Is Home Gym Worth The Investment Or Gym Membership?

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Is Home Gym Worth The Investment Or Gym Membership?

A home gym is a new trend! Fitness lovers worldwide want to set up a home gym because of its many advantages. Home gyms are more convenient than a gym membership because you can work out anytime you want right in your own home. In addition to that, it is a one time investment that will last you a lifetime, whereas gym memberships require monthly payments which can run pretty high for some gyms!

On the contrary, a home gym can be complicated and a little tough for beginners. The right equipment and the correct workout forms are very important for the exercises. It is not recommended to set up a home gym without proper supervision if you are a beginner.

According to the Harborview injury prevention and research center, 24,400 U.S treadmills injuries occurred in 2014 without proper supervision and a coach.

If you're a beginner to workout equipment, then we definitely recommend starting off at a gym or having a trainer train you at your home gym.

Home gym or commercial gym both have some pros and cons. If you are struggling with the decision between joining a gym or starting your own home gym, then read on and learn which decision best fits your needs/lifestyle.

Pros & cons of setting up a home gym 

Staying fit is not for free; it comes with a price tag. Whether you are going for the home gym experience or the gym membership experience, both ways are an investment. To help you out, we have gathered the pros and cons of both to help you make your decision. 

Pros

  • No monthly membership cost
  • Your home gym is available 24/7
  • No wasted time in traveling to and from the gym!
  • You don't have to share your equipment and wait for the gym to open.
  • Absolute focus and no time lost in chatter. 

No monthly membership cost - The most common problem people with a gym membership face is the gym fee. A home gym will set you free from paying the monthly subscription fee a commercial gym would have been charging you. Invest in your equipment and save money over time!

Your home gym is available 24/7- Your home gym is your domain. It won't restrict you to a specific time slot. Nothing can beat the charm of a personalized gym, which is open 24/7 and gives you the freedom to workout anytime you want for as long as you please.  

No wasted time in traveling- Working out at home can be a great experience. Alongside not having to pay the gym membership fee, the home gym cuts your travel cost to and from the gym. 

You don't have to share equipment or wait for a station to open up- Another advantage is that you don't have to wait for your turn to use a specific tool or equipment anymore. 

Absolute focus & no time lost in chatter 

It may become hard to remain on track because you easily get distracted by your friends. You usually end up wasting hours in the gym if you get distracted with talking to your friends. In such a case, the purpose of making efforts to go to the gym becomes pointless. 

As everything has its pros and cons, few potential disadvantages are associated with a home gym too.

Cons

  • Lack of social interaction and personal trainer
  • No healthy competition to push you harder
  • Costly
  • Home/family distractions
  • Needs the imagination to maintain interest in your training

Lack of social interaction & personal trainer- You are more likely to miss the vital, social aspect of a commercial gym at your home. You may miss the joy of relaxing swimming laps or the social connection with a buddy. 

Human contact at gyms and sports fields is integral as training becomes a fulfilling experience. There is no real professional trainer to instruct you on what to do unless you hire one, but that would again restrict you to a specific time slot. 

No healthy competition to push you harder- While you may like advancing at your own pace, you might miss the pleasure of healthy competition with your peers. Even the best goblet squat programmers can't maintain a competition lift and don't push past previous limits if there are no challenges.

Costly & expensive- Another drawback of a home gym is that the capital cost of setting up your very own home gym can be quite a load on your bank account, which is usually a one-time investment.

Distractions -Cultivating self-discipline is easier said than done. Many people get distracted while working out at home because everyday life easily gets in the way.  Your refrigerator is right there, the kids are tugging at your clothes, and the TV and comfortable sofa call your name.

The optimal benefits of a home gym we believe outweigh the disadvantages. Until social distancing restrictions are lifted, and we can safely return to our gym routines, we should definitely consider home gym equipment to stay in shape and to continue towards our fitness goals. 

Pros & cons of a commercial gym

Pros

  • Amenities
  • Wonderful deals
  • Professional trainers and nutrition experts
  • Social interaction
  • Continuously updating equipment

Amenities- A gym enables you to work out with high-quality exercise equipment. From weight machines and dumbbells to sophisticated treadmills, you can have everything you need to kick-start your fitness journey.

Wonderful deals- You may easily lower your membership costs because some gyms offer discounts. Gym membership is flexible, provides insurance packages, and a lot more. Many gyms partner with other companies to provide certain perks.

Professional trainers & nutrition experts- Gyms provide you a facility to train under the supervision of fitness professionals. If you're new to exercising, trainers are a great source of guidance for form, nutrition etc. 

Social interaction- Working out at a commercial gym is an ideal way to socialize while breaking a sweat.  The workout becomes more engaging, exciting, and fun. Gyms provide a structured environment that allows you to learn something new alongside your peers. 

Gym membership has its advantages, but on the contrary, it has some of its disadvantages. You need to open up your mind, read and evaluate what is best for you.

Cons

  • High commute cost
  • Hard to cancel a membership
  • The crowd can be overwhelming
  • Lack of Motivation 

High commute cost- Not having a good commute service can halt your progress and keep you restricted from achieving your fitness goals. Public transit can be a good substitute, but it may be hard on your wallet. 

Sometimes even weather can stop you from going to the gym. Six feet of snow outside your door doesn't sound appealing at all! 

Hard to cancel membership- If you want to cancel your membership, it is in no way easy. You need to pay some penalties, so don't be surprised about the unexpected fine for breaking the contract.

Overwhelming crowd- If you are someone that gets overwhelmed around a large number of people, then the gym may not be the best place for you. You won’t be able to fully concentrate on your workout/form and that will potentially hurt your overall progress. 

