During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we’ve all been forced to workout at home as many of the gyms have been closed. However, with the rollout of the vaccine, there is an end in sight for the numerous lockdowns of 2020/21 and hopefully, that means that many gyms and fitness centers will be reopening soon. With a good dose of hope and optimism, I’m discussing whether you should continue to workout at home or revisit the gym the second it reopens.
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So you decided to work out more
One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned as a nation through the Coronavirus pandemic is that our health is paramount. Over the last few months, you may have taken this on board and used your time to improve your fitness levels. Either by going for a walk, run, or cycle outside in the fresh air. Or by tuning in to one of the many fitness routines on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram to workout at home.
At some point in the not too distant future there will be plans for gyms and fitness centres to reopen, and no doubt, some of you will be rejoicing. However, many of you may be wondering if you should cancel that gym membership for good and continue to workout at home from now on.
There are valid arguments for both sides. In this post, I’m digging deep into whether you should workout at home or in the gym
Should you workout at home or at the gym?
These days joining a gym can be done with a few clicks of a button and there are a variety of membership options from pay as you gym to yearly contracts.
However, it’s just as easy to pay for membership without stepping foot inside the gym. You may have also noticed that your gym was still charging you for membership throughout the lockdown even though you couldn’t attend. We understand. It’s been a hard time for everyone.
Similarly, you may have realised that exercising at home is just as easy. Youtube features a vast amount of home workouts. Some of our favourites are The Body Coach, Millionaire Hoy and Caroline Girvan.
Working out at home is typically less crowded than the gym. Though if you have children you might get interrupted when they want to join in. In that case, it may be worthwhile to load up P.E with Joe and let them have at it.
Moreover, you don’t even need to follow a workout video to get some daily exercise in. Why not create your own? We’re not shy in screaming about the benefits of HIIT workouts.
If you want to up your home gym game, then there is a range of exercise equipment available that won’t cost the earth. But, it’s also just as easy to find a million and one excuses or things to do aside from your home workout.
There are advantages and disadvantages for both gym workouts and home workouts. Whichever option you decide, the important thing is to find the setting that most fits your needs while also keeping your motivation strong.
Why should you workout at home?
Home workouts won’t cost a penny unless you wish to buy equipment.
If you choose to workout at home, it can save you a lot of money on a gym membership. However, if you wish to push yourself and your body further you can buy home workout equipment that won’t cost the earth.
Below are a couple of options, although I have covered the top 10 tools you need for home workouts in greater detail here.
Adjustable Barbell/Dumbell Combination: I love these adjustable weights for my home workout. They are versatile and easy to swap the weights around or combine into a barbell. In fact, I couldn’t manage my home workout without them. The best thing is they allow me to grow and increase the weight without having to spend more money on a set of single weight dumbbells!
Fitness Mat: I’d also recommend a good solid fitness mat to use during your home workout. It won’t set you back too much but it will make your home workout more enjoyable and comfortable on the hands and knees. This mat is durable and trainer proof so it won’t shred while doing high impact moves like burpees or mountain climbers. It can be rolled up for easy, compact storage.
The thing to note is that it’s a one time expense and a solid investment in your fitness. Rather than an ongoing monthly cost.
If you choose to workout at home, you’ll also find a lot of home workout routines available on YouTube. Many of these will require little to no equipment. They can give you inspiration for well-rounded full-body workouts and to ensure your form is correct.
If you’re highly self-conscious, working out at home means you won’t feel self-conscious or scrutinized. If you choose to workout at home you can sweat and jiggle as much as you need to without the fear of perfectly formed specimens looking on from across the gym.
This is your personal domain, there’s no socialisation and you have absolutely nothing to hide. You won’t have to wait to use any equipment and you control the playlist.
You can also grunt, swear or cry without fear of onlookers judging you from a distance.
Your home gym is open all day every day. If you decide to workout at home you are able to workout any time you like and for as long as you like. This is particularly good for anyone with a busy schedule that requires a high level of flexibility.
Reasons not to workout at home
Home workout equipment is relatively inexpensive and is a longer-term investment. This is the time to really consider your level of commitment to your fitness. If you are driven and determined to improve your health and fitness levels, then the investment will be worthwhile.
However, it is possible that once the novelty has worn off the equipment will not be used. It will gather dust and remain a constant reminder of wasted money.
Lack of Community
If you are a social bee and enjoy the company of a workout buddy, then home workouts may not be for you unless you can convince a friend or family member to join you.
Fit Body HQ have discussed the benefits of having a workout partner. These include helping to achieve your workout goals, extra motivation and trying new workouts.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same home workout routines because there is no sense of competition or variety in your routine. Over time this can result in reaching a plateau.
I have had success with both gym workouts and also working out at home. The biggest factor in that success has been the motivation to exercise.
When your motivation is been low to non-existent there are always a thousand more urgent things to do around the house to avoid your home workout.
If you really don’t want to workout at the gym but feel your motivation dip during your home workout, I highly recommend reading this inspirational list by Gymperson to help you stay motivated to workout at home. There are some really great simple tips here to keep you going strong.
Having limited space can be a challenge if you’re trying to workout at home. Not everyone will have the luxury of a spare room or garage to devote to their home workout routines. This, in turn, can limit the types of workout that can be done at home.
Why should you workout at the gym?
Typically the atmosphere in a gym is very energetic. People are there for a reason – to exercise.
