For those looking to work out regularly, choosing between going to a commercial gym or creating your gym at home is tough. Working out at home gym vs gym membership comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks – which is best? Read our guide to decide whether a gym membership or home gym is suitable for you.
Table of Contents
Home Gym (Overview + Pros & Cons)
A home gym is a space in your home where you use equipment or weights of your choice. These are often small and found in spare rooms or garages, depending on your home’s layout and needs.
Home Gym Pros
Home Gym Cons
Gym Memberships (Overview + Pros & Cons)
A gym membership grants you access to one specific gym or chain of gyms. The price, length of the contract, and benefits change from gym to gym. However, the most common services include access to facilities, trainers, classes, and a wide range of equipment and machines.
Gym Membership Pros
Gym Membership Cons
Home Gym Vs. Gym Membership (Which Should You Choose?)
The home gym is by far the more convenient and time-efficient choice. Home gyms cut out the commute, the wait for equipment, and the potential interruption by strangers, making it a faster experience. This makes home gyms great for people with busy work schedules or those without a commercial gym in their area.
On the other hand, some avid gym-goers think that the preparation and commute to the gym help them get into the zone and focus on working out. It fits nicely into their routine and allows them to separate their play, work, and workout spaces for better mental health.
Winner: Home Gym
With a home gym, you do not need to worry too much about preparing or forgetting things; you only need to walk down the hall to get them. With a commercial gym membership, you need to pack a gym bag, ensure you have everything you need, drive over there, get changed, and start your routine. Once done, you need to reverse this process before being completely done.
This is a much more involved preparation routine than working out from home, which requires you to dress, get some water or a protein shake, load a class or tutorial, and get going.
Winner: Home Gym
If you have a home gym, you do not need to rely on anyone else to clean the equipment. You have complete control over cleaning and maintenance and know precisely when your gym was last cleaned; this is a double-edged sword in terms of peace of mind vs. effort.
At a commercial gym, you are responsible for properly wiping and cleaning the equipment and machines after use but do not necessarily know if others are doing their own wipe-down duties. However, cleaning crews and staff on hand manage most of the commercial gym cleaning, taking most of the effort from you.
Winner: Depends – Though Sides With Gym Membership
You will primarily be working out alone at a home gym unless you bring a workout buddy or join an online class. This can be a little lonely and make motivating yourself to start a session or not quite partway through difficult. This does mean that you have fewer human distractions. However, your home has plenty of material distractions that tempt you to push working out to a later date.
At a gym, everyone focusing on achieving their fitness goals creates a particular atmosphere that can motivate you to push yourself. Plus, there are plenty of people to chat to and make friends with at the gym, forming a local community. Of course, this can be distracting at times, but it can be a boon.
Winner: Gym Membership
As we mentioned above, working out at home can be a lonely experience. However, there are online communities and live trainers that can make it feel like you are with others without compromising your privacy. It is easier to work out in a space where strangers will not judge you – plus, you get machines for as long as you want.
At gyms, it can be intimidating for various reasons to work out in front of other people. Plus, curious gym-goers or those wanting your machine may interrupt your session. However, gyms are a great place to socialize and get fit with high-tech equipment at the same time.
Winner: Gym Membership
While curating your home gym, you can be as flexible and experimental as your budget, home, product availability, and fitness goals allow. Due to space, you may have to find hybrid machines or second-hand options. However, it is possible to use online classes and equipment to bring variety into your routine.
It is much easier to incorporate variety into your workout routine at a commercial gym, but there is often waiting. Whether you need to wait to book yourself into a class or wait for your desired equipment to be open, you can get variety with patience. However, you can also get tips from trainers and other people with the same interests as you.
Winner: Varies Based On Interests
When building a home gym vs. a membership setup, there are more upfront costs with a home gym. However, it is possible to find all you need on a budget. Home gyms also mean that you can build your gym over time and only buy what you need. The main area where costs increase would be delivery and replacing parts.
Commercial gyms have the membership cost to consider, which changes depending on the gym’s pricing packages. You also may need new workout gear or to pick up extras at the gym. Travel costs bring the monthly fees of commercial gyms up, as well.
Winner: Home Gym
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is it easy to build a home garage gym?
That depends on your needs and what equipment you want, but it is an easy process most of the time. The hardest part is assembling the equipment, but it is possible to hire someone to build it for you.
Can you get in shape without a gym membership?
It is absolutely possible to get fit without a gym membership or any fancy equipment. There are plenty of workout routines and plans to choose from, many of which only require your effort rather than equipment. Discipline, consistency, and good sleep and diet are all key in this department.
How much does a gym membership cost?
A gym membership typically costs around $60 a month, although that changes depending on the gym’s price packages. This, along with fuel and workout clothes, adds up over time. Do your research and see if you can find good deals that work for your budget.
When choosing whether to go for a gym membership vs. a home workout routine, we recommend considering your situation and budget carefully before deciding. While it is easy to compare yourself to others, all that matters is that you do what is best for you and try your best.