Health Club vs. Home Gym

The key difference between a health club and a home gym may be the deciding factor in whether you work out or not. In fact, this one decision can have a huge impact on some people, so it is important to choose wisely. We all have heard the assertion that at least a few workouts of moderate exercise are required each week to stay in shape, but if you face too many obstacles to get that workout in, it’s going to be tough to get it done. Here are some key considerations before you decide whether to join a health club or invest in a home gym.

The Health Club

There are many reason to join a health club, not the least of which is an abundance of machinery on which to work. This helps to keep you entertained so that you won’t get bored and may even motivate you to exercise more. It also makes the targeting of specific muscle groups very easy, though so many machines may be overwhelming for many people. The health club is often on the way to or from work or even around the corner from home, and the act of getting out can help to make the workout last an hour or more, but that small trip can also be an excuse not to work out on a snowy day or when you just don’t feel like getting in the car. Many health clubs have experts that can assist you but also come with other members who may be in your way. Prices vary from pretty cheap to rather expensive, depending on the club and the options purchased. For some this cost is too much to bear while for others is guarantees participation.

Here are the main things to think about when considering a health club for exercise:

  • Will dozens of machines motivate you or confuse you?
  • Will other members energize and entertain you or embarrass and annoy you?
  • Will the location help you work out or reduce the likelihood that you will exercise?
  • Will you use a trainer or take a class or is that unimportant for you?
  • Can you afford the membership fees?

The Home Gym

A home gym is a great option if you have both money and space, though the amount of space you need is dependent on what equipment is desired. Constructing a workout area can be quite cheap if some simple weights and calisthenic equipment is all that is needed. For a reasonable price you can find a multipurpose machine that will work more muscle groups, but it does require more space. Once you start adding on machines like a treadmill or elliptical the price can start to climb fast, though there is no monthly fee once you own it. A home gym is always there for you, regardless of weather, and you can pick the best time to workout based on your schedule without worrying if it’s open. There is no waiting in line, no other person’s sweat on a machine, and you can watch the television show that you want with sound. You get to work out in privacy, but there is nobody there to mentor you or teach you. Home gyms can be less safe since the workout is alone and often done with more loose equipment in an compressed area.

Here are the main things to think about when considering a home gym for exercise:

  • Do you have the space needed to add equipment to your home?
  • Do you have the expertise to get in a good workout without a trainer?
  • Can you afford the equipment you really want to work out with?
  • How motivated will you be to work out in your own gym versus heading out to a club?
  • Will you get bored working out alone?

How To Decide

If you’re not sure which way to go, consider this. If you are a beginner with little experience, a social person who prefers to be with people, or want to do serious training for a specific sport or event, consider a gym membership. You can learn, use a huge variety of equipment, and cancel if and when you decide it’s time to get the stuff you need at home. If you prefer privacy, have specific needs in equipment and have both the space and money to get them in your home, and feel confident that you can push yourself to work out in a safe manner, having the workout area at home may be best for you.

Whatever you decide between joining a health club vs. a home gym, just make sure you stick with it, and don’t be afraid to switch your decision down the road if you need to.

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