If you thrive on competition, this type of atmosphere can be motivational for you. You’ll be surrounded by other people putting 110% into their workout at the gym and in turn, you feel you should do the same.
You might also see other gym bunnies with your goal physique. This can often motivate you to keep pushing past your normal stopping point to help you achieve the body you want.
The extra minute on the treadmill or extra rep on the weights can make a difference to push your boundaries during your workout at the gym.
Value for money
Although the cost of a gym membership may seem expensive, you will have access to a range of equipment that you wouldn’t be able to purchase for use at home. You probably wouldn’t have the space to store this equipment either.
You may find value for money if you workout at the gym as there are usually lots of extras included in the membership fee that you wouldn’t have access to if you workout at home. These usually come in for form of extra classes, access to Personal Trainers or additional leisure facilities in some cases.
I touched on this point in the section above but I think it merits its own mention.
One major bonus point you should consider when deciding if you should workout at the gym is the variety of equipment that is made available. There is a range of cardio machines, machines for every muscle imaginable and of course the free weights too.
Again, on top of that, is the additional leisure facilities that some gyms include such as swimming pools, along with saunas and steam rooms that can be good to relax your muscles after a workout.
In addition, it’s not uncommon for gyms to include access to a variety of classes as part of their membership. Classes can include anything from yoga, spin and CrossFit, to targeted workout classes or beginner classes for newbies.
The sense of community in a gym can be a great motivating factor and can help you reach your fitness goals. It’s also possible to form new friendships by participating in workout classes or even spotting for someone who needs a little help.
The personal approach
If you’re new to working out and feel like you’d benefit from a little extra help you will be able to find reliable personal trainers who know the gym and equipment inside out.
In fact, although some may look pretty buff, they’ve all had to start somewhere. They will understand your starting point, gain an understanding of your current lifestyle habits and be able to suggest the best fitness regime and meal plan to get you to where you want to be. Although they will charge for their time and guidance, their advice can be priceless.
Reasons not to workout at the gym
Although it is nice to have a little socialisation at the gym, it can easily become an opportunity to chit chat with other gym members. Before you know it an hour has passed and you haven’t even come close to breaking a sweat.
If you are planning to workout at the gym, remaining focused on your workout goals will be essential.
The waiting game
The gym can have busy periods whether it’s certain times of the day or days of the week. Or even the inevitable influx of New Years Resolutioners in January.
There really is nothing more infuriating than waiting for someone to get off a machine that you’d like to use. Especially when the person hogging the machine has spent the last fifteen minutes on their phone rather than working out.
If you are going to workout at the gym, you may accept this as a reality, or aim to workout at quieter times of the day.
Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a gym at the corner of their street. Sometimes the closest gym to you could be up to thirty minutes drive away. This isn’t convenient and can certainly hinder your motivation to workout.
For the most part, gyms are pretty clean and certainly since the pandemic gyms have had to enforce strict cleaning rules. The equipment is regularly disinfected by staff. However, there is always at least one beefcake who doesn’t feel like it’s his responsibility to wipe his sweat off the bench when he’s finished bench pressing. We’ve all been there. It’s gross.
Now that plans to end the lockdown have been released, I would anticipate that gym goers would be more conscious about sanitising equipment after each use. However, this cannot be guaranteed and it’s something to consider if you choose to workout at the gym.
So, should you workout at home or at the gym?
Hopefully, my detailed points have given you some food for thought. Will you continue to workout at home from now on? Or will you be camping outside to workout at the gym as soon as it reopens?
If you’re still stuck on trying to decide, then the main things to consider are if money or time is tight for you, the better option for you may be to workout at home.
You can save money by following one of the many free home workout videos available online and workout anytime that suits you.
However, if you find that a sense of community will help you to stay motivated with your goals, or that you would benefit more from a broad range of equipment then completing your workout at the gym will be the right choice for you.
You will be more likely to feel inspired by those working out around you and you will have the support right on hand to help you achieve your workout goals. The additional equipment and facilities at the gym will also be able to enhance your workout.
Only you will be able to answer the question of where you should workout. You need to pay careful consideration to your commitment to your overall health and fitness goals and to stay motivated to workout. Your choice of whether you should workout at home or in the gym should be the outcome that best suits your lifestyle.
That being said, I hope this post has helped to answer some of your questions and decide where is best for you to workout.
I’d love to here your answers, should you workout at home or in the gym? Let me know in the comments!
Home Workouts and Gym Workouts FAQ
Will I save money by exercising at home?
By working out at home you will save money in the long run. However, initially it may cost you a one off payment if you choose to buy home gym equipment. Home gym equipment can be purchased for as little as £5 for resistance bands, or around £30 for a set of dumbbells. Other equipment such as weights racks and benches will cost more.
Can I lose weight working out at home?
Yes you can lose weight working out at home. However, you need to focus on diet and ensure that you’re not eating back calories burned off during exercise. If you do not have a caloric deficit you will not lose weight.
How do I start working out at home?
If you don’t have any home gym equipment, you can start working out at home by doing cardiovascular exercises. Running, jogging or walking for around 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. YouTube also has a wealth of home workout videos available for free.
Is 30 minutes of daily exercise enough to lose weight?
You can lose weight with only 30 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 times per week. Higher intensity exercises will help you to burn more calories. However, regardless of the exercise you choose, you must ensure you are in a caloric deficit in order to lose weight.