There is no question that there are underlying differences between exercising at home vs. exercising at the gym. After all, one is filled with equipment, staff, and people all striving towards achieving their own fitness goals, and the other is more cozy, private, and offers a unique level of convenience. In summary, gyms have developed a strong name for themselves since their first arise the 18th century, especially after the 1970-1980 fitness craze.
However, with the ever-evolving digital advancements and continuously upgraded equipment/gear in a fast-paced world, home workouts have been rapidly becoming the more popular choice. Now adding the Covid-19 pandemic and community shifts into the picture, more and more people are turning to home workouts than in the past to optimize their safety without sacrificing their fitness goals. But there is a catch – If you happen to ask a hardcore gym rat if they like working out at home more than at the gym, the answer will likely be no. Because there are many opinions and preferences involved that can cloud your own judgments on which is better for you, below is a comprehensive list of some of the general pros and cons of both avenues so you can develop the most educative and informative fitness plan to reach your desired initiatives.
The Pros/Cons of Working Out at Home
✔ More Time, Range, and Flexibility: For those who have tight schedules, working out at home can save an abundance of time in the long run. There is no commute, you can get started on your next task as soon as you are done, and you can be as flexible as you want in terms of scheduling. In addition, not all gyms are open 24/7 or on holidays, and that is something you never have to worry about while in the comfort of your home.
✔ Full Privacy: Exercising at home means you can wear whatever you want to, blast any music you want through your speakers (i.e., headphone free) and work out without the fear of being watched or judged. Anyone with social anxiety who has their heart set on their fitness goals tends to thrive with at-home workouts due to this privacy factor.
✔ Can Leverage Diverse In-Home Workout Videos: Another great thing about working out at home is the endless workout video options you can utilize. One day you can do yoga, the next HIIT, and then the next can be full cardio. Just turn on the video with the preferred digital trainer and go.
✘ Can Be Pricier Upfront: Unless you plan on exercising at home without equipment, then the cost to get started could be hefty upfront. In short, if you want to have a general workout machine, free weights, and other coinciding fitness tools, it can quickly add up for a lump sum investment. So before going this path, make sure to budget accordingly.
✘ May Lower Motivation: The risk of losing motivation while working at home is a common one. The reason is that when you are at home, there are tons of distractions (like a cozy bed), and you are the sole person who needs to hold yourself accountable to actually get moving. If you want to work out at home and fear losing motivation, this is where having a workout buddy can come in handy.
✘ Limited Space and Equipment: If you have a designated home gym space, great! If not, you may find it hard to work out if there is little room to move around. That can lead to your lack of motivation in the point above as well because your workout may require you to move some furniture around, a chore you may not want to do. All in all, you can gain the lovely convenience factor by exercising at home, but space constraints may limit what you can do.
The Pros and Cons of Exercising at the Gym
✔ Equipment Variety: One of the best things about going to any gym is the tons of equipment variations to leverage. From free weights, cardio machines, arms equipment to leg machines that target specific muscles, these places have the full-scope range to cover it all.
✔ Potential Access to Personal Trainers: This pro is on a gym by gym basis, but places such as Planet Fitness offer free training one-on-one training sessions for their members. So, not only will you have a monumental equipment range, but you may be able to work with a personal trainer associated with the gym to help optimize your workout routine.
✔ Less Outside Distractions: Lastly, gyms were made for people who want to work out and better themselves mentally and physically. They were designed to improve motivation (with motivational quotes, color schemes, uplifting music, etc.) to get people in the zone to reach their full potential.
✘ May Be Pricier Long-Term: When you opt for a gym membership, there is usually a monthly fee that you need to pay to keep it. Over time, this can add up and may even surpass the cost of implementing a well-rounded home gym.
✘ Rules and Regulations to Follow: At home, you can do whatever you want. But at the gym, there are rules and regulations you have to follow. That can include strict dress codes, proper equipment handling, and much more. These rules and regulations are there to improve safety, quality, and a peaceful environment, but it can feel a bit restricting to some.
✘ Overcrowding Risks: Forfeiting your privacy to share a space with others at the gym is one thing, but the risk of overcrowding is another potential trait that is even more feared.Going to the gym at prime times in the day may result in you having to wait for a machine to open up and bumping into people who are probably just as irritated as you are by the overcrowding. For many, seeing too many people at the gym can even entice them to turn around and not work out at all, hindering their fitness goals.
Conclusion – Which Is Better?
So, which is better – exercising at home or exercising at the gym? The concrete answer to that fundamental question is, it all depends. It all depends on you, your fitness goals, and what you prefer during your journey. No, that might not be the black and white response you were hoping to read, but the truth is that the choice is ultimately yours and yours only to make. Because both exercising at home and exercising at the gym have their perks and disadvantages, and it is entirely up to you to pick which one aligns better with your lifestyle and fitness objectives.
The best part? You are never stuck with your choice.
If you want to enroll for a gym membership, that does not equate to you losing the ability to work out at home if you wish to some days. You can interchange your environment whenever you feel like so you can stay motivated and on track to reach your fitness goals. In the end, you are the main character in this scene, and as long as you are doing what is best for you to stay motivated and healthy, then that is really all that matters.