So you’ve decided to start your weight loss journey, and now you’re wondering if you should do home workouts or sign up for a gym membership. Which is the winner between the gym vs home workouts.
We all know someone who has/had a gym membership they never use. We also know people who say they will start working out at home and never do.
Choosing where you’ll exercise is important. If you aren’t comfortable with your workout environment, you might find it hard to stay consistent.
This is why I created this post, to help you figure out if you are a gym or a home workout type of gal.
Which Is Better for Weight Loss?
Is there a superior place for working out between the gym vs at home? Working out at the gym won’t make you burn more calories compared to working out at home, and vice versa.
The number of calories you will burn will not rely on the place where you burn it.
Some people will find it easier to lose weight or reach their fitness goals when they sign up for a gym membership. While others will feel more comfortable working out in the comfort of their own homes.
I’ve listed the pros and cons of working out in the gym vs at home to help you decide which will suit you best, and which will bring you closer to your fitness goal.
Basic Concepts of Weight Loss
Losing weight is simple. The basic concepts of weight loss are idiot-proof enough for everyone to understand. However, the process can be a bit challenging. Changing your lifestyle and building new habits to lose weight is not easy, if it was everyone would be a normal weight.
In order to lose weight successfully, you must burn more calories than you consume. So you can eat less and/or workout more. Yet, there has been a study that shows that not all calories are created equal. In this study, they’ve shown that even after balancing the calories, the people who ate more unhealthy food (including potato chips, sugary drinks, processed meat) gained more weight than the people who mostly ate vegetables, fruits, yogurt, nuts, and whole grains.
That being said, it’s not just about the number of calories you are putting in your body, but also the kind of calories you are consuming. This doesn’t mean that you cannot indulge, like, ever. I am simply saying you must consume more healthy food while sticking to the number of calories needed by your body to lose weight.
A great way to live a healthier lifestyle without feeling deprived of your favorite food is to apply the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule is when 80 percent of the food you eat is healthy and clean, and 20 percent of the food you eat is not-so-healthy. This allows you to still eat your favorite chocolate chip cookie whilst eating clean.
Let’s begin this gym vs home battle by talking about the gym. What are the pros and cons of working out in a gym?
Pros of Working Out in the Gym
In the tough battle between gym vs home, let us start with talking about the benefits of exercising at a gym. Gyms do indeed have a lot of advantages. Depending on your goals, preferences, and personality, you might find that gyms are exactly what you need.
Lots of available equipment
Creating an exercise routine can be easier if you have a lot of equipment you can choose from. You can use cardio machines such as treadmills, stationary bikes, stair masters, and so on.
Also, you can do strength training using their strength training equipment. No need to buy dumbbells, and workout machines as you would if you were to create a home gym. You can just sign up for a membership and see if you like it.
Strength training is excellent for fat loss. This is why signing up for a gym membership is a great idea if you are trying to shed some extra fat.
Some gyms have really cool amenities such as saunas, massages, smoothie bars—others even have daycare. You will be able to choose what gym you like with amenities that match your preferences.
Not too shabby, especially for a reasonable monthly fee. Usually the higher the membership fee, the more amenities you get. Don’t rush when it comes to selecting a gym, find one that is most suited to your liking.
Great place for socializing
Gyms are excellent for social butterflies as there are other people in the gym they can socialize with. If you are an extrovert or if you notice that you get motivated more if you are surrounded by other people, then joining a gym is perfect for you!
You can join a gym with your friends or you can make new friends at the gym. Either way, it’s a great place to socialize.
You will be motivated
Having gym buddies can be an excellent way to stay on track. Your buds can keep you accountable and vice versa.
It all depends on you. If you find that you are more motivated by having accountability partners that you can see every day, then what are you waiting for? Get yourself a gym membership today.
There are trainers available
One major perk of working out in a gym is that there are personal trainers. Some gyms may require you to add a fee for a personal trainer, but there are gyms out there where you can just ask the trainers if you are doing to work out right and they’d be happy to help.
Trainers are great because they can guide you with your workouts. Especially if you are a newbie. Having a personal trainer will save you a lot of research and trial-and-error time.
You will push yourself
Since you will be paying for the gym membership, you will push yourself harder to workout regularly. You will feel guilty missing a gym session since you won’t get your money’s worth if you are not consistent.
