Pros and Cons of Building a Home Gym
It’s a question that sparks so much debate among fitness fans across the world. But we’re going to try and tackle it here. Should you build a home gym? We’re looking at the pros and cons of turning that unused space in your garage or shed into a personal iron cave of fitness.
Building a home gym is becoming a much more popular phenomenon these days. The availability of cheap equipment and the introduction of home fitness workouts, websites, DVD’s and YouTube videos means working out at home is more appealing than it’s ever been.
Take an average annual gym membership price. Research shows that the standard gym price is £40-£50 per month. Going off these figures you’ll be looking at spending up to £600 per year in gym fees. A quick google search will show you that you can buy a good treadmill for under £500. But that’s not it, a rowing machine will cost around £150 and a cross trainer £170. You can even buy free weights such as dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells for good money. And if you look at refurbished or 2nd hand equipment then you’ll save even more money!
Pros of building a home gym
- No gym membership – Although you can get some great deals when looking at gym memberships, there are still some memberships that are costing upwards of £80 per month! That’s almost £1000 a year which you’ll have to be going to the gym quite a lot to get your money’s worth. Building a home gym will eliminate this cost with 1 single payment for your home fitness equipment.
- Convenient – There’s nothing worse than coming home from work and losing all motivation to do anything let alone workout. I’ve been there…spending a long time getting home from work can drain your energy, so the last thing you want to do is pack a gym bag and then head out again to the gym. By investing in a home gym you’ll increase your chances of actually working out. It gives you flexibility to hit the weights hard for an hour or do a quick cardio session while your dinner is cooking. After all, most people would much rather workout in a location that’s 30 seconds from their kitchen than 30 minutes from their house.
- Less hustle and bustle – Busy lifestyles can mean that your time is limited. There’s only certain times in the day or evening that you can visit the gym. In all likelihood, this applies to around 80% of us. What this results in is a fully packed gym that bursting at the seams between the hours of 6pm-8pm. This isn’t enjoyable for anyone because if you’re not waiting long periods of time for a certain machine, then you’ve got people lingering around you waiting for your machine. Home gyms eliminate this as you’ll be the only one using it! Work out when you like, for as long as you like with absolutely no pressure to hurry up on your favourite machine.
- Great for newbies – A lot of people who are starting out on their fitness journey encounter the same problems. Lack of confidence. This is completely normal and isn’t helped by the 6ft 4in heavily muscled guy walking around the gym who looks like he’s lived there for 5 years. Depending on your confidence levels there’s always that feeling of people staring at you while you exercise giving you that lingering doubt of whether you’re doing something correctly. You can solve this problem by working out at home where you can exercise confidently which makes your fitness journey more effective.
- Healthy living for the whole family – There’s nothing better than promoting healthy living amongst the whole family than having pieces of fitness equipment in the home. The problem with a gym membership is that it’s specific to one person. Buying something as simple as a treadmill allows your wife, husband, sons, daughters or whoever you live with to enjoy and share the benefits of owning a home gym or fitness equipment.
- No contract – A big problem with a lot of gyms is the contract that you’re tied down to. Now don’t get me wrong, you can join some gyms for a cheap fee with no contract you can cancel at anytime which is great. However, there’s a lot of gyms where you cancelling a contract with them is the most difficult, expensive and frustrating thing in the world. You just have to do a quick google search to read a lot of horror stories regarding this. Save yourself the hassle and don’t sign your life away.
I’m not going to write this and preach that a home gym is the be all and end all of fitness. As with any pros there’s always some cons…
Cons of building a home gym
- Getting your money’s worth – While it’ll be cheaper in the long run to purchase your own gym equipment, you’ve got to ask yourself, “Am I going to get the usage out of this?”. Now this question entirely depends upon the type of person you are and if you’re motivated enough to use your treadmill, exercise bike or weights as much as you would in your local gym. Gym fads come and go with people starting out with good intentions but then don’t follow through with going to the gym. You could fall into the same trap with a home gym if you’re not motivated enough so your exercise bike just ends up being an expensive clothes horse.
- Lack of motivation – Earlier when I said about how people would rather workout 30 seconds from kitchen can also work the in the opposite direction. Getting home from work and knowing that your gym is in the next room can lead to just staying in front of the TV with a beer or glass of wine. Rest assured that your gym doesn’t have beer and wine (unfortunately) so you wouldn’t fall into this trap by working out at the gym.
- Lack of expertise – The handy thing about a gym is that there’s always a PT or fitness guru on hand to give you advice on how to use equipment or different workouts you can do. While this can be replicated with YouTube or social media, it’s nice to have someone talk to you in terms you understand when talking about fitness.
- Selective equipment – While this is fairly obvious it also needs pointing out that a standard gym will be equipped with a lot more machines and equipment that you’re likely to buy. If you’re sick of treadmill running one day you can always jump on the cross trainer. Or if you want a change from using free weights you can use the cable cross machine.
- No atmosphere – Again, this depends on your personality. Some people like to be left alone whilst exercising with the less people the better. However, some people prefer an atmosphere and find that a room full of people who are working out with loud music pumping throughout to be very motivational. There’s a select few who also like socialising at the gym. This is eliminated with a home gym so it depends on what you ideally use the gym for.
Many factors need to be taken into consideration when setting up your home gym such as: What is your budget? How often will you use it? Do you have the space? All of these need to be considered so you can decide whether it’ll be a good investment or not.