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Exercising At Gym or At Home, Which One Is Better?

July 24th, 2009 · 10 Comments ·


While I always encourage my blog readers to work out at gym, what I often miss out is actually exercising at home.  I have written number of posts about gym going, so, this time, let me go through the pros and cons of working out at home.  I will also share some tips if you prefer to exercise at home.

Few good reasons you should consider working out at home:

  • If the only gym in your area is still an hour drive away, it may make sense for you to consider working out at home. Commuting to and fro may be too much hassle or time wasting for you in this case. Also, not forget to mention with the high fuel cost and vehicle maintenance.
  • Your gym is too small with too many members lining up waiting to use the equipment.  Instead of spending an hour at gym, you end up spending few hours there without much productive workouts. Some people then have to go to gym at odd hours like 6 AM or 11 PM just to avoid the crowd. If you have flexible working hours to do so, not so bad. Still, gyms suppose to provide you the convenience and not expecting you have to adjust your time to suit them. So, exercising at home gives you the flexibility.
  • Most gym memberships are paid monthly basis for long term and some of them require members to pay upfront 1 or 2-year of fee. Not everyone, especially students, can afford to sign up those packages. A better option in this case will be exercising at home.
  • I know few of my female friends are more comfortable to work out at home. You probably have seen well toned women frequenting your gym often. When you thought that they can be good role models, these women can actually be intimidating to other women. Other women may therefore not wanting to exercise along with these babes. Add men to the equation, it makes thing worse. So, many rather stay at home and find their own ways to exercise.
  • Some people also do not want to share equipment with others.  It can be hygiene issue.


Yes, for some, working out at home is a good choice. For others, including me, prefer to work out at gym. Few drawbacks you should be aware of before you set up your home gym or investing in dumbbells or treadmill.

  • Some people find that it is tempting to put off their workouts. They find it hard to motivate themselves to exercise at home. Having the machines at home give them lame excuses like “No worry, I can use my cycling machine anytime, let’s do it after dinner.” After the meals, they may say, “Well, if I am full now, I will do it tomorrow.” So, instead of letting this convenience to help you, it has backfired.  You should really take advantage of it – exercise anytime you want at your own privacy. In short, self-discipline is important.
  • Apart from that, most home gym equipments are not as good as those at the gym. Some gyms have indoor swimming pools with lanes for aerobic swimmers. Also, the variety of machines you can have at home is definitely no match that of a gym. Unless you have a huge space at your place to store those machines and with big budget to spare, gym machines are always more and better. The other issue is that if the equipment is too cumbersome to move in and out from your store room, it will eventually ends up hidden in the store room collecting dust. Check out my article of 13 Tips To Choose A Perfect Fitness Equipment For Your Home
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  • When you exercise alone at home and need some assistance, whether getting someone to spot you or getting instruction to use the machine, you will not get anyone’s help.
  • My friend’s mum has a elliptical machine in the living room. I often see her get distracted whenever she is exercising, either picking up phone calls or putting clothes into the washing machine and end up doing other house works. I wonder whether she really has a good workout at the end of the day.
  • For people who like meeting new friends, exercising at home will not give you that benefits too. (Some single people may want to get to know others.) For me, working out together with like-minded gym members give me the inspirations. For others, exercise is not a social activity. They just want to burn as many calories and strengthen as many muscles in as little time as possible. So, in their case, exercising at home is more practical.


Tips To Work Out At Home

Now, hopefully, you know what you want – whether to join a gym or work out at home. If you decide on the latter, you can start off with something simple. Here are few tips for people who plan to work out at home:

  • Instead of rushing to buy a big piece of equipment. Invest in:
    • Some inexpensive videos on aerobics or yoga or workout videos (check out Jillian Micheal’s one)
    • Yoga mat
    • Dumbbell sets
    • Exercise ball
    • Jump rope (check out this JumpSnap)

    In fact, you can do quite a number of strength training using your own body weights. Those workouts include squats, push up, triceps dips, calf raise and others. Just make sure you do not fall into the trap of buying unnecessary fitness gadgets because of the fancy commercials you see in television.

  • Even if you work out at home, you should still wear your workout clothes. Wearing them will get you in the mood of exercising and motivate you to exercise harder. Wearing the workout clothes will serve as a reminder you should not be distracted to other house chores.
  • Be patient. Do not expect miracle. If you can work out 3 to 4 times a week at home, it is indeed very good. You may not notice an instant change to your body shape, so, please do not abort your program halfway. Eventually, you will reap the benefits of exercising.