If you are the type of person who does not want to waste anything that you paid for, then signing up for a gym membership might be a great way to keep you motivated.
There are classes you can take
Almost all gyms offer classes such as Zumba, spinning classes, yoga, and so much more! Taking fitness classes is a great way to burn calories while having fun, plus, it is a great way to meet new friends!
You have to pay for the classes, however, there are several gyms out there that will allow you to take a free class before you sign up.
Cons of Working Out in the Gym
Joining a gym can be great but keep in mind that there are still several disadvantages. Let’s discuss the cons of signing up for a gym membership to help you make the right decision.
Let’s start with the fees. Signing up for a gym membership isn’t free. You can’t just join a gym and expect to pay nothing. Though, there are some deals such as free sessions to see if the gym is right for you.
If you are on a really tight budget, try at home workouts first.
The travel time
Going to the gym takes extra time especially if your gym is not in the same building or in the same block as you. So, make sure to consider the extra travel time you’ll allot for going to the gym and back.
If you are extremely busy and there aren’t any gyms nearby where you live or work then maybe you should stick to working out at home to save you extra time.
Socializing can be a con
Socializing can be considered as a pro or a con depending on the type of person you are. If you are an introvert who isn’t very fond of interacting with a ton of people then working out in a gym may not be for you.
I’m not saying only extroverts should join a gym. I’m just saying that if you are the type of person who finds socializing distracting during your workout session, then maybe you should work out at home or find a gym that has fewer members.
Some people are more private than others. If you like your privacy, particularly when you exercise, then the gym may not be a good fit for you.
You will not be able to control the number of people that will be working out in the gym. Although, you can try to go to the gym late at night or early in the morning and see if there are fewer people than usual.
Home workouts are not only for beginners, they can be beneficial to both pros and newbies. Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of working out at home.
Pros of Working Out at Home
Now, let’s start with discussing the pros of working out at home. It would be hard to determine the winner of the gym vs home battle if we don’t discuss the pros of working out at home.
Working out at home is cheaper
There is no doubt that exercising at home is way cheaper than signing up for a gym membership. Especially if you plan to do bodyweight workouts at home, then you won’t be spending anything at all!
The average cost of a monthly gym membership is around $50.
You can save around $600 per year if you do body workouts at home.
Even if you buy equipment for your home workouts, you will still be saving more in the long run. Now, who doesn’t want to save some dough every month?
One of the best things about working out in your own home is the privacy! You won’t need to think about how you look or how you look while you work out. You don’t have to force yourself not to do your ugly-last-few-reps-face, cause nobody’s watching you.
Ain’t that the best?
You can wear those thin comfy leggings that show a little preview of your underwear every time you squat and no one will see!
This pro is for the peeps who aren’t the biggest fans of socializing while exercising. We are all different. Some prefer to have an accountability partner or a few friends they can talk to while they work out, while others need their own space.
Figure out which type you are before you make the decision to get a gym membership.
The hassle of commuting from your home to the gym will be nonexistent!
Imagine the time and energy you will be saving if you just workout from home. This is excellent for new mommas, busy hustlers, and students. You can put the energy you saved from not traveling to the gym into cooking yourself a healthy meal! Great right? Most especially since healthy food will help you reach your body goal faster!
You will save so much time
Working out at home will save you a tremendous amount of time. Just imagine how many minutes it takes to prepare your gym bag, travel to your gym, freshening up after your session, and going back home.
There is no doubt that exercising at home will save you a lot of time. If you are busy and you only have a limited amount of free time, then just sneak a workout while you are at home.
Here’s another pro for working out at home. You won’t feel awkward making those funny faces while you are doing a tough exercise. You won’t have to wonder if the guy using the barbell is done, no awkward are-you-done-with-this- equipment gestures.
All in all, if you are socially awkward like me, then maybe home workouts will be the better choice for you.
Cons of Working Out at Home
Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of exercising at home, let’s talk about the disadvantages. Just hang in there, this gym vs home battle will soon be put to rest.
Buying equipment can get expensive
Depending on your goal, you will want to eventually get equipment. Once you get used to the workout, you will hit a plateau. By this time, you will need to increase the intensity of your exercise in order to see more progress. You can add more reps to your workouts or you can also buy weights or equipment. Exercise equipment can get expensive.
