Search for “at home workout program” in Google and your head will reel. From ab workouts timed to hip hop music, to YouTube videos that promise “abs in 10 minutes!” it can be hard to know which program is right for you.
So, which ultimately gets you better results -- Workouts from home? Or workouts at the gym?
We’ve outlined the pros and cons of each to help you get the most results from your workout and determine the best option for your goals and lifestyle:
The Pros of Working Out at Home
- It’s Convenient: With kids and dogs running around and dinner on the stove, making it to the gym might seem impossible. One of the biggest benefits to working out from home is that you don’t have to travel anywhere to work up a sweat. Simply roll out your yoga mat and turn on your favorite yoga video, or grab some weights in your kitchen while you watch that pasta boil. At home, there really aren’t any excuses for not fitting in the recommended 20-minutes of exercise per day.
- It’s free: The cost-savings of working out from home might be appealing to some. While some of the best gym memberships are less than $10 a month, many luxury gyms can run up a tab of $60 or more!
- You can do it anytime: Not every gym is open 24/7. The flexibility to workout at 10pm while everyone in the house is asleep is appealing to many people that workout from home. If your work schedule gets hectic, flexible timing is a huge pro for working out at home.
- There are a variety of programs available: From guided yoga, pilates, and core workouts, to comprehensive 80-day programs, to guided meditation, the volume of at-home programs grows every day.
The Cons of Working Out at Home
- You may not have the right space: If you’re living in a small studio, or you have neighbors downstairs, working out may be extremely difficult. Your neighbors probably don’t want to listen to you hop around upstairs, and pushing your coffee table out of the way for each workout might get old fast. Not to mention, without the right amount of space, you could risk injury by hitting a piece of furniture or landing on an uneven surface.
- It may not be free: Buying your own workout equipment can be expensive. From mats, to weights, to a pull up bar, you could wrack up a tab that ends up being much more pricey than an annual gym membership. If you’re looking to save money, make sure you take into account the amount of equipment you need, and how much it would cost you to buy the right equipment yourself.
- And some programs are really expensive: Some fitness superstars charge an arm and a leg for access to their at-home programs. Some even make you pay for access to “insider social groups”. Be wary of these investments, as you can usually find free or very inexpensive programs that provide just as much value.
- It can be hard to hold yourself accountable: When you have to choose between sit-ups in front of the couch or simply laying down on that same couch, accountability can become a huge issue when working out at home. With external factors like chores, kids, pets, or neighbors, the sheer amount of distractions can make your workouts nearly impossible to finish. Working out from home may only be successful for you if you have a dedicated space and time to workout, and you’re highly self-motivated.
- At-home videos are not personalized: Because most workout videos are mass-produced, you could be selecting a program that is too intense, too easy, or too dangerous for you as an individual. Choosing the wrong program, or not executing the exercises correctly, can lead to lack of results or injury. Mirrors are placed in gyms so you can ensure you have the proper alignment and form -- when you're watching a television or computer screen, you could be sacrificing form.
Pros of Working Out at The Gym
- It’s inexpensive: Depending on the type of membership you’re looking for, you can get full access to an incredible local gym for as little as $10 a month. That’s less than you’d spend at your local fancy cafe on most days. Many gyms also give you the flexibility to workout from multiple locations, which means you can get your heartrate up no matter where you travel.
- There is personalized guidance: Personal training is an incredible value to those looking to obtain specific results from working out. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, increase strength, or build endurance, a personal trainer can outline a program designed specifically for you.
- There is lots of equipment: As your strength and endurance grows, you’ll have access to equipment and weights that allow you to continue your fitness journey. No need to spend money on additional weights or programs, because everything you need is already there. The variety and amount of equipment available is a huge pro to working out at the gym.
- There are classes available: Similar to your at-home workout programs, you can receive guidance and group motivation by attending classes offered at your gym. The main difference between gym classes and at-home programs is that the instructor can actually SEE you at the gym. That means they can ensure you’re executing exercises correctly, and adjust the program to meet your specific needs in real-time.
- You can hold yourself accountable: If you’re at the gym, it’s much harder to lose focus. Everyone around you is working out, which means you don’t have external factors distracting you from your success.
- You can bring your program to the gym: If you like the idea of using a guided online program, try selecting a mobile one that is designed to work in tandem with your gym membership! That way, you get the best of both worlds.
Cons of Working Out at the Gym
- It could get busy: If you show up during “peak hours” it may be a bit harder for you to use the machine you’d like to right when you’d like to use it.
- You have to travel: You’ll have to carve out a bit of time to travel to and from the gym, which is hard if you only have a limited amount of time. But remember, a 20-minute workout at the gym with appropriate equipment and weights can be more impactful than a 40-minute at-home workout with incorrect weights or guidance.
- Limited Hours: Like we said before, not all gyms are open 24/7, which can make fitting your 2am workout in difficult.
Our recommendation?Bring your workout program to the gym: If you like the idea of using a guided online program, try selecting a mobile one that is designed to work in tandem with your gym membership! There are a number of fitness apps, many of them free or very inexpensive. Guided videos show you how to use equipment, and you can track your progress over time. That way, you get the best of both worlds.
Whether you workout at home or at the gym, the most important factor is that you are taking steps to become happier and healthier. If you’re frustrated by lack of results with your at home progam, give one of our classes or personal training a try. In just 21 days, you can be on your way to the best version of yourself.