There is no right or wrong on the 2 options. While exercising at home have some great advantages, it does have some drawbacks too. Just remember that these two ways are not mutually exclusive. What I mean is that while you can work out at gym, you still can exercise at home occasionally. At the end of the day, what is more important is how often do you do it rather than where you do it.

In fact, when you are at home, activities like running up the stairs, carrying grocery bags from porch to kitchen, washing the cars or cutting the weeds are physical activities too. Doing those activities with your loved one or kids is pretty fun too. If you do no have fun, you will not stick with it for long. And yes, before I stop, don’t forget about your diet if you are seriously want to lose weight.



Category: Gym Going

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10 responses so far ↓
  • Chris // Jul 24, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    I’m 16 so it would be tough for me to pay for a membership and drive to a gym.
    I also don’t have my license quite yet.

    I worked out at home for about 6 or 7 months.
    I got stronger but I started going to an early morning weight lifting class at my school.

    It’s a lot like a gym and I’m loving the results.

  • Debbie // Jul 24, 2009 at 11:45 PM

    Great tips! especially turning everyday activities into workouts… Personally, I find it easier to stay on track at the gym. Something about having other people working out around me helps me get more motivated, and maybe even a little competitive. At home I often cheat myself a little bit

  • taylorryan // Jul 25, 2009 at 7:47 AM

    When ever I try to workout from home I never push myself as hard as I do at the gym. If I set out to do pushups to failure I will stop a few short and just get lazy but at the gym I give it my all… I think it has something to do with people there watching makes me more motivated to work hard.

  • JayDee // Jul 26, 2009 at 9:41 PM

    I used to be a gym rat, but I bought a 90 day home workout program, some weights, yoga mat, and pull up bar and never looked back. I hate having to wait for machines and navigating through a crowd of people especially at the begining of the year when all the new year’s resolution people pack in the gym. Coming home from work I can throw on any old ragged gym wear and work out in privacy with no commute, and without having to deal with people. I think gyms can be great if you can find one that meets your needs, but in my experence the gym is a hassle…..Its funny that gyms are always jam packed no matter the time of the day or night and yet the majority of the population is overweight!?

  • Fitness Fabulous // Jul 31, 2009 at 11:05 PM

    I work out at home because:

    1) I can do it anytime I like.
    2) No waiting for others in the midst of a metcon workout
    3) You can set your own playlist on your stereo.

    And the downsides are:
    1) I cant drop the weight
    2) You probably can’t have everything in your home gym.

  • Yin Teing // Aug 1, 2009 at 8:13 PM

    Recently, I joined back a gym (after quiting one earlier because of travelling). Prior to rejoining back the gym, I have tried to do runs in the park- where it is more enjoyable and there is more motivation to see other people playing sports and genuinely enjoying it alongside natural environment. But after a few weeks, my knees hurt after running a few kms on pure concrete. Gyms enabled me to exercise late at night, which is my preferred time- and it gets too dangerous to run outdoors. Also, as you have mentioned, most of us will not be able to afford the strength training machines in gyms, which is an essential part of a proper fitness program.

  • Tom Parker // Aug 9, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    I agree with you Mun. Definitely prefer to work out at the gym. I find it less distracting and also prefer the wide selection of equipment that is available.

  • Leana // Aug 10, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    Working-out at the gym and at home do have their own pros and cons. One advantage of exercising at home is being able to choose your own workout music (my main source of motivation). Exercising without music makes the workout pretty monotonous after a while (especially when you’re at home).

  • Seifer // Sep 6, 2009 at 8:43 PM

    Although working-out at home can be a lot cheaper, there are certain limitations to what kind of equipment you can have around (unless you have a big place). Most people (like me) get lazy when around the house however and can’t workout as intensely compared to gym sessions.

  • EZ Home Workouts // Feb 24, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    I prefer home – typically gyms have more exercise equipment and I used to be a gym rat. However, the commute (with working, kids, etc.) was killing me and ended up making me not motivated to work out at all. When I started incorporating workouts at home for 45 mins a day – it was a life saver. I agree, home workouts can be limited, but with the proper exercises and techniques, you can def. meet your own personal fitness goals – I did, 50lbs later!

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