Having both a home gym and a gym membership can provide the best of both worlds. However, for many of us, life forces us to choose one or the other. But which one will give us the best chance of achieving our fitness goals?
Before making any financial commitments, carefully evaluate your life situation and other external factors. It’s important to avoid any potential distractions or restrictions that can potentially prevent you from achieving your fitness goals.
Here are 7 factors to consider when choosing between building a home gym or joining a local fitness facility.
What Are Your Fitness Goals?
The very first step in choosing between building a home gym or joining the local fitness centre is to know exactly what your short-term and long-term goals are.
You will need to know whether your goals will include cardio/aerobic training, circuit training, strength or flexibility. This in turn will give you an idea of the needed equipment, workout gear, space and budget. This will be the foundation of your decision making.
Evaluating Your Personality And Comfort Level
For many, their personality and comfort levels can play a large role in the success or failure of achieving and maintaining their fitness goals. Therefore, it’s vital to choose an environment that is continuously inspiring and allows you to feel free and comfortable.
Keep in mind, in the right environment you will be more committed and focused, creating a better chance of achieving quality workouts.
The Home Gym Option
For many, the thought of being around a crowd of sweaty people and sharing public equipment is enough to strip away any desires of achieving their fitness goals. For others who are introverts or those dealing with social anxiety, public facilities can be too socially distracting resulting in either poor quality workouts or not working out at all.
For many the choice is obvious, the controlled environment of their personal home gym is key to achieving their fitness goals. This private environment reduces the risk of motivational loss and social distraction allowing them to maintain commitment and focus.
The Public Gym Option
Conversely, for many others, the greatest joy and fulfillment in their lives is the excitement of going to the local fitness centre. For them, the energy of the social/fitness environment is the magic spark that ignites inspiration and helps maintain commitment. As a result, this environment provides them the greatest chance of achieving and sustaining long-term fitness goals.
Additionally, there are those who find the public gym environment extremely therapeutic. It provides a block of time away from the bustle or monotony of the household or office. This option provides a pleasant change of environment and social variety. This in turn creates continuously renewed energy and motivation allowing them to achieve their fitness goals while they mentally recharge.
Evaluating Your Budget
If you have an unlimited budget, then choosing between a home gym or membership becomes much easier. You may even consider both to achieve lifestyle variety.
However, if you have a limited budget then you need to evaluate your options more carefully to determine a balance between your fitness goals and what your budget will allow. You will need to factor in the required space, variety of equipment and other related items.
If you have a limited budget and your fitness goals are moderate to extensive, requiring a wide variety of equipment and space, then a home gym may not be your best option. This is especially true if major renovations are needed. In this case joining a fitness centre may be a better option.
Many fitness facilities allow you to pay as you go instead of an annual membership fee up front. Even though yearly membership fees are often cheaper, the pay as you go option may be more budget friendly on a monthly basis.
Additionally, when considering joining a fitness centre, you must always consider other potential costs. Depending on where you live, and your life situation other costs may include travel, parking, baby sitting, etc.
Catching Your Peek Energy Levels
Catching your peek energy levels is a major factor. It’s important that your available time on any given day matches your peek energy and mood levels. Are you a morning person or is the afternoon or evening the optimum workout time for you?
Depending on your work schedule and family commitments you may not be able to match them perfectly. Therefore, the goal is to find a block of time that is convenient, yet you still have sufficient energy to achieve a quality workout.
Feeling fatigued will result in a poor-quality workout and increase your risk of injury.
Hours Of Operation
When considering a membership, make sure that the hours of operation match your available workout time. Not all public fitness centres are open 24 hours a day. Remember, every time the gym is closed when you are ready to work out is a missed opportunity.
The same can be true for many home gyms. This of course depends greatly on the location of the gym in your home and your family dynamic. This is especially true if there are small children, elders, or someone working night shifts living within your home. Every household needs quiet time for sleep, study, relaxation, meals and so on. Therefore, if the home gym is located near needed quiet areas and your workout routines are going to create noise, then some hours of the day are going to be off limits.
Other Potential Gym Distractions And Restrictions
Before building a home gym or joining the local fitness facility, you need to be aware of any potential distractions and restrictions. This is especially important if your available block of time is limited. Equally important, is if you are following a specific exercise program that requires a consistent flow with minimal rest periods.
Before getting a membership, you need to know if your available block of time coincides with peek hours at the fitness centre. If so, will there be any issues with overcrowding and wait times for equipment and space? Also, many public gyms have time limits on equipment use and space.
Similarly, when considering building a home gym, you need to understand the household dynamic. Will there be potential distractions or restrictions that could potentially reduce the quality of your workouts. Normally, you will not have to wait for equipment or available space unless the gym also serves another purpose such as a TV room.
Additionally, consider if others will be at home during your workouts and will they be creating distractions or demanding your attention. Likewise, if others are using this space, are they disciplined enough to keep the area free from clutter. Having to clean up and reorganize will consume available time.
For many, travel time can be a major factor in their decision-making process. Whether it’s a home gym or the fitness centre, you may not always be near when it’s time to workout. Therefore, if you need to commute, you will need to consider the expected travel conditions for that time of the day.
Always have an idea of your expected travel time to and from vs. your available time. Additionally, when travel is involved, extra time may be required to pack a gym bag or to hit the shower.
Making The Choice
Having the option of both a home gym and a gym membership will give you the best of both worlds. It will allow you to choose depending on the weather, your schedule, or even the mood you are in at any given moment.
However, if you must choose, consider the most convenient option which provides the best balance that will keep you motivated and consistent. The ultimate goal is to decide which option is best to achieve both your short-term and long-term fitness goals.
Find your space, find your balance and always make it count.