Lack of motivation- It is so easy to lose motivation to go to the gym; you’re too tired to drive, you have no energy, you don’t have anything to wear to the gym; the list of excuses can go on and on. The hardest part about a workout is getting to the gym. Once you are there you have no choice but to workout; but the trip from your home to the gym is where the motivation can be lost and can cause you to miss a workout altogether. 

Cost of a home gym

You might be wondering about the cost of building a gym from scratch.  Let us help you with some calculations for a rough estimate of the total investment.

An effective and high-quality home gym set up can cost around $2,500. However, you can also spend as low as $500 to as high as $15,000 on a home gym depending on your fitness goals, required machine, and how complex you want your setup to be. In comparison, a gym membership can cost around $10 a month to $100 depending on the gym you choose. In this case, your annual cost can range from $120 - $1,200.

To build home gym you need to setup the room, which increases the initial cost of the home gym setup; the things that are required to set up a home gym are;

  • Flooring $750 - $3,800
  • Electric Wiring $160 - $500
  • Lighting $150 - $800
  • Mirror hanging $150 - $460
  • Tv installation $170 - $380
  • Air circulation $140 - $5,000
  • Equipment $50 - $5,000

If you want to create a mini-gym that allows you to do simple exercises in an existing room, it cost around $130 to $450, which includes;

  • Yoga mat $10 - $50
  • Small exercise bike $100 - $300
  • Kettlebell or dumbells $20 - $100

The exact cost of the home gym equipment entirely depends on your workout preferences and the company products you buy.

  • Kettlebell: $20-$100
  • Bench press: $400-$800
  • Power rack: $300-$600
  • Exercise bike: $100-$800
  • Treadmill: $500-$1,500
  • Elliptical: $300-$2,000
  • Rowing machine: $600-$1,200
  • Resistance training system: $300-$500

Home gym vs. gym membership cost analysis

Let’s explore a 1-year and a 5-year plan of a home gym and a gym membership cost

End of year one

  • The basic home gym costs around $175.
  • On average, an elaborate home gym costs $2,500.
  • Basic gym membership costs $10 a month; 10*12 = $120 yearly
  • A premium gym membership costs $100 a month; 100*12 = $1,200 yearly

End of 5 years:

  • Basic home gym $175
  • Elaborate home gym $2,500
  • Basic gym membership 120*5 = $600 
  • Premium gym membership 1200*5 = $6,000

Takeaway: On a long-term basis, the basic setup could save you $425, and the elaborate setup could save you around $3,500.

Things to consider for home gym setup

Below are few things to keep in mind before setting up a home gym:

  • Once you are done devising a workout plan, you need to look up which of your exercises demand what equipment. While some equipment is versatile, others are good only for a single activity. 
  • Your level of dedication will heavily influence what to buy. If you are a casual gym-goer, you might want a budgeted gym setup at your home. 
  • However, if you are a hardcore bodybuilder, you might want a proper gym setup with possibly everything gym-related installed in it. 

Below are some of the home gym equipment that is right for you. Whether it be home-based or a commercial gym, you would want these items to be present.

Dumbbells- Dumbbells are one of the oldest, effective and inexpensive tools - available for as low as $5 and can go to as high as you would want your weights to be. Helpful for upper and lower body and core exercises. 

Dumbbells can be used for unilateral training,with balancing strength, and allows you to control the amount of weight used for each different exercise.

Kettlebell- The kettlebell can cost around $60. This tool helps you improve your core strength and stability. Some of the workouts with this tool can be serious fat-burning workouts as they contain heavy calorie-burning potential while being an alternative to cardio exercises.

Pull-up bar- Mainly targeting your latissimus dorsi, a pull-up bar works on your entire upper body. Also enhancing your grip strength, which eventually helps you with lifting weights.

Besides spicing up your bi and tri muscles, it improves balance and coordination, which ultimately leads to quicker muscle growth. Available within $20, quite an affordable tool with multiple benefits!

Jump rope- Jump rope works as a total body workout & is one of the oldest fitness tools; great for burning calories with evident results and multi-benefits. It is ideal for HIIT, cardio, MMA Conditioning, and fat loss. Scientifically proven,  a workout with a jump rope helps you burn six times more fat than cardio exercise at half the time! 

You can buy this piece of equipment for a variety of prices depending on the quality you are looking for. You can get a jump rope for $10 or less if you are looking for something affordable!

Power rack- If you are into lifting weights and enjoy strength training, the power rack is a must-have tool for you. The power rack's sole purpose is to use it for strength training. It offers a safe free-weight workout by eliminating any dangers like falling weights, failure, or accident. 

Cardio equipment- Cardio is an essential key to any workout. Even if you do not want to shed weight, a cardio pre-workout is very important to get your heart rate up. 

Moreover, cardio certainly helps with your mental health. It puts you in a reasonably good mood by releasing endorphins and chemicals.Get a treadmill or an indoor cycle, whatever makes you more comfortable. 

Ab mat- This tool is a covered piece of foam with a 30-degree arch made to support your spine, providing the perfect angle to work out and practice all those yoga poses you've been escaping from.

Whether you like to exercise or do yoga, if it involves lying down on the floor, the ab mat is made for you- available in a range from $20 to $25.

Pilates ring- Pilates circle rings are quite an inexpensive tool - just for $20. Using the Pilates ring allows you to improve your overall stability and increases your body balance. 

When used during a workout, the magic circle enables you to push against it when feeling unstable, allowing you to better balance and stabilize your body and target the core muscles.

Takeaway

Whether you should join a gym or workout at home comes down to personal preference and your budget. If you're self-motivated and know you'll exercise no matter what, working out at home may be a good option. However, if you find way too many distractions, getting out of the house may be a better choice.

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