However, you will be saving money in the long run. Plus you will be owning the equipment, you can sell the equipment if you plan to move houses.
You need to push yourself to get motivated
It’s easy to push back or to postpone your workout session when you are at home. So you really need to force yourself to stay consistent if you workout by yourself.
To overcome this, you must follow a relatively strict workout schedule.
No trainers to ask for help
The biggest benefit of joining a gym is having fitness trainers available. You don’t get the same luxury if you workout by yourself. If your form is off or if you feel like the workout is not working for you, you have to do your own research to fix it.
It will take a lot of trial and error to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. Just be patient.
Lots of distractions
There are endless amounts of distractions at home.
Firstly, your bed is one major distraction. You see it there looking all comfy and vacant, you’ll want to just hop in bed and take a nap rather than work out. Then you have your tv, your laptop, the fridge and so much more.
It takes a lot of discipline to really be consistent with working out at home.
It takes a lot of research
When you workout at home, you won’t have a personal trainer (unless you hire one of course).
You will need to do a lot of research if you plan to transform your body at home. Creating your own workout plan requires a ton of studying and trial and error.
Luckily, there are so many videos and workout plans online that you can follow.
Which is The Best for You?
So which is best between the gym vs home workouts. The best way to decide if you should go to a gym or simply workout at home is to analyze the pros and cons, figure out which will keep you motivated for longer.
You can also try to sign up for a free one-day pass at a gym near you and try to work out at home, then see which suits you best.
If you are leaning towards the gym but you are not entirely sure, get a one-month gym membership and test the waters. If you like it then great, sign up for more months. Alternatively, if you don’t like it then look for another gym or just work out at home.
Choosing The Best Gym For You
So you’ve decided that the winner for you in this gym vs home battle is… the gym! Now what?
Should you go to the nearest gym and simply sign up? Well, you can. But, the best thing to do is to look at multiple gyms before you fully sign up for a membership. Let’s talk about the different factors you have to consider to find the best gym for you.
To choose a suitable gym for you, you must consider several factors:
- Guest privileges
- Cleanliness and quality of the facilities
- Safety precautions
Obviously, the first thing you should consider is the location of the gym. How far is it from your home? If it’s not close to your home, maybe it’s close to where you work. Either way, you should find a gym that you can easily travel to. Signing up for a gym that takes a long time to go to will leave you feeling demotivated to work out. If you go to a gym that is an hour away from you, you will easily fall into the I’m-too-lazy-to-workout-today rabbit hole.
Find a gym that is close to your home and/or your workplace. By doing this, you will have an easier time squeezing in a workout.
Check out the equipment before you actually sign up for a membership. Are the equipment new or well maintained? Are they rusting? Find a well-maintained gym with the best equipment for your budget.
One of the main differences between working out at the gym vs working out at home is the equipment that are available at the gym. So make sure to choose a gym with the best possible equipment.
Not all gyms are alike, especially when it comes to their amenities. Look for gyms with amenities that will be beneficial to you. If you are a momma, look for a gym that has childcare facilities. There are gyms with saunas and available masseuses, gyms with smoothie bars.
When you are selecting a gym based on its amenities, make sure that you will be utilizing these amenities.
Some gyms offer guest privileges to their members. The perks can range from a free guest pass for the member so they can invite their best bud to workout with them, to complimentary drinks or meals. So, don’t forget to ask the gym staff the guest privileges they offer.
Do keep in mind that gyms with awesome perks may cost more. Make sure to sign up for a gym that has the most value for money.
Cleanliness and Quality of the Facilities
Ensure that the facilities are well maintained. Also, check out the gym to see if it is sanitized. The last thing you’d want to happen is to see your brand new yoga pants be covered in dust after a workout.
More often than not, the gym management will offer you a tour. During this tour, try to see if all areas of the gym are clean.
A major deciding factor, of course, is the price. When I say price, I don’t mean sign up for the cheapest gym you can find. It’s all about choosing a gym that will give you the most bang for your buck. Create a list of the gyms you are considering and write down their prices together with the pros and cons of each gym.
You should consider the price, the quality, and the perks and amenities. If it seems worth it for you, then go for it.
Not all gyms have the same rules and the same demographic. Pick one that suits you and your personality the most. If you are a gal that isn’t into bodybuilding heavy lifting, then maybe signing up for a gym that mostly has male bodybuilders isn’t the best idea. Later down the road you may feel like a fish out of water. Feeling like you don’t fit in may cause you to skip going to the gym and could lead you to stop working out altogether.
