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.
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).
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 :/
- 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.
- 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.
- Your gym stays open in just about any weather….BONUS: you don’t have to drive in nasty weather to get there.
- Your dog is totally welcome…..that may just be me.
- Perhaps most important: you have your pick of post-workout food just steps away
Now, a few cons:
- You may need specialized equipment that your family is unwilling to give up precious living room space to hold (focus on the cause people!).
- You still need to schedule your workouts. Simply having a gym within walking distance is not enough to get your booty there.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,