As a personal trainer, I get asked all the time about home gyms. Do I think home gyms or garage gyms are worth the investment? Well, it depends. Here are some things you should think about when deciding between a home gym or gym membership.
Home Gym or Gym Membership
An important factor in deciding between a home gym or gym membership is price. Depending on gym prices in your area, it’s common for memberships to range between $30-$50/mo, and you may need to pay additional annual fees. The overall cost of gym memberships can get very pricey, especially if you’re paying for multiple family members.
When you factor those costs, your money could be spent on a home gym or garage gym with a power rack, functional trainer or home gym. Decent power racks may cost several hundred dollars, but that is a fraction of the cost you’ll pay year after year on gym memberships.
The picture above is an all-in-one power rack with weights, Olympic Barbell, and Flat Bench bundle. It has dual pull-up bars, and optional dip and lat pulldown/low attachments. You could own a home gym or garage gym setup like this for only $600, and it would be an excellent foundation for your home gym setup.
In fact, starting a home gym or garage gym isn’t as expensive as you may think, you just need to search for the right deals. If saving money is the focus of deciding between a home gym or gym membership, the home gym is the better solution.
One of the advantages of a gym membership is that you get to surround yourself with people who are themselves trying to reach fitness goals. This can be motivating for some, and discouraging for others. If you’re a person who thrives on the energy of the gym, the idea of working out at home by yourself may not sound very appealing.
Maybe that energy provides you with the intensity you need to have a successful workout. Perhaps you’ll find someone in the gym that has similar goals and end up becoming workout partners.
On the other hand, if you’re uncomfortable in that type of setting, maybe a home gym might be worth the investment to help you stick with your fitness goals. If you have a clear plan of what your goals are, you can buy the workout equipment to accommodate your routine.
This means that you can stay focused on your program without being sidetracked by the numerous pieces of equipment in the gym. There are a lot of people in the gym going from machine to machine with no plan, intensity, or focus.
If you’re like me, it doesn’t matter where you work out, but you don’t like waiting for machines, or people interrupting your workout for chit-chat. It’s not that talking in the gym is a bad thing, it’s that sometimes it goes on for too long.
Before purchasing a home gym, consider the type of personality you have. Do you thrive off the energy of the gym, or do you feel like you’d have more productive training sessions if there weren’t so many distractions?
Busy schedules prevent members from getting to the gym as often as they would like, and weather conditions can make it difficult or unsafe to travel to the gym. Having a home gym setup is ideal and will save you a lot of time, even if the configuration is fundamental.
I know you have heard this before, but time isn’t an excuse for not working out. You can make time for something that can prolong life! Especially with all of the great home gym equipment we have access to now.
Are Home Gym Workouts Effective?
Yes, provided you have a plan and know how to perform exercises properly. Actually, knowing how to perform exercises properly is more important than having a plan. The plan will come naturally as you continue to work out.
This is why I wouldn’t suggest a beginner skip the experience of a gym membership. Typically, you’ll get a few complimentary personal training sessions when you join a gym. This is a sales tactic to get you to purchase personal training packages, but it’s important that you learn how to use exercise equipment properly.
It’s also crucial that you learn about any imbalances your body has before you start working out. If you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle, have bad posture or past injuries, you need to be particular in exercise selection and execute it with great form.
When deciding between a home gym or gym membership, the home gym option offers a lot of benefits. However, this doesn’t mean that you should quit your gym membership right away. You should determine if you would be more successful in working out at home, or if you prefer the atmosphere of the gym.
For beginners, gym memberships may be a better place to start before spending money on a home gym or garage gym setup. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase some inexpensive and essential home gym equipment to get started.