You are determined to get serious about working out but are wondering what the benefits of joining a gym vs. working out at home are. This post will provide a clear overview of each option so that you can make an informed decision.
Workout at Home vs. Gym Workouts
Let’s start by considering why you might think one or the other option is better.
Why Home Workouts Are Better Than Gym Workouts
Here are some reasons why you may find home workouts superior to gym workouts:
- Convenience: One of the most significant advantages of home workouts is convenience. With a home workout, you don’t have to worry about traveling to and from the gym, waiting for equipment, or dealing with crowded spaces.
- Flexibility: Home workouts offer more flexibility in terms of scheduling. You can exercise whenever you want without worrying about gym hours or class schedules.
- Functional exercises: Bodyweight workouts use movements that recruit multiple muscles, engage your balance, and mimic everyday activities.
- Privacy: If you’re self-conscious about working out in front of others, home workouts can provide a more private and comfortable environment.
- Cost savings: A gym membership can be expensive, especially if you’re not using it regularly. Home workouts can be done with little to no equipment, saving you money in the long run.
- Customization: With a home workout, you can tailor your routine to your specific needs and goals without worrying about the limitations of gym equipment or classes.
- Motivation: Going to the gym requires you to set at least one hour aside if you account for the drive and the time involved in getting ready. However, when you work out at home, you can roll out of bed and set aside 20 minutes or less! It makes it much easier to get motivated and create a new habit! That’s the whole concept behind my Yoga Habit Challenge. I teach you to create productive habits, and we work on the yoga habit with only 5 minutes a day!
Curious about my 5-Day Yoga Habit Challenge? Join for free here:
It’s worth noting that gym workouts also have their advantages. Let’s talk about it.
Why Gym Workouts Are Better Than Working Out at Home
Here’s why gym workouts are a better option for some people:
- Variety of equipment: Gyms offer a wide range of equipment and machines that may not be available at home, such as weight machines, cardio machines, and free weights. This variety can help you target specific muscle groups and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.
- Motivation: Going to the gym can motivate some people, providing a dedicated space for exercise and the opportunity to work with others. This social aspect can help individuals stay motivated and accountable.
- Professional guidance: Many gyms offer the services of certified personal trainers who can advise on proper form, exercise selection, and training programs. This guidance can be beneficial for beginners or individuals with specific fitness goals.
- Dedicated space: For some people, going to the gym provides a mental separation between home and work environments, creating a dedicated space for exercise and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
- More challenging workouts: Gyms can offer more challenging workouts than what can be achieved at home, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes or advanced weightlifting techniques.
The main benefit of gym workouts for many boils down to results. Professional athletes and serious weight lifters need the heavy-duty equipment that you find at the gym. This brings us to the question: Can you work out effectively without equipment?
Are Home Workouts Without Equipment Effective?
My answer is a resounding yes! I saw results that blew my mind when I started focusing on yoga body weight workouts rather than lifting dumbells and doing HIIT.
Home workouts without equipment can be effective for building strength, improving cardiovascular fitness, and achieving various fitness goals. Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks, can be very effective for building strength and endurance without needing equipment. Jumping jacks, high knees, and burpees can improve cardiovascular fitness. For example, try my Best Yoga Upper Body Workout at Home: Full 20-Minute Routine, Crazy Effective Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises, or 5 Effective Yoga Poses for Strength and Flexibility.
Research has shown that bodyweight exercises can be as effective as traditional weight training exercises for building muscle strength and size. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that a six-week bodyweight exercise program was just as effective as a six-week weight training program for building strength in the lower body.
Furthermore, this Review concludes that endurance training (and using lesser loads as you would with bodyweight training) can increase muscle mass as much as lifting high loads for fewer reps.
However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of home workouts without equipment will depend on various factors, including the type of exercises, the intensity and duration of the workouts, and an individual’s fitness level and goals. Combining bodyweight and equipment-based exercises may be more effective for individuals looking to build significant muscle mass or achieve concrete fitness goals.
