Fitness is more than just a hobby; it’s supposed to be a lifestyle. This means that you need to be consistent with your routines and you need to commit to them. Gyms are the best way to get fit, as they give you access to a wide variety of exercise equipment.
The question now is whether you’re better off building a home gym or if a gym membership might be much better for you. Each of these options has its own benefits and trade-offs, and we’ve listed a few below:
Why You Should Consider Building a Home Gym
The whole premise of building a home gym is so that you’re able to train anytime you want to at the comforts of your home. You aren’t restricted by time in the way that membership gyms have set operating hours, thus you can train whenever your schedule permits you to.
Home gyms are also a great way to maintain privacy, as well as the quality of your equipment. This is especially important during times of crisis such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic when there was a need to maintain physical distancing measures. The equipment in home gyms are also unlikely to be abused, especially since there are likely only a few people who use the equipment.
Lastly, studies have shown that those who have home gyms tend to be more consistent with training than those who opt for gym memberships because there are fewer obstacles that get in the way, such as time, parking space, traffic, and weather.
Why You Should Consider a Gym Membership
A gym membership grants you access to experienced trainers, top-of-the-line equipment, and the chance to meet new people and to learn from them. The cost of getting a gym membership is far lower than that of building a home gym, and you’re also able to enjoy the benefits of a gym membership right away.
Another benefit of getting a gym membership is that they often come with a wide variety of training programs that are tailored to suit your needs. Trainers are able to determine the current state of your health as well as the most effective programs to help you attain your fitness goals.
What Are the Trade-Offs In a Home Gym?
The primary trade-off with a home gym is that compared to a gym membership, the cost to build a home gym with a full set of equipment is rather high. This is especially true if you want only the best equipment, like the ones reviewed by Shelf. There’s also the issue of safety. You won’t have any trainers to correct any mistakes in your technique and this drastically increases the risk of injury if you’re untrained.
You won’t have maintenance staff to keep your home gym clean, and your gym equipment in good condition. You’re going to have to do these things yourself. Finally, a home gym, while private, may also mean that you don’t get to experience the joy of meeting new people. Another issue with home gyms is that they take up a significant amount of space. If you live in tight quarters, a home gym may not be the best option for you.
Gym Membership Trade-Offs
The value that you get out of a gym membership depends completely on how often you’re able to go there. Gym memberships often require you to commit for at least a year, which means that you could be wasting money if you don’t go to the gym as often. Another downside with gym memberships is that gyms tend to get crowded during peak hours, especially after work. This can make it difficult to fit a session into your schedule, considering that you’re also going to have difficulty securing a parking space for yourself.
Finally, gyms are often subject to the rules and regulations of your city. This means that if the city calls for all establishments to be closed, as was the case with the pandemic, then you’re going to be left without a means to continue your training regimen, at which point, you may be forced to invest in a home gym anyway.
The deciding factors you need to consider are your resources, needs, and preferences. Just because you can afford to build a home gym doesn’t mean you should. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy all the equipment either. Generally, home gyms are great for those who know how to use the equipment properly. Gym memberships are ideal for beginners. However, it’s not uncommon to have both a home gym and a gym membership so that they’re able to enjoy the best of both worlds.