Home vs gym: where should you train?

Written by Anne Johnson

These days there are many options for keeping fit. Be it working out at a gym, a home gym, a boot camp, using fitness online videos, swimming or the age old run round the block, I don’t think it is so much about where you do it but how you do it. The real question here is, what will suit your workout style and would working out at home be better for you than working out at the gym or vice versa?

So what’s your fitness style?

On first thought, you might imagine working out at home sounds like a great idea,  however if you are inclined to give up easily and find it hard to start and continue with things, then working out at home is probably not for you. Working out in the gym, partaking in classes or even attending a boot camp type training session will give you the motivation you might need to first of all get started and then also push harder. Without this motivation and drive to go that extra bit further your progress might eventually stagnate. Think about how you approach exercise and then decide on the best option for you. Let’s look at some of the advantages of exercising at home or outdoors as opposed to exercising at the gym.

Exercising at home or outdoors

1. No commute: your workout equipment is right on your doorstep. No travelling to and from the gym and no deciding not to go because driving there is too much of a hassle or because the weather is bad.

2. No intimidation:  feeling intimidated by super fit individuals at the gym can be off putting for some. Your home will provide a safe haven where you can work out without fear of judgment. Boot camps are also a great option in this case as there is usually a fun vibe and varying degrees of fitness level among the groups.

3. No standing around: at peak times, gyms can get pretty busy. This means you can end up standing round waiting. If you are working out at home this won’t happen! You are free to do what you want, when you want. This is equally true if you are exercising in the park and using park benches and other items as workout equipment.

4. Costs: you won’t have to fork out monthly membership costs! However, the initial outlay costs for any home gym equipment can put some people off. Remember once you have paid this expense your workouts become relatively cheap or free. A good fitness professional should be able to advise you on the best options for what your goals are but for those serious about getting in shape at home, equipment such as Power Racks (also called squat cages) offer the user a number of exercise options in the one machine which can save you spending a fortune on different equipment.

5. Feel good factor: there are endless health benefits of exercising outdoors. Getting out into the fresh air helps to trigger the release of serotonin from the brain making you feel happier! Also just think of all those germs you are avoiding by not being confined to a space full of other bodies all huffing and puffing.

Exercising at the gym

1. Trained professionals: when you join a gym you also gain access to personal trainers who work there. A good trainer will help you assess your wants and needs and work with you to achieve your goals. They can also guide you in best practice and make sure you are exercising to your full potential whilst avoiding injury.

2. Motivation: in my experience, there are few reasons I find motivation higher at the gym. First, when you are paying fees you want to use the services. Secondly, being surround by others who are all working out can help. You can also use this as a motivation to compete and push harder than you would on your own: classes are great for this. I also find that having a trainer tracking your progress regularly makes you want to see results!

3. Wider range of fitness machines: for a relative low membership cost you get access to all types of gym equipment. If you wanted to set up a professional gym at home it would cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

4. Amenities: During a hot summer or on the flip side, a cold winter, you might find yourself thankful for choosing a gym. In extreme temperatures, you can be assured of air-conditioning which allows you to work-out at any time of the day. Gyms are also always equipped with showers and most modern gyms allow you access to a sauna which is great to soothe your muscles after a hard workout. Depending on the gym, you will also often have access to facilities for beauty treatments, massage and physiotherapy.

There are definite benefits for both at home and standard gyms. The most important thing to take into account is your motivation level and to remember that if it’s not working out you can always change tactic. Good luck and have fun!