Home Gyms vs. Comercial Gyms | What’s New in 2020?

by Ben | Last Updated: October 29, 2020

A Home Gym provides a plethora of unforeseen gifts and lifestyle improvements you may not consider right away. They get left on the sideline because the cost and time savings a home gym provides are so enormous. This article will cover all those unique perks that are rarely discussed so that you can (and should) weigh for yourself.

When I first started my home gym in 2014, I had no IDEA the number of benefits coming my way. I had been working out for 4-5 years already and all I knew was that I was sick and tired of switching gyms. 

I would hope the gym I picked had good equipment, cleaning protocols, and wasn’t insanely busy. It was really hindering my progress. But there was much more to be gained by that decision that I didn’t see until I was 5-6 weeks in.

Home Gym vs. Commercial Gym – The Benefits Rarely Considered

There’s a multitude of ways the Home Gym beats out Commercial gyms – and they generally fall in one of these 5 Main Home Gym Benefits:

  1. Convenience
  2. Comfort
  3. Better Workouts
  4. Hygiene
  5. Personal Development

Convenience

I’ve already discussed the vast time savings a home gym will net you, but here’s a quick list of the convenient aspects of cutting the ‘gymmute’ out of your life:

There are even more convenient benefits to a home gym though:

Home Gyms are Always 24 Hours

Not all of us are blessed with a clean, well maintained, 24-hour gym close by. Yes, the number of gyms offering 24-hour coverage is much higher than it was 5 years ago, no doubt. Even still, gyms have closing days for renovations, extended cleaning, maintenance, etc.

Consider how freeing the thought is of knowing you can get a workout in any time, any day – even holidays. We’ll get to this soon, but you can also feel at ease knowing there won’t be a soul in there, either. So go ahead, workout at peak times like 6-8am or 4-7pm. Doesn’t matter!

Kids Can Stay

Bravo to you parents out there for keeping up your fitness despite raising our future generations!

A home gym offers parents some huge relief in being able to multitask. You can get your lifts in while they nap (might want to break out the old headphones though), or maybe while they do homework in the other room. 

The blessing here is you can keep an eye on them and still hit your personal goals. Many adults let their dreams and own desires dwindle as kids come into the picture – don’t let your health be one of them!

In a few years, maybe they’ll even get interested in exercising themselves! There’s plenty of great youth fitness equipment you can add to your collection as they grow. And you’ll be Mom/Dad of the Year for planting the educational seeds of proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy habits early in their development.

Stay Home

Sounds like a movie pitch, but the year is 2020 as of this article and the World is experiencing one of the most extreme viral pandemics in history. It makes the Swine Flu, Spanish Flu, and SARS, look like mosquito bites. So these days, there’s safety in avoiding unnecessary public interaction.

Aside from this, home gyms allow you to be home more to catch package deliveries, watch contractors like lawn services or home improvements, etc. 

It’s a small benefit, but one I enjoy and can say I’ve saved a lot of headaches because of this. I know you all have missed a ‘signature required’ package and had to go on a box-hunt before.

It’s Always Perfect Weather

Rain? Sleet? Snow? Tornados?…… Shark-nados?

Okay maybe not shark-nados.

Ask yourself this:
Have you ever skipped a workout because you didn’t want to deal with the weather? Maybe the drive would have been sketchy in that blizzard, or you didn’t feel like working out in soaked shoes (I’m with you there, it’s the worst!). 

I thought you might have. Well, that’s going to be a thing of the past.

Home Gyms are Always Empty

We all have felt that huge relief of walking into the gym during peak hours and for some reason – it’s crickets.

Yes!!! I can finally get a solid squat session in!

How many times have you sacrificed your workout effectiveness by substituting an exercise because ‘that’ machine is so popular? 

How many times have you (or at least wanted to) ask somebody ‘How many sets do you have left’, or ‘can I work in with you’?

How many times have you gone to get water or hit the bathroom and come back to find someone else has already made camp at the machine you were using?

