Home Gym vs Commercial Gym?!

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, you need a place to workout. Whether it be the bright and colorful commercial gyms or the privacy of your own home, where you workout is actually somewhat important. I’m one of those people who need a dedicated place for the task at hand. A desk for work, an area for lounging, and of course, a place to workout.

Now, in the grand scheme of things, is it THAT big of a deal? Probably not. But it does help to know what you DON’T want to invest in.

For the first month’s of COVID-19 I saw it as an opportunity to invest in a home gym the way I wanted it to be set up. More importantly, I wanted something budget friendly. Ya know. Something I could spend a little bit of each pay check on and not feel overwhelmingly guilty about. But what started as a few dumbbells and bands slowly became weight vests, jump ropes, gym flooring, rowers, bikes… it gets addicting ok? But you see what I mean! I saw the value in having a home gym but knew that if I wanted variety like barbells, machines, and a pool, I had to invest in a gym membership. In Colorado, we really only had gyms shut down for a month or two so it was good to have some normalcy comeback sooner.

Why Start a Home/Garage Gym?

Fist off, let’s describe what a “home gym” really is. In my mind, it’s a place to exercise in your home. What is nice about a home gym is that it’s about as original as you make it. It’s also as big as you decide to make it. Home gyms can vary from a corner space in a studio apartment to a few weights in a shed, and even as grand as an entire garage gym.

What I love about a Home Gym

  • Literally zero excuses to workout. It’s right there!
  • It’s convenient (sometimes it’s nice to be watching Netflix one moment, then go downstairs and knock out a killer workout the next with nothing in between)
  • It’s my “hobby” (I don’t really have a hobby, but noticed I like to workout and I like to find out what I can buy to help me workout)
  • make it YOURS (because it’s your own gym, you can dress it up or dress it down as much as you want. You can hang banners, flags, words of inspiration, Tv monitors that have the Rocky training montage on an endless loop, the possibilities are endless)
  • Therapeutic (sometimes you have those days where you need to walk away from the world and just bang out some burpees! Anyone? No? oK…)
  • Keeps me accountable (kinda relates to the first point. I like that no matter how tired I am, I can have a place IN HOUSE to get me better. Whether that be actually working out or maybe something more relaxing like massage and self-care.

What I “hate” about a Home Gym (really I don’t hate anything about the idea but i’ll write down some potential cons)

  • It is an investment (this is either good or bad. You can spend as much money as you want to put into it. You can have just a Peloton bike and a few weights or you can have a huge squat rack with tons of attachments, it’s really up to you.)
  • It keeps you accountable, but also maybe guilty (you really can’t go a day without working out if you have a home gym, at least I can’t. Most of the time we make the excuse we don’t have the time to go to the gym, now that the gym’s downstairs it’s hard to find a reason not to work out, which might be a good thing for some people?)
  • Maintenence (depending on how big you make your home gym, sooner or later you will have to do some maintenance on your equipment: clean racks, spray floors, check cables, etc.)

Why get a Gym Membership

The biggest argument this has is cost-wise, it’s just too good to pass up. If your state has gyms open I highly encourage joining one. With membership costs as low as $20 a month, it really becomes worth it if you go at least five times a month ($4 per session). FIVE TIMES! I myself have a gym membership for a mere $15 a month because, for me, I want to do some olympic lifting, have access to a pool, and have a wider range of exercise machines. There seems to be a rise in types of gyms available, from cross-fit boxes to studio boot camp gyms to even other commercial type gyms. I think within 10 min. of my house there’s about 8 different kinds of gyms and because of that, there really is a gym for everyone. If you need more accountability and want a more tight-knit atmosphere, boot camps might be more your speed, but if you’re like me, you don’t necessarily desire instruction just the resources.

Why I love having a Gym Membership

  • Worth it (an average of $20 a month for weights, machines, cardio equipment, classes, pools and amenities? Sounds like a no brainer to me!)
  • Resources (because of previously mentioned resources, it is difficult to not know what to do when you get to the gym. Still having trouble? Stay tuned for future posts)

Why I “hate” having a Gym Membership

  • Availability (like it or not, these gym’s are businesses. Some are open 24 hours a day, some are only 5 am-9 pm. Bottom line, if you’re someone who likes to burn the midnight oil, you will have few gyms available.)
  • Crowds (Depending on how your gym manager chooses to handle this situation you can either have a big gym always available or you might have to schedule a time or you might have to workout outside. Though this is up to your gym manager’s discretion and your state’s laws, its something to keep in mind)

Now, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make a decision. Have the conversation, which seems more your speed? The best part is, you can have both! I hope that through this piece you can become more motivated to make a decision. Comment below what you decide! Home gym or commercial gym?

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