You’ve heard it a million times.
Exercise is good for you.
We know working out not only helps you look good on the outside, and has great benefits for you on the inside, helping you with sleep, concentration, immunity, energy, stress reduction, and memory, to name a few. There are many ways to get your workout on – and many places to do it. There are gyms in cities and towns everywhere, from the famous franchises to warehouse fitness boot camps. There is also no shortage of home fitness infomercials (like this one for Focus T25) professing to get you in the best shape of your life without going to the gym. So which is better, home workouts or the gym? The short answer is that it depends on you.
Do what works
I choose home workouts vs. a gym membership because for me it works, and I say if you do what works, it will work for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing gym-goers. I’m just saying I’m having a great experience going after my fitness goals, and I don’t have to leave home to do it.
If you are not sure if you need to go to the gym, here are a few common issues to consider, along with some “red flags” to watch out for – potential pitfalls that can derail your progress. If you plan for success and stay focused, however, a home workout regimen can definitely get you the results you want (check out these before and after photos for proof)!
- Privacy: Working out at home, you can wear what you like, move around how you like, and even grunt and groan as often as you like with no one around to judge. This is a sensitive topic for some people, especially those just starting out or who have a lot of weight to lose. A home workout is a nice option if you are self-conscious, or intimidated by the equipment (or the people) at the gym.
- Red Flag: With all that privacy, no one will notice if you DON’T workout either. You’ll need a dose of focus and accountability to avoid distractions (the phone, the TV, family members…) at home. Overcome this by waking up or going to bed an hour earlier to get that workout in. If you enjoy the socializing that comes with being around people in a gym atmosphere, perhaps you can join a class a couple of times per week, and still workout from home during the other days, giving you the best of both worlds.
- Time: If you are going to the gym, you’ll need to factor in things like extra time for travel, dropping off the kids, and/or showering and changing before going home. If you are part of the after-work crowd, remember there may be a line for your favorite machine, too. Several days per week of this can add up. Working out at home may enable you to throw some dinner in the oven, some laundry in the washer, or multitask other chores and make efficient use of your time.
- Red Flag: Don’t take the fact that you have so much “extra” time on your hands for granted. Carve out personal time for yourself. Make an appointment on your calendar that you will keep. Make that time non-negotiable.
- Cost: Gym memberships can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year. You are paying for the various weights, machines, towels, the trainers’ salaries, etc. With home workout programs, you pay once and it’s yours (and you can always repeat programs as you add to your workout library). Home workout programs typically cost between $50-$300, with most of them coming in at around $100, which is great if you are on a budget. Many also come with the equipment needed or you can buy the equipment on your own.
- Red Flag: Avoid letting your workout program collect dust on the shelf by connecting with an accountability partner or support group. This is someone who you can share your journey with, to keep you accountable, encourage you, and to remind you why started in the first place. An accountability partner/group can be someone in your neighborhood, workplace, or even online.
- Convenience: It’s so convenient for me to just come home, throw on a pair of shorts and push play on my DVD. When I am short on time this eliminates 100% of my excuse, and gives me an efficient way to spend 30-60 minutes on my own health.
- Red Flag: If you decide not to go to the gym and workout from home instead, the key is to be disciplined! Make that appointment with yourself, follow a workout calendar like the one provided in all of the Beachbody home workouts, or use an app on your phone. Just use something that will work for you to keep you on track.
So with all of that said, why is there still such a high failure rate when it comes to home workouts? Maybe you have even felt like you were of those “failures” in the past (do you have a stationary bike you use as a coat hanger)? Well, it’s time to get that word failure out of your vocabulary!
Results don’t just happen by a wave of a magic wand (or by ordering a DVD from an infomercial). They happen when YOU decide they will happen. Gym or no gym, the best way to achieve your fitness goal is to find a program that works for you, then grab yourself an accountability partner, and be aware of those red flags that could slow your progress. It won’t happen overnight, but then again, nothing worth it ever does!