Confession: I’ve never had a gym membership or worked out in a gym, unless you count the few hotel gyms I’ve used. But even when I’m traveling, which is rare, I’m more likely to do a bodyweight workout in my hotel room and go for a run than I am to take advantage of the equipment they offer. Everyone is different, and everyone has their own preferred method of working out. The perfect-for-me option is working out in my home gym.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definite advantages to having a gym membership. I have nothing against it. Some people need the separation of home and gym in order to get into the right mindset. Others need the accountability of group classes to keep them going. In a professional gym, you are surrounded by inspiring and like-minded people, which is totally awesome! I understand the sense of community some people feel in these settings.
That’s not how I’m wired though. I don’t workout to be social. I workout to be healthy and feel good, to feel comfortable in my own skin in other social settings. It gives me confidence in the right way. And let’s get real for minute here. If you’re able to carry on a whole conversation while at the gym, then you’re not working hard enough. Yes, it’s movement, and moving your body is great! I wish everyone would look for opportunities to add movement to their day. But leisurely movement is not going to change the shape of your body.
So, whatever method works best for you is great. Keep at it! But here is why I prefer a home gym and encourage everyone to consider it. Time and money are no excuses!
When it’s time to workout, I don’t want to get in my car, drive to the gym, do my workout, and then drive back home. I want to get right at it, without wasting time in the car. Nothing beats opening my front door and starting right out on a run, or going to the basement to do some strength training. Everything I need is always right there. Time, and weather for that matter, cannot be an excuse.
Sometimes I get up and workout at 6:00 am. Other days I workout at noon or even 2:00 pm. No matter how my day is unfolding in my personal and family life, I can squeeze in a workout around my schedule, again, without needing to take the extra time to drive to and from the gym. In order to stay on track and get in the workouts I want, this flexibility is crucial.
I don’t like people watching me workout. I have a few running buddies and I will workout with my husband, but I don’t need an audience. I am much more comfortable pushing myself on my own. This works for me because I’m a naturally determined person. I like to set goals and push myself to reach them; I don’t need someone else to be my motivation. All I want to do is compete against myself, not other people. (If you’re introverted like me, you’ll understand.)
Some days I run. Other days I lift weights. Sometimes yoga is all I need, or all my body is up for. Yes, I could do all these things in the gym, but I like that I can listen to my body and give my mind the variety it wants without having to sign up for specific classes. With all the YouTube videos available, there is no shortage of workout plans to follow at home.
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, whether I’m traveling, or what condition I’m in (hello, pregnancy); when I have my own home gym and workout plans, I can always be active. The convenience and flexibility helps me stay consistent and consistency is what gets longterm results. I workout now and will continue to workout as I age so I can stay as active as possible, even when I’m 80 years old. Your body won’t be strong and you won’t have stamina if you’re not consistent.
Yes, my husband and I have purchased some gym equipment. We have a treadmill, a bench press, and some kettlebells. With these few pieces of equipment, we can both get an awesome workout. We spent the money once and will reap the benefits for years. You don’t need to own much. In fact, you don’t need to own anything if you do interval training with your own bodyweight. We prefer to save the monthly fees and workout at home. It’s good for both our wallets and our waistlines. (If you’re interested in creating a home gym on a budget, consider some of these options: How to Create a Home Gym on a Tight Budget.)
So, I’m curious to hear from you all. If you prefer to workout in a professional gym, what are your reasons? Leave a comment below to get the conversation rolling.