Benefits of the gym

Should I Join a Gym Or Workout at Home?

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: June 18, 2018
Should I Join a Gym Or Workout at Home?

Exercise is fundamental to healthy living. Without it, our bodies will not function properly and we can develop any number of diseases or health conditions. However, if you go to a gym or speak to a trainer, many of them will have you believe that paying extortionate membership fees to use their equipment is the only way to get healthy. The truth is there are as many ways to exercise as there are ways to move your body. This leads to a lot of people training at home (for free!) or simply going out into nature to get their fitness fix. There are benefits to both and some people see the gym as a necessary encouragement. If you are asking yourself should I join the gym or workout at home?, let oneHOWTO present the considerations you should make.

Working Out at the Gym

The gym is a professional setting which should have all the equipment you could need to get a sufficient workout. In return, you pay them a membership fee. This is often a monthly payment and could be included in a membership to a larger organization. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of working out at the gym:


  • Variety of options: some people don't exercise because they simply don't enjoy it. At the gym, however, there are so many options it's hard to find something you won't like. If you want to do some cardio exercise, you'll find all the equipment you could need, including the treadmill, stair stepper, stair climber, elliptical, rowing machine, exercise bike, rowing machine, etc. If you are more interested in weightlifting, you have free weights, machines, bands, cable machines and much more at a gym. Fitness classes are often readily available. Although you can join fitness classes online as well, it cannot match the results you gain by physically going to a gym and meeting real people. Many gyms also have lots of other sporting equipment, such as a pool, tennis court, hot tub, health spa, etc.
  • Focus: when you join a gym, it helps to maintain your focus. Most people are distracted at home by their kids, parents, television, etc. When you are at the gym, you don’t see many things other than exercise equipment. There will be no household chores calling you, no kids distracting you and nothing that may tempt you to leave the workout. As a result, you are encouraged to stay focused on your exercise while working out in a gym. It is a conducive space for exercise, just as your bedroom should be a room conducive to sleep.
  • Motivation: feeling the need to get a gym membership and actually pay real money for it is motivating in itself. When you have paid your hard-earned money to join a gym, you will be motivated enough to at least workout for the length of the current membership. You will get motivation from other people exercising in the gym as well. When you see others sweating to lose a couple of pounds, you will yourself feel encouraged to keep on par with them. Even with strangers you can find encouragement to keep pushing yourself further.


  • Money: even if you join a very small, novice gym in your area, you will have to pay money to join its membership. It's be hard to find a insurance plan which would cover it. You can find high-end health clubs that cost more and also smaller clubs that charge only a nominal amount. But remember, you get what you pay for and cheaper gyms may not have the kind of equipment you would want for your workout.
  • Hassles: one big hassle that comes with a gym membership is the need to actually find time to go there. You have to find time to squeeze the gym session into your hectic routine. When the time comes to go there, you have to fill up your bottle with water, pack your gym bag, dress yourself appropriately, travel to the gym, head to the locker room, etc. So, your gym time is not just the minutes spent working out, but all the extraneous activities as well.
  • Crowd: while other people in the gym can be motivating and create a competitive environment, you may not always get along with them. On a base level you have to put up with other people's sweat on the machines, queuing for your preferred equipment, listening to grunts, smelling various odors and generally having to put up with others. Beyond that you might get those gym heads who love to show off and are intolerable to talk to (especially if all they talk about is how much they can bench). You may even run into someone you don't want to. Beyond this, there are concerns over sexual assault.
Should I Join a Gym Or Workout at Home? - Working Out at the Gym

Working Out at Home

While you decide to work out at home, you save money and can choose your own schedule without having to share with others. However, there are both pros and cons to this type of exercise as well. Let’s take a look:


  • Saves money: working out at home does not require you to pay any membership fees. It’s absolutely free of cost, unless you decide to buy your own exercise equipment. Even if you buy some, it would be an investment rather than a fee and you will have something to show for it at the end (beyond amazing abs). While working out at home, you may choose to do body workouts only, which do not require any equipment and which are equally effective.
  • Variety: while working out at gym, you have a variety of exercise equipment to choose from, but when you workout at home, you have an even wider range of options. You may go outside for a run or walk. You can enrich your exercise with exercise videos, exergames, workout apps, exercise class streaming and other such facilities. You may mix and match a variety of exercises into your routine, such as putting cardio and weights together, trying some yoga as well, do some zumba workout too etc. Exercising at home is a more variable option for impulsive people who like to do some new exercise everyday and mix things up. You ca also put on your music, TV, etc. to encourage you without judgment from others.
  • No shame: many people want to get into an exercise routine, but they struggle. Many have body issues and find the idea of going to a place with lots of healthy looking people, they can feel intimidated. This is especially so if there are competitive or judgmental patrons using the gym. Working out at home can help you to quietly boost your confidence before going out to show people how well you are doing.
  • People at the gym: lots of gym staff are lovely people who want to encourage people to get healthy and have fun doing it. Unfortunately, there is also a minority of snooty staff or gym regulars who are unpleasant to be around and can be more discouraging than supportive. As long as you can stand the people in your home, they may be preferable.
  • Convenience: when you decide to workout at home, you don’t need to pack your bag and drive anywhere. You can workout at your own convenient place and time, wearing your own pajamas (often frowned upon at gyms). If you are a busy person, you can even split your workouts or exercise at odd hours of the day.


  • Boredom: since there are no people around and nothing to motivate you at home, you may find exercising there monotonous. After exercising for a few days or weeks, you feel the need to try something else. If you don’t find anything new, you can become distracted and try to find joy in something other than exercise.
  • Equipment: gyms have all the major exercise equipment people need for exercise. While working out at home, you may buy some exercise aids, but you may not be able to buy all of them. When you exercise on a single machine everyday, it becomes boring and monotonous and often becomes the reason to get distracted and unmotivated.
  • Limited space: gyms are professional settings dedicated to exercisers and their equipment. But you may be able to assign that much space in your home. For instance, you may not have enough space in your room to try some rope skipping (although you can go outside weather permitting). Your house may not have the space required to install a large exercise machine.
  • Excuses: when you decide to exercise at home, you have thousands of excuses to skip a workout session. If you already lack motivation, you may avoid workouts for very silly reasons, such as fixing the showerhead, arranging your books, cleaning the cupboard, etc.

There are many reasons for and against joining a gym, but whatever you do, you should find a way to exercise and create an environment conducive to healthy living. However, saving money on inordinate gym fees can help your wallet stay as slim as your body will soon be. It's up to you what works, but self-belief is hard to come by whether you have a gym membership or not. Wherever you workout, it's good to remember that being healthy of body will help keep your mind well also.

If you want to read similar articles to Should I Join a Gym Or Workout at Home?, we recommend you visit our Fitness category.

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Should I Join a Gym Or Workout at Home?