How many times have you had to do your exercises out of order to work around others? (This has a bigger effect on your progress than you may think!)

Worry no more, your home gym is always waiting.

Every machine is open. Do as many sets as you want. Move that equipment around so you can hit those hip-thrusts perfectly

It’s a blissful feeling. A home gym allows you to make the most of your efforts.

Comfort

The comfort category of benefits are all the ‘small’ things that you normally don’t think about very much in your commercial gym experience. 

However, as you get a few weeks into your home gym routine, they will come to fruition. They quickly add just as much value to your decision than all the time & cash savings!

Your House. Your Rules.

Generally commercial gyms are trying to play Goldilocks with the temperature, fans, lighting, etc. Not in my house!

Crank up that A/C or space heater.
Dial those fans to Category 5 Hurricane levels. 
Keep it dark and dungy. Or light it up like a Roman candle.

Hate that ‘no chalk’ rule of your gym? Clap it up!

Prefer to drop your weights? Go right ahead! (Just watch your feet)

The world is yours! 

My recommendation is keep your gym at normal indoor temperatures, install a good fan, and make sure you still get plenty of water.

(No – you can’t get a tan by installing a bunch of blacklights.)

(Yes. I tried that.)




(No, not really.)

Have Your Own Indoor Concert

Stop snagging your headphones on your shorts, barbell, dumbbells, and LITERALLY EVERYTHING. Seriously – how frustrating is it ripping them out of your ears for the 482nd time?

I know, I know. Bluetooth headphones are all ‘teh rAgE’ these days and solve that problem. I’ve got a set – and they *are* great. But the music quality isn’t as good, and whether or not you agree with me on that, I know I’m not alone when I say they start to make my ears hurt after a while.

Speaker systems are where it’s at. Thumping bass, proportioned highs, it’s all there. Even a cheap desktop system can satisfy most everyone’s needs, save for the most sophisticated audiophiles.

Home Gym Feng Shui

Since it’s your own place (even if you rent), decorate!

Throw some color on the walls, motivational posters, educational material, flags, memorabilia, etc. There’s endless possibilities to let your creative side let loose. 

I highly recommend getting some mirrors in your gym when you can. Most people say that it helps you check/improve your form (I disagree). While that is still up for debate, what a mirror DOES help with is improving your mind-muscle connection. This expense can be left for later though. 

What’s important here is that your Home Gym is just that, your own. So make it your own!

Privacy

Being comfortable doesn’t just mean ideal conditions. For many, the privacy provided by working out at home rids us of the onslaught of social-acceptance traditions we perform.

Crippling anxiety and self-conscious thoughts keep some of us from ever considering walking in the general direction of a gym. No more.

You don’t have to worry that your hip thrusts make it look like you’re attempting to go Pro for dry-humping.

Or that your arms aren’t as big as the guy next to you.
Or that you’re not sporting the latest workout fashion attire.
Or that your hair is a mess.

The privacy a home gym provides may be the only way some people would ever consider exercising. 

That’s okay – in fact, that’s great! You’re exactly who I hope finds this article. Please share it with your friends if they’re in the same place as you.  We all start somewhere. You can message me any questions here

This last bit is for those who frequent commercial gyms. Do you know how incredibly relaxing it is to have no more of ‘those’ people:


And last but definitely not least: people who seem incapable of racking their weights back.

You can rid yourself of ALL this. 

Forever. 

Better (and More) Workouts

How does a home gym net you more workouts?

Simple really – with all the time savings and less social effort, it’s much easier to ‘say yes’ to maintaining a consistent exercise routine. 

You know it will only take 30 seconds to be ‘ready’ to workout
You know it will be empty
You know it will be comfortable

You have no excuses

If you struggle to get that 5th or even 6th day in like I did, or those morning cardio sessions, because it was yet another escapade of getting dressed, driving, etc. A home gym will alleviate all of that so you can do what’s needed to hit your goals.

Easy enough, but better workouts? How so?

