I bought my first home gym equipment, a simple Ab Roller, back in 2009 and since then I’ve expanded with a pull up bar, adjustable dumbbells and a lot more. Nowadays I really enjoy working out at home but people tend to settle or feel like the grass is greener on the other side so this summer I signed up for a gym membership at a local gym.
Overall it was a good experience and it did remind me of some advantages you clearly don’t have when using a home gym. The major one being other people. It’s a lot more social to get a gym membership where you can talk with friends, get someone to spot you and probably most important – motivate you. Naturally there are also disadvantages. You need to dress somewhat decent, people occupies the equipment and there are weird guys staring at girls…
From there, it basically goes downhill. I had a 15 minute drive to the gym. On a good day, that’s more than 30 minutes spent just to get back and forth. Most people probably live closer to a gym but it’s a major issue today when everyone already complains about not having time.
Building a home gym with the same standard as a commercial gym isn’t cheap. However, as I explained in my post about building a budget home gym, you can begin with the necessity for under the yearly membership fee and then expand based on need. Keep an eye on Craigslist and contact local gyms when they replace their equipment. It’s not uncommon to find ads where you get weights for free if you just help them get rid of it. In 50 years, I’d end up paying a total of $20750 for membership fees. A great home gym costs a fraction.
My final point is that you get 100% control. The heat at the commercial gym was unbearable this summer but it wasn’t possible to open any windows. At a home gym, you can adjust the temperature, pick your own music and put your own touch on it.
Overall, I’m still convinced that a home gym is the better option for me but I’ll probably join my friends now and then to mix it up. What do you prefer? Home gym or a commercial gym?