equipment
You might not have the luxury of space or expensive gym equipment when you’re working out at home (unless you’re rich and live in a mansion!) So if lat pulldown machines and ellipticals are your jam, you’re better off working out at the gym.
If you love a bit of friendly competition, then working out at home could get pretty boring. After all, it’s always thrilling to run faster than the guy on the next treadmill, isn’t it?
4. Lack of guidance
Unlike at the gym, you don’t have anyone to stir you up to finish that last rep, track your progress, or correct your form. It’s all on you.
Pros of working out at the gym
1. Variety of equipment
It’s highly unlikely that you’d ever get bored in a gym. For the cardio bunnies out there, you have treadmills, stationary bikes, stair steppers, rowing machines, etc. If you want to get your strength training fix, you have dumbbells, barbells, body bars, cable machines, kettlebells, and more.
2. Easy to stay focused
That fat gym membership fee you paid can be a huge incentive to get off your butt and head straight to the gym! Also, it’s hard to think of anything else when you’re busy trying to lift that huge barbell off the ground or master that pull-up, right?
3. Supercharged atmosphere
There’s something about being in a gym with adrenaline-pumping music, surrounded by fellow gym goers, all drenched in sweat, sporting their smartwatches and tracking their calorie burn. You feed off of their energy that drives you to push harder, ultimately resulting in a fantastic workout.
4. Access to personal trainers
What could be more motivating than having a personal trainer to cheer you on when you feel like throwing in the towel, right? PTs can design customized workout plans just for you, ensure that you have enough variety in your routines, help you achieve your fitness goals and more.
Cons of working out at the gym
1. Too much hassle
Pack your gym bag. Dress appropriately. Drive through crazy traffic to get to the gym. Wait for that treadmill endlessly.
That’s a LOT of time that you could have spent doing your actual workout. So if you’re pressed for time, heading to the gym is not worth the effort.
2. Inflexible timings
When you exercise at a gym, you’ll have to plan your schedule around the gym’s timing, especially if you’ve signed up for a group fitness class. You can’t just pop in for a quick cardio session whenever you feel like it (unless it’s a 24-hour gym!)
Gym memberships and fitness classes can be quite expensive. Add to that your other costs including fuel (if you have to drive to the gym), gym accessories, etc. and you could end up burning a hole in your pocket.
4. Not great for introverts
If you’re shy or self-conscious, then the gym can be your worst nightmare. You might come across obnoxious people who stare at you, pass nasty comments, and act judgmental. And that’s definitely something you don’t want!
5. Too many people
Let’s face it. Gyms are full of PEOPLE.
People who leave their sweat all over the equipment, people talking non-stop on their phones, people showing off their swole arms and comparing their PBs (a.k.a. personal best), and the worst one of ‘em all – people who love taking selfies! These can be a huge put-off and make you avoid the gym altogether!
Gym or Home Workout: How do I choose?
Before you can decide whether gym or home workouts are better for you, ask yourself questions such as...
- What are my fitness goals?
- How much money am I willing to spend on my fitness?
- How much space do I have at home?
- Do I like working out alone or in the presence of other fitness addicts?
- Is it possible to drive back and forth to the gym 5 days a week?
- Do I need a personal trainer to challenge me and track my progress?
Once you’ve figured this out, it can be quite easy to decide which one would work for you.
At the end of the day, you should choose the option that will allow you to be more CONSISTENT. If you sign up for a gym membership and then turn up to the gym only 2 days a week, that’s just money down the drain.
Or if you decide to work out at home, but lack the self-motivation to do it consistently, you’re better off going to the gym.
Are home workouts as effective as working out in the gym?
Whatever be your fitness goal – weight loss, improving cardiovascular endurance, building muscle strength, or body toning – you can achieve it right at home.
There are different ways you can do this.
- Using the best equipment that you ever have – Your own BODY! Think burpees, lunges, squats, planks, and more!
- Using a few basic fitness accessories including jump ropes, resistance tubes, resistance bands, dumbbells, Yoga mats, and Yoga blocks.
- Setting up a home gym with the above-mentioned accessories plus other equipment including a bench press, or a pull-up bar.
Now you might think, “But nothing can substitute an elliptical or rowing machine, right?”
Here are a few at-home alternatives for some popular gym machines /exercises.
Cardio home workouts
Here’s a 30-minute, no-equipment cardio workout to get your heart pumping!
Check out this jump rope cardio workout that’ll torch your calories!
Browse through Burnlab’s premium collection of skipping ropes right here!
Strength training home workouts
Here’s a 30-minute, resistance training routine using resistance tubes.
Grab Burnlab’s top-of-the-line resistance tubes set right here!
Try out this 30-minute, dumbbell strength training workout and feel the burn!
Take a peek at Burnlab’s adjustable dumbbells over here!
As you can see, both home workouts and gyms have their pros and cons. You could choose one over the other depending on your fitness goals, financial and space constraints, availability of time, etc.
Or you could have the best of both worlds by hitting the gym twice a week for the high-tech equipment and social interaction and working out at home for the rest of the week for the privacy and convenience.
The choice is YOURS!
Which is better in your opinion – Home workouts or the gym? Let us know in the comments below!