Consider this:

You Can Control & Limit Your Distractions

Have you ever realized you got distracted and took too much rest time between sets? Maybe something interesting popped up on the TV, or you’re watching that guy totally fail at Lat Pulldowns, or your buddy walked over to chat.

Maintaining intensity is a big factor for an effective workout.

To be fair, you must also carefully restrict the many distractions at home when you make the transition to home gym life.

You can build out your equipment for YOUR goals and needs

Commercial gyms are often light on more specialized training equipment: crossfit stuff, plyometrics gear, weight chains, GHDs, Reverse-Hypers, etc. Yeah, I get it, you could join a boutique gym that has all of that and more, but what is that costing you?

Your home gym should be built according to your goals (the most important step people ignore before purchasing equipment). When you do this, you have much less downtime compared to your commercial gym because you don’t have to wait for that specialized equipment to finally open up

Also, you never have to substitute a sub-par exercise for the one on your program because the gym didn’t have the right equipment or it was taken. 

Stop sacrificing form to show off

I know you do this. 

I did this. 

Everyone does this. 

This natural urge is forgivable – but to allow it to happen is not. Some can swallow their pride in a public gym and do what’s right, but I know a lot of you don’t.

Either way, I guarantee you won’t care when you’re home alone lifting. You can focus your attention where it counts: mind-muscle connection, intensity, great form, and proper rest times. Speaking of rest times…

No more overly-long rest times

Distractions are generally the main culprit here, but using commercial gyms also contribute when you: clean the machines after your sets (you should be!), walk to get a drink or fill your water bottle, wait for equipment to open up, etc.

You don’t run into this with a home gym. At least, you shouldn’t. Put your phone away, stopwatch your rest times if you have to.

Hygiene

No matter how hard they try, commercial gyms can’t keep up with the spread of bacteria on their equipment. 

The Coronavirus outbreak has prompted mass hysteria for enhanced cleaning protocols. It’s much better than it has been, but you can’t tell what you can’t see.

Coronavirus aside, most gym showers are riddled with fungi, hair, and whatever else is floating in those puddles. Bike seats are very commonly blamed for the transmission of staph infections. And obviously, every handle and free weight in there is a Petri dish.

That said, millions of Americans visit gyms each day without getting sick thanks to our immune systems. This isn’t the holy-grail benefit of home gyms, but it’s not dismissable either.

Sources:

Home Gyms: The Ultimate Tool for Personal Development

No doubt about it, working out alone is a challenge for a lot of people. In fact, Noobgains cites via an IHRSA study that 44% of gym-goers have a workout buddy.

Similar to how a workout is a challenge to grow and improve your body, workouts in your Home Gym are also a challenge for you to grow and improve your brain too.

Home gym life is a master-class on dedication and willpower. You will struggle – just like those shaky elbows on their way to a benchpress personal record. But there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment over your own perceived limitations. 

You will not only become physically fit, but mentally tough as well.

As you become a seasoned home gym owner, you’ll learn to overcome your negative self-talk, to control that voice in your head that holds you back and power through. You will master the understanding that putting yourself through difficult trials is the key to control. You will also realize that the only real accountability partner you need is yourself.

Your workouts will also begin to serve as dedicated time for self-reflection. This can be done in a commercial gym as well, but you’ll soon realize that the effects are much greater when you have a home gym. The relaxed atmosphere, comfortable and private setting, allows for much less distracted reflection.

Lastly – you’ll become part of the Home Gym Warrior family that inspires others to pursue their fitness goals. To place their health at a MUCH higher priority when they realize you’re doing it too. Friends, neighbors, other family members, and others will respect your investment into your fitness and consider it for themselves. 

The Final Rep

So there you have it, along with the cost and time savings, a home gym provides even more benefits over a commercial gym.

Convenience, Comfort, Better & More Workouts, Better Hygiene, and Personal Development. It also serves as a sense of pride and little way to ‘show off’ to friends and neighbors.

Some questions may already be brewing in your mind like:

All that, and more, is covered in the next phase:

<<Link to: “The First Step Everyone Forgets When Planning a Home Gym”>>