Home workouts without equipment can be a convenient and effective way to achieve fitness goals and improve overall health and well-being.
Helpful Equipment for Your Home Workouts
Even though at-home bodyweight workouts don’t require equipment, there are a few things that may enhance your experience and your results:
- Yoga blocks: Yoga blocks are essential for me. I use them almost daily. They help raise the ground to achieve more challenging poses. You can also use your blocks to add resistance and engage body parts (for example, try putting your blocks between your tights in the wheel pose).
- Yoga strap: A yoga strap is another helpful tool to stretch in certain poses when you lack flexibility. For example, I use the strap to stretch in the full pigeon (check out Yoga For Energy: 10 Poses To Increase Your Energy Fast).
- Sliders: Sliders are fantastic for your core workouts. You can also use socks on a slippery floor, but they enable you to easily drag your feet from plank pose to forward fold, for example. This 12-Minute Abs Workout For Women With Complete Follow Along Video provides examples and inspiration.
- Interchangeable dumbbells: I rarely use dumbbells anymore, but it doesn’t mean they can’t serve a purpose in your home workouts. My Slim Thighs Workout is an example of how I used dumbbells before I became passionate about yoga.
- Exercise bands: Exercise bands, also known as resistance bands, can be used to add resistance to bodyweight exercises or to perform a variety of strength-training exercises, such as bicep curls, squats, and chest presses, providing a challenging and effective workout for all fitness levels.
You achieve excellent results whether you use equipment or not in your home workouts. It’s up to you to experiment and determine what works best for your workout style.
Gym vs. Home Workout Results
I love sharing my workout results because they speak for themselves! I started yoga at 43 after being consistent with High-Intensity Interval training and lifting dumbbells for over a decade. I couldn’t believe how it changed my body. I not only became more flexible and gained cardiovascular endurance and strength, but I also noticed that my body looked better. My arms and shoulders were more toned, and my abs were!
Here I share my home workout results after I started using bodyweight exercises. I have never been a gym girl, but for about five months, I did go to the gym three times a week for leg day. I hated every second of it! Also, I didn’t notice a vast improvement in how my butt looked (not gonna show pictures of my naked butt. OK?).
I think that enjoying your workouts is an often overlooked factor. You won’t be pushing yourself the same way if you hate it. You will make excuses to skip workouts, etc. But it’s more than that. My 18-year-old daughter loves going to the gym. Yet, she hasn’t seen a considerable difference in your body’s composition. This might have something to do with the studies I referred to above. Going to the gym tends to be about lifting heavy. However, the average person might see better results when lifting lighter for more reps.
Anyway, back to my Before-After Home Workout results.
Gym or Home Workout for Weight Loss
Many of you looking for answers about workouts at home vs. gym workouts are also asking: are home workouts effective for weight loss?
Two crucial elements come into play when determining whether you should workout at home or the gym for weight loss:
- Calorie expenditure: Will your body use more calories during at-home or gym workouts?
- Muscle mass: Can you build more muscle by doing an at-home workout or a gym workout? (because muscles burn fat)
home workouts can be effective for weight loss. Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume, and exercise is an effective way to increase the number of calories you burn. Home workouts can effectively burn calories and support weight loss, whether they involve bodyweight exercises or equipment.
Research has shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, which can be done at home with little to no equipment, can be very effective for weight loss. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a 12-week HIIT program significantly reduced body fat and body weight in overweight and obese adults.
Also, yoga is very effective for weight loss at home or in class. Read Yoga for Weight Loss: 10 Yoga Poses for a Flat Belly for additional info.
It’s worth noting that weight loss also depends on other factors, such as diet and lifestyle habits. A combination of healthy eating habits and regular exercise is the most effective approach to weight loss. Additionally, the specific type and intensity of home workouts will depend on an individual’s fitness level, goals, and any medical conditions, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program.