Ask any honest personal trainer and they’ll tell you the truth: gym workouts are different than home workouts. If you want to take your fitness seriously, consider the many ways a gym can help you take your body to the level you want to reach. Everyone promises to workout at home (on the floor, balcony, basement, roof, etc.) But home workouts are easily diminished and de-prioritized. Instead of trying to change that, we challenge you to commit to working out in a gym. Here are some awesome reasons we love gym workouts and want you to, as well.
#1 Gym workouts reinforce commitment
Put bluntly, home workouts tend to fall into a category called, “Maybe I’ll get to it. Maybe I won’t.” That’s the truth. Are there some people who wake up every single day and hit their workouts hard in their living room or balcony? Sure. Is that most people? Doubtful.
Gym workouts not only require commitment, they reinforce it. The simple act of going to the gym when you don’t feel like it is empowering. Over time, going to the gym becomes habit. If you say you’re going to do something, you should do it. When we pay money for a gym membership, we should take advantage of it. The commitment we make to ourselves is worth every penny.
#2 Gyms have tons of contagious energy
Health and wellness clubs get packed with high energy, especially during peak hours (such as very early morning or just after work lets out). Take a look around in every direction, and you’ll see people who are collectively focused on finishing what they started. Everyone is either running, swimming, Zumba-ing, lifting, or doing some other activity. The energy within the room becomes contagious.
#3 Gym workouts eliminate distraction
Plug in some headphones, turn up the volume, and within no time, you’ll be in the zone. Unlike at home, where kids, cats, and even the neighbors find ways to interrupt your workout, gym workouts allow you to really focus. At home, it can be so tempting to stop what you’re doing, catch a glimpse of whatever’s on TV, or just have a seat on the couch “for a second.” The next thing you know, the second turns into minutes and minutes turn into a workout that just never happened.
#4 You’ll ignite your inner warrior
At home, you play roles of spouse, parent, lover, roommate, and a variety of other ones, too. But at the gym, you are a warrior. A gym workout feels distinctly different from a home workout. You get to physically leave your domain and set out to accomplish something. The gym is the battleground and your personal bests become your targets. At the gym, it’s just you and your goals. You can turn up the heavy metal or rap or whatever it is that gets you reeling. Your mission? To slay the day before.
#5 There’s a variety of equipment
Most people cannot afford – or fit – all of the many types of equipment gyms provide. Most home workout rooms can probably fit a small set of weights, a treadmill or two, and space for yoga or stretching. At the gym, you’ve got access to so much more. Free weights, assisted weight machines, floor space, swimming pools, TRX machines, rowers, cardio machines, interval stations – you name it.
Give your body something else to do. With a home workout, you run the risk of doing the same exercises over and over just because your space and equipment may be limited.
#6 You’ll benefit from community feedback
Certain gyms – like our 19th street location – thrive on a community vibe. Instead of being surrounded by strangers who avoid eye contact, some gyms provide a fitness community you can belong to. You can give feedback to others, and they can share feedback with you, too. Your workouts improve and going the gym becomes that much more worthwhile.
Even in group classes, you can start to develop a sense of community around you by getting to know familiar faces. Additionally, instructors and personal trainers can serve as mentors and motivators. You can’t get that at home.
#7 At the gym, you can learn by watching
Have you ever been working out and looked over to the person next to you, and found yourself mirroring their movements or self-correcting? If so, awesome. That happens only in gym workouts, because at home, you’re most likely working out alone. You can’t see what others are doing or how. If form is off, you might not know. At the gym, you can learn by watching others and taking some cues. Not everyone is doing things right, of course, but enough people are.
For example, if you’re into yoga, home workouts make sense as you develop your practice and become experienced with the forms and asanas. But in the beginning, you probably need more help than you realize. Get out of your home and go to the gym! Learn by watching others or taking a group class.
#8 You’ll naturally work out harder
How hard do you push yourself when no one is around? Probably not nearly as hard as you would when you think someone is watching. We naturally step up our game when we’re around others. At home, you may not feel inclined to run just a little faster, do just a few more reps, or finish the workout.
But at the gym, we bet you’ll be more likely to finish that mile, choose the slightly heavier weight, or fight the urge to leave the group fitness class early. You could call it a form of peer pressure, but there is just something about working out around others that keep us from throwing in the towel too soon.
#9 Your home should be tranquil
Your home should be your refuge. Make it tranquil, safe, and suitable for sleeping, eating, and relaxing. Workouts don’t fall into any of those categories. If there’s one reason that stands out from the others, this is it. Resist the urge to shift the energy in your home space by introducing the competitive spirit of working out. Rest in your home, but work out in the gym.
#10 Gyms have better amenities
You might have a great blender at home. Maybe you got a Vitamix as a holiday gift. But would you really call it a juice bar? Probably not. And maybe you have a swimming pool in your apartment building, but is it suitable for doing laps? Uninterrupted?
Gyms offer things that would be difficult to replicate in a home gym. Racquetball courts and saunas are just not too common in many homes today and neither are many other special services or options. Therefore, gym workouts beat home workouts when it comes to amenities.
#11 You can make fit friends
If your current circle of friends don’t work out the way you do, or think about workouts the way you do, you can make new “fitness” friends at the gym. Wouldn’t you want to work out with people who share your same commitment to fitness and health? At the gym, you’ll have plenty of chances to meet people who can later become good friends that inspire you and keep you on your toes.
#12 Your “Me Time” is Sacred
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, your “me time” is sacred and you should take it seriously. Some people have the perfect home gym setup – far away from distractions, stereos to play the music they want, equipment, space, etc – but many do not. The likelihood of you devoting enough time and space to have a decent workout and some much needed me time at home, vs at the gym, is simply too low. If you’re at all like most people, you’ll find yourself making home workout promises that you just don’t keep. But if you commit to working out at the gym, you’ll go out of your way to have your all important, critical me time.