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Home Gym or Gym Membership?

A familiar question weight training enthusiasts ask at some point is whether or not it makes sense to continue renewing a gym membership or whether to invest in weight training equipment for a home gym. There is no straightforward answer, as what works for one does not for the other. By outlining each expense's pros and cons, however, you will hopefully be able to make up your mind.

Advantages of buying equipment for a Home Gym

Having a home gym or workout room within your home is becoming increasingly popular because it brings along several benefits:

  • Weight training equipment: There is a wide range available, and there is no need to go for the more complicated machines to get started. A few sets of weights and accessories (such as a weight bench, training gloves and possibly an exercise ball) are a great start to a home weight training program. For advice on the equipment, you could have in your home gym, visit Garage Gym Planner.
  • Convenience: You can work out in your home gym whenever possible, without restriction and within the comfort of your domain. Use your weight training equipment for as long as you please, play the kind of music that gets you in the mood to push your limit and enjoy the privacy if that is what you prefer. Above all, there is no need to travel - change, and off you go
  • Hygiene: Exercising at home means you do not have to rely on others to consider hygiene. Only the people in your household use your equipment, and there is much less danger of contracting some disease you could do without
  • Motivation: There are legions of reasons why people get discouraged from following through with their weight training program at the gym. Having the equipment to work out within the comfort of your home takes away several reasons.
  • Expense: Home gyms can be pretty cheap if you are comfortable working with free weights and essential accessories. If you are serious about weight training equipment and are in it for the long haul, buying multi-gym or more advanced equipment is probably more economical. Although quite an expense to get into, you can save money in the long term by avoiding expensive gym memberships.

Disadvantages of a Home Gym

  • Motivation: Some people work better in a training venue away from home. It can merely be the change that makes a difference. So you might follow through and do your workout wholly and correctly. It is a personal thing - which situation least hampers your motivation?
  • Social aspect: For some, there is a social aspect to weight training or performing better when training in pairs or groups.
  • Everyday life: Getting away from home and other typical everyday life situations can be rewarding because it allows you to switch off and focus on your weight training program.
  • Distractions: Being at home, it is easy to get distracted by the simplest of things, and living in a household with kids will make that worse

Advantages of exercising at the gym

Now that we have covered the (dis)advantages of investing in a home gym let us look at what pays and what does not about renewing a gym membership and training with weights away from home.

  • The range of weight training equipment: There is more equipment to work with, to cover a more extensive range of exercises and to train a more comprehensive selection of specific muscles and muscle groups
  • Supervision: All gyms require certified fitness trainers to supervise and safety check exercise execution and advise on how to use weight training equipment properly and avoid injury. Having that expertise available to you if you are a beginner to intermediate weight training enthusiast can be worth the expense of a gym membership
  • Amenities: Besides having the standard changing rooms and showers, many gyms offer amenities such as a sauna and an indoor pool with a Jacuzzi pool. It can be an added benefit if you like to relax that way after exercising
  • Motivation: If you have paid for a gym membership for the long term, it can be a strong incentive to keep going with your weight training program. Would it not be a waste otherwise?
  • Expense: If you are exercising to lose weight and shape up, make exercise a regular part of your life, it probably makes more sense to get a gym membership rather than purchase weight training equipment that will end up collecting dust in your garage

Disadvantages of Exercising at the Gym

  • Choice: Although gyms may have a wide range of equipment, it is pretty useless if the gym is overcrowded and your weight training program is interrupted by constant waiting for machines to become available for use
  • Gym rats: Every gym has them - People with poor hygiene in the changing rooms, hogging weight training equipment at busy times, continually looking for conversation
  • Expense: If you take exercise seriously, then renewing membership can be expensive, and with the knowledge that essential weight training equipment is not too expensive, it might be worth investing in that instead

So how do you figure out what the best solution is for you?

Go through these pros and cons and figure out what type of person you are, your preferences, and where your priorities lie.

Consumer Affairs compares different fitness equipment, features of each, and who should consider buying home exercise equipment.

Jim Roose's home fitness purchasing guide - the content on this website covers everything you could ever imagine about creating your very own garage gym.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) Home Gym or Gym Membership? [WWW] Available from: [Accessed