Home v. Gym Workouts: Which One Is Superior?

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Home v. Gym Workouts: Which One Is Superior?

When it comes to getting fitter, which is the better option: home workouts or gym workouts? Let’s find out using these eight metrics:

  1. Convenience
  2. Safety
  3. Effectiveness
  4. Exercise variety
  5. Cost
  6. Ease of maintenance
  7. Access to expert coaching
  8. Progression

Let’s get right to it!

Metric #1: Convenience

Obviously, working out at home is way more convenient than having to get dressed and making the commute all the way to a gym—where you’ll either have to wait for equipment to free up or only be able to workout if you adjust your schedule to match the classes.

Compare that with working out at home where all you really have to do is roll out of bed, warm up, and get started. And when you’re done, you’re already home. No need to worry about spending any more time on the road.

So, we’ll have to give this one to home workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 1

Gym Workouts: 0

Metric #2: Safety

At first glance, this should immediately go to gym workouts. After all, there are expert coaches there to guide you every step of the way. But that only really matters if you’re a complete beginner. If you’re an experienced lifter who knows how to check their own form, then you should be able to train just as safely at home.

Where gyms start to pull away is in the area of competent spotters. Obviously, unless there are other experienced lifters in your household, chances are you’ll have a much easier time finding someone who can spot you properly in a gym.

So, we’re going to have to give this one to gym workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 1

Gym Workouts: 1

Metric #3: Effectiveness

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter where you do your workouts. All that matters is you do them properly. As long as you can satisfy this requirement, you will be able to make progress regardless of where you train.

So, if you know what you’re doing, then feel free to train at home. But if you’re a beginner or feel like you need professional guidance, then it’s better to train at a gym.

And with that said, we’re going to call this one a tie.

Score:

Home Workouts: 2

Gym Workouts: 2

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Metric #4: Exercise Variety

Unless you have a full-on gym at home, you’ll definitely be able to do a wider variety of exercises in a gym.

Cable machines alone, for example, would allow you to work your muscles in ways that are totally impossible with dumbbells, barbells, and even bodyweight training simply because they don’t rely on gravity for resistance.

So, we’ll have to give this one to gym workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 2

Gym Workouts: 3

Metric #5: Cost

Do we really have to go into detail with this one? The fact that you can start working out at home with absolutely zero equipment should be enough to tell you who would win in this area.

But even if you wanted to use weights, all you really need are a pair of adjustable dumbbells and an adjustable bench, and you’re pretty much good to go. Aside from these small upfront expenses, there are really no other fees—such as monthly memberships—to worry about when you train at home.

So, home workouts clearly win this round.

Score:

Home Workouts: 3

Gym Workouts: 3

Metric #6: Ease of Maintenance

No matter how well you take care of your workout equipment, they’ll still break down eventually. And when they do, you’re the one who has to worry about getting them repaired or replaced.

Well, you won’t have to worry about any of that when you workout at a gym. They have people to take care of maintaining all the equipment and replacing them when they break down. All you have to do is show up and train.

So, this one goes to gym workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 3

Gym Workouts: 4

Metric #7: Access to Expert Coaching

Unless you are a family of fitness experts, there’s no way you can get face-to-face expert fitness coaching at home. That’s something you can only get when you workout at a gym.

Sure, you can do research yourself. But when you have expert coaches around to help you out, you don’t have to worry about that. All you have to do is tell your coaches what you want to accomplish, and they’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to get it done.

So, this one goes to gym workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 3

Gym Workouts: 5

Metric #8: Progression

Progressive overload is one of the keys to a successful training program—and it’s much easier to implement when you have access to more gym equipment than if you just use your own body weight or a pair of adjustable dumbbells.

In a gym, all you have to do to progress is move the pin on a machine, pick up a heavier pair of dumbbells, or add more plates to the bar. In contrast, with adjustable dumbbells, you’re limited to the maximum weight they allow you to select.

As for progressing with bodyweight exercises, on the other hand, things become even trickier because the whole thing requires you to alter the movements themselves, so the increase in difficulty is neither linear, nor measurable.

So, this is another win for gym workouts.

Score:

Home Workouts: 3

Gym Workouts: 6 

The Winner: Gym Workouts 

As you’ve clearly seen, there are way more benefits to working out at a gym than at home. But that doesn’t in any way mean that home workouts are not a viable option. At the end of the day, it all depends on which one allows you to work out consistently.

Want to know if gym workouts are right for you but not yet ready to sign up for a membership?

Book a no-obligation free trial class here at CrossFit Marrickville to find out!

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