Working Out at Home vs. Working Out at the Gym


Deciding you want to work out is easy – but finding the perfect environment is not. While some set up a home gym in the garage or spare room, others head to the local fitness centre. Both of these are viable workout spaces, and both have their unique qualities – some of which you may love and others you may dislike. 

A big requirement of fitness is commitment. But it’s even more important to choose the right environment to see the commitment last. 

For those that enjoy a buzzing atmosphere and rows of machines, the gym offers the entire range of equipment to facilitate a full body workout as well as access to fitness trainers. Do you prefer using the treadmill, elliptical and bench-press in any given workout? You’d have to own one massive garage to fit all those, plus the car. But the entire range is available at the gym. 

A massive pro of gym workouts is the sense of community. If you need that environment for motivation and focus, then your commitment will have a better chance of surviving if you’re at the gym.

However, a gym membership requires commuting, finding a parking spot, and trying to focus in a loud and busy place where other users may leave the machines dirty and the room smells like old sweat. If these are deal-breakers, your gym membership fee may end up paying for an empty machine. 

So what’s the alternative? Setting up a home gym. The beauty of working out at home is that you can skip packing a bag and driving 20 minutes and simply spread your workout mat on the ground or head to the spare room to get those reps in. Depending on what type of exercises you prefer and what machinery they require, the cost of a home gym can range from nothing ( using body weight workouts) to the cost of your bike or treadmill – which will probably be cheaper in the long term if they’re put to good use. 

Home gyms also offer the freedom to blast your own playlists or work out along with a YouTube tutorial. 

But for some, getting sweaty in the same space where eating and sleeping is the norm is difficult. After all, it’s all about head-space, and if you’re easily distracted by the dryer cycle finishing or the half read novel on the coffee table, delivering a home workout day after day is a challenge. 

Home workouts often consist of exercises that require little equipment, such as squats, lunges, sit ups, crunches, and bridges – the list goes on. Thanks to the full range of equipment, gym workouts usually use the treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, weights and any other available service. 

The proximity of a gym also affects whether or not a subscription will be worth it. The average gym goer travels 4 miles to work out, according to a study by target marketing ad researcher firm Dstillery. However, patrons of pricier gyms travel 5-6 miles which is twice as far as the average 3 mile commute to cheaper gyms. It all depends on the level of quality you’re after, and how much hassle you’re willing to endure. 

Some people may prefer to work out at their local gym in their own city so they don’t need to travel long distances to one. For example an individual living in York would use a Gym in York.

Cheap gyms, such as Planet Fitness, charge as little as a $10 per month fee, while luxury boutique gyms can charge anywhere from $30 to $60 per week. 

So if you’re after competition and camaraderie and don’t mind the fees and commute, starting a gym subscription may be the smartest choice – especially if getting out of the house will help you stick to your exercise regime. And if you thrive on solitude, simplicity and flexibility, then roping off a corner of the house is the best course of action. Your preference, your choice!