The pros and cons of a home gym vs. a big daddy gym

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

This is back to school week for us, but I realize some of you have already gotten into the school flow.

Did you know that back-to-school season is the second busiest season of the year? It’s second to the new year as back-to-school comes with a new schedule and new challenges as well as fresh goals (or refreshing the old ones).

So, today we are tackling a question that I am asked very often: Should I get a gym membership or can I get fit at home?

The answer can be a bit complicated since it really lies in your personal goals and what you have available to you to propel you toward that physical goal.

I have personally been working out at home since I was a teenager and first learned all about what working out can do for your body, mind and spirit. Here is MY take on the pros and cons of both home gyms and big gyms…….I like to make you laugh, so lighten up and enjoy.

morpheus-home gym

Pros and cons of a home gym.

Now, just as a disclosure I feel I need to tell you that I have an actual gym at home. We renovated the garage into a gym and I have quite a bit of space to move around. Over the years I have gathered weights, bars, suspension trainers, ropes, trampolines, kettle bells, etc. so I’m not hurting for equipment. Keep in mind, you really can get fit in a small space with limited equipment (even just your body) if you have the right guidance :) Click HERE for necessary guidance (shameless plug).

  1. You don’t have to have fancy gym clothes. You don’t have to match. Heck, you can work out naked if you want, but I wouldn’t advise that cause eeeewwwww. With a home gym you can literally workout in your pajamas. Some people may say this is a con……but we all know it’s a total pro!
  2. You don’t have to wear shoes. I was having a bunch of foot problems a few months ago and then I started lifting barefoot (you pay closer attention and use good form!) which enables the body to distribute weight more evenly in the feet instead of our fancy shoes overcompensating for imbalances.
  3. You can get stuff done in sweaty workout clothes…….OK, this falls into both the pro and con. As I type I have JUST finished a sweet back workout and I haven’t showered. I did change though! The con of sweaty gym clothes is that’s gross.
  4. Working out at home increases compliance. Most people find excuses to skip the gym. Who wants to throw on tights when they are super bloated? Who wants to dead lift when they have gas? Who wants to drive to the gym at 4 in the morning?!?!?!!? Being able to walk from kitchen to gym without running into anybody looking at your bloated belly is a big pro and increases compliance to any workout program :)
  5. I tend to work harder at home. I can feel free to yell, grunt, spit, cry…whatever it takes. I don’t have to reel in my inner beast lady to make others feel comfortable. Extra bonus: I don’t catch glimpses of my awful facial expressions :/
  6. You don’t have to wait for equipment. Seriously dude, if you need to return a text or brag about your warm up set on Facebook, do it by the water fountain! Working out at home eliminates the stress other gym goers may cause.
  7. If something breaks you can either fix it or replace it (or pretend you never had it) instead of having to tell the front desk, who tells maintenance, who has to wait for the OK, and then it’s fixed 2 years after you cancel your gym membership.
  8. Your gym stays open in just about any weather….BONUS: you don’t have to drive in nasty weather to get there.
  9. Your dog is totally welcome…..that may just be me.
  10. Perhaps most important: you have your pick of post-workout food just steps away :)

Now, a few cons:

  1. You may need specialized equipment that your family is unwilling to give up precious living room space to hold (focus on the cause people!).
  2. You still need to schedule your workouts. Simply having a gym within walking distance is not enough to get your booty there.
  3. If you’re a social butterfly (or feel you need to be seen in order for your workouts to count), home gyms won’t work for you.

gym creep

Big daddy gyms….and boxes, warehouse gyms, etc.

First, boxes and warehouse gyms have actually gained in popularity because they offer a better “feel” than big chain gyms. The premise is almost the same though, you pay for some type of membership to use space and equipment.

  1. Con: creepers. These are the people who just watch you workout. They have no other goal than to watch others. Not all creepers are nasty, some are just watchers. Either way, creeping is not cool.
  2. These places do have equipment in a space and your family doesn’t complain that they can’t see the TV around your squat rack.
  3. These places also have trainers and floor staff. Now, some (a rare few) are good. MOST are untrained or brand spanking new and want to tell you how to workout without knowing your current level of fitness or your goal.  They also can’t answer questions like, “How do I adjust the leg press?”…..these people should be avoided.
  4. You’re on show whether you want to be or not. You can give the speech that your crew is too cool to watch others, but we’re all human…..you’re being watched and ultimately compared by others. So, embrace that.
  5. If you dig working out around others then  gym is a safe bet to get results. If you like a “team” feel, a box would be better suited to your needs. If you’re a hermit…..stay home cause you won’t like either.
  6. Biggest con: it’s a hot bed of bad form. One person performing a move with bad form and confidence will result in many more doing the same thing (see #4). So, get the right guidance and you’ll be golden.

