Which Is More Beneficial: Training At Home Or Training In The Gym?

Sports couple in a gym

Before you read this article, it must be said that there are positives and negatives to both approaches. It’s also obvious which approach would win since training in a gym gives you a ton more options.

For that reason, I’m going to list both the advantages and disadvantages of each instead of a side by side comparison as that wouldn’t be fair.

If you are a novice and really don’t know which approach would suit you, it might be a good idea to try training at home first and then try a local gym. This should be able to give you a perspective and way to decide which one works better for you.

General Advantages Of Working Out At A Gym

  • Atmosphere - A lot of people think that the atmosphere is overrated. However, what a lot of people forget is the amount of motivation the atmosphere gives you as well as the lift you get seeing others around you doing better or worse than you are doing. Where possible, always surround yourself with others that are that much better than you or who have trained for longer.
  • Equipment - By working out at your local gym you don’t need to fork out on really expensive equipment. If you were to purchase a Smith machine, an exercise bike, a treadmill, and some weights, you could easily spend upwards of £3-4k. By using the equipment at your local gym, you can use it as many times as you like with the knowledge that if anything needs replacing it will be done straight away. Not always an option when training at home. You can also devise a proper workout routine and schedule since you have the option of including a lot more exercises based on a larger choice of equipment.
  • Spotters - If you want to increase the amount of weight you are going to lift, then that’s going to be pretty difficult without anyone to spot for you. In fact, it’s really dangerous trying to do this on your own. Always think safety first when it comes to lifting heavy weights. There are a countless number of people that have done permanent damage by not taking their safety seriously. At your local gym, finding a spotter is a lot easier.
  • Dumbbells - By using the gym dumbbells means you can use a wide variety of different sizes and weights. It’s a lot cheaper to use the gym's weights rather than you forking out the money to purchase the same range the gym has. By using a wider range of weights means you can incorporate a lot more exercises into your gym routine.
  • Saving - If you calculate how much you will be saving in upfront costs, I think you’ll find going to your local gym much gentler on your wallet or purse. Even if you calculated a year’s worth of gym membership. It still works out cheaper than if you had spent the money on individual pieces of equipment.
  • Convenience - There is so much more available to you when you use your local gym. Think of things like daycare, towels, showers, steam rooms, etc. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to use all of the facilities on offer, but at least you have the choice to use them when you want. This makes the training experience a lot more enjoyable

General Disadvantages Of Working Out At A Gym

  • Distractions - Most of us go to the gym to workout and don’t have the time to spend hours upon hours there. In fact, most of the time you want to get in and out quickly so you can get on with the rest of your day. Unfortunately, there are several distractions (other people, chats, drink breaks, etc) that you need to contend with.
  • Lack of Freedom - Depending on the size of your gym. Odds are, you’re going to have to wait in line if you want to use one of the popular pieces of equipment. You also can’t pull the faces or let out those embarrassing yells you could do at home.
  • Location - A lot of local gyms are located in places that aren’t necessarily in an ideal location for you. In fact, a lot of people have to drive quite a distance to reach their local gym. This isn’t always convenient if you just want to nip in and out when you have a spare half an hour. It’s also quite hard to get into the groove when you have driven for so long to reach the gym.
  • Hygiene - To be honest, this won’t apply to a lot of gyms. The vast majority of them are pretty clean. However, it’s not too unusual to find a bench with a puddle of sweat where your head is supposed to rest.

General Advantages Of Working Out At A Home Gym

  • Your Own Personal Sanctuary - You can’t beat it. Your own personal space in your own gym. There’s no rules or regulations and absolutely no need to socialise because there is no one else around apart from you. You can blast your own choice of music as aloud and as long as you like.
  • No Membership Fees - This is your gym. This means after you have purchased your own equipment, there’s no need to pay any additional fees. The only thing you will pay for is additional heat and lighting (this won’t cost too much).
  • Less choice - Now, depending on which side of the fence you sit, this could be an advantage or a disadvantage. In this case, too much choice leads to more confusion. Exactly what workout do you want to do and which exercise works best for each different piece of equipment? Who knows? One thing for sure, with less choice there’s less chance of choosing the wrong sort of exercise based on the piece of equipment.
  • Less travel - I could have put zero travel really. This is because having your own gym means there’s no need to jump in the car and drive. It can all be done from the comfort of your home. You can train when and what time you like. You don’t need to follow someone else’s schedule other than your own. This is a BIG advantage, especially if you’re a very busy person.

General Disadvantages Of Working Out At A Home Gym

  • Equipment Costs - This is quite a BIG disadvantage and one that could spiral if you don’t keep your spending under control. Starting and setting up your own home gym is pretty expensive. You either have saved for a while, get a loan or put the purchase o your credit card. Either way, you have to fork out a lot of money before you even get started.
  • Lack of a spotter - I mentioned this earlier in the article. By training at home, you don’t have the ability to increase the weights to the ideal weight. If you and do it yourself without one, you run the risk of hurting yourself and doing damage. Alternatively, you could invest in a power rack with safety pins. However, this is a more added expense.
  • Motivation - It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to go for that extra rep or keep going when you feel like quitting. Unfortunately, there’s no one there to really push you through those hard times. There’s also no one there to encourage you to go for a heavier lift than what you were originally going to choose.

So which one is more beneficial? Well, this is hard to say. It all depends on the individual’s circumstances really.

What will suit some people may not suit others. On balance, training at a gym has a lot more positives than training at home.

It’s the sheer amount of choice available and the overall facilities you are able to use. It also works out a lot cheaper since there are no upfront costs.

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