Home Gym Vs. Gym Membership (Which Is Better?)

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. 

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 

  • Workout Anytime  
    As the gym is in your own home, you do not have to wait for it to open or organize your schedule to fit a workout in – you fit the gym into your schedule. 
  • No Commute  
    You only need to walk down some stairs or across the hall to reach your home gym. If you forget to bring your protein shake or towel, you can simply get it rather than having to do without or buy something new like at commercial gyms. 
  • No Wait For Equipment  
    Unless you bring a workout buddy into your space, you can get on and off equipment whenever you are ready and have finished your set. This is not always the case with commercial gyms. 
  • More Sanitary  
    As this is your own gym, you are in charge of cleaning and maintaining it. You will always know for sure if the equipment is clean and kept instead of relying on others or hoping it is. 
  • Tailored To You  
    Gyms contain a wide range of equipment to suit various people; you curate a home gym for you. This means that you can be more flexible and as experimental as you want to be. 

Home Gym Cons 

  • No Social Interaction  
    For most, home gyms are a place where you work out alone. This can make it hard to motivate or challenge yourself without the motivated gym atmosphere and others to inspire you. 
  • Get Into The Habit  
    Because getting to a commercial gym takes more effort, you fit it into your schedule and easily make a routine. A home is filled with distractions, making it easier to avoid going until another day and delaying the habit.
Home Gym

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 

  • Community   
    Whether you go to a class or are a regular at a gym, you can easily make long-time friends at a commercial gym and make plans to go together, re-enforcing the habit. 
  • Wide Range Of Equipment    
    To see results, changing up your workout routine every few months can help prevent a plateau in your progress. Gyms have a wide range of machines and classes to choose from, meaning that you can always find new ways to work out. 
  • Specialized Help And Training   
    No matter your health concerns, it is possible to find a trainer who can work with your needs in mind and help you reach your fitness goals and desired look. 
  • Focus/Mindset   
    Gyms are filled with people focused on reaching their goals and are dedicated to continuing their fitness journey. This creates an inspiring atmosphere that can help you stay committed to your own goals. 

Gym Membership Cons 

  • Commute   
    Unlike with home gyms, getting to a commercial gym requires some planning and forethought as well as a commute. The cost of nice-looking workout gear and fuel, as well as your membership, can quickly increase your spending. 
  • Waiting For Equipment   
    If you are someone who often goes to gyms during peak times, you may find yourself waiting for equipment. This can increase the time you spend at the gym, leaving you with less personal time than you planned. 
  • Opening Times   
    While some gyms are open 24/7, many gyms have set days and times when they are available. This means that you have to fit the gym around your own and the building’s schedule, which can be difficult.  Still wondering whether working out at home vs. gyms is for you? We have more information in this article and down below to help you decide. 
Gym Memberships

Home Gym Vs. Gym Membership (Which Should You Choose?) 

Convenience/Time Efficiency  

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 

Preparation Required 

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  

Cleanliness 

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 

Motivation

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 

Social  

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 

Workout Varieties 

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 

Cost  

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 

Home Gym Vs Gym Membership

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. 


Conclusion

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.