No matter how you choose to get fit, your biggest limitation may just be the voice between your own 2 ears. Figure out your goals, set up a plan of attack…..and make like Nike and just do it!

Stay safe and healthy,

Michelle

The Real Deal: Workout Review of Les Mill’s Combat

Happy Monday fit people!

Today is exciting (and COLD!) as I get to review one of my very favorite workouts of all time: Les Mill’s Combat. I’ll try to do it justice :)

combat

So, let’s start by setting a little foundation. Les Mills originated in Auckland, New Zealand, where Les Mills himself was one of the country’s greatest track and field athletes. He and his wife Colleen opened the very first health club in Auckland in 1968. Their son went to UCLA on a track and field scholarship and took over the business in the 80′s. Les Mills programs have changed the way people work out for the better with program like Body Pump, Body Step, Shabam, RPM, Body Attack, Body Vibe and, of course, Body Combat. ALL of these programs take the VERY best of exercise programming (which is what gets you results) and blends them with a party atmosphere (which increases compliance). Les Mills leads in the pack in programming and design all over the world.

Now, Beachbody (those people who brought you P90X and Insanity) have teamed up with Les Mills to make compliance even simpler…you can have the workout of your life right in your living room. Beachbody acquired the Body Pump program (complete with weights and steps) and rolled it into a doable package to help shape your body and earn strength. While in New Zealand, the founder of Beachbody noticed a large line forming for the next class…that huge line formed everyday for Body Combat. So, naturally Beachbody wanted to make such a great program available to everybody.

So, what can you expect from Body Combat?

The workouts are efficient. What I mean by that is that the workouts are designed to work FOR you, not against you. The secret behind such efficient workouts is fast twitch integration training. Body Combat is a beautiful mixed martial arts blended and inspired workout to help you feel more powerful AND get the results you want. These different forms of martial arts training (Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu) are sequenced according to how the body if forced to adapt to each move. The means that safety and fluidity of motion are insured throughout your workout. The sequences are escalating with varying speeds. This way you play on the differing heart rates to really blast fat AND shape lean muscle.

The best part is that these trainers really know what they’re doing.

dan

Dan Cohen has competed in just about every discipline and has a black belt in Kickboxing and Karate. His form is killer and his humor will keep you going when you’re tired.

rach

Rachael Newsham has trained in many of the forms and is proficient in Muay Thai, boxing and Kickboxing. If her abs don’t keep you motivated then her tough-love-trainer style is bound to keep you on your toes.

Though Combat is created for maximum results and serious athletes, there are PLENTY of modifications to make it safe for ANY and ALL fitness levels. If you’re like me and suffer from knee issues and arthritis, then follow the modifier so you can crank out the needed intensity without the added impact. Combat is a program that doesn’t exacerbate my injuries any further :)

In the Combat Challenge Pack, you get the DVD’s (7 workouts total), a nutrition guide with recipes like Mediterranean eggs, roast beef sandwich and grilled steak, plus a guide to building your workouts with 3 different options depending on your fitness level and goals. And don’t forget, you also get Shakeology in the challenge pack, which helps to regulate the digestive system and blood sugar while promoting weight loss. BONUS? Yep, this particular challenge pack is on sale this month: YOU save $70 of the whole kit, so it’s a little more than just buying the Shakeology and you get an entire program to help you get in the best shape of your life.

Bottom line, Les Mill’s Combat will help you shed excess weight, gain self-confidence and lose the junk that’s holding you back. All you have to do is push play :)

Keep moving,

Michelle

Want the pack? Grab it in the CHALLENGE section right now!

DVD REVIEW: Bob Harper’s Kettlebell Sculpted Body

It’s that time!

A little review for Bob is due right people? Today’s review is BOB HARPER’S KETTLEBELL SCULPTED BODY

This is obviously the strength component of kettlebells and Bob, as usually, delivers a kick butt workout. Like many of his workouts, this one is an hour, with a shorter variation for the time crunched. Keep in mind that these are not beginner workouts. The JM version of kettlebell training can actually help to get you started, especially if you’re nervous!

The workout itself rocks out as expected and you will be swimming in sweat even if you’re not a “sweater”. The strength component comes mostly from the KB but there are also pushups and floor work in there as well to keep your body guessing :) You will need just a small amount of space so this workout is great for in home fitness. Don’t own a KB? No problem. You can do most KB exercises with a weight, but make it heavy. If you find yourself in the market for a KB, Bob has his own line of them (convenient!) and it come with the DVD, so BANG!

Now, honest engine, as much as I love Bob and the way he runs the classes I prefer this here; and I WILL have a review for you next week!

Come back tomorrow for FUN FRIDAY: The Fitness Truths Edition :)

To the Fit Life!

Michelle