If you are new or getting back into fitness training, where you are going to be working out could be one of the most influential decisions you have to make when plotting your fitness plan. Without sounding dramatic, it could make or break your whole plan if you don’t choose wisely. Say for instance you don’t properly weigh the pros and cons , and you rush into buying a gym membership. Your first week goes by, you workout there, and you realise how crowded it is, and you are instantly not feeling the vibe. You stop going and don’t even finish your first month. Now you are locked in to that dreaded “CONTRACT” at a place that you can’t stand going to.
Conversely, lets say you decide that you are going to workout at home. You go all in and buy the Yoga Mat, Yoga Ball, a few Kettlebells etc. First week goes by, and you are rocking with four workouts on the books! Second week comes,and you are a little tired from work and the addition of this new exercise thing you have been trying so vigilantly to do 3-4x a week. Then, tired as heck after a long day at work in your third week, you come home, have your normal routine, but this time instead of following your daily workout schedule, you sit down on that amazingly comfy couch staring at that 15lb kettlebell, and think to yourself “maybe I will just chill tonight, and workout tomorrow”. Tomorrow comes and a happy hour at work presents itself, so you skip working out again. This is where the pattern begins, and the fitness plan goes down the tubes. Now the exercise equipment that you purchased is nothing more than ugly household decorations that do nothing but collect dust.
It is very important that you pick a place that will be most beneficial to you both physically and mentally during your fitness training. Working out in a place that you enjoy to be at will help you come back day after day.
Personally, I prefer working out in a gym. I won’t go into my personal reasons because everyone is different and what may work for me may not for you. What I will do is share some of the pros and cons I have picked up on both personally, and from my discussions with people that also frequent the gym.
First lets start off with working out at home, and some of the Pros.
- Privacy. Who wants to workout with everyone around?
- Convenience. You can workout night or day. No restrictions.
- Location. Dont have to drive to get there.
- Price. For a total investment of about 3-4 months dues at a health club, you can own everything you need. Lifetime membership for less than $200.
- Music. You can jam anything you like and avoid the 90’s remix techno jams they blast at the club.
- No one asks if they can “work in” (share) equipment with you.
- No naked people walking around (see gym:cons)
Now some Cons to working out at home.
- Limited equipment. Depending on many factors, you may not have the ability to keep large workout equipment in your home. This may limit what you can do exercise wise.
- If planning cardio or workouts for outside, it may be very weather dependent.
- No real rush to workout with such easy access, which can lead to procrastination.
- Space. Can you perform all the necessary exercises in the tiny space you call your living room?
Lets turn the subject to the gym, and first look at some Pros.
- Access to unlimited equipment. Always have a fresh and new routine to keep things interesting. This is hands down one of the best things about a gym membership.
- Depending on the gym, access to a pool, hot tub, and/or steam room. Nothing is more refreshing than a hot steam or soak while stretching those tired muscles after a hard workout.
- Multiple locations. If you are on the road, or have a long drive to work, having a gym every few miles makes it much more convenient.
- Social Aspect. Great for finding workout partners and people to help encourage you on your new fitness journey.
Cons of the gym
- Cost. Some gyms aren’t cheap, and not everyone can afford this in their monthly budget.
- Contracts. No one wants to be locked in to pay for a membership they may stop using after 3 weeks right?
- Crowds. If you are like most people(work a 9-5), you have to go early, or late, just like most other people. No matter which locker you choose, someone will always be changing at the one directly next to or below you.
- Loud. Music, talking, weights banging, grunting, yelling, crappy top 40 techno remixes playing over the speakers. Make sure to invest in some nice noise cancelling headphones if you like to actually hear the music playing in your headphones.
- Naked People in the locker room. Enough said.
I could probably go on and on, but I will just stick with the basics. Please take all of these things in mind when choosing your workout place. Make sure its a happy place that you will want to keep returning to. You will be spending a lot of time there because afterall, you are finally committing your life to fitness.
Where do you prefer to workout?