Is A Home Gym Worth It? (Pros & Cons Of Building a Gym)

Setting up a home gym appeals to most people looking to get or stay in shape as opposed to getting a monthly gym membership.

Bringing exercise equipment into your home adds convenience and privacy to reach your fitness goals.

However, that equipment isn’t cheap—and plenty of would-be home gym owners simply don’t have the space for elaborate setups.  

So is a home gym worth it? In this guide, you’ll learn how to assess if the benefits of a home gym outweigh the cost and effort.  

With all the pros and cons explored, as well as the prohibitive factors like cost and space, you’re probably wondering if a home gym is worth it. So, can you drop your gym membership?

Overall, yes: installing the right home gym for you is absolutely worth the time and money you’ll dedicate to it. 

It’s an investment in your fitness and overall health. In some cases - to the right buyers - it can even increase your home’s perceived value, if not its actual market value [1].  

Not only can your own home gym be just as effective as a commercial gym membership in keeping you fit, but it can actually prove more effective.

Faster workouts, convenience, and the motivation to use something you’ve put so much money into can make you exercise more often.  

Keep in mind that “home gym” is a pretty broad term.

It can entail a completely dedicated space for your dream gym, like a garage, stocked with an array of machines; alternatively, it can consist of little more than a yoga mat and some free weights in your spare bedroom.

This means you can customize a gym to meet your exact needs. Don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to make it happen.  

Even if your program is pretty specific, such as CrossFit, a home gym can help you reach and maintain your fitness goals. 

Just make sure you have the proper form and other basics down before parting ways with commercial setups since these places have instructors and trainers whose advice is invaluable when starting a new program.  

Lastly, don’t be afraid to customize your gym. Just because your friend has a full rack of weights doesn’t mean you can’t opt for adjustable dumbbells to save space, instead.

Related Article - Working Out At Home Vs The Gym

home gym with two treadmills, elliptical, and stairmaster

Considerations When Setting Up A Home Gym 

  • Space 
    If you do install a home gym, where on earth will you put it? Garages are the most common space, followed by basements. For those low on extra space, however, deciding where to put a home gym can be challenging. For more info, find out complete home gym size guide here!
  • Cost 
    This is perhaps the biggest factor holding people back from installing a home gym. Equipment is expensive, and many people mistakenly believe they need every machine they’d find in a commercial gym. The truth is, the price of a home gym isn’t clear-cut, nor does it have to be steep. You can purchase used equipment to save money, for example, or stick to only a few basic machines or weights that suit your exact workouts. 
  • Noise 
    Weights, machines clanging, heavy footfall—all of those loud sounds that get drowned out in commercial gyms will be amplified in your home. If you live in an apartment or with roommates, a home gym might be too noisy to get other people’s seal of approval. 
  • Types Of Workouts 
    If you exercise daily or for long periods of time, a home gym can help with life balance. You won’t have to drive back and forth to a commercial gym every single day.
  • Equipment 
    Your space, budget, and workout routines will dictate what kind of equipment you can/should purchase. While some will do fine with a simple weight bench, others might need several machines, a power rack, or squat rack to keep up with their fitness routine. 

Recommendation | Our #1 Budget home gym

man using preacher curl attachment on the Marcy MWM-988

Workout Versatility

9.0

Value For Money

10.0

Ease Of Use

10.0

Ease Of Assembly

9.0

Materials & Durability

9.0


Overall Rating

9.4

Pros And Cons Of Setting Up A Gym At Home 

The Good

  • Convenient
    The gym is right there, all the time - so you’ve got no excuses. Rain or shine, you know that gym is waiting for you. With equipment or weights just a few yards away, you’ll get constant reminders to work out. 
  • Can Be Less Expensive In The Long Run
    Gym memberships can cost upwards of $300 a year, and that’s on the low end. Although home gyms are more expensive up-front, that equipment is yours forever. In that sense, when we look at a gym membership versus home gym, a home gym pays for itself pretty quickly.  
  • Judgment-Free
    Although nobody should be stared at, judged, or mocked for trying to improve their fitness level and overall health, it’s still no fun to feel like you’re being watched. A home gym eliminates that insecurity and encourages you to give each workout your very best.  
  • Get Your Workout Done Faster
    Since you own the equipment, you won’t have to wait for machines to free up before you can use them. Best of all, they’ll still be adjusted to your preferences. This not only means a faster workout time but also fewer rest times while you wait— which makes your workout even more effective.  
  • Work Out Anytime You Want
    True, twenty-four-hour gyms exist. But are you really going to drive to one after that meeting runs late or in the middle of a snowstorm? Home gyms offer flexibility and convenience so that you can work out literally any time of day.

Not So Good

  • Initial Expenses Are High
    Putting in a home gym requires a lot of money to get started, even if you keep it simple and frugal. The cost will be worth it in the long run, of course, but that initial investment can be a tough hurdle.  
  • Takes Up Space
    There’s no way around it: gym equipment is bulky. Even a modest home gym setup can feel like it’s slowly taking over the room.  If you’re already short on space, a home gym might not be in the cards just yet.  
  • Isolating
    Commercial gyms encourage socialization through workout classes and common spaces. A home gym is just you and the equipment, so you might discover you really miss chatting with strangers, other gym regulars, and trainers while you work out [2]. 
  • Might Encourage Skipping Workouts
    While some people will work out more often because the equipment is at their disposal 24-7, others might skip exercising due to exactly that. Owning a home gym can create a mindset that it’s “not going anywhere,” so it’s too easy to procrastinate.
person tying their shoes next to a water bottle and an adjustable dumbbell

Frequently Asked Home Gym Questions

Can working out at home be as effective as the gym? 

Yes: if you make sure your workout is just as intense and as safe as when you perform it in commercial spaces, there’s no reason it won’t be every bit as effective. The real key is maintaining form and disciplining yourself to push just as hard as you would with people watching.  

Do home workouts build muscle? 

Anything that exerts your muscles and causes hypertrophy will cause them to grow and strengthen. If your home workout isn’t building muscle, it means you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. 

Can you see results from home workouts? 

The key to any workout, whether you’re doing it at home or in a gym, is consistency. You’ll see results as long as you’re doing the same things at home that you’d do in a commercial space.  

Can I get fit without a gym? 

Basic weights (or even your own body weight) and cardio can get you into shapeA gym setup simply allows you to get into shape faster, motivating you to stick with your workout plans and build consistency.  

Also Check Out - How To Build A Calisthenics Gym


Conclusion

Although home gyms are costly to install and take up space, there are space-saving and budget-friendly versions to make it doable for virtually anyone.

Home gyms are a great investment in the long run, both in saving you gym membership fees and in the overall improvement of your health.  

References:

1. https://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice/item/1014319-20180126-does-adding-a-gym-in-your-home-add-any-value

2. https://warwick.ac.uk/services/sport/content-hub/feed/make-friends-at-the-gym/

Paul J

Last Updated on October 23, 2022