This has been a long-standing debate even before the global pandemic happened. Just amplified by the fact that most of us had to stay home and many establishments had to close down. Now that things are slowly returning back to normal, the debate is still on the table.
Should you join a gym, or is it better to work out at home?
We’re not gonna lie. As fitness freaks ourselves, of course, we prefer the gym. But this is not about us, this is about you.
Your fitness journey, whether you do it in the gym or at home, will ultimately depend on your goals, schedules, budget, etc. Considering these factors, you will find that gym membership will suit your lifestyle better than home workouts, or vice versa.
In this piece, we’re weighing in on the debate, and hopefully, you can decide based on the benefits and drawbacks of both options.
Pros of Joining a Gym
Of course, we’re kicking it off with this one! We may sound a little biased, but trust us, joining your local gym can be really advantageous to your fitness journey. Especially if you’ve already committed to beefing up.
But if you’re someone who’s still testing the waters, here’s why we think you should do your training in the gym, with professional trainers and fellow gym bunnies:
Equipment and amenities
Machines that are dedicated to fitness are some of the best assets of every gym. If you have a gym membership, you have unrestricted access to its equipment and amenities. Which is better for you because you’ll never run out of options.
If you want to work on your cardio, you’re free to use the treadmill, elliptical machines, and rowing machines. Meanwhile, if you plan to strengthen your core and build your muscles, the gym has specific equipment like weight benches, squat racks, barbells and plates, and resistance bands.
Some fitness centres even have swimming pools, saunas, jacuzzis, massage rooms, and snack or smoothie bars! If you want to experience all these, consider applying for a gym membership!
Most gyms also offer fitness courses. These classes will allow you to work closely with professional trainers so you can achieve your fitness goals. Whether you just want to trim that belly, tone your muscles, or prepare for a sports event, trainers can help you get on track.
Getting fit is not always about perseverance and hard work. Don’t get us wrong, these two elements are necessary. But to be really successful in your fitness journey, you have to be smart with how you work out, too. Personal trainers can:
- figure out the right workouts for you
- show you how to do them properly
- maximize your schedule by arranging the best program that suits your goals
- motivate you whenever you lose sight of your goal and slack off
- challenge and support you during intense sessions
The vibe inside a gym may come off as a little intimidating, especially for anyone who hasn’t stepped inside a fitness centre ever. But if you’ve worked out in any gym long enough, you’ll realize that the community there is quite welcoming.
You can draw out energy from everyone who has the same goal as you. Just a little warning, though, it can get competitive. But it’s all for the objective of pushing everyone to work harder. Don’t worry no one will throw punches at you, it normally doesn’t get to that.
Cons of Gym Memberships
Yes, working out at the gym through memberships is great. There’s no doubt about that. But admittedly, it also has its drawbacks. Below are only some of them.
One of the biggest drawbacks of joining a gym is the price. That’s because the fees charged by some fitness centres can go way out of your budget. Hate to admit it, but everything really comes with a price. Especially if you’re gunning for posh clubs with high-end equipment or amenities.
Good thing, there are gyms or clubs like us (self-tap on the shoulders) that sincerely advocate fitness and wellness. And we honestly want everyone to get fit without driving them away with costly fees.
That’s why we charge clients only $11 per week, with no lock-in contracts and other hidden fees. You can always opt-out whenever you want. Although we’ll be sad to see you go, that’s for sure. But it’s still a great deal, so we’d love to see you drop by and start grinding!
Another thing that throws people off about hitting the gym is the constant hassle that comes with it. Understandably, your preparation, including the drive or commute back and forth, can last longer than your actual workout, especially if you live far from your local gym.
If you decide to take the gym classes, you must pack everything up, drive or take the bus, park your car, put everything in the locker room, get on with the class, and then head home, to do it all again. For some, it’s just too inconvenient especially if they’re busy. No wonder many people prefer working out at home.
While we value and promote the community, culture, and camaraderie inside our gyms, we understand that some of you are having a hard time mingling or connecting with other people.
If you’re that type of person, the gym might not be the best place for you. Because gyms can be totally jam-packed with people from all walks of life. Some people might talk loudly on their phones, leave sweat all over the equipment or just be completely rude.
Hate to admit it, but it happens.
Pros of Working Out at Home
If you think hitting the gym is just too much for you, then working out at home is certainly your cup of tea. Muck like working from home, turning your living room into a tiny gym will certainly benefit busy bees like you. Here’s why you’ll love it:
The best thing about home workouts is that it gives you an ample amount of time and the choice when to spend it. It’s the flexibility that attracts most people. You can do the routines early in the morning, or late at night when everyone else is snoozing. You can even do it while working (oops, just make sure you won’t get caught by your boss!), or while babysitting the kids.
Also, you can wear anything, and no one will care! Although we highly recommend wearing proper attire, no one can really stop you from wearing whatever’s comfortable. Who wouldn’t love exercising in pajamas, right?
With home workouts, you’ll save a ton of money. No membership fees, no personal trainer fees, and no fare or gas money. But you still have to spare some cash, though. Especially if you haven’t bought any of the home gym essentials yet.
Below are only some of the basic things that you’ll need:
- Workout mats
- Exercise ball
- Resistance bands
- Jump ropes
- Foam rollers
- Pull-up bar
Keep in mind that you don’t have to acquire all these. Score the equipment that you think will fit the training course that you want to follow.
Cons of Working Out at Home
As convenient as it is, a home workout certainly has its own drawbacks. These are the things that you should consider if you’re planning to set up your home gym:
Unfortunately, not all home spaces are created equal. If you live in a tiny apartment, you might have a hard time squeezing in some large pieces of equipment like the treadmill or workout benches.
While you can go on with your fitness journey as long as you have space for a workout mat, you would want to upgrade your home gym at some point. That means you would also need a larger space.
Unlike with conventional gyms, you can have all the space you want as long as you don’t disturb or creep fellow gym-goers!
Admit it or not, it’s hard to keep the motivation in full throttle. How many times have you scheduled a trip to the gym and ended up canceling at the last minute, well, just because? Or because the bed-weather is so nice you can’t even get up for breakfast? Or because your workout attire is “in the laundry”?
Sounds familiar? We know because we’ve all been there. We’re all guilty of making up silly excuses to go anywhere but in the gym.
Slacking off might even get worse if you decide to exercise at home. There are just too many distractions or temptations inside your home like video games, Netflix, food, phone calls, visitors, and the worst of them all, your bed (which is literally just next door, or upstairs).
If you’re not that self-motivated, your planned 10 sets of exercises can turn into 10 episodes of your fave TV show in an instant. Next thing you know, you’re already starting a new series.
So, should you join a gym or work out at home?
You already know our take. We highly recommend working out at the gym, where you can use a variety of machines, learn from professional trainers, and make friends with other gym freaks.
But like we’ve said earlier, it all boils down to your budget and personal preferences. If you think you can brush off all the distractions at home, then setting up a home gym can be great for you. If you really want to take this seriously, you might be better off with the perks that a gym membership can give you.
If you’re non-committal at the moment, you can start the grind for only $11 per week here at Rec Xpress. No lock-in contracts or joining fees so you can stop anytime you want. You know, no strings attached!
Our fitness hubs at Bentleigh, Cheltenham, Clayton, East Brighton, Huntingdale, and Ormond are open 24/7 so you can drop by anytime. See you there!