Last but definitely not least, find a gym that is prepared for worst-case scenarios. Do the staff know CPR? Is there an emergency exit in case a fire breaks out? These are the questions you should ask before you sign up. Ask the staff if they know CPR, if they have a first aid kit, and also ask them to show you the emergency exits of the gym.
It is always better to be prepared and be safe than be sorry.
Creating a Home Gym
So, gym vs home? Why not both? Creating your own gym inside your home gives you the best of both worlds. You can do a solid workout using exercise equipment whilst being in the comfort of your own home.
However, keep in mind that creating a home gym will cost you a lot in the beginning. Buying equipment can get very expensive. Just think of it as an investment for yourself and your body.
In order to not waste any money, do a ton of research before buying certain exercise machines. Not all workout equipment suits every single person, so choose the ones that best suit you.
Why not go to a gym and do a trial day? Some gyms offer a free day or a one day trial for a small fee. You can get a one day trial and test out all the gym equipment, doing this will help you decide which equipment you can invest on.
Home Gym Basic Equipment
So you’ve decided to workout at home and invest in equipment. Where do you start? What should you get? Let’s discuss the basic workout tools you’ll need for your at-home-workouts.
First and foremost, you’ll need a yoga mat. Yoga mats are versatile and especially useful for bodyweight workouts. Using yoga mats will also prevent you from slipping while doing intricate exercises or poses.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a yoga mat, such as:
- Material and durability
- Weight and thickness
Material and Durability
Most yoga mats are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), rubber, and TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer).
It’s really up to you to choose which material you like best. Just keep in mind to look for a non-slip yoga mat. While you work out, you sweat. Therefore, you must find a yoga mat that will prevent you from slipping.
Same with yoga mat materials, you can also choose from many different yoga mat textures. Tactile patterns provide more grip, which will prevent you from slipping during your excess.
Weight and Thickness
Yoga mats come in different weights and thicknesses. Mats that are ¼ inches are considered thick, they are excellent for people with sensitive backs. ⅛ inch yoga mats are the standard size.
The last factor to consider is the price. You don’t have to buy the most expensive yoga mat. As long as the yoga mat checks all the other boxes and the price is right, then you can go for it.
Resistance bands are excellent for both beginners and experts. Beginners use bands to increase resistance during their workouts, such as glute workouts.
One major perk of resistance bands is how they are easily stored. They won’t take up too much space in your home which makes it a perfect exercise equipment for beginners. You can purchase a set to get the most value for your money.
You can start off by getting a pair of dumbbells. Using dumbbells will add resistance to your workouts. Ultimately, the goal is to keep the workouts challenging. You can do this by adding more weights or adding more reps.
I recommend getting a dumbbell set. Sets are adjustable, which means you can change the weight of the dumbbell when needed. They are pricier than regular dumbbells, however, they can save you more money in the long run. You won’t have to buy a new pair of dumbbells each and every time you need to add more weights.
Now that you have equipment for resistance training, let’s move on to cardio. You need a balance between strength training and cardio. You can’t just do weights or do only cardio and expect to get the lean body you are aiming for.
Jumping rope is superb cardio! It helps you burn calories than swimming and rowing. It is also a great alternative to jogging since you won’t need to leave your house to get good cardio.
There are many benefits of skipping rope, such as:
- Improves coordination
- Improves flexibility
- Helps boost mental health
- Increase stamina
- Improves heart health
- Improves cognitive function
Similar to resistance bands, jump ropes are also portable. You won’t need a large storage space to store a skipping rope.
Consistency is More Important Than Where You Workout
Regardless of where you workout, the most important thing is to be consistent. There is no beating consistency. It doesn’t matter if you workout at home, at the gym, in the park, in your basement, it all boils down to discipline. There isn’t an ultimate winner between the gym vs home battle if you are not sticking to your fitness journey.
Never forget that the main key to reaching your dream body is all in your mind. It’s not about the place where you workout. Of course, being in an enjoyable space does help, however, your discipline and mindset are the most important tools of all.
In conclusion, the winner between the gym vs your home is the place where you are most comfortable to workout. The place where you will feel more motivated is the best choice. It’s all about you and your preferences!