I’ve long been a proponent of working out at home. I mean, it’s what I done for the past 5-years, and I’ve had success with it up to this point. That said, I understand that some people don’t understand the advantages of a home gym, so I figured I’d offer up a few of my personal reasons for working out at home:
1. It’s convenient.
I used to hate going to the gym after work only to have to first fight for a parking space and then have to 1) stand around waiting on cardio equipment (the elliptical and treadmill was always a no-go), 2) re-rack someone else’s weights just so I could actually use them myself and then 3) deal with the overcrowded fitness classes which, by the way, were often populated by people far fitter than I at the time. Working out at home negated all of those issues for me back then, and I sense it wouldn’t be much different now either.
2. You’re not bound by time.
The advent of the 24-hour gym may have helped some make an easier decision as to when they’d work out but, let’s be honest, unless you keep a non-traditional work schedule, how likely are you to actually work out at 2 AM? Exactly.
The truth is, because of all the hassles mentioned in No. 1, most of us are likely to try and go early in the morning or late in the evening which, think about it, makes the not going that much easier because who actually wants to get up at 5 AM (not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you can do it, more power to ya) or wait around until after 7 or 8 at night? It’s a hassle and a major inconvenience in many cases, especially if you have a family waiting at home.
A home gym affords you the option of keeping your own hours—whatever they may be.
3. It doesn’t cost much—at least not up front.
While it’s nice to have access to snazzy equipment, with televisions and iPod docks attached, the truth of the matter is this: all of that stuff is just bells and whistles to justify the cost; and why pay a monthly fee for a membership you may or may not use just because the facility has pretty equipment and a juice bar?
Building a home gym costs very little, as you truly only need your own body weight to start you on your way to fitness; as you grow your space, you can add items such as a medicine ball, resistance bands, and perhaps a few free weights, but the cost of purchasing those items will pale in comparison to actually carrying a full-time membership to an upscale facility.
Can a home gym get expensive? Absolutely, but the cost will largely be dictated by your individual fitness goals and how much you choose to put into your personal space.
4. You don’t have to worry about childcare (if you have kids).
One of the main reasons I began working out at home was because I didn’t want to leave my small children in the care of an untrained caretaker—as would have been the case at the gym near me at the time.
It’s one thing to drop your elementary schooler off at the gym daycare, but it’s another to watch your 2-year old toddle off into the arms of someone who may or may not know what to do when things start to get a little tense.
If you’re home, you might have to stop your workout for a moment, but you don’t necessarily have to leave altogether just because your little one is throwing a tantrum or wants his juice cup in only the way mommy can give it to him.
5. No interruptions from other members.
Believe it or not, some people aren’t actually at the gym to work out (that was sarcasm by the way), but rather to pick up other gym goers. I cannot tell you the sheer number of times that, despite my wedding band, a member saw fit to hit on me, or ask me out. And if it wasn’t a date they were seeking, it was a conversation about whatever fit their fancy; some people use the gym as a means of expanding their social circle, not diminishing their waistlines.
At home you can turn off the phone and do what needs to be done minus the continual interruptions.
Of course most will say the main reason they work out at a facility is because they wouldn’t be nearly as motivated doing so at home, and I totally get that: the camaraderie of others can be a great tool to help you maintain your focus. However, if you’re a relatively motivated person, who knows how to stick to a routine, then a home gym could be a great option for you down the road—especially if you’re comfortable crafting your own routines. And, if you’re not, virtual personal training is certainly an option worth looking into as you will have the benefit of a coach, minus the mileage of getting there to see them two or three times a week.