Sign Up or Set Up? How a Gym Membership Compares to a Home Gym

(TFC) –  first step to getting in shape is dedicating yourself to working on your overall fitness. But once you take that step, you face an all-important question: should you opt for setting up a home gym or sign up for a gym membership?

Each option has pros and cons, and different people might be better suited to each option. Read on to see which path is right for you.

Signing Up for a Gym Membership

One of the great features of buying a gym membership is that everything is there waiting for you to use. As Livestrong discusses, gyms provide members with access to great amenities and features. On day one, you can get right down to business with a full arsenal of top-notch equipment at your disposal.

Because gyms pool the resources of all of their members, they can afford many different kinds of high-quality machines and equipment, so you often wind up with a better variety of machines available to you—so you can complete any workout.

At the same time, since you don’t own the equipment, you’ll need to keep paying that membership fee each month to get access to the gym. Moreover, one of the major downsides of gym memberships is that you need to share the equipment with others during specified hours.

Many gym-goers are polite and easy to share with, but some tend to be inconsiderate of other users, hogging machines to themselves or making you feel uncomfortable during your workout. While you can schedule your workouts for less busy times of the day, it can be frustrating to not be able to use the machine you want the moment you want to use it.

Setting Up a Home Gym

The home gym directly responds to concerns of continual payments and overcrowding. If you make the investment in a few weights and machines, these are now all yours for as long as they work. It may take a few months or years, but over the long run, you may save a lot of money by building your own gym in your home.

Moreover, because the equipment is now in your home, you have exclusive access to it. As Triathlon points out, home gyms give you the opportunity to create your own personal workout zone so you’re more likely to enjoy the workout experience—rather than dread hitting the gym. You don’t have to wait for others to finish, you don’t need to worry about the gym’s hours, and you can do any kind of exercise you like in the privacy of your own home.

However, the home gym is not without its own downsides. Although it may be cheaper in the long run, home gyms require larger initial investments to get started. Also, you may also be constrained by the type of equipment you can afford—limiting the exercises you can accomplish. Finally, the size of one’s home may also impose constraints on how much equipment you can comfortably accommodate.

Reach Your Goals

So what strategy is the best approach for reaching your fitness goals? That depends on your personal taste, budget, and individual goals. No matter what path you choose, make sure to stick to your plan and don’